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View Full Version : Trailer - straight load vs. Slant load



SilvyFilly
May. 10, 2011, 11:46 PM
Ok so I have been looking at the Titan Avalanche 2 horse bumper pull trailers. I found a straight load for $9200 and a slant for $8600. I have always wanted a straight load but I haven't really thought of why I didn't want a slant load. Can anyone give me their pros/cons of either way and which you prefer and why? Since the trailers are so close in price it's not really a factor. Thanks!

JB
May. 11, 2011, 12:12 AM
How big are your horses, especially in length? Longer horses, regardless of height, have a much harder time fitting in most slant loads.

With slants, nearly all of them require you to unload rear horses to get front horses out. Most of them don't have escape doors, even for the front horse.

Straight load for me, no questions asked.

mickeydoodle
May. 11, 2011, 12:15 AM
I like the straight loads myself, bigger space for the horse, easier for me to use.

SilvyFilly
May. 11, 2011, 12:20 AM
I have a QH but plan on getting a TB in the future. The other big diff between the two trailers is that the slant is 7' feet and the straight is 7'4" which would def provide more height for the bigger horse. I think I will stick out and go for the straight load, since it's what I always wanted anyways. :)

philosoraptor
May. 11, 2011, 12:44 AM
I've hauled in a friend's slant load once or twice. I'd NEVER own one. Yuck.

Cons:
- space is deceptively small, both width of horse and length-wise

- you must unload horse #3 and #2 to get to horse #1

- some horses really don't like that big "scary" partition swinging towards them, and a nervous horse may use that as an excuse to escape. The horse isn't locked in without the partition completely closed at latched. If your horse is wider width, now you're pushing the big "scary" metal wall up against his side, hoping he doesn't mind it sandwiching him in.

- back door is painfully tiny because every model I've seen uses the one side as a tack compartment. Every time we tried to use it, the horses didn't want to load. After owning 2 straight loads and borrowing a slant load - the trailer with the best/easiest loading is the open stock trailer.

- they generally don't have an escape door. Your horse better self load and stand quietly. Most seem to have little windows at each horse's head to look in on them, but I'm not sure how useful that is.

- the angle they put the horse at is not really a natural angle. While it's true a loose horse will angle himself or turn himself completely around, I've never seen that angle anywhere close to the angle the slant-loads force the horse to stand at.

Pros
No idea :D They must offer something good or people wouldn't keep buying them.

kichiri_kachiri
May. 11, 2011, 12:50 AM
http://www.equispirit.com/info/articles/debunking.htm see the part titled "Horses haul better in slant loads than straight loads" it talks about that "myth" and the pros/cons and what to take into consideration from the horse's point of view.

Personally, I would never get a slant load

SilvyFilly
May. 11, 2011, 01:09 AM
Love that link! It's good. I am really remembering why I didn't want a slant load again.

Lateralwork
May. 11, 2011, 01:32 AM
Hmm. Well, to each her own, but my bad loaders always were easier to put in a slant load, and I've not had any horse scramble in a slant, which I cannot say about straight load. With the slant load, you can walk them in, and walk them out. The nervous ones take to that much easier than the straight load process, and I prefer it to the awkward process of me scrambling out the human escape door when I've had to lead one into a straight. We have an an older step-up slant load with one big wide door. (The big door has a human escape door, but I've never had to use it.) Horses up to 17 hands have been very comfortable hauling in our 3 horse slant. It's true that you can't unload the back horse without unloading the front horse or two. But I have not personally found that to be an issue. Now with all that said, the trailer I'm currently using is straight load, because that is all Brenderup makes. Neither the slant nor the straight load is perfect.

mroades
May. 11, 2011, 08:32 AM
personally I prefer straight load, but at the moment the horse I am hauling is a scrambler, so he gets the slant load.

2tempe
May. 11, 2011, 08:43 AM
Well I've been a traditional straight load person though I've only done my own hauling for about 9 years. Prior two horses, no problem in Str. Load bumper pull. (Brenderup) Now have a new mare, she has been fine except on corners where she has been scrambling around to the point of causing some minor damage to the trailer and scraping a leg. Took her in a ride yesterday in a slant load of a friend's and she was AMAZINGLY better. So I'm off this weekend to trade in the straight load for a slant.
I was worried about space, but she fits well enough and can move her head around. She didn't mind the panel coming closed. I also am a 1-horse hauling person, so I dont have to worry about moving one to get to the other. I also have a mental hauling limit of a couple hours.

OP - you will have plenty of room for the QH; and depending on the thoroughbred, should be ok there too - unless you find one the size of Zenyatta!!

Bacchus
May. 11, 2011, 11:03 AM
I'm a huge fan of slant loads, and so are all four of my horses, even the ones that came from homes with straight loads. Just make sure you get the right slant -- my old one was extra tall, extra wide. My horses loved it. They go in slants much more willingly than in straights.

I'm not as thrilled with my new one, but it's OK. Not as wide, but my horses have plenty of room.

I really like it that I can take the divider out and haul one horse loose. I truly believe they are more balanced on a slant and can take turns and curves better. I also want them on a slant if, heaven forbid, I have to slam on the brakes. I know they'll be more balanced and take the force on their shoulder/side instead of their chest and head!

But, too each their own;) Seems as if in the west, more people had slants and in the east, more have straights.

NoDQhere
May. 11, 2011, 11:09 AM
IMO a two horse slant load trailer makes a decent one horse trailer if your horse is over 15 hands. But for two, bigger horses? No way. Straight load is so much better, safer and roomier.

tabula rashah
May. 11, 2011, 11:19 AM
Personally I HATE straight loads and would never own one. Horses seem to love my slant- it is very roomy and airy and I've had several hard loaders jump right on it. My slant also is large enough for my 17.3 WB to fit in it fine. I also love that I can convert my 3 horse slant from a 3 horses to two boxes or one giant stall.
One thing that I would try to avoid in a slant though is the rear tack- I like to have a full back door.

Burbank
May. 11, 2011, 12:39 PM
my horse perfers a slant so that is what we have, he refuses to get into a straight hate them

carolprudm
May. 11, 2011, 12:45 PM
Hmm. Well, to each her own, but my bad loaders always were easier to put in a slant load, and I've not had any horse scramble in a slant, which I cannot say about straight load. With the slant load, you can walk them in, and walk them out. The nervous ones take to that much easier than the straight load process, and I prefer it to the awkward process of me scrambling out the human escape door when I've had to lead one into a straight. We have an an older step-up slant load with one big wide door. (The big door has a human escape door, but I've never had to use it.) Horses up to 17 hands have been very comfortable hauling in our 3 horse slant. It's true that you can't unload the back horse without unloading the front horse or two. But I have not personally found that to be an issue. Now with all that said, the trailer I'm currently using is straight load, because that is all Brenderup makes. Neither the slant nor the straight load is perfect.
That's one reason I teach mine to "Point and shoot" IOW self load. Also since I am usually alone it's safer

wildlifer
May. 11, 2011, 12:47 PM
It really is personal preference. This is why I have a straight load: my long horse won't fit in a standard slant. I also prefer the way he balances in a straight and the way a horse is never blocked in -- I can unload who I want, when I want.

When my horse rides in BO's slant, he has to ride in back stall to fit and even then, he swings his butt over so he is riding straight anyway.

I wouldn't buy a slant load for anything, so there you go -- and others will say completely the opposite, LOL!

RougeEmpire
May. 11, 2011, 01:41 PM
I hate a straight load with a passion. But remember for those of us who train horses or move all kinds of horses (not just one or two pampered pets/show horses) a slant load and more to the point a STOCK TRAILER is the key to efficent and safe moving. Open up the back of slant load and 99% of horses will walk right in, even those that have had little to NO handling or previous loading issues. Trying to get a half wild horse into a front loading two horses is futile and an accident waiting to happen. But if you have only a few or even ONE pet/show horse who loads like a dream and you ONLY need to trailer that horse on a regular basis then a two horse straight load may work just fine. As for me, I'll only use one if I have no other option, even when it comes to horses that load and travel like a dream.

NoDQhere
May. 11, 2011, 04:41 PM
Our business is young horses and our trailer is a 5 horse head to head with a side ramp and a rear step up. We have never had one single youngster, or older horse for that matter, have an issue loading in the rear straight load portion of the trailer. They just walk right in, first time, every time.

The older, small, two horse straight load trailers were a nightmare for horses, but so are too small slant loads. And slant load stalls are just too small, IMO, for a larger horse. I've know two horses who kicked over the divider of slant load trailers. You can't get to any but the rear horse without unloading the whole lot, just a bad situation.

When we hauled larger horses in a slant load, they tended to get sore in the hindquarters from the way their butts get smooshed into the angle of the partition. That has never happened with a straight load.

Heart's Journey
May. 11, 2011, 04:56 PM
to each his/her own. My first trailer was a straight load, next two have been slant and I prefer the slant. Many pros and cons for both, it's what works best for you and your situation.

My current rig has a weekend package and I camp 12-14 times a year. I would hate to have my tack in the camping area, so the slant works much better for me. The stalls are wide and long enough for my 15 hand and the previous owner had a 16.3 horse who fit fine as well.

The better made brands tend to have the larger roomier stalls no matter if straight or slant load from my experience.

Foxtrot's
May. 11, 2011, 05:11 PM
Slant load = hands down and my horses are over 17.1 hh

Diamondindykin
May. 11, 2011, 07:29 PM
I have only had slant loads and have had no issues with any of my horses getting in/out or scrambling. I also like the idea of having my saddle rack in the rear and not in my front tackroom. I have a very heavy reining saddle and it would kill me to have to get it in/out of the saddle rack in the front.

BabyGoose
May. 11, 2011, 11:52 PM
Hate straight loads. Slants are better. Stock trailer works the best. At least for me and what I use it for. Years ago I had a wide, tall straight load with a ramp and escape doors. The horses hated it. Even the seasoned travellers got on with reluctance. Not to mention all the chest bars, butt bars, dividers etc for them to get stuck under and over.

Now I have two stock trailers and all the horses load fine and travel quiet. I can use the trailer as a mobile stall. I can leave them to ride loose and find the most comfortable way to stand. Most of them ride facing backwards at a slant. I am now convinced that it is easier for the majority of them to keep their balance facing backwards.

There is only one center divider that goes floor to ceiling, so no chance for horses to get stuck under anything. Can easily load and transport young horses, untrained horses. I would never own a straight load again.

mroades
May. 12, 2011, 12:14 AM
I have had them all, and most of the horses I have hauled preferred straight loads. With a ramp even. In fact had to put a ramp on the slant load I am using now to get horsey to load and unload well. But using the slant right now for the scrambler who has only ever ridden on huge tractor trailers. He barely fits...but it works for him.
My favorite of all of them was my 4 horse head to head...sigh, wish I still had it

KitKat987
May. 12, 2011, 12:23 AM
I personally LOVE my slant, and so do the horses. It has the wider stalls, is nice and open and airy with the jail bar, padded dividers. It also has stalls that are offset more than usual, giving them extra length. No rear tack, hate those things. Two back doors with no centre bar. I only have two horses, but a three horse slant for when I want to haul hay.

They travel super well in it and with the slam dividers, they are super easy to load by myself. I also love having the drop down windows because I travel with both horses and no other rider usually, so whichever one is left in the trailer can happily lounge around with his head out the window for the hour or so I'm off riding the other one. I usually just let the one left at the trailer loose in there with a flake of hay on the floor and the windows down. Works great at shows without having to get a day stall.

tpup
May. 12, 2011, 08:38 AM
I have an Adam slant/stock combo. Have had no issues with it and my horse loves it but he is very easy-going. I love having the option to haul him in the slant stall up front, or loose as a stock trailer. He is 16.1 and long. I do wish I had gone 6" wider, as he does fit, but if I hang a hay bag near his head, his face is in it, hence my thread above for feed bag options! It is a bit too tight for him and a hay bag. We don't haul far but it would be nice to have.

Mine has a lovely side escape door and a small dressing room up front. I load alone 99% of the time and it's perfect for me.

My advice to you would be look at alot of trailers and actually go through the loading/unloading logistics in your head. Walk through it also, as though you are loading your horse. If you are alone, can you manage? For many I looked at, the answer was no! Good luck!

deltawave
May. 12, 2011, 10:53 AM
It's very much a matter of personal preference. My horses seem to ride fine in either type, but I much prefer a straight load for all of the reasons listed. No matter what you get, bigger is usually better in terms of the size of the horse box.

Makes me sad to see these gorgeous, pimped out, roomy LQ trailers with itty bitty cramped stalls for the horses. :(

morganpony86
May. 12, 2011, 11:55 AM
Hmm. Well, to each her own, but my bad loaders always were easier to put in a slant load, and I've not had any horse scramble in a slant, which I cannot say about straight load. With the slant load, you can walk them in, and walk them out.

This is why I like slant loads (I own a 2 horse slant load).
They also have more front-to-back room, IMO. My horses are squished in my BO's straight load, but have easily 2' of space behind their butt in a slant. I like it because it gives them room to back up and put their head down to get the hay on the ground.

But I almost bought a straight load because my two horses at the time loaded just fine in anything, and it would have given me an easy out for trailering other people's horses. "Oh, your horse doesn't go in a straight load? Too bad, he won't get in my trailer". ;)

Reagan
May. 12, 2011, 12:27 PM
IMO a two horse slant load trailer makes a decent one horse trailer if your horse is over 15 hands. But for two, bigger horses? No way. Straight load is so much better, safer and roomier.

This is true. A friend of ours has a 2 h slant. She has a MAYBE 15 hh qh mare so didn't get the extra wide, extra tall because who would think she would need it? She can only haul giving the mare both stalls because she doesn't fit in one. I was shocked!

I personally don't mind either. We have always had both, slant for the bigger trailers and straight for the small 2 h. I like the straight because on long trips I can get in and see their legs, clean poop, more easily offer water or add hay. Also, my big guys are much more comfortable in the straight loads having much more room for their head and neck (the rest of them too!). I haven't noticed a difference in how easily they travel in either, but I've been lucky to always have pretty good haulers.

TheJenners
May. 12, 2011, 01:29 PM
IME, a loose horse will stand backwards more often than at a slant in a trailer.

That said, I prefer straight load. Grew up with them, had a slant, now back to a straight. SO wants our next big trailer, for his rodeoing, to be 4h slant; I'm going to pitch a h2h and see what he says, but I'm sure he'll disagree. Which is why I'll be keeping my straight load ;).

OveroHunter
May. 12, 2011, 01:37 PM
I have an extra wide / extra tall 2 horse slant that fit 2 WIDE Percheron mares - one 16.2, one 17.2 - very comfortably. Personal preference, but I would never have a 2 horse straight load. A lot of times they do not have safe escape doors and less than perfect loaders are easier to get on a slant than a straight.

shortbusgeek
May. 12, 2011, 01:54 PM
We have a 4h head to head with rear and side ramps and absolutely love it. Wouldn't even consider a slant. We are looking at adding a 2 horse bumper pull trailer for when we haul locally for places that we cannot get our big trailer into. It as well will be a straight load with a ramp. Haven't totally decided on brand yet, but most likely it'll be either a Sundowner or 4Star.

cherham
May. 12, 2011, 02:33 PM
I own large warmbloods. We have had 2 horse straightloads, a 4 horse head to head and now a 3 horse slant (extra wide and tall). The slant by far is the safer of the three both for the horses loading, unloading and travelling and for myself loading and unloading on my own.

Once the horses are contained in the slant stalls they cannot go over or underneath any bars and are contained front to back securely, quickly and safely. I cannot count the number of times I have had to load a horse, by myself, onto a straight load ramp trailer and quickly run around to the back to put up the butt strap without said horse trying to quickly back out and trample me or dive under/over the front chest bar. My own horses were just fine but others were not.

I also like the fact that when at horse shows, when I often work out of the trailer, I can see my horses at some distance with their horses outside the large side windows munching on their hay nets hanging just outside the trailer rather then standing inside a 2 horse trailer totally out of site. That peace of mind is huge when I have one in the trailer and busy riding the other.

TheJenners
May. 12, 2011, 03:12 PM
We have a 4h head to head with rear and side ramps and absolutely love it. Wouldn't even consider a slant. We are looking at adding a 2 horse bumper pull trailer for when we haul locally for places that we cannot get our big trailer into. It as well will be a straight load with a ramp. Haven't totally decided on brand yet, but most likely it'll be either a Sundowner or 4Star.
What brand is your h2h?

wildlifer
May. 12, 2011, 04:18 PM
Many issues that people list have to do with training or purchasing choices, as well.

Want escape doors -- buy a trailer that has them!

Want more width or height -- buy a trailer that has that!

There is a lot of variety out there, so there is no reason to have something that lacks an escape door, or space unless you just made a poor purchasing decision. Straight loads do not "lack escape doors" nor are all slants the same width -- these features vary by brand and model.

Also, how well a horse loads in any trailer depends on whether you put the work in to train it and how good your trailer loading skills are. When loading problem horses, I far prefer a straight load or open stock and I ALWAYS teach horses to self load -- I don't get in the trailer with them.

So there are a lot more variables at stake than just which way the dividers face.

rmh_rider
May. 12, 2011, 05:18 PM
Been hauling a slant load since 1988.

Had a bp slant, got goose slant now. Goose slants hauls MUCH better than a bp.

All my horses better "self load". They can either turn around and walk out or back out, I train them to do both.

You can get a oversized slant so it will accommodate a bigger longer horse.

My panels never "swing". They are on a spring.

No horse I have ever hauled ever had a problem seeing a panel come to them for them to be closed in.

Slant means no scrambling going around corners.

They do have slants with escape doors.

I have drops on my slant. I have a big mesh screen or I can close it.

I think slants can be much more cooler and airy for the horse.

I can leave the panels open and have a stock trailer. Can't do that with a straight.

More options with a slant than a straight. If you move furniture, or something like that you will not have to move the center panel aside, what a hassle. My panels stay open securely unless I close the panels. So it is big and open if need be.

wildlifer
May. 12, 2011, 09:41 PM
I can leave the panels open and have a stock trailer. Can't do that with a straight.



Actually, yes you can. I only have to pull one pin to drop my divider on my straight load and it comes right out to make a stock. It's very easy. It's all about good design and user-friendliness.

TheJenners
May. 12, 2011, 09:46 PM
Well poo. Just talked to the SO (last time for another three + mos, but that's a different whine), and he nixed the h2h idea. Meh. We do both agree that horses prefer backwards :cool: but he said he wants slant. Ah well.

eponacelt
May. 12, 2011, 10:14 PM
I bought a straight load for several reasons:

1 - 16.2h TB never seemed comfortable in his neck in a slant. In the straight, he can move it around more, making him more comfortable.

2 - Oldenburg youngster ALWAYS hated a slant. Travelled horribly in them for some reason, but never had a problem in a straight.

3 - I don't buy the "slants distribute the weight better" line. In a slant, all the force goes to the front right foot because they're slanted, not perpendicular to the road. In a straight, the force can be evenly distributed between the front two feet (which is reasonably natural) and the chest bar. Maybe that all can't be proved, but it made intuitive sense to me.

Bugs-n-Frodo
May. 13, 2011, 02:35 AM
Has anyone tried the Featherlite Convertible? It converts from straight to slant... seems like the perfect solution. I have a 16.3h Anglo Trakehner gelding. He does better in either an Xwide/Xtall slant or Xtall straight load. He needs room, that is all. I made the mistake of cramming him on a smaller slant load last year as I did not really have a choice, but, now I know. It has to be roomy. Period. I had to retrain him to load on a trailer after that. Thank GOD for my BFF who happens to be very GOOD and trailer training. :)

mypaintwattie
May. 13, 2011, 03:33 AM
I prefer a slant- my horse loads, unloads and rides better in one. Around here it is easier to find a slant with more options than a straight load. I usually only haul one horse, and when I have to haul by myself I like knowing that I can turn her around to walk her out of the trailer.

jbonifas
May. 13, 2011, 11:10 AM
Does anyone have any issues with a 4Star trailer. They have a 2 + 1 that I'm looking at. I have a 3 horse slant now that I like, pulls like a dream but hauling mares and foals I think would be much easier in the 2 + 1 rather than my slant load. Opinions?

shortbusgeek
May. 13, 2011, 12:10 PM
What brand is your h2h?

Sundowner 740. As for loading by one's self, we usually load through center ramp and back the horse into it's spot. No butt bar to have to run around to the back to put up before the horse decides to move. Just walk straight in, turn however we need to, back into the spot and put up the chest bar / attach trailer ties.

shortbusgeek
May. 13, 2011, 12:18 PM
I think slants can be much more cooler and airy for the horse.

I can leave the panels open and have a stock trailer. Can't do that with a straight.

More options with a slant than a straight. If you move furniture, or something like that you will not have to move the center panel aside, what a hassle. My panels stay open securely unless I close the panels. So it is big and open if need be.

1. Slants more cooler and airy for the horse? Can you explain that please? Our h2h has roof vents, side windows, rear windows and we put fans in there for the rare times that we haul on a hot summer day.

2. Can't remove panels in a straight? I beg to differ. All of the dividers in our Sundowner h2h are removable for one very large open space. 4Stars do the same. There's a farm locally here that I know of that picks up horses in Kentucky on a regular basis but will bring back a few hundred bales of hay on the same trip by taking out the dividers on one side and filling the side of the other divider. According to my measurements, the MINI Cooper we used to have would have actually fit in the trailer. Never tried it, but thought it was funny nonetheless.

RAyers
May. 13, 2011, 01:34 PM
I have been in accidents (4-horse and 8-horse straight load) and have worked accidents as a vet tech (4 and 7 horse slants). I think that so long the the trailer is well constructed it really does not matter when it comes to survivability.

I have also had 3-horse slants for the last 15 years (Sundowner and now a 4-Star). I like the slants as they are pretty easy to open the trailer up so the horses can get double stalls, but then again it could be due to how I design the layout of the trailer. Yes, horse access is "easier" in a straight, but in an emergency stop or a head-on I have had and seen horses go under the chest bar or slip under the partitions. In the slants it seems the horses stayed up-right more often as a larger portion of their body weight was distributed along a partition. Yes, it is a pain to get them all out after they accordion. That is why I have a front door as well in the slant.

I dislike chest bars in straight loads. I would rather the horses have a solid structure down to the floor that they can go against in an emergency situation. Horses will crouch when the footing goes bad, hence why they go under the partitions and chest bars. I like solid partitions in slant loads for this reason if the stalls are wide enough for a horse to spread their legs. At the same time, horse tied with nothing in front of them (e.g. a h2h) will have massive neck injuries in a large accident as they have no way to release or brace against something solid in front or behind.

Reed

Bluey
May. 13, 2011, 02:31 PM
Around here for hundreds of miles, at playdays, rodeos, horse shows, cuttings, all you see is stocks or slants, rarely a straight load of any kind, other than some really old trailer.

May just be coincidence, maybe it is a better way to load/haul or just preference by the ones hauling.

What didn't go in a commercial van, we used to haul to the race track in one of those little tin two horse trailers pulled by other than a pickup or our standard cattle stocktrailer.
That stock trailer is all we have used for years now, without any problem, other than a few raised eyebrows in some real fancy places, that are used to the big, fancy rigs, I guess.;)

I wonder why so many here, having a choice, went to slants, unless they really are generally a bit better.
All those I have seen have a 40/60 swinging door/tackroom in the back, the 40 the tack room, so you can open it wide if 60% is not enough for some horses.

ChocoMare
May. 13, 2011, 02:54 PM
Like someone else said: it's mostly personal preference or a very picky horse that dictates whether you go slant or straight.

AND with sooooo many options available now from trailer builders, you can get what you want, how you want.

I wanted straight load, but needed XXL/XXT for my drafties. Had to have a ramp. We did our research, asked a ton of questions and decided on an EquiBreeze (http://good-times.webshots.com/album/569863361yFLROR)by EquiSpirit. All the benefits of great design seen in the EquiSpirit, but in an open custom stock version that we could afford.

Take your time deciding exactly what you want. You're investing a lot of money, so don't settle for 2nd best.

deltawave
May. 13, 2011, 03:22 PM
I dislike chest bars in straight loads. I would rather the horses have a solid structure down to the floor that they can go against in an emergency situation.

That's one option I'd like to see. I don't want a manger--I like horses to be able to put their heads right down if they want to, and I like the space in front of them--but a partition in front of them other than a chest bar would be nice.

NoDQhere
May. 13, 2011, 05:06 PM
Slant load trailers became popular because it is possible to get more horses in less space. So you could have a nice big living quarters and still haul several horses.

Head to Head trailers are longer. Ours has a 6' Dressing room/camper up front. Then 3, 8 foot sections for stalls and center aisle making 30' plus the gooseneck. In the same amount of footage you could probably have an 8 or 9 horse slant.

I've got a lot of miles under my belt hauling long distance and would never go back to a slant. In fact I had one of the first slants as we were trailer dealers in those days. We had average sized horses then, (under 16 hands) and they hated that trailer. We were hauling 8 to 12 hours to competitions and they got off the trailer tired, and sore.

IMO, the best way to haul is loose, in a box stall, and we do that whenever we can. But since we've had the Head to Head, the horses love it. We can get in to feed and water and check everyone out. Or unload which ever horse you need and leave everyone else on the trailer.

As an aside, I LOVE the 2 + 1s and would live to have one for short hauls.

Guilherme
May. 13, 2011, 05:30 PM
I'm gonna take a contrary view, here.

I like slants precisely because they restrict a horse's motion. I'm a Gracefully Aging Retired Naval Aviator and I know from personal experience that loose objects in a confined space can be a Very Bad Thing. Hauling a horse loose in a box stall sounds great until you have to make a panic stop from a highway speeds because some moron in a MiniCooper decides to stop short so they won't hit a squirel. When you hit the brakes what does the loose horse do? If you're not sure, review Newton's First Law.

The slant load we have (a Featherlite 4H) "cradles" our horses (15h + Marchadors @ about 1050-1100 lbs./ea.) very nicely. They can brace against the wall or divider in the event of sudden movement. I've never had one step off a trailer sore, even after a 13 hr. run (the longest we've ever done).

Hauling to me about defines the phrase "necessary evil." I really don't like to do it. If I have to I want to ensure safety first and comfort second. IMO the slant load satisfies this standard right down to the ground.

As in all things, YMMV.

G.

enjoytheride
May. 13, 2011, 06:15 PM
My mare hauls in either, but despite hauling in a 3 horse slant for 2 years she will not turn around and walk out. She also loads straight and stubbornly refuses to slant herself even if it means stuffing her head over the divider. She will pin her ears and plant her feet if you ask her to turn around even if the entire trailer is open, she'll back all the way out.

Other then being stubborn about how to get off a trailer she doesn't seem to mind either.

wildlifer
May. 13, 2011, 10:33 PM
Around here for hundreds of miles, at playdays, rodeos, horse shows, cuttings, all you see is stocks or slants, rarely a straight load of any kind, other than some really old trailer.



Because in TX, there are HEAPS of quarter horses and stock horses -- which generally are under 16 h. A slant load puts more horses in less space, which is why they built them in the first place.

Around HERE on the event scene, you will see predominantly straight loads and head-to-heads -- because the horses are bigger and longer.

So, once again, buy what suits you and your needs and your horses.

Bluey
May. 13, 2011, 10:37 PM
Because in TX, there are HEAPS of quarter horses and stock horses -- which generally are under 16 h. A slant load puts more horses in less space, which is why they built them in the first place.

Around HERE on the event scene, you will see predominantly straight loads and head-to-heads -- because the horses are bigger and longer.

So, once again, buy what suits you and your needs and your horses.

You must not have been to many playdays, rodeos, barrel races or horse shows, because there are many rather large, very large horses there.
Granted, at cuttings, many are little.;)

Lateralwork
May. 15, 2011, 11:06 PM
That's one reason I teach mine to "Point and shoot" IOW self load. Also since I am usually alone it's safer

Yes, well, that's great if you've got the option. I seem to have had my share of older horses with bad loading experiences; one of mine had a terrible trailer accident before I got him (scars to prove it). I've owned him 9 years, and it takes 1 - 2 hours to load him, no matter what. My friend with years & years of natural horsemanship experience, who self loads all her horses, has helped me most of the time. We take our time, and eventually he goes in, but you have to lead him in, and you have to shut the door pretty quickly once he does go in. He will ride fine once he is in there, but he will not self load, ever. Just too much baggage in his brain.

flypony74
May. 19, 2011, 02:23 AM
I was a die-hard straight load girl for years and years. Then I ended up with a slant, but was terrified that I would not like it from a user-friendly and horse comfort perspective. Once I got used to it (quickly), I LOVED it, much more than my straight load....and the horses loaded and traveled much better. I recently had to downsize and went back to a straight load. The first time I loaded my horses on it they both kind of looked at me with a disgusted look like "what is THIS?" They were much much much happier with the slant and so was I. But the straight is functional and it is what we have now.

I think you really have to USE a slant to appreciate one, and also take into consideration that all slants are NOT created equal. My slant was a 4-Star, with plenty of room for big horses and loaded with user-friendly and safety features. My gelding particularly liked the slant because he loved looking out the window, and the ventilation in that trailer with the big drops was much better than in a traditional straight (he is a hot-natured draft cross). Like I said, I was a die-hard straight load girl most of my life, and no one was surprised more than I when I discovered that I like a slant much better.

CDE Driver
May. 19, 2011, 10:51 AM
I have one of each.

My slant load is set up as a reverse slant, the horses heads are facing backwards towards the passenger side. The trailer is also 8' tall and 8' wide with over size stalls. I have only had one horse that was totally confuzzled by the go in, turn to your right and scoot your haunches over maneuver. I also have Pro Cushion under the mats that absorbs vibration and provides extra cushion. Even on long hauls they come off the trailer happy and fresh.

My straight load is a TrailEt, one of the bigger ones that is 7'6" tall. I think it is wider than a standard two horse as well. I use it for short hauls and they all do great in it as well.

paohatch
May. 20, 2011, 09:45 AM
Maybe I'm just too practical, LOL but a straight load can be 'loaned' out to DH and used for hauling stuff; lot more difficult with a slant load.

But I agree with all the posts that say its really a personal choice. I have very large WB and they won't fit in a slant load comfortably!

TrotTrotPumpkn
May. 20, 2011, 12:54 PM
My problem with a slant load, including the brand the OP was talking about, is getting one wide enough to have a long enough stall. Yes, as someone posted, an 8 foot wide trailer is certainly able to be configured for comfort for large horses, but I don't think the Avalanche is even close to 8 feet wide.

I go through a lot of road construction up here in the summer, and an 8 foot wide trailer would be a p.i.t.a. I think...

I am intrigued by the Avalanche as well, OP. I don't think it is even in the same class as a 4 Star, which several posters have mentioned loving. But, I sold a horse who was sometimes a tricky loader and he walked right on the buyer's Avalanche (it was a 2 horse without the rear tack and with a ramp). He was 16'2" and fit nicely in the trailer with the partition open, but I wouldn't have liked to try to close him in that first stall!!

I like the closed side by the head option with the stock side at the rump (that the Avalanche has).

My personal problem is weight. I need a very light trailer that will fit larger horses. I am probably stuck with a small stock, budget-wise.

Bacchus
May. 20, 2011, 01:25 PM
Maybe I'm just too practical, LOL but a straight load can be 'loaned' out to DH and used for hauling stuff; lot more difficult with a slant load.

Funny, I've always considered slants easier for this. In general, slants are more likely to have a removable divider and no center support. My slant can easily be used for hauling big, wide stuff, but not one of my friends' straights can be. (Yes, I realize some straight loads are like that, too, but in general, slants are created that way, not straights. Also, slants are usually wider.)

Big_Grey_hunter
May. 20, 2011, 04:24 PM
I dislike chest bars in straight loads. I would rather the horses have a solid structure down to the floor that they can go against in an emergency situation.

Actually, I dislike the partition down to the floor. It seems to make my horse claustrophibic. I think he likes being able to 'brace' if he needs to by spreading out his feet. I don't really know why he doesn't like it, TBH, I just know he likes his chest bar.

SilvyFilly
May. 20, 2011, 07:03 PM
Here's an update everyone:

Found out my horse does not have a preference as to straight or slant(we went to a schooling outing with some barn friends in the big 6 horse slant) - but still dislikes ramps, she tries to jump over them mostly... So I found a great deal on a 2 horse Hawk straight load with tack room and no ramp and I am going to look at it tomorrow. I LOVE the Hawk trailers. I think they are great and everyone I know who owns one seems to really like it as well. It's really the exact trailer I've always wanted. A friend of mine has a Trail-Et which are pretty similar to Hawk and my horse really enjoyed trailering in it(but I honestly think my horse really doesn't care). So unless there is something wrong with it hopefully I will be coming home with a new(to me) trailer tomorrow- oh and then spending the afternoon watching some Cross County. I am very excited.

Alex and Bodie's Mom
May. 20, 2011, 07:20 PM
I prefer my 2H straight-load Turnbow with a ramp. I've never seen a slant load I like, and my question has always been about safety in a wreck. Yes, I know, if the wreck is bad enough, then nothing will help -- but in my mind, it's a lot easier to get horses out of a straight-load than a slant, if the worst case scenario happens. If anyone has any knowledge otherwise, I'd appreciate hearing it! :)

Brian
May. 21, 2011, 10:17 AM
I bought a straight load for several reasons:

3 - I don't buy the "slants distribute the weight better" line. In a slant, all the force goes to the front right foot because they're slanted, not perpendicular to the road. In a straight, the force can be evenly distributed between the front two feet (which is reasonably natural) and the chest bar. Maybe that all can't be proved, but it made intuitive sense to me.

When I think of weight distribution, I think of how the weight of the load is "dispersed" on the floor of the trailer. If you are hauling one horse that weighs 1000+ lbs. in a straight load trailer, that 1000+ lbs is going to be either left of center or right of center. With a slant load, while not a 50/50 split, the weight will span both sides of the trailer floor.

There is a huge difference between hauling "dead" weight and live weight such a horse that may shift weight from one leg to another in a trailer. Accident avoidance situations are not fun while towing, but the added problems of an unevenly distributed load, would only make matters worse.

RAyers
May. 21, 2011, 10:32 AM
I prefer my 2H straight-load Turnbow with a ramp. I've never seen a slant load I like, and my question has always been about safety in a wreck. Yes, I know, if the wreck is bad enough, then nothing will help -- but in my mind, it's a lot easier to get horses out of a straight-load than a slant, if the worst case scenario happens. If anyone has any knowledge otherwise, I'd appreciate hearing it! :)


I have been in, or seen, about 8 wrecks with horse trailers. I was in one where we had to disassemble the rear of the trailer to get the horses out (jack-knife on black ice and went off a 30ft embankment). It was a straight load. Only the front of the trailer was clear and the rear was embedded in the bank so the doors could not be opened. I think it would have been safer and easier if it was a slant or stock. As it was I became pinned between the partition and horse as they struggled. In a slant I would have been able to get out of the way. This was all back in the day before slants.

Had it been a slant I would have been able to control the horse easier and bring them around to come out forward. But as it was, the horse bolted backward over me and ran butt first into the bank.

As you can see, your question is very vague because it depends on the type of accident. I have been broad-sided with a straight-load, have seen head-ons with slants and each had advantages and disadvantages in the situation.

In the end, a well built solid trailer and good driving is more important than slant or straight load when it comes to accident safety.

DD_TrailerMan
Jun. 8, 2011, 03:19 PM
Typically, slants are not recommended for large horses unless you go with a big horse option. If your horse does fit, the Double D Safetack is a great way to load horses safely. Gooseneck Horse Trailer for sale (http://www.doubledtrailers.com/safetack_3_Horse_Gooseneck.htm)

Check out the video
3 horse slant gooseneck (http://www.doubledtrailers.com/three_horse_slant_gooseneck_video_Tour1.html)

Watermark Farm
Jun. 8, 2011, 03:24 PM
I far prefer a straight load and have had one for years. I have bigger horses. I recently had to upgrade and bought a big warmblood size slant load. I am not crazy about it and don't like the loading/unloading process. I don't think my horses haul as well. They really seemed to like the headroom from side to side that they had in their large straight load. What makes it work for me is that it has a side unloading ramp, so that at least I can get the first horse out separately. This is a real bonus.

My next trailer will be a 2+1 so that I have both options.

From a technical large animal rescue perspective, the safest trailer for wrecks and rollovers is considered a steel trailer with fiberglass roof, no interior dividers, and drop down window sides versus slat sides (feet get stuck in the slats during a rollover). At least that's what I'm told.

Manda4076
Jan. 26, 2015, 03:52 PM
Personally I HATE straight loads and would never own one. Horses seem to love my slant- it is very roomy and airy and I've had several hard loaders jump right on it. My slant also is large enough for my 17.3 WB to fit in it fine. I also love that I can convert my 3 horse slant from a 3 horses to two boxes or one giant stall.
One thing that I would try to avoid in a slant though is the rear tack- I like to have a full back door.

Can you tell me what kind of slant you have? We are looking to trade ours in and all the slants I've seen seemed to be geared towards tiny QH's. THANKS=)