Posted on: 20 June 2016
If you enjoy competing away from home, you may find yourself staying overnight at venues with your horse. It can be cramped on a horsebox, especially if you have a small entourage of helpers accompanying you. In these circumstances an awning for your horsebox can be a very useful purchase. An awning effectively allows you to create extra space for storing kit, for dining in, or for additional sleeping room.
However, erecting your awning can be challenging, especially on very windy days. Here are some tried and tested tips to help the operation go smoothly.
How to put up your awning
If possible, recruit a helper. Assembling an awning is much easier with two pairs of hands, especially if it's windy.
Assemble the frame
Your new awning should come with an assembly guide, so it should just be a case of following the directions given.
A helpful tip is to fix matching pieces of exercise bandage tape to the ends of each awning pole so that you can easily see which connects with which. This will make the job much quicker when you come to erect the awning next time. You could also add numbers to the tape with a permanent marker pen.
Put the fabric onto the frame
To help the fabric slide over the poles more easily, spray a small amount of coat gloss onto a cloth and wipe it over the frame. If your awning has removable, zip-in panels, remove them to make the body of fabric lighter and easier to handle.
The easiest way to begin assembling your awning is to start from the access points in the awning channel, which you'll see is at eye level toward the rear of the horsebox opening. This means that you're pulling the fabric downward over the frame assisted by gravity, rather than struggling to pull the awning upward from ground level.
Take your time and push the frame along the fabric channel until the piping is just in front of the opening. The back of the awning should now be safely in the channel at eye level with the front overhanging at the other end. All you need to do now is pull the whole fabric awning down to the ground.
Attach the awning to the horsebox
Finally, you need to attach the assembled awning to the horsebox. By starting at the middle and working outward, you can keep the whole structure stable.
Fix the central upright to the central roof strut, sliding it through the material loops sited in the awning roof. Now, fix a cross-strut to the front wall and fix it to one of the end vertical poles. Finally, connect it the strut to one end roof pole. Repeat this process for the other side of the awning.
Now that the awning is attached to the horsebox, you can safely re-attach any panels that you removed earlier. Peg down the awning and add the guy ropes and storm straps to tension the frame.
The art of awning assembly takes practice, but the process will become quicker and easier each time you do it.Share