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Can a horse sleep in a trailer? Only Under These Conditions

As a horse owner, you might have experienced how difficult it is to travel with a horse. Well, we are pretty much sure that it is even a worse experience than traveling with an infant. Throughout the journey, horses do need special care. Daytime or nighttime, it is your responsibility to make sure your horse is comfortable within the journey. Therefore, we will explore more on these facts in depth.

Horse trailers are handy to transport horses from one place to another. The important thing is to know how long our lovely horses can comfortably stay in a trailer. Usually, horses can be inside the trailer for about nine hours if you supply food and water. But the majority of the horse owners have the question, can a horse sleep in a trailer? Well, it is a bit difficult to know whether horses like to sleep inside a trailer or not. Therefore, we will dive deeper and discuss more facts from this article about a horse sleeping in a trailer.

Can a horse sleep in a trailer?


Can a horse sleep in a trailer?

The most straightforward answer is yes, horses can sleep in a trailer. If your journey is a long one, perhaps you might wonder how your ponies might spend the night. Then you do not have to worry. After reading this article, you can get an idea about why it is essential to arrange your journey before. If you can plan the things before the journey, it will help your horse get some good sleep.

Can horses stay in a trailer overnight?

Many horses can stay in a trailer overnight. But you have to make sure to meet the horse’s basic needs: meals and water. If you can arrange those, they might not find it uncomfortable to spend the night inside a trailer. Mostly, many horses are okay to spend a night inside a horse trailer.

But as we know, all horses can have different health conditions. The horse is an animal mainly adapted to live on open grassland areas. Because of that, horses naturally prefer open spaces more than closed spaces. Accordingly, some horses might get nervous while traveling. Studies show that horses can develop claustrophobia/ irrational fear of being in enclosed places while traveling in a horse trailer. Therefore, spending a night in a trailer is unsuitable for these horses who experience anxiety more often.

Can a horse sleep in a trailer?

Research articles

Many research articles show that extended stays inside a horse trailer can cause many health issues. Horses might develop stress-related respiratory diseases due to being inside a trailer for more than nine hours. If you like to read more on this, use the links below to see research findings.

1. Mononuclear phagocytes of transport-stressed horses with viral respiratory tract infection

2. Pathology of equine pneumonia associated with transport and isolation of Streptococcus equi subsp.

Therefore, it can suggest that leaving your horse in a trailer overnight is okay if it is a short journey. It is not good to leave your horse inside the trailer over a night during a long trip. Horses do need time to relax while traveling a long journey as much as you need. It is better to unload your horses and give them a chance to have a short walk. Walking will help them to relax and stay calm.

Although, it is essential to pay attention to the weather before deciding to keep your horse inside a trailer at night. If you had a long journey on a hot day, do not keep your horse inside the trailer anymore. Because of the heat inside the horse trailer, it might not get enough time to cool down during the nighttime.


Can you leave a horse in a trailer overnight?

You can leave your horse in a trailer overnight. But make sure it is no more than nine hours. When you wish to travel long distances, it is better to plan the journey before starting. Not only you but also your lovely equines do need a rest from the ride. Nighttime is the only time your horses can take a rest while you are traveling. That is why it is essential to let them walk and relax at your stops. If it is possible, arrange a safe place to position your horse during nighttime. Horses will love to have a little walk and fresh up themselves. From doing that, you can make them happier too.

But what if you are unable to find a safe place to position your horse? Then it is okay to leave your horse in a trailer overnight. Make sure the air circulation inside the trailer is enough to make your horse comfortable. Allow your horse to have a small treat and get a drink. Clean the materials you have used to put bedding, such as wood chips. Cleaning the bedding can make your horse’s night stay inside a trailer a pleasant experience.

Can a horse sleep in a trailer?

How long can a horse stay in a trailer?

As mentioned earlier, commonly, many horses can stay inside a trailer for about nine hours. However, it always depends on the individual needs of your horse. If your horse is too sensitive, it might become anxious during extended stays inside the trailer. Instead, it is important to address a horse’s health condition when traveling long distances. Your horse should be in good health condition if you wish to transport it in a horse trailer.

The weather can also influence the number of hours your lovely horses can comfortably stay inside the trailer. Do you wish to travel from a hot temperature place and reach an area with a cold temperature or vice versa? Then it can dehydrate your horse.

However, horses with respiratory issues might experience a hard time staying inside a trailer continuously. Because of that, it is necessary to create a dust-free environment for the horse while traveling.

The researcher, Carolyn Stull at the University of California, conducted a research study in 1999. He had explained the horse’s physiological responses based on the time duration they stay inside a trailer. You will find the following helpful link for your further reading.

As a reflection, always keep in mind that it is your responsibility to organize a stress-free journey for horses. When traveling long distances is necessary, always arrange things beforehand to make your horses more comfortable. Do not ignore the above facts if you wish to leave your horse in a trailer overnight. As a horse owner, if you decide to keep your horse inside a trailer during the night, that is fine. But ensure their safety and comfortability while having night stays. Plan everything, especially before starting a long journey with your horse. Always give priority to your horse’s preferences and health when traveling with them. It could make your as well as your horse’s journey a pleasant experience for you both.




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