Choosing a Trailer: Straight Stock/Stock Combo?
I'm hoping to purchase a trailer within the next year or so. My experience is limited (this will be our first trailer) so I would appreciate some help/clarification from those more knowledgeable. We have the following desires and limitations:
1. We want the open feel of a stock trailer with top air slats.
2. We'd like to haul tied but "open" in the trailer without partions.
2. We will have 2 horses to haul. Both under 16 hands now (they are very compatible) but would like to accommodate up to maybe 16.3 hands in the future. I'm thinking 7' wide and 7' or 7'6" tall.
3. We want "extra" space for our horses. We've had them in a typical 2-horse slant and they seemed very crammed. One is slightly claustrophobic, as well.
3. We will be hauling with a 4x4 V-8 half ton Toyota Tundra with towing package. It lists top towing weight of 7100#, but my research shows ~5,600# is more realistic.
4. We'd like a small tack area up front. Just enough room for a couple of saddles and bridles. No need for a formal "dressing room."
I'm a bit confused about the difference between stocks and stock combos. "Stock combos" seem to be just slant loads with open air slats on the top. Could we potentially purchase an extra long 2-horse slant (or a small 3-horse), remove the partitions and haul open? Are traditional "stock trailers" completely open to the front or would some have a small tack room available up front? Would you then tie two horses straight load style, side by side toward the front? Can you then do without chest bars? I love the idea of a 16' stock with two box stalls, but it might be too heavy and then we'd have no tack area.
I'm leaning towards a small 3-horse without dividers and a small tack up front. How do you safely lead in and tie one horse before loading the second? How essential is a small access door for the front stall area? Most slants do not seem to have this.
Many questions. Thanks!