With winter here, now is the time to give your float a “warrant of fitness”.
Although everyone gets a warrant of fitness for their float or truck do you regularly check it for general horse safety? If you aren’t up to doing it yourself get someone who does to check your horsefloat over for signs of wear.
Is the floor safe and up to holding the weight of your horse? Is the ramp secure, solid and non-slip? Do the springs on the ramp need adjusting? Are the internal partitions OK or are they cracked and worn? Will the horse catch itself on any loose bits inside?
Any rivets missing need to be replaced? As well as weakening the construction this usually contributes to extra noise in the float. It is amazing how few people have travelled in their float and so are unaware of all the rattles and bangs. You could sit in your float and drive up and down the drive to see if any noise can be reduced. If you haven't got a very long driveway you could always drive around your paddock. Doing this also makes you aware of how turning sharply and stopping abruptly affect the horses balance.
Are the tie rings secure both inside and outside? This is a huge safety issue.
Do you have a spare tyre and is it usable? Check the tyre pressure of the spare and also make sure your have a jack and tyre wrench compatible with your float.
It is important you have plenty of tyre tread especially for driving during the wet and sometimes icy winter months. And check your light bulbs are working fully for dull or foggy days and driving in the dark.
It is a good idea to have a horse first aid kit. Include the following: a couple of bandages, tape, antiseptic cream and disinfectant.