Ours is only a 4 horse head to head so no hands on experience with a 6 horse - I will say tho that our 4 horse is only about 6 feet wide and we haul with no problems. However, a good friend of ours who is a trainer owns a 6 horse head to head and hauls some pretty tall/wide Saddlebreds (16.2 hh to 17.2 hh, big bodied) with no problems at all. He's owned it for a number of years now and even hauled one of my pinto geldings once who is right at 17 hands tall, about 1100 pounds. So yes, I would say judging on seeing his show string of horses hauled to 20+ shows a year and arriving safe and sound, they must be just fine width-wise.
Last edited by bludejavu; Jun. 27, 2010 at 09:08 PM.
Reason: because 16.5 and 17.5 was a stupid thing to type :)
Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.
I would want wide stalls for my larger horses. They stand 16-17H, girth 82-84 inches with body proportions to match. They run 1400-1500# each. I consider them large for horses who are not drafts or draft crosses.
I see other TALL horses, but they have lots less body and weight. I find it hard to believe even BIG Saddlebreds are the same dimensions that my horses are, so the ASB probably is comfortable in the smaller stall.
We have a trailer with 36" wide stalls, 8ft from chest the butt bars, high partial divider so they can spead out. They have room to step forward, plus some extra width for sideways shifting. NOTHING is touching on them if they are centered in the stall.
You will want to measure INSIDE dimensions. Sometimes you loose even more interior width in wall or divider thicknesses.
We needed a trailer that had to have a 6ft wide door for loading carriages inside. AMAZING how many SAY they are 6ft, but have a wall thickness that makes it smaller or a framed door fastened on the back. Frame loses 2" on both sides, making door hole only 5'8" wide and carriage would not fit!
Divide the interior width by 3, minus divider thickness. Smaller or narrow body horses can probably do fine, but truly larger horses will be stiffer, cramped on long hauls because they have no room to move. Many will develop loading problems if they are rubbing both sides of the stall, too tight. From experience, WIDE trailers are often harder to drive and work with in traffic, harder to see behind unless you get semi-truck on your extended mirrors.
Sorry, I would get a trailer with more length, only go two horses wide so they are more comfortable in wider stalls.
We haul big Saddlebreds in our 6 horse head to head all the time, we have had several horses in the 16.2-17.2 hand range that fit in a single stall and hauled just fine. Also most 6 horse head to heads have moveable dividers so the you can make the 3 stalls into 2 stalls if you have a horse that either doesn't fit or doesn't haul well in a standard stall. Plus ours has a wide enogh center aisle that you can haul a 7th horse in the middle.
My 2+1 trailer is 7' wide. The (2) straight load stalls are plenty roomy for my big guys who are over 16h with wide butts. We've also fit a 17.2h very wide warmblood in there very comfortably. Still, even adding an extra foot of width, I really don't think you could fit 3 large horses across comfortably... 3 smaller or medium sized horses would probably be okay, but not 3 large ones.
We bought the 4 horse head to head (Sundowner 740) specifically because the stalls are a little wider. You didn't mention a brand name, but at 8 feet wide, that's 32 inches per stall without dividers or walls. Sundowner's 760 and 761 trailers show 31 inches as the stall width. Assuming that same logic for the 4H... at 6'9 wide (81 inches) that leaves 40.5 as the total width of that part of the trailer divided by 2. That leaves somewhere around 39 inches for the stall width... 37 if we're a bit more generous with wall and divider width.
It really just depends on your individual situation. By "larger horses" are we talking 16.2 quarter horses, 17.2 warmbloods, Clydesdales, Belgians? We wanted to be able to offer our clients the ability to haul anything they brought to our farm. You certainly don't want to have to grease the horse up to get it to slide into a stall. Give it a little bit of wiggle room.
Our trainer has a 3h reverse straight All American trailer. It's GREAT (she thinks the tack room is a bit small, but...). It's 8'6" wide and looks it.
It has hauled large and small horse w/o issue. Her young horse is big boned 17hh WB and I think they've had a large Clyde x TB and a 17+ ISH in there. We've spent plenty of time rolling down the interstate behind them (top doors open) and I don't think I've seen horses more relaxed in the trailer goind down the road. I'd love to have a slightly smaller 2h version of that trailer or a 2+1 side ramp.
My barn has (had? It's apparently for sale) a 6 horse head to head, and it's shipped everyone very well. Granted, it was somewhat custom (I'm not sure which parts were customized, though), so ymmv.
We put the biggest horses in the center stalls, and I'm thinking that it wasn't only for balance: I think the middle stalls were in fact a smidgen bigger. We shipped the 18h chunker of a horse that you'd swear was a draft cross and had no problem. My 17h sturdy guy shipped in a side stall no problem, too. Or maybe only the middle stall on the cab end was wider...
The wall panels are padded, so it's not a huge deal if they do some, um, wiggling on the way back. And the head partitions can unlock at the ceiling and swing, creating a little bit of a chute while the horse backs in. The first few times my littler guy rode in that, we used the head partitions to kind of maneuver him in, gradually closing the piece over to funnel his bottom into the stall (which, I may add, had plenty of room for him to wiggle... he was just special).
We used to have a 6h head to head (sundowner 760) and we simply converted the rear stalls to 2 horse instead of 3. The larger horses went in those two stalls and the smaller ones up front. never had an ounce of trouble.
Part of the reason we did this was because on that trailer, the wheel wells were inset on the rear stall area. this substantially reduced the stall's footprint on the two sides, so instead of trying to work around it we just ditched one stall and the big guys had PLENTY of room back there.