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RTF
Mar. 20, 2011, 09:33 PM
I have always had step-up straight load trailers. I have never owned a ramp load, but got a new one this winter. Any tips on using a ramp would be great. I know I have heard horror stories about horses getting legs injured on the sides of ramps. So those with ramps, any tips or advice would be great before I actualy start hauling it around.

mroades
Mar. 20, 2011, 09:42 PM
well, if its any comfort, I just had a $1300 ramp put ON a step up because none of my horses would get on or off the step

Mudroom
Mar. 21, 2011, 09:40 AM
I prefer ramps but you will hear from adamant believers on both sides. The main thing is to give your horses a chance to get used to it in a calm, no pressure situation. Most horses that are not used to them seem to have more trouble unloading with a ramp than loading. Just take some time on a non-travel day to practice loading and loading. Start by loading just one horse at a time and the divider swung over. When they are doing that well, then progress to loading as the second horse. As long as they are decent loaders in general I doubt it will be a big deal.

JSwan
Mar. 21, 2011, 10:57 AM
Keep the ramp hinge clean. Always sweep it out, even if there is just a teeny bit of shavings or hay or manure in it.

Closing the ramp with even a smidgen of stuff in the hinge places enormous stress on that hinge and can lead to failure.

That's all I got.

2DogsFarm
Mar. 21, 2011, 03:39 PM
Ditto & Amen to JSwan's advice!

If you clean nothing else on the trailer make sure that hinge is pristine!

For loading:
Try to get the ramp as level as possible so it will feel more solid underfoot to your horses.

Fancy That
Mar. 21, 2011, 07:29 PM
Love my ramp. It's a low, wide one and every horse willingly gets in my trailer :)

I wouldn't worry about horses "falling off the side" of the ramp. Never ever had any issues with ours, even with babies or horses that have never been on "ramp" trailers, etc.

I HAVE seen other types of ramps that were SUPER flimsy, long and narrow. (Brenderup)

Mine is an older custom Turnbow Trailer.



Ditto & Amen to JSwan's advice!

If you clean nothing else on the trailer make sure that hinge is pristine!

For loading:
Try to get the ramp as level as possible so it will feel more solid underfoot to your horses.

Rabtfarm
Mar. 21, 2011, 08:25 PM
Make sure you latch it in the up position before you leave.

RTF
Mar. 21, 2011, 09:54 PM
great advice by all, esp. the last comment! My mare really had a hard time backing down the ramp, I was practice loading her on it the other day. SO it was nice to see thats not uncommon. thanks!

deltawave
Mar. 22, 2011, 09:38 AM
Keep the ramp hinge clean. Always sweep it out, even if there is just a teeny bit of shavings or hay or manure in it.

Closing the ramp with even a smidgen of stuff in the hinge places enormous stress on that hinge and can lead to failure.

That's all I got.


A thousand times yes. :)

Given half a chance, any horse can be a sane, polite, safe and easy loader on any type of trailer. If they aren't, for whatever reason, it's wise to remedy that BEFORE one really has to go somewhere. 95% of loading or trailering issues are really schooling/manners issues, IMO. Practice, practice, practice. :)

goeslikestink
Mar. 22, 2011, 01:04 PM
I have always had step-up straight load trailers. I have never owned a ramp load, but got a new one this winter. Any tips on using a ramp would be great. I know I have heard horror stories about horses getting legs injured on the sides of ramps. So those with ramps, any tips or advice would be great before I actualy start hauling it around.


here iin uk all our trialers have ramps some rear unloads some rear and front unloads

so check springs - check ramp isnt bent check the ramp fittings
ie mats - can be coconut or rubber with little metal or wooden batons across rhe whole of the ramp, check the ramp for any holes if its wooden or metal as it will have to be re done

check the trailer fittings ie if it has stands that they work
check breaking system lights, mudgaurds and tyres as in all tyres and spare
check your aire pressure
check under the trialer for the cables of brakes and lights and underneath for the floor as it should have a double floor

if you have a gap between the ramp and the trailer then carry a lenght of 2x4 and slot it in and lay it flat common fault with old trialers both at the rear and at the front ramp

check your bull joint system works for forwards and reverse also check your jockey wheel and snatch cable

cover bull joint when not in use - and buy some axcle grease to grease
bull joint and fitting and fixtures before you go anwhere
this means - ball joint springs, and any thing that needs doing up or undoing just a tad of grease makes it quiet and makes it work
check your breast bar and breaching bars and partition is all ok for usage and locks in properly

AlfalfaGirl
Mar. 22, 2011, 03:09 PM
My horses will load right up on the ramp of my Brenderup. My first horse hopped right in when he realized that alfalfa was involved. He never had a problem coming out either. Second horse had some issues - he just didn't want to get in - I took him back to the man how had formerly owned him and had trained him. He had him loading in less than 5 minutes. My newest horse has always just walked on up.

My Brenderup's ramp is sturdy and doesn't seem to be slippery. They do not have problems loading or unloading and don't come off the side either once they learned it was a ramp! My friend's horse LOVES the Brenderup and heads for it even when he in not riding with me.

Just take your time - it is different. Make it pleasant and soon they will be going up and down with no problems.

Both of my horses will still hop up in a step up and come out of a step up with ease so they are now accustomed to either style.

Bayou Roux
Mar. 24, 2011, 04:35 PM
A good loader is a good loader, and a not-so-good loader is not-so-good. The ramp shouldn't make much difference. Just park it on a level spot; that does make a lot of difference! (And that will take some getting used to as you drive in to park-- is that spot 32 feet behind me level? )

Give time for practice loading, lots of it, and make sure you're in control of the loading situation-- that she always goes on straight and smooth and backs off the same way. Slow and easy, one foot at a time. No bad rushing, twisting, turning habits. Practice makes perfect.

And absolutely, positively, keep that hinge clean.

Enjoy it!

MeghanDACVA
Mar. 24, 2011, 09:57 PM
I have had both, plus one trailer that was a step with a ramp that slide in UNDER the trailer so you could use it either way. So I know the pros and cons of both. And have no real personal preference.

As the others have commented about the hinge on the ramp...Depending on how the ramp is hinged will determine whether or not you need to lube/oil it. Ours does not. BUT the rod that attaches the ramp to the trailer tends to slide out on one of our trailers. So we have to keep an eye on it and pound it back it back in if we see it has backed out some.

One of our trailers you have be really sure there is no manure or shavings between the ramp and the edge of the trailer. The other doesn't seem to care. Just a difference in design.

Don't leave the ramp down overnight or in the rain. It gets slick with moisture (and with ice/snow too) and they will slip on it.

Try to position the trailer for loading/unloading where ramp is not at a steep angle, and on flat ground so it doesn't shift or rock.

I have taught all of my horses to stand in the trailer and not start to step backwards until I say "the word" (for mine it is "OK"). There is nothing I hate more than a horse that bolts out backwards. Dangerous, whether a step up or a ramp.

I also always ship in boots (not wraps). If they step off the edge of the ramp it saves their legs. If they stick their leg under the step up, it saves their legs.

So, no, I don't have a preference. ;-)

deltawave
Mar. 25, 2011, 09:46 PM
Mine have to wait until I tug on their tail to back off. :)