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 Help me buy a horse trailer!!
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2006 :  8:15:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
NEVER let horses hang their heads out of a trainer when going down the road. It might look cute but horses have been killed that way. Their heads ripped off. It doesn't take something hitting them for it to break the neck. Just the force of the wind can do it.

I have owned/borrowed all three styles, slant, straight and stock. They all have thier pros and cons.

Stock trailers are good for trailering loose, horses that need more room, horses that don't unload well, and hauling other things. They tend to load better into them also. Their cons are that if you only load a horse in a stock and then all you can find is a two horse straight it can be a problem. Nothing to stop them from backing out before you are ready, horses can fight easier. Less to brace on. Some horses will always try to turn around. A pain in the butt if you are hauling horses that aren't use to each other. They tend to have no storage space so you have to haul tack in the truck. Some have room up in the neck if a GN but that's a pain too. You can get Stock Combos that have dressing rooms and even removeable slant dividers. Also they don't have mangers(but straight load combos have them in the front)

Straight load. My less favorite but always good to teach a horse to load into one. They tend to be harder to load horses into. You must get the right size, wide enough, tall enough and long enough. Mangers can pose a problem, I have seen two young ones go up into the manger. Some horses prefer a straight load. You can make a small stock by taking the divider out on some but it tends to still be harder to load then a stock.

Slant Load, my favorite for trailering horses. You can get ones with removement dividers. For training they are great because you can have ones that open all the way up on the back like a stock or have one door close to get the feeling of going into a smaller place. I find that the horses I have hauled in both slant and straight like the slant better. Like wise they stand slanted or sideways in the stock when alone. Slants normally have tons of space for both the horse and the tack. They normally come with a tack/dressing room up front and an opt rear tack. You normally don't have a manger but some brands have that as an opt.


Tying.....I have hauled horses loose and tied and I think it depends on the horse but also the trailer. Even in a trailer with a divider some horses will try to turn around and I know one mare that WILL turn around, never did figure out how on earth she got the snap undone and then got turned around, not once but twice! Most horses in a trailer, even hard to tie horses can't step back enough to know they are tied and since you should unhook them before you open the back door it isn't much of an issue. Some horses like to be untied others don't. Most are too buzy keeping their feet in a stock to goof off too much but yes it can be a danger to haul one that moves too much loose. The only way to see how a horse likes to be haul is to haul them.
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fracturedbones
Clinician



3424 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  10:55:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit fracturedbones's Homepage Send fracturedbones a Private Message
Good info Stormie...lots to think about. The horses heads...scarey!
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  1:56:59 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
I have always had straight load trailers mainly because they are what I can afford and I like to be able to store my tack in my trailer and not my truck. Just my personal preference.

I used to never tie my horse's head when hauling because I thought the freedom would let the horse balance better in the trailer. Then I read a magazine article that told the tale of a horse turning his head around to see behind him right when the driver had to slam on the brakes when a car stopped unexpectedly in front of him. When the horse was thrown forward due to the sudden stop, he broke his neck! Ever since, I always make sure my horse's head is snapped onto the tie strap. I also make sure he has enough length on that strap to ride compfortably, but not enough to be able to turn his head around, bother the horse riding next to him, or get a leg over the strap.

I'd love to have a slant load someday, myself, but I have read about the flipside of the coin concerning them. If you have a 3 or 4 slant load and the horse in the front throws an absolute fit, you would have to unload all the other horses to be able to get to him and straighten him out. If you have a 4 horse and it's fully loaded, that'd be 3 horses you would have to unload before you could get to the one in trouble.

Another scenario all of us might have to face is if (heaven forbid!) you are in an accident and the trailer falls on it's side... or if your trailer is hit from the side by another vehicle. I've read that in this case, a side impact or the trailer falling on its side can jam the dividers of a slant load and trap the horses... and if they are seriously injured, it would be next to impossible to get them out. In a straight load or a stock trailer, there is a chance of opening the rear door and getting them out quickly.

I know these things may never occur with a slant load trailer, but these things have stuck in my mind ever since I read about them. Just something to consider when buying a trailer.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  2:06:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
I forgot another con on the Stock trailers. You have to walk up into them to tie the horse and that normally means that you have to walk with them when you load. That can be an issue for a number of reasons. If you always load a horse tht why they get to where they don't want to load without you. If you are loading two horses you can get smushed. If you are loading/unloading a horse that is upset you can end up with some nice cracked ribs when a gelding decides to turn around and go out, smushing you up against the gate. That horse was lucky I didn't own him. You also have to walk up to unload them. And if you take one out the other is up there tossing a fit and you have to get up there to untie it which isn't easy. That's what happened when I got hurt. And it takes two people to load because one has to walk up and one close the door when you are loading into the back stall. Of course a lot of these things can be helped with training. Teaching the horse to stand calmly, to load up and stand to one side, to load up and stand without backing but I find that even with the well trained horses things happen so it's best to have two people. Most of the time I don't have someone else to help so it can be a pain.
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  6:11:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
My 3 horse slant Sundowner has escape doors for the two front stalls. Never been used except for extra ventilation but there if(knock wood) we ever need to. Carry the tack in the dressing room except for saddles and halters in the rear tack compartment.
I do agree the best loading horse are trained to walk in by them selves. Some two horse ans some stcok have a people escape door at the front you can get out under the breast bar.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  10:17:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
yep you can get doors on the front or back of the stalls on slant loads. Also you if you need a 3 or 4 horse trailer and a horse in the front flips out you still have that same problem. I can't unload the horses out of the front of the stock? The only trailer that you can unload all horses without unloading another is a Two horse Straight load. Any more horses than that and you can't get the first horses out without taking out the back horses.

I had a TB flip over in the back of a stock trailer. She messed the gate up so bad we couldn't get it open to unload the poor hurt little guy in the front. He was not hurt from that but from before and was already stitiched up and drugged, I think he was flying above the trailer so the crazy TB in the back didn't phase him one bit! lol I think that in any wreck no matter the trailer the doors and dividers can get hung up.

That same TB kicked a smiley face into the front of my stock trailer. I'm not lying you can look at the front of the trailer and see a smily mouth and two eyes!!! She was dang lucky she wasn't my horse. Between those two things and a number of other things I would have killed her.
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