Just like title says, I'm trying to decide whether or not to buy a horse a trailer. Up until now, I've been transporting my horse to/from the shows on my trainer's trailer with one of her horses. She charges commercial rates for the transporation, so the situation is fair and working out okay.
However, I am planning on showing more this year and, just looking at her judging/showing schedule, I can easily see where I may want to go to/from the shows apart from her. Plus, we have run into a couple of situations where it was a challenge to take all the lesson horses as well as my horse to the show, particularly bigger shows. In addition, I take my husband to the shows with me and he really does not enjoy hanging around all day when I'm finished before noon.
All that said, horse trailers are EXPENSIVE! I have the vehicle and one large horse so I need a 2H, WB, BP model. I was looking at Hawk trailers with a dressing room and it seems like it's going to cost me about $15k by the time all is done. There are less expensive trailers but not appreciably, in NJ anyway.
Anyway, what do you think ... is this a bit much for the extra convenience? We can afford it, but it will be tight and divert funds from paying off other things. Any advice would be appreciated.
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I have an Eclipse...and I punted on a lot of the details like a dressing room, etc. I think when all was said and done my trailer was about $9500 new.
There are folks that say Eclipse isn't good, but mine is 2 yrs old now and it is fine. Pulls great behind my hemi Jeep and the price was right.
Mine has saddle racks, etc in it, just not a separate room, which also helped cut the trailer weight down.
I finally bought one when I decided to start hacking out with friends who had their own trailers. It was so much easier to decide on a place when they weren't always trucking to me or coming to pick me up.
I justified my trailer by the fact that I would be able to save some money. It would cost me less in shipping, I could come and go as I please to whatever shows I wanted to attend, AND if there was space, I can sometimes throw another horse from my farm on my truck (which means barn owner can take an extra child, she just credits my account with the shipping amount) Also, don't limit yourself, try looking at prices around the country and on craigslist etc. There can be some good deals on there as well.
Go for it. You will be so much happier once you have your own, and even if you don't trail ride, all kind of fun offsite horsey opportunities will become possible -- including being able to haul your own horse to a veterinary clinic in an emergency when you can't find anyone else to do it!!!
I believe you can finance a trailer like a boat, that is, over a long (think 20-year) period, which would get your payments down. Depending on what your tow vehicle is used for, consider whether you could live without the dressing room. I have a dressing room (Featherlite stock, I am a crazy foxhunting person and I can put two horses and a large pony in there), but I have found it much easier to just throw the tack in the back seat of my crew-cab pickup truck. Whenever I can get a new trailer, I will get the same floor length, but without the dressing room -- I'll store what I have to in the gooseneck overhang, and keep using the back seat of the truck for the other. Realize that may not work for you.
Are you going to buy one new or used? There are plenty of nice used trailers out there. For instance, in 2005 I found a nice 2004 Sundowner trailer. It was barely used and I bought it off someone who couldn't afford to keep up with the payments on it. I would have paid considerably more if I had bought that brand new! In fact, I could still probably sell it today for close to what I paid for it almost 8 years ago!!
I have never regretted buying the trailer. I have the freedom to go and do what I like when I like
I'm w/ Horsetales - I'm more than happy to enable you! Go for it!
Whether buying new or used buy a high quality trailer that you can envision keeping for a long, long time. My rig (truck-trailer combo) is one of my favorite possessions. Having your own trailer gives you freedom, piece of mind in case of emergencies, and convenience. Being able to go to shows, clinics or just trail rides whenever you want is just fun.
Speaking as someone who stretched finances to buy a trailer... I say go for it! Like you, we had a truck and found a great deal on a bumper pull. You don't need the latest and greatest trailer, just a safe and well maintained one. You should be able to find a good one on horsetrailerworld.comor Craigslist fairly easily if you move quickly and have cash in hand.
I say go for it too! I was just looking at charges on a local trainer's site for travelling to shows and it was a $75 loading fee plus $1 per mile for the first 150. Even if showing locally I can trailer myself for that much or so. It cost me $84 to fill up the tank on my truck and if it's local I know that I won't use the whole tank. I didn't have much of a budget when it came time to buy (it took YEARS to even be allowed the 2k I had to buy one!) I knew kind of what I wanted though and just happened upon one. I knew I didn't want a slant unless for some reason there was one in my budget, they freak me out for some reason, I don't like loading and unloading in them. I wanted one like my friend had which was a straight load but had no mangers in front so in front of the horses was completely open. I had a mare at the time that wasn't too keen on loading so I figured that would help. I didn't want a ramp but I ended up with one which wasn't a problem once we figured out that the reason I couldn't get the ramp up by myself was because the mat on it weighed about 100lbs plus the weight of the ramp itself and I weigh 95lbs. So we took the mat off and will replace it with a textured paint stuff we saw at the Home Depot. It needs a little work on the steel as it used to live in Florida and some of the metal has started to rot but otherwise it's great! The shell is Aluminum so it's nice and light and since I tend to haul only 1 horse I use the space next to the horse (divider is solid to the floor) and in front of the second stall for tack and supplies.
Do it. While you'd have to show nearly every weekend for years to have it financially advantageous to buy a new trailer, the peace of mind, the flexibility, and the convenience make it all worth it. I got an RV loan to buy a good quality but older aluminum 2H WB BP (Equisprit) and my payments are less than 150/month. I can go to different shows from the rest of the barn, meet up with friends for trail rides, and/or go off to lessons/clinics whenever I want. Totally worth it for those reasons alone, but I really appreciate the safe feeling I have knowing I can move my horses in an emergency. Happy Shopping!
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Skip the bells and whistles -- a stock trailer will get you there just fine.
Yep. Start small. I bought mine new, and it's done a good eight years. I just upgraded to a big 3/4 horse gooseneck aluminium thing, with dressing room and living quarters and all that jazz, but it's intimidating to haul, even after 8 years hauling the BP ! I can't imagine why you would spend close to 15k on your first BP trailer, LOL if they're that super expensive in NJ, then drive down to TN or KY an pick something up for 3 or 4k - if the price difference is that much my goodness, you can give up your day job and just run trailers up there and sell them !
Best thing I have ever done. Because I have my own transport, I have dabbled in so many fun things that I would not have been able to if I had to rely on my trainer to transport. Go for it. I bought an Adams trailer and have been very happy with it. It is nine years old and still going strong.
Having your own trailer ROCKS!! No more waiting around for hours for other horses to finish showing before being able to leave (biggest reason, right here), no having to arrange for trailering for getting your horse to a vet clinic for any reason, you can leave a lot of your show stuff in the trailer so less loading and unloading.
We bought our first used bumper pull for 5000 dollars with a tack room I could change in, and it worked fine (We found out a year after we bought it that the guy who sold it to us had actually stollen it so we had to give it to the RCMP, then buy it back from them, haha) Then bought a nice aluminum trailer new, for about 15k I think.
It is really nice to be able to go where you want, when you want.
Financially, it's not a great move. In addition to the cost of the trailer, you're going to pay gas and maintenance. When I lived in the city, I had to pay a storage fee to keep it at the barn.
On the other hand, I was able to save money by using my trailer as a tack room at shows rather than paying for a tack stall, I kept the show specific stuff in the trailer instead of in my own bedroom closet, I was able to skip the agonizing task of trying to hire a trailer when I wanted to go places, and I was able to go to clinics and shows that otherwise would have been impossible.
And, I probably paid for my trailer when I used it to move our stuff instead of hiring movers.
To get the right used trailer, you'll have to wait and be patient. There is also the consideration of gas money to look at trailers.... too many long trips will eat your savings, especially where I live. But if you have the time, and if the trailer you want isn't too unusual, the used trailer will save you a lot of money.
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I have a horse gooseneck stock trailer tall enough that my friend's Percheron used to ride in it. I paid about $6000 for it used and love it. It winds up costing me nothing additional to take my horse to a show by the time I take two others with me.
Having my own trailer is the best. I'll never go without one again.
Go for it. Trailers last forever if you buy a good one. It will pay for itself over time. And you will LOVE being able to finish your last class and hitting the road. We do some local shows where the adults go first and I can be home at 10:30. Makes the DH much happier when we can head out and do something non-horse related.