By: Chris Robertson
Whether you own one horse or several, a horse trailer will provide a convenient way to travel with your horses to shows, rodeos, camping sites, horse trails, or wherever you need to take your horses. Horse trailers are also useful in case of an emergency if you have to evacuate your horses or get them to a veterinarian in a hurry. But buying a horse trailer can be a little confusing because there are so many different types and styles available. Here are some things to look for when shopping for a horse trailer.
Probably the most important features that will determine how well your horse travels are the features of the stalls. How many stalls are included? What size are the stalls (length, height, and width)? If your horse’s ears are touching the ceiling of the trailer, it is probably too short. Also, be sure the horse will have room to turn around for exiting. Some horses can be very difficult when it comes to backing them out of a trailer stall.
Be sure there’s plenty of ventilation for each stall. Horse trailers usually have from two to nine stalls. It’s a good idea to get a horse trailer with one extra stall than what you actually need. This will provide more room for your horses and also allows you to add another horse in the future.
Trailer Entrance: Step Up or Ramp
Horses are like people in some ways… they seem to have their own preferences when it comes to horse trailers. They especially have their own preferences when it comes to stepping up into a trailer and/or walking up a ramp into the trailer. This makes choosing a horse trailer difficult because you might not be sure which method of loading your horse would feel more comfortable with. Before you start shopping, find a couple of friends with horse trailers of different styles and ask if you can do a test load with your horse. You might be able to find out ahead of time what type of trailer will work best for your horse.
Slant Load or Straight Load
Another thing to consider is if you will buy a slant load or straight load horse trailer. The slant load trailer has stalls that are slanted diagonally from right to left. The horses stand in a slanted position while riding. These are usually economical for carrying more than two horses. A straight load trailer enables you to load the horses straight into the trailer from the rear and the horses face forward while riding. With both styles, choose a horse trailer that is the correct size, has proper ventilation, and provides the features you need.
Bumper Pull or Gooseneck
Consider whether you want a bumper pull or gooseneck trailer. The bumper pull trailer attaches to a hitch near the rear bumper of your towing vehicle. The gooseneck extends over the bed of the hauling truck and attaches in the truck bed. The main difference is the gooseneck can provide extra room for dressing room or living quarters.
There are other features to consider as well. The trailer might be made of steel or aluminum, or a blend of the two. It might have a tack room in the front of the stall area where you can store saddles, bridles, buckets, feed, and trunks. Some horse trailers come with dressing rooms fancied with a mirror, table, and an area to hang clothes. Some have roomy living quarters featuring a bedroom or two, dining room table, kitchenette, and bathroom. Living quarters are great for frequent campers!
Before buying a horse trailer, consider what type of trailer you will be able to haul with your current truck or vehicle. Some vehicles haul better than others, and some can handle heavier trailers than others.
Consider all these features when shopping for a trailer, and go online to compare horse trailers and brand names such as Sundowner horse trailers. You can search for trailers by brand name or by location and state. For example, if you live in Tennessee, you might search for “horse trailers in Tennessee” or “Sundowner of Tennessee.” You can also find used horse trailers for sale if you’re on a tight budget.
Use these tips to find a horse trailer that you and your horses will enjoy for years to come.
Chris Robertson is a published author of
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