What to look for in a horse trailer

Whether you are in the market for your first horse trailer or just looking to upgrade your current one, choosing the right trailer is essential for your horse’s comfort and safety. With so many trailers on the market today, trailer shopping can seem overwhelming. We’ve put together a list of things to look for when you’re choosing your horse’s next ride.

  1. Capacity
    Are you looking for something to transport your horses on occasion, or are you an avid competitor who hauls on a major show circuit? If you only have one horse and don’t plan to transport any others, a single horse trailer is a lightweight option, ideal for those who don’t have access to a heavy-duty hauling vehicle. For those with a few horses, a two or three horse trailer is ideal. If you opt for a three-horse, experts recommend a gooseneck-style for even weight distribution.
  2. Height
    If you’re hauling particularly large horses, you might need a trailer larger than the industry standard. While most standard straight-loads have 10′ stalls and stand 7’6″ tall, horses 16.3 hands and up may be cramped and not have proper headroom. For horses up to 17.2 hands, a 78″ high trailer with 11′ stalls is ideal. If you’re hauling drafts or horses above the 18 hand range, you might need to look into additional room.
  1. Materials
    Steel
    Steel is the most common and most affordable material used to make horse trailers. Although it is heavier than aluminum, it’s easier to repair and tends to hold up better with regular use.

    Aluminum
    Though not as strong as steel, aluminum has become a popular choice for trailers as it’s lightweight and corrosion-resistant. If you’re looking for a lightweight one-horse trailer that you can haul with a smaller vehicle, consider looking into aluminum trailers. Just keep in mind that aluminum is more likely to accumulate damage and more expensive to repair than steel.
  2. Flooring
    Trailer floors can be made from wood or aluminum. Wood is recommended by most experts as it doesn’t hold in heat or cold. It is also more solid, less expensive to repair, and you don’t run any risk of corrosion.
  3. Load type
    Straight-load
    A straight-load trailer two-horse trailer is a standard option where both horses stand parallel to each other with a bar in the middle. Many experts agree that these trailers are safer and more comfortable for horses than slant-load trailers. With a straight-load, you can remove either horse without removing the other. This design also allows each horse more room for their head and neck.

    Slant-load
    The main benefit of a slant-load trailer is the ability to fit more horses in a shorter trailer. Two- and three-horse slant-load trailers are common among equestrians. Unfortunately, if a horse in the front of the trailer needs to be removed quickly, there is no way to get to them without first removing the horses behind them. Many experts consider this to be a safety hazard. However, if you and your horses are accustomed to traveling, they can be a great option.

There is no “right” trailer for everyone. Before you hit the road with your horses, make sure to evaluate your needs (and theirs). Choose something that has adequate space for your horse’s comfort, as well as something that will be durable over time, and you’ll be a road warrior in no time.