Sunday, June 10, 2012

Trailer Questions! (and possibly trailer shopping!)

Well, I didn't mention it because I didn't want to jinx myself (not that I believe in jinxes, especially now), but I was planning to take Chrome to his first show (not to be ridden, just for experience being hand walked around show grounds) . . . and yeah I didn't get to . . . so typical!!  I've been trying for almost three years to take him to the old barn (an hour away) that I worked at for four years so all of my friends could meet him and so far no such luck.

So I'm incredibly disappointed (had trailer malfunctions, but I went solo and Chrome enjoyed himself at home stuffing his face with grass and being lazy as usual lol . . . and tormenting poor donkey who totally deserves it lol) that I didn't get to take Chrome, but there is good news!  We might be going trailer shopping, so I need your advice!

I need to know the pros and cons of straight load versus slant load versus stock trailers . . . I've actually only ever had one trailer in my whole life!  It's an older style Thoroughbred trailer (7.5 feet tall) that's too small for Chrome.  It was a straight load, but the center divider was removed long before I ever got it, so I've always hauled him loose in it.  Now that he's outgrowing it he still tries to turn around and it scrapes up his nose and haunches.  He's never been tied in a trailer, so which is safest for teaching them to tie (straight or slant)?  I was leaning toward a stock trailer because he would have the space to move around which I think would make him so much more comfortable being on a trailer, but I've read they are really loud and don't have very good shocks.  I'm not worried about it being too open and cold because I don't haul long distances in the winter (and it really doesn't get that cold around here).  Dust could be a problem in such an open trailer.  I'm not worried about his eyes because I can put a fly mask on him.  Also with a stock trailer I've been told you can modify them to have two straight load stalls in the front and one box stall in the rear, but are they comfortable for the horse?  Are there brands that have good shocks, are safe and not too loud?

I don't have any experience with straight or slant loads though so any information is very helpful!  Thanks!!!  I'll take pictures and post about our trailer shopping tomorrow.  We're really only going to look.  We can't buy anything right this minute.  Again, thank you!


  1. I prefer slant loads. I had a 4 horse slant that I hauled all over for years. Great trailer! Nothing fancy, no drop windows or anything. Hauled 3 horses in it.
    I traded it recently for a 2 horse slant, I have yet to take it on its first haul. But so far I like it, extra tall and wide! (7hx7w) Its just me riding now, my kids are all grown and moved out. Didnt need all that extra room.

    A stock trailer may not be tall or wide enough.Designed for cattle, So the horse perks are not always there.

    I tie them when hauling, untie before I unload. So there are no pull back in the trailer problems. Been there done that!! No fun. My spoiled mare will not back out of the trailer, she has to turn around and walk out. The two old mares back out nice and slow and quiet. While you are teaching him about unloading, its nice to have two people, someone to hold the rope while you open the gates, then you can go and get them with less panic.
    A lot is taught about how to get your horse IN, the trailer, not enough talked about unloading safely!!!! IMO

  2. Thank you for the info reddunappy! I really appreciate your opinion. I think they make horse specific stock trailers (like the ones that are solid wall up to a certain point and then slatted the rest of the way up instead of slats from top to bottom) that are tall enough. I could be mistaken, but that's something we can check out at the trailer place.

    I've also read that the slant loads aren't as roomy as a straight load. Do you think I will have trouble getting Faran (wide Percheron) on a slant? Would I just be able to give him two stalls in I get a three horse slant? I can't afford a brand new or customized trailer so I'm hoping I can find something they both will fit on without needing anything special done to it. That's one reason I was leaning toward a stock trailer (if I can find one tall enough) because it wouldn't matter how wide they are in their own little box stall. Thanks for commenting!!

  3. The '92 4 horse Circle J, I had, it had adjustable width dividers! I loved that. Emma is wide, not as wide as your Percheron!! LOL But she is big. 14.3 and around 1200lbs! She make two of my other 14.3 hand mare!
    Because it will most likely be just me I am going to take the divider out when I haul Emma.
    When I would haul one horse in my 4 horse I would put them in the second stall and not up against the solid wall in the front. So they can spread their legs. Often when hauling in that front spot they scramble against the wall. But they do that on either side of a straight haul too.
    I would haul your big horse with one divider out.
    The problem I had when someone else would haul Emma is that the stalls would be to short, and she would sit on the back wall, and end up with a bad bruise on her rump. So stall width and length will be important! They make trailer with a "warmblood" size reference, that too may help. Before Emma, I never had encountered that problem, but you will with your Percheron.

  4. I didnt mention, but when I thought about it, growing up we hauled horses in many different ways. Mom and Dad started out in the '70's with an old horse truck! Now those are scary to load into!!! 6'ramp and a 3 1/2 foot climb!!!
    then they had a small two horse straight load.
    Then they had a 4 horse straight load.
    Next they bought a two horse slant that you could fit three small horses in side by side! (never did, lol)
    As an adult my first trailer was an old two horse straight with a ramp.
    We bough the 4 horse slant and I absolutely loved that trailer! Never had a horse hurt in it.
    Now back to a two horse slant!

    OH an my preference is no ramp, but that one is a personal choice.

    So when I thought about it, I have more experience with all types then I realized.

  5. We have hauled stock trailers, 3 horse slants, and 2 horse bumper pulls over the years.

    We currently own a two horse bumper load - extra tall / extra wide - with a ramp. It has a solid divider in the middle that swings either way to load and unload. I like that it has escape doors on both sides, so you can walk in with your horse and then step out the door.

    Our trailer has halter clips to tie with and we use break away halters when hauling.

    My best advice, no matter what type on trailer you decide on is make sure it is light and bright. We find that horses load much more willingly into a trailer that is not dark.

  6. Thanks for the info guys! We're going this afternoon (husband needs a nap since he's working night shift) to look at a bunch of different ones at a dealership so we can get an idea on what features we like. I'll keep all of your suggestions in mind. :D

  7. Ours is a 2006 Sundowner - we bought it used a couple of years and have been very happy with it.

    Happy shopping!

  8. Kelly's post says it all for me - I have a trailer with basically the same specs except it's a Brenderup. Aluminum and fiberglass - light enough to haul with my six cylinder truck.

    Again agreed with Kelly - light and bright with headroom is much more inviting to horses. And I always tie (breakaway) as well.

    Good luck!

  9. Have you thought about a rear-facing trailer? I'm a bit confused with the language difference...does a trailer mean one that you drive or one that you pull with your car?! Here a trailer is one you tow with your car and a horse box is one that you drive.

    Echo has travelled in all types, but she definitely is least stressed travelling in one where she gets to face backwards, which makes sense given the shape of their hocks - she can sit back into any braking. Saying that, she's always been fine with the sideways compartments too, as long as the partitions are wide enough for her to move about.
    I wish I could afford transport.
    Happy shopping! :)


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