HORSE TRAILER with FULL rear doors AND ramp.. Thoughts??
I have a horse who is a frightened loader. Someone suggested that my new trailer (ALREADY on order) should have full length rear doors AND a ramp???? I am not so sure, as I am old school and have only used a ramp/storm door config... and my old horse loves to travel with the storm doors open...
the reasons given were
1. ability to make a box stall (safe to close him in without the ramp crashing down on me)
2. Safety for him, he tends to sit UNDER the butt bar and stand up blowing the back end of trailer apart
3. Most horses find it more comfortable to deal with a swinging door rather than an up lift of the ramp
4. Safety in a crash. take the ramp off and horse can still exit in a fender bender
SO>>> I shouldn't need more convincing, but the only plus I see is #2.. which is huge to me, but part of me thinks that with time, he will learn.... am I dumb to think that???
I have full rear doors with a short ramp on my Hawk. I like the ramp better than step up and my horse does too. I like the full rear door for safety reasons. One good one my trainer pointed out is that you can load, close the door, and that would prevent any kicks heading your way from the loaded horse. I guess if someone were to rear end me, the ramp would help protect the horses a little extra as well. I can gut the trailer and have a box stall and I think the doors are easier for one person (and quicker) to get closed. I looked for this configuration in a used trailer, but every time I found one, they had already sold. So, I would think resell value would be good as well.
I have the full doors with the ramp over. It makes for a much lighter ramp and I really like the safety of the full door. I had a scrambler and being able to turn the trailer into a box stall so she would travel without scrambling was a godsend. While I do like the idea of being able to open the top halve of the door for air flow in hot weather, I get pretty good airflow through the windows in the doors and there is also the option of drop down windows in the doors. I'll go with the same configuration in my next trailer as it's really worked well.
If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb
I have a Hawk that I custom ordered full rear doors and ramp over. I also have windows in the nose, the bulkhead wall (it's a 2H w/ dressing room) and on the rear doors. If I open all those windows, it's a wind tunnel, so full rear doors do not have to restrict air flow.
I love love love this set up except for two things.
On my Hawk, from the floor of the trailer to the ramp, is about a 4" drop. Horses often seem to have a hard time with that. It's almost like a ramp/step up hybrid. I've recently seen an Equispirit where the drop is not nearly that big.
On the short ramp that the Hawk comes with in that situation, the ramp mat does not cover the edges of the metal frame or the corners, which are sharp. My own horses are Shires w/ factory installed shipping boots, so it's a non-issue for them, but when I haul other people's horses, which is often, I put a cocoa mat on the ramp to lessen the drop and cover the sharp edges.
I love my trailer, but I don't think it was a good day at the factory when it was built, there was a lot of sloppy work done on the metal finishing. I would, and plan to some day, buy another one, but I either wouldn't pay for it until after it was delivered, or I would fly out to the factory and inspect it before it was painted.