Hauling horses to single day or overnight outings are a regular part of horse ownership. Trailers make it possible to get to a show, lesson or trailhead. Safety and functionality are the most important features of any rig, but today’s horse trailers offer endless options to showcase your style and provide all the comforts of home—and maybe a little bit more.
Here are five points to consider when buying your next trailer or upgrading your current rig.
1. Size: Consider your horse’s weight, height and breed so the horse is safe and comfortable.
2. Ventilation: Without proper ventilation, trailers can quickly heat up. Look for sliding windows and roof vents.
3. Loading style: Straight and slant load trailers each have their benefits. Often it boils down to personal preference. Slant loads tend to use floor space more efficiently.
4. Ramp or step-up: This also often boils down to personal preference. Ramps tend to be considered safer because there is no exposed edge where a horse could potentially skin its leg. When opting for a ramp, make sure it has a non-slip surface and heavy-duty springs to assist in closing.
5. Goose-neck or bumper pull: Evaluate the size truck you have and what it is capable of pulling (and stopping) or if you’re willing to upgrade to a bigger truck. Larger trailers, especially those with living quarters, will necessitate a gooseneck hookup.
6. Flooring: One of the first things horses see and feel in the trailer is the matting. Look for anti-slip material that is at least three-quarters-of-an inch thick to offer the best cushion without interfering with their balance.
Buying a new trailer can feel overwhelming with the wide variety of features and price points. Ordering a new or custom-built model is always a thrill. There are also countless used trailers in excellent shape that are more budget friendly.
On used models, inspect (or have inspected) the flooring, tires, brakes and wiring to make sure the trailer is safe before finalizing the sale.