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View Full Version : Another trailer question---Hawk or Balanced Ride Trailers



Whitfield Farm Hanoverians
Nov. 16, 2009, 07:57 AM
All I hear is how everyone loves their Hawk trailers. Any problems with them? They seem nice. I love the 4stars, cimarron, etc. but keep coming back to Hawk for some reason. I also like the Balanced Ride trailers that Risa has designed by Hawk.
I really need to hear the good, the bad, the ugly.
Thanks

ponygirl
Nov. 16, 2009, 12:09 PM
You have a PM :)

TrotTrotPumpkn
Nov. 16, 2009, 12:11 PM
Could I pretty please get that PM too. I could be the OP in this case--really thinking the same thing.

ponygirl
Nov. 16, 2009, 04:18 PM
Could I pretty please get that PM too. I could be the OP in this case--really thinking the same thing.


Check your PMs :)

KCFoxy
Nov. 16, 2009, 09:47 PM
PRETTY PLEASE on that PM...I'm in the exact same place. Looking at Hawk's and want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.
THANK YOU

ponygirl
Nov. 17, 2009, 09:34 AM
I've sent the pm to those that requested it but figured I might respond here as well. I was basically asked about the Hawk and the Balanced Ride built by Hawk but designed specifically by Risa. I owned a 2005 2H Hawk which I sold to upgrade to a 2+1. Risa told me about her new line coming out so I waited a few months for it to happen. In short, I LOVE the Balanced Ride Max. With the Balanced Ride, Risa kicked it up a notch or two by really putting superior products into her line. Thicker padding, better latches, killer LED lights that literally light the trailer up like Fort Knox. The interior rubber lined walls are lined further up and with a different material that makes for very easy wipe down. The tackrack system is great. The graphics on the trailer I love. Subtle and classy. It's a very structurally strong trailer as one would expect from Hawk. No rattles whatsoever. It tows like a dream and is very airy and cool.

As for the backwards aspect of the trailer... I never thought about it until Risa and I talked. I had to admit that every mare & foal I've hauled in a box stall did in fact end up turned around backwards. I have some friends with head to head trailers and a couple have mentioned that they have a horse that will only travel well if he's traveling backwards.

I can tell you I'm sold on it. My horses travel exceedingly well. In fact, they'd remain on the trailer eating hay if I allowed them too. My 4yr old nervous loader (new horse to me) is a dream to load now. When I acquired him, I picked him up in a friends 4Star 2H BP. He wasn't keen on loading and was more than ready to get off the trailer. That's changed! As for ease of use, I swear it's so easy a caveman can do it. :) In the side, out the back is my preference. If I'm hauling a horse in the front box stall, I just load that horse last.

Risa has video footage up on her website now which might be of interest. As I said, I'm sold on it. The trailer has no movement in it when I'm hauling as they are that quiet. Hope this helps those of you who are curious :)

TrotTrotPumpkn
Nov. 17, 2009, 10:43 AM
I'm so pumped about this post since I'm still in "saving and research" mode. My good friend had a Hawk trailer and really spoke highly of it, so it's cool to hear about the balanced ride as well.

Of course I'm no where near SC :(

NoDQhere
Nov. 17, 2009, 10:56 AM
I'm so pumped about this post since I'm still in "saving and research" mode. My good friend had a Hawk trailer and really spoke highly of it, so it's cool to hear about the balanced ride as well.

Of course I'm no where near SC :(

There is a Hawk dealer in Rapid City, SD. Closer than SC, thats for sure:lol:. A friend of ours has the Hawk 2 horse with dressing room and it is a lovely trailer. Very well made, roomy and inviting. We have a C&C 5 horse head to head that we and the horses love! Also a very well made trailer.

ponygirl
Nov. 17, 2009, 11:29 AM
I'm so pumped about this post since I'm still in "saving and research" mode. My good friend had a Hawk trailer and really spoke highly of it, so it's cool to hear about the balanced ride as well.

Of course I'm no where near SC :(

Not an issue since the trailers are made at the Hawk plant in Wisconsin. They start from there :) Delivery from Wisconsin to me was very reasonable and Dave is wonderful! He's delivered my Balanced Ride and said he got a lot of compliments on it while bringing it to me.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Nov. 17, 2009, 11:35 AM
Cool. I would really just like a two horse trailer that's large enough to haul two 17 hand horses, but isn't so oversized I need to go out and get a one ton.

And I want to be able to convert to a single box stall. EASILY. That's the kicker. My friend's Hawk could have the center piece taken out but I think it was rather cumbersome to do. I'm picturing something that swings...

So I'm not 100% sure what I want I guess.

I do love the side ramp. Had a friend get in an accident/go in ditch last winter and the side ramp saved the day.

Whitfield Farm Hanoverians
Nov. 18, 2009, 08:25 AM
Hi Pony,
Thanks again for all of the great information. Sounds like a great trailer. I just can't see spending $35k to $40k for an enclosed, nice 2+1 when I can get one for around $22k that's nice. Also Risa has been soooo patient while I've been kicking tires for the past 2 year. I'm just afraid to spend the money! Glad to hear that the trailer is so substantial. I also like LOTS of lights that are super bright. Sounds nice. I wish you were closer so I could get a hands on look. PM me if you're in central FL as I might be able to get down there & look at it.
Thanks again,

monstrpony
Nov. 18, 2009, 09:45 AM
Just pick up the phone and call Risa. She is very, very knowledgable and easy to talk to, and not a pushy sales type. She will sell her product on its own merit and her wonderful service--no matter where you are in the country. Here delivery guy is great, he did some excellent after-market work on my trailer (about 4 years after I bought it).

Seriously, Risa is an unexpected treasure--take advantage of it, just call her (she also answers email promptly).

ponygirl
Nov. 18, 2009, 10:57 AM
Hi Pony,
Thanks again for all of the great information. Sounds like a great trailer. I just can't see spending $35k to $40k for an enclosed, nice 2+1 when I can get one for around $22k that's nice. Also Risa has been soooo patient while I've been kicking tires for the past 2 year. I'm just afraid to spend the money! Glad to hear that the trailer is so substantial. I also like LOTS of lights that are super bright. Sounds nice. I wish you were closer so I could get a hands on look. PM me if you're in central FL as I might be able to get down there & look at it.
Thanks again,

I'm in East Central Florida. I'll be in Altoona (Rocking Horse Stables) on Dec 11th which might be even closer to you than my home is.

Trot- I had a Hawk 2H BP straight load that was extra wide 6'8" with the partition that comes out. It was simple to remove and I did that by myself. Just pulled the pins and carried out 2 sections. You can do what you want in this type of trailer.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Nov. 18, 2009, 11:41 AM
Trot- I had a Hawk 2H BP straight load that was extra wide 6'8" with the partition that comes out. It was simple to remove and I did that by myself. Just pulled the pins and carried out 2 sections. You can do what you want in this type of trailer.

I Don't Know WHAT I Want!!! Augh!

;)

ponygirl
Nov. 18, 2009, 04:23 PM
I Don't Know WHAT I Want!!! Augh!

;)

Oh boy. lol That's a problem :)

judybigredpony
Nov. 18, 2009, 07:34 PM
I loved my 1st Hawke and my DH as a suprise arranged for my 5yr old in mint condition 2 horse to be traded up for a bigger fancier NewYork WB oversized 2H w/ Dressingroom.
His Clydesdale and a big TB have no problems w/ room
I love it and use it hard sometime 2-3 times a week traveling long hours.
I have never had a horse who once in didn't like the ride. Airflow is great, doors windows function well, balance w/ truck is superb. Cleans up looks like new. Partition no big deal same w/ stallion guard @ head. I would buy a 3rd if ever the time comes to move up to a gooseneck.
Service from dealer (DiBella's) fabulous and I have dealt directly w/ factory on 1st for a defective window glass. Couldn't be nicer.

justonemore
Nov. 18, 2009, 09:49 PM
I had a Trail-et New Yorker (basically the same thing as a Hawk, I think?) The trailer was easy to use and my horses liked it. However, I would definitely not have used it as a box stall. With mine, if you took the center divider out, you were left with no way to connect the butt bars. Also the front doors were not strong enough to have a 1,200 pound butt pushing against them. Maybe the design has changed since then (mine was a 2004) but I wouldn't have used it as a box; in fact that's why I ended up selling it. Maybe you could have modifications made to make the doors stronger...just something to consider.

KCFoxy
Nov. 19, 2009, 08:08 AM
I talked to Risa yesterday....she is extremely knowledgeable and helpful!!

judybigredpony
Nov. 19, 2009, 08:30 AM
A minor modification my blacksmith made a clip to hold butt bars together.

Front doors not strong enough, confusion clarify???

I haul broodmares w/ foals w/O any problems ever.

Abesmom
Apr. 3, 2014, 09:59 AM
Hello there. I am new to The Chronicles and just getting up to date.

I am in the market for a horse trailer and find these Balanced Ride horse trailers very intriguing.
I live in Wisconsin and per previous post I understand that they ship from here (?from Hawk plant)
Is there somewhere/someone near me so I can see one in person?

Thanks ahead of time for any assistance.

asb_own_me
Apr. 3, 2014, 10:56 AM
Glad to see I'm not the first person to bump this thread up! I'm also shopping for a new trailer, and I stumbled across a Balanced Ride in the search results on horsetrailerworld.com

The video from Risa's website was very helpful - I literally leaned in towards the screen while watching. BUT - it is a big decision. Literally turning "what we've always done" backwards ;)

Is there anyone in Iowa who has one? I'd love to see one in person.

grinanride
Apr. 3, 2014, 11:48 AM
Abesmom,
I can arrange for you to see one right now that is at the plant, it is about ready to ship...
Risa
HappyTrailsTrailers.com
BalancedRideTrailers.com

asb_own_me
Apr. 3, 2014, 12:08 PM
Thanks for your time this morning, Risa!

vineyridge
Apr. 3, 2014, 12:53 PM
My horses ride loose in a box trailer, and they are always facing the back when they are unloaded. So my guess is that they prefer to ride that way.

TWH Girl
Apr. 4, 2014, 12:49 PM
Love my Hawk!!! Great quality and affordable.

annmcm
Apr. 7, 2014, 11:55 AM
I have so enjoyed everyone weighing in on this thread and passing on their experiences. It has been very valuable reading. I too am shopping for a trailer; a 2 + 1 configuration and have done weeks of research, talking with people and made multiple visits to dealerships. I initially thought that I would purchase a Four Star, but after three trips to look at them, top to bottom, I found myself disappointed with the fit and finish of the new ones. As a matter of fact, after manipulating hinges, ramps, doors, gates and dividers, I came away with a bloody hand from being scratched from unfinished surfaces. There was even a weld with a sharp point sticking out. I can't get over it. People have for the most part been so complimentary of Four Star, but really the interior left a lot to be desired. I'm sure they are durable and sturdy, but fit and finish was much less than I what had expected. After that experience, I investigated Elite. Found that they were beautiful, but after speaking with a friend in the hunter jumper world, who does a lot of hauling to shows, discovered that pins were bending and that she had had to make multiple repairs. Now considering a Hawk. The manufacturer is in my home state. They are thoughtfully designed trailers with great attention to detail paid to the well- being and safety of the horse. Not as much sex appeal as the the aluminum, but from a practical standpoint, looking like the best option. Anyone have the same experience looking at the new Four Stars??? Thank you!!

cyriz's mom
Apr. 7, 2014, 05:59 PM
The is a Balanced Ride 2+1 for sale on horsetrailerworld.com right now. First time I've seen one on there. And reasonably priced. Wish I could snag it myself!

Yamaha0219
Apr. 7, 2014, 09:15 PM
I have so enjoyed everyone weighing in on this thread and passing on their experiences. It has been very valuable reading. I too am shopping for a trailer; a 2 + 1 configuration and have done weeks of research, talking with people and made multiple visits to dealerships. I initially thought that I would purchase a Four Star, but after three trips to look at them, top to bottom, I found myself disappointed with the fit and finish of the new ones. As a matter of fact, after manipulating hinges, ramps, doors, gates and dividers, I came away with a bloody hand from being scratched from unfinished surfaces. There was even a weld with a sharp point sticking out. I can't get over it. People have for the most part been so complimentary of Four Star, but really the interior left a lot to be desired. I'm sure they are durable and sturdy, but fit and finish was much less than I what had expected. After that experience, I investigated Elite. Found that they were beautiful, but after speaking with a friend in the hunter jumper world, who does a lot of hauling to shows, discovered that pins were bending and that she had had to make multiple repairs. Now considering a Hawk. The manufacturer is in my home state. They are thoughtfully designed trailers with great attention to detail paid to the well- being and safety of the horse. Not as much sex appeal as the the aluminum, but from a practical standpoint, looking like the best option. Anyone have the same experience looking at the new Four Stars??? Thank you!!

I haven't looked at the new Four Stars, but looked at Cimarron, Hawk, Sundowner, and Eclipse all at the same dealer. The Hawk wasn't a bad trailer, just didn't like it as much as I liked the all aluminum eclipse. Little things like the steel interior and off white color throughout bothered me. The Eclipse wasn't even comparable to the Cimarron as far as general construction and fit/finishes goes. The Sundowner was kind of like the Hawk, just "meh" in our opinion, nothing overly impressive. I just brought home our new Cimarron a couple weeks ago, so we haven't hauled in it yet, but we've used it to move and I have only found one very minor issue thus far.

asb_own_me
Apr. 8, 2014, 03:32 PM
I ordered my new Balanced Ride 2/3 this weekend - couldn't be more excited!

Gloria
Apr. 8, 2014, 04:13 PM
I think I know what you say about 4-star, about the weld sticking out. Actually that was why we steered from it. I don't know Hawk, but Cimarron seems decent, not as finished as 4star or Elite, but solidly built and a big step up from Sundowner and Eclipse. I will not get a Sundowner or Eclipse, or new Featherlite (the old one seems fine). Eventually we decided to go with Elite - got our delivery just two weeks ago. I don't know about the pin being bent, but we visited their factory a couple of years ago. They showed us the "tumbler" they use to take out all the sharp edges from parts before being installed in the trailer. That was one detail we really appreciate: no sharp edges anywhere.

Whitfield Farm Hanoverians
Apr. 12, 2014, 01:16 AM
Have y'all looked at an Eby? Super quality. I think the very best out there. I didn't buy one because I got a super deal on another brand but I called lots of commercial shippers & asked them what trailers they use & most all said Eby.
That being said, I don't think I've ever met anyone who said they didn't like their Balanced Ride or Hawk trailers.

vineyridge
Apr. 12, 2014, 01:34 AM
Or if you can find a used C&C their quality was also super. Everything was finished beautifully. All Aluminum.

Jamco is also supposed to make a lovely trailer, also all aluminum.

Maude
Apr. 12, 2014, 07:38 AM
I bought a new Adam 2+1 from Delwood Trailer Sales last year. The most value for my money IMHO. I like it much better than the pricier 4 Stars I looked at. Better quality and features. Delwood was and continues to be awesome. That said, I consulted Risa on hay bags several years ago for the Exiss trailer I had at that time. I didn't like the Sundowner bags I saw. Risa was awesome and shipped me hay bags that she has made for the Hawks. They're well made, big, sturdy and easy to clean. Plus they were very reasonably priced. A friend of mine custom ordered a Hawk from Risa. Risa must be a saint as my friend really put her patience to a test. Friend got exactly what she wanted and she is thrilled. I have only ever heard good things about both Risa and Happy Trails and Ronnie and Delwood Trailers.

Mr.GMan
Apr. 12, 2014, 07:39 AM
I had a Trail-et New Yorker (basically the same thing as a Hawk, I think?) The trailer was easy to use and my horses liked it. However, I would definitely not have used it as a box stall. With mine, if you took the center divider out, you were left with no way to connect the butt bars. Also the front doors were not strong enough to have a 1,200 pound butt pushing against them. Maybe the design has changed since then (mine was a 2004) but I wouldn't have used it as a box; in fact that's why I ended up selling it. Maybe you could have modifications made to make the doors stronger...just something to consider.

I have a Hawk and use it as a box for my guy as he hates being in a trailer, much less a "chute" with the partitions. I bought mine from Risa, she listened to my concerns, made suggestions and I love what I ended up with. True, the butt bars do not connect when partition is out, but you can buy a full length butt bar for that purpose. I haven't used it much as he turns around after loading and faces the back anyway with his butt against the dressing room wall. If he were to lean on the door, they have cam latches with the added short ramp on the rear doors. I love this trailer!

annmcm
Apr. 13, 2014, 02:21 PM
Based on multiple recommendations for safety, durability, fit and finish, I ended up going with the Eby. Seemed like the best decision for my needs. There are many manufacturers that produce a perfectly serviceable trailer that will do most jobs adequately. I was looking for one that would last many years, and stand up to abuse from big animals. Additionally, the trailer I selected is 1200 lbs. lighter than the steel/aluminum combo I was also considering. I flip flopped for weeks. If after I get the trailer and believe I've made the wrong call, I'll trade it in on a Hawk/Balanced Ride/Equispirit, which all come out of the same plant. Sounds like most everyone is pleased with these brands. Good luck to you all in your trailer searches!!

Yamaha0219
Apr. 14, 2014, 04:55 PM
Based on multiple recommendations for safety, durability, fit and finish, I ended up going with the Eby. Seemed like the best decision for my needs. There are many manufacturers that produce a perfectly serviceable trailer that will do most jobs adequately. I was looking for one that would last many years, and stand up to abuse from big animals. Additionally, the trailer I selected is 1200 lbs. lighter than the steel/aluminum combo I was also considering. I flip flopped for weeks. If after I get the trailer and believe I've made the wrong call, I'll trade it in on a Hawk/Balanced Ride/Equispirit, which all come out of the same plant. Sounds like most everyone is pleased with these brands. Good luck to you all in your trailer searches!!

EBYs are nice trailers, the PA plant is local for me, about 40 minutes, so that was the first place I went to look. We loved their styling, but in the end picked a couple small things apart and ended up going with the Cimarron. Two drivers were cost and the roof on the EBY is aluminum, but is fiberglass on the Cimarron so it will be a little cooler in the summer. Second choice was definitely EBY and I will be sure to shop there again when it is time to upgrade, I think you made a good choice!

annmcm
Apr. 14, 2014, 08:59 PM
Have a friend, who has a Cimarron and loves it. Hers is a two horse, gooseneck with dressing room. She had it souped-up with heavy duty everything to haul her very robust 17H Westfalen. It has been a great trailer for her. Yes, I debated back and forth on the ceiling material. Ended up insulating the aluminum ceiling and opting for fans for really warm days. I figured this will be my last trailer, so I went all-out....
Thanks so much for sharing your opinions on the EBY. Nice to hear from someone close to the source. Hope I like it!