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Breakdown and Recovery

No matter how much care is taken and how well maintained your horsebox is, accidents and breakdowns can - and do - happen. For this reason it is essential to have comprehensive breakdown cover in place to ensure that, in the event of an emergency, you and your horse/s get back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.

Preparing for the worst

It is ‘Sod’s Law’ that will determine that you will break down the day you forgot to pick up your mobile phone, or the first day in years that you have travelled your horse/s alone. Follow the steps below to make sure you don’t get caught out in the event of a breakdown:
  • Make sure someone knows where you’re going, what time you’re due to arrive at your destination and what time you’re expected to arrive back at the yard - especially if travelling alone.
  • Always travel with a fully-charged mobile phone with your breakdown service, insurance company and vet’s telephone numbers stored in contacts. A hands-free kit is also useful so that you can use the phone on the move.
  • Always travel with extra clothing, both for horse and human in the event that the weather turns.
  • Travel with water, bucket and a hay net for each horse – this will help keep them calm and quiet in the event of a breakdown.
  • Equine and human first aid kits should always be kept in dry, secure storage box.
  • Carry a toolkit, fire extinguisher, a high-visibility vest and warning triangle.

What should you do if you break down?

If you have breakdown and recovery cover, call them and make sure they know you have horses onboard. If you do not have cover, call a recovery provider or call someone who can do this for you.

If you vehicle is still drivable, try to get it to a safe place. Get it as far over to the left as possible so that it is not in the way of passing traffic and try to keep clear of blind summits or sharp bends if at all possible. If not, then try to alert passing traffic of any danger if necessary. This will include turning on your hazard warning lights. If for any reason this is not possible, try to use any fluorescent clothing you might have on board or a warning triangle (50 – 100m behind the vehicle). In poor light, leave your side lights on. If you consider that you are in a place that may cause danger to passing traffic then you should call 999 and alert them of your situation and position and have someone positioned to alert traffic of the danger.

Do not unload your horses on the side of the motorway –
it is illegal and dangerous for all concerned. Ideally leave them on board and stay with them if possible. If you need to remove horses from a broken down vehicle, call the police, who will assist and call additional services as required.


Breakdown cover

There are a number of specialist providers of breakdown cover, each dealing with repair, rescue and overnight stabling. For details of specialist equine providers of breakdown cover, please click here to search our business directory.

When arranging cover, shop around and compare packages to ensure you have the cover you want when you need it. 

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Last updated: 02/07/2010
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