The 4-Step Horse Trailer Ventilation Guide for Safe, Cool Hauling

You’ve got the air conditioner on blast.

Your favorite shades are at the ready.

An ice coffee is in the cup holder.

It’s time for a summer road trip and you’re ready to ride in style.

But are your horses?

Summer travel poses a range of health risks to your horses–without proper horse trailer ventilation, they can become stressed from the temperature or even develop an illness like heat exhaustion or shipping fever.

Whether you’re looking for a new horse trailer or considering how to improve one you’ve already got, these horse trailer ventilation tips will help both you and your horses enjoy relaxed, cool rides this summer.

General Tips for Summer Hauling with Horses

Before we get to our horse trailer ventilation tips, be aware that there are several other important ways you can keep your horses cool on the road.

The 4-Step Horse Trailer Ventilation Guide

1. Look for Windows in the Front and Back

When it comes to ventilation, window placement is even more important than the number or type of windows in your horse trailer. They won’t do you any good if they’re not positioned to create a flow of air throughout the trailer.

Make sure there are windows at both the front of the trailer and the back. The back window or windows should be large–you can put screens or bars over them so they can be kept wide open without posing a safety issue for your horses.

If there’s a dressing room or tack room wall at the back of your trailer, it should have a window, too–otherwise the air from the front gets blocked, preventing a current as you drive.

2. Install Fans to Promote Airflow

Trailer fans are a smart, simple way to increase ventilation in your horse trailer.

Common sense would tell you to point the fans at your horses. The whole point is to cool them off, right?

Well, yes–but positioning your fans that way won’t help.

Again, it’s all about creating a current of air throughout the trailer. Make sure that your back fans are facing out of the window (in other words, pointing at the cars behind you). That way, the fans will pull air from front to back, cooling your horses as it flows by.

3. Wire Your Fans to an Auxiliary Battery

I discovered the beauty of horse trailer fans a long time ago. But I had to learn this extra step the hard way.

It was July and I was enjoying a hunt trail ride with friends. It was a great day, but we ran late–partly because we caught a horse headed towards the highway before we left–and partly because, well, of course we had happy hour after the ride!

When I finally got back to my trailer, my fans had been running for 4.5 hours.

How do you think my tow vehicle battery way doing?

Yeah, not great. There I was in a town with no cell towers and a dead truck battery. My friend went to fetch my husband several counties away–and I set my mind to getting an auxiliary fan battery as soon as possible.

4. Already Have a Trailer with Poor Ventilation?

If you already have a trailer with inadequate windows, you can use fans to boost ventilation–again, just make sure to point the ones that are furthest back out towards the road. You won’t get the same cooling effect that you would with proper window placement, but it can help.

If possible, consider adding windows to your trailer. Depending on how it’s framed, a solid dress wall can sometimes have windows added to it. You might also replace your back trailer doors if they don’t have windows.


Have questions about choosing or improving a horse trailer ventilation system? Blue Ridge Trailers is always happy to offer our expertise. Contact us online or at (434) 985-4151.

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