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Views: 114     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-08-13      Origin: Site

For even the most experienced riders, trailering their precious equine cargo can be nerve-racking.  If you are shopping for a trailer for the first time, the options can seem overwhelming.  Below, you will find a guide to the most common horse trailer types.

1. Bumper Pull Horse Trailers

Bumper pull horse trailers are usually cost-effective, lighter in total weight, and shorter in total length. If you have a smaller tow vehicle, or a limited amount of space to store your trailer when not in use, bumper pull trailers are typically more alternative.

However, because bumper-pull trailers are shorter and lighter weight, this often means that storage space for dressing or tack rooms is limited or non-existent. Again, because bumper-pulls tend to be shorter in length, if you have a larger horse, he or she might be more comfortable and safer in a different trailer. Perhaps the biggest concern with bumper-pull trailers is that they are often less stable, especially on curvy roads.

2. TGooseneck Horse Trailer

A gooseneck trailer is generally larger and more expensive than a bumper-pull, but offers more stability, options for towing, and other amenities. Because of its attachment over the rear axel, a gooseneck trailer is often a better choice for towing more than two horses.  Since the weight of the trailer is placed over the rear axel rather than the frame of the tow vehicle, there is less swaying and more stability. Goosenecks often offer more space for horses and humans, with larger stall areas, and more options for tack storage.  For those that travel with their horses frequently, living quarters can be easily included with a gooseneck.  

In addition to its cost, one of the biggest downsides is that a gooseneck trailer is usually longer and heavier than a bumper pull which then requires a larger tow vehicle.  You will also have to install a gooseneck hitch in the bed of your truck, as many trucks don‘t come equipped with this feature.  Each time  you hitch or unhitch your trailer, you’ll need to climb into the bed of the truck to reach it.  A gooseneck’s length can also make it harder to store your trailer when not in use.

3. Rear Facing Horse Trailers

While a standard trailer often positions the horse facing the front of the trailer or on a diagonal, rear facing horse trailers face the rear of the trailer. These trailers typically include a side and rear ramp so that horses can be loaded head-first using the side ramp and unloaded using the rear ramp. Rear facing trailers are thought to be easier on the horse, causing less stress and minimizing the strain on their legs. Since horses balance more of their weight on their front legs, they are better able to balance when facing away from the direction of travel.

While the animals are less likely to fall in transit or collide with trailer partitions when travelling rear facing. However, a rear facing trailer without a side ramp might pose problems for loading horses, because it would require you to back your horse onto the trailer.

4. Straight Load Horse Trailer

In a straight load trailer, horses are loaded head first from the rear of the trailer and usually must back out when unloading. A straight load trailer typically has a center divider and is limited to a two-horse option. Straight load trailers often provide the horse with more space to balance while travelling, and are generally taller in height. This makes them a good option if you have a larger horse. These trailers also provide the horse with more headspace, which is particularly important if you tend to trailer long distances.

5. Slant Load Trailers

In a slant load, horses are loaded diagonally, with their heads facing one long side of the trailer and their rear ends against the other side. Slant load trailers often provide horses with less space to balance, and the more limited head space can also mean a bit of claustrophobia for certain horses. Some people also argue that slant load trailers cause uneven strain on a horse's legs because the left hind leg and right fore leg must compensate more when travelling in a slanted position. Finally, if you have multiple horses in a slant load, you will have to unload each horse to get to the horse in the front stall. This can be at best, annoying, and at worst, a safety concern.

6. Slant Load Trailers

A side load trailer includes a second ramp on the side of the trailer.  This allows you to lead a horse up one ramp and off the other without the horse needing to back off of the trailer.  Once on the trailer, the horse travels at an angle, similar to the slant load trailer.  Since the ramp is positioned on the side of the trailer, these trailers are often longer and require a larger tow vehicle.

No matter the trailer and tow vehicle combination, you'll want to make sure that your vehicle can safely handle the combined weight of your trailer, horses, tack, hay, and other gear. Your trailer should come with information including the axle capacity and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.


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