Considerations When Buying a Stock Trailer to Haul Horses

If you need to haul animals other than horses, or you are looking for a less-expensive means of transporting your horses, you might consider a stock trailer.
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If you need to haul animals other than horses, or you are looking for a less-expensive means of transporting your horses, you might consider a stock trailer.

Looking for a budget-friendly, multi-purpose trailer to haul your horses and maybe other animals? A stock trailer might be the best option for you. 

Made of aluminum or steel, stock trailers are usually more budget-friendly. These types of trailers feature slatted sides that offer optimum ventilation. Trailer style preferences vary geographically. In colder regions, stock trailers must block cold wind, rain and snow. These trailers have solid sides about two-thirds of the way up with wide slatted openings from there to the roof. Ranchers and horse owners in hot climates often opt for a tubular design. Similar to a round pen, there are openings between each rung for optimum ventilation.

The best part about stock trailers is that they serve more than one purpose. If you have hay to move, livestock to haul or equipment to relocate, the wide-open floor plan makes it a breeze to load up items other than horses.

There are a few things to know before you buy. Consider these three points.

1. Trailer weight: Stock trailer frames are made of aluminum or steel. Steel is heavier, meaning you’ll need a larger towing vehicle. Steel is also prone to rust.

2. Closed or open-top: Geographic location determines which option is best for you. On the east coast and in wet, snowy climates, a roof is necessary. A bow-top roof with a tarp, or no roof at all, can be found in more arid parts of the country.

3. Step up or ramp: Like horse trailer models, stock trailers come with options for a step up or ramp style entry. Not only do ramps reduce the risk of rubbing a leg on an edge, but they also make it easier to control smaller animals being loaded or unloaded.

Some stock trailers have dividers to separate the compartment in half, and some don't have any internal dividers. 

One positive of the open floor plan of stock trailers means that horses left loose can choose how they are most comfortable standing during travel. On the other hand, if there’s too much room inside a trailer compartment that doesn't have dividers, a horse could lose its footing without something to lean against and bump into other horses or fall. 

Make sure the stock trailer is tall enough if you have large horses. Some stock trailers come with tie rings near the roof if you want to tie one or more horses in the trailer while traveling.

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