View Full Version : Newbie Trailer Question -- 2H=Box?

Jul. 13, 2012, 02:02 PM
I've never had a trailer, but hopefully will in the near future, so I've been reading the trailer posts. From what I've read it seems like horses prefer/are healthier travelling in a box stall to the typical single/narrow trailer stalls, especially for long hauls.

So, my question is--if you have a 2 horse straight load trailer and only one horse, can't you just take the divider out and let him travel in the now box size stall? Why wouldn't you do this (assuming you don't need the second stall for "stuff")?


Jul. 13, 2012, 04:26 PM
Boy - it would seem so - but - problem is straight load "escape" doors ( and even a lot of slant load trailer front doors ) are not meant for horse butts bumping them or even a kick - if you go that route make sure you have ordered heavy duty doors w/ a solid liner / outside bar guard latch and inside bar across
www.SterlingHorseTrailers.com ( coming soon )

Jul. 13, 2012, 04:33 PM
That...and 2-horse straight loads typically aren't as wide as a stock type trailers. Also, if you have a ramp, it woudn't be smart to have the horse be able to turn around and attempt jumping over the ramp.

If you would like to take the divider out, I would still tie the horse, but that way he can move his butt side to side and put it wherever is most comfortable fo rhim.

I have a 2 horse slant stock type trailer. When I trailer one alone, I still tie his head where it would be in the front slant, but i don't close the slant divider, so he can stand either straight on his own, or slanted, but cannot move about freely. I don't like freely moving horses because if I have to hit the breaks suddenly, I don't want them loosly tossing about. If they are tied, they are more likely to be leaning on a wall already.

Jul. 13, 2012, 05:00 PM
Thanks, I knew there had to be a reason people weren't doing it. I did recently see someone with a step-down stock trailer that had no dividers or anything and the horse was just allowed to roam around. It was the kind I usually see for, well, stock. That's what made me curious.

Jul. 14, 2012, 03:25 PM
I have a 2 horse step up slant (no front doors). I often trailer broodmares and babies and young horses in there by just opening the divider and securing it to the side of the trailer. Never had any problems.

Jul. 15, 2012, 12:52 AM
When I bought my Equispirit, I ordered a full-length butt bar so that I could remove the divider & make a box stall. I've done that setup to haul a mare and foal. BTW, trailer is for sale.

Jul. 15, 2012, 01:17 AM
I have a trailer like SuckerforHorses', and how I haul depends on the horse. My late large pony got the divider because it was easier for him to balance in the smaller space than to have the whole box, whereas my small TB, who is not just wider but also longer than the pony, gets the whole box to himself, always, so he can spread his feet out. He's been in there before with a second horse, but he hated it so much that he started refusing to load. (So much for "two-horse.") I did haul a friend's hony loose once, simply because he hadn't hauled in years and he was losing his mind at being tied, but it was a white-knuckle trip for me; I'd never hauled anyone loose and was terrified that I'd inadvertently knock him over!

Jul. 15, 2012, 01:33 AM
I've got an older 16' stock trailer with a single divider gate in the middle. My horse travels in the front box tied facing backwards. He hauls better that way. The only reason I don't leave him loose is because when they put the window in the front, they didn't grind down the rivets and he's cut up his face from bobbing his stupid head around. He hauls loose really well, and I've had to hit the brakes several times. They're not anymore likely to fall loose than they are tied, and in my opinion, I would rather they fall loose rather than being tied because it would strain their neck, even if you have a panic snap.

The trailer tie I use is as long as it can be so he can put his head down, and it attached to the tie ring via 550 cord DH had.

We recently hauled my new lease horse, a 16.3h 1000lb TB in my friend's 2H slant. He hadn't been hauled in over a year, so we ran his rope thru the tie ring but left it loose and secured the divider at the largest section. Thankfully the designers figured people would be hauling different size horses and accommodated that by having extra holes to set the divider. I would have no problem hauling my horse loose in her trailer either without the divider. He turns around when we stop, but stands like a rock otherwise.

Jul. 17, 2012, 11:20 AM
I hauled one bratty pony with my trailer set up as a box stall. He would panic each time we tried to put up the ramp behind him when he was in the straight load.
DH & I removed all of the dividers, owner loaded the pony and turned him to face the ramp. We popped up the ramp and quick shut the top doors.

No my first choice but I was 3 hours from home so didn't have many options.

Normally I wouldn't like to since there is no butt bar on my trailer unless the center divider is in place.
Although truth be told that is slightly flawed logic on my part. I periodically haul medium or small ponies and they can go right under my butt bar even when it is in the lowest position. I figure if they are sitting on the ramp instead of the butt bar they don't weight enough to cause a problem.

Having the butt bars just makes me feel better.

Unless the horse is really large I think having them pinned in place seems safer. Keeps the load from being able to shift around too much. I could see a horse/pony getting a little agitated and spinning in the trailer causing additional sway as the loads shifts unpredictably. Even if you tie them then can be swinging their butt back and forth.

Jul. 17, 2012, 01:20 PM
Professional Shipper siting articles that discuss the pros and cons of stall configurations:


I have hauled loose many times and never had an issue with weight shifting. However, this was with a 3/4 ton truck and a gooseneck, I can't comment on hauling loose with a bumper pull.

Jul. 17, 2012, 04:34 PM
My trainer and I share an older Big Valley that has had the divider removed. It's a bit wider than the average 2H. It's a step up so the doors are high enough to prevent jumping out. My horse prefers this trailer as he can slant his body however he wants when he travels, and is not limited by a partition. When we arrive at out destination, he gets unhooked and is free to turn around and look out at the venue if he so pleases.

Jul. 17, 2012, 04:59 PM
Thanks, I knew there had to be a reason people weren't doing it. I did recently see someone with a step-down stock trailer that had no dividers or anything and the horse was just allowed to roam around. It was the kind I usually see for, well, stock. That's what made me curious.

I had a 2 horse step up for many years. I would routinely haul 1 horse without the divider. Horse was tied as usual, butt bars on both sides were used and horse was fine and happy to have extra room to balance . I have a 4 horse stock now and usually haul 2 horses in it. 1 up front and 1 in back. I still tie them but some people don't. If your horse hauls well they will find their spot and stay there despite being tied or not, especially on very long hauls. If you have a nervous horse I would tie. I always tie unless hauling a foal.