LIVING IN A HORSEBOXYou’vefinallyqualifiedfortheSummerChampionships.You’vedoneyourbesttoworkouthowtofitinalltheclassesfromthetimetable,youknowthestable manager and the guys who park the horseboxes - with any luck this is going to be your year.BEFORE YOU SET OFFThetriptotheChampionshipsattheendofeachseasonisveryoftenthelongestjourneyoftheyear,thatcoupledwiththeprospectofalonghotsummer could well also make it the most traumatic. The big shows are always the most important. So make sure you get there with plenty of time to spare.Whilstweallhopeitwillneverhappen,ourrecordsshowthateveryhorseboxontheroadislikelytoexperiencesomeformofdifficultyatleastonceeach season.Summerisourbusiestperiod.Itisvitalthathorseboxesandtrailersarelookedaftercorrectlyduringthesummermonths;morebreakdownsoccurin theJunetoSeptemberperiodatanyothertimeoftheyear.Thetemperatureinahorseboxortrailercangettounbearablelevelsandhorsescangetvery distressed while waiting at the roadside. Just a couple of hours spent checking your vehicle can help you avoid breakdowns and accidents.•Check all mirrors are intact and adjust them to suit your seating position and height•Check your tyre pressure and tread before leaving•Check all lights are working correctly•Check you have enough fuel to get to the destination•Check oil, water brake and clutch fluid•Carry a fully charged mobile phone with phone charger and extra battery.•Make sure you have the number for your breakdown organisation in the vehicle•Make sure you have the contact number of either a family member or a friend so you can let someone know what has happened.•Always plan your route to the destination before you leave and let your family or contact know the route you will be taking•Carry extra water for both the vehicle and for your horses•It is a good idea to carry spare hoses especially for the heater•Make sure that you have a spare fan belt•Makesurethatyoualwayscheckyourtyrepressureandtread.Whentheweatherisverywarm,tyrescanbecomeexcessivelyhotandmoreproneto blow outs - so remember to keep your speed down to a minimum•Check the distilled water level in batteries get them fully charged and make sure the will hold the charge.Onashowground,constantuseoftheelectricsinthelivingareawithjustonebatterywouldalmostguaranteeyourlorrynotstartingattheendoftheshow.Makesurethatyouhaveaseparatelivingaccommodationbatterytothebatteryonyourlorry.Getsomeonewhoknowsaboutautoandcaravanelectricsto checkthatthelivingbatteryischargedwhilstthehorseboxengineisrunning.Itmustbefittedwitharelaysimilartoacaravantoavoiddrainingthevehicle battery. If you have a generator that is even better and do remember that many showgrounds now allow you to hook-up to the mains.•Check all bedding (human) is clean and dry•Renewanygasbottlesonthelorry.Makesureyoucarryagasspannerandalwaysrememberthatthethreadworksthewrongway-clockwisetoundo, anti-clockwise to tighten!•Check that gas hoses are not leaking or perished•Check the cooker works•Check the water heater and pilot light•Check any heating system is in order•Fill the water tanks check the pump and taps. A couple of Milton tablets in the tanks will help keep them sterile.•Check the fridge is working.•Storeallyourfoodinyourfridgeathome,turnthelorryfridgeonthedaybeforeyouleaveandfillitalreadychilled.andremembertoremoveall unnecessary packaging so that it takes up less room.TRAVELINGSome general tips for any-one traveling with children and horses to keep them safe while mobile. Forallpeopledrivingahorseboxyoushouldmakesurethatalldoorsinthelivingareaarelockedandsecuresonottoopenwhiletraveling.Itisagoodideato fitanextrabolthighuponexternaldoors-outofthewayoflittlefingers!Ifyouaretravelingwithchildrenyoushouldalsomakesurethattheyarewearingseat belts and are seated at all times also keep windows closed to ensure safety for children and pets.Make sure all gas and water supplies are turned off. This particularly applies to the pilot light on the fridge if you go into a garage.Ensurethathorsesaresafelyandsecurelytetheredwhentravelingandhaveamplespacebetweenpartitionsthataresecuredcorrectly.Alwaysensureyou have sufficient food and water for your horses in case of delays caused by heavy traffic or breakdownAlways carry a spare head collar and rope and make sure that the ramp is secured properly before leaving base.THE SHOWIfyoucanfollowmostofthesesuggestions,youstandagoodchancethattheonlysurprisewillbeachampionshiporaneveningclass,buteventhendon’tget caught out. Check the dress code for the rider and make sure you’ve either got it or can borrow it.Good Luck!