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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2011
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    67

    Default Buying first trailer: slant load vs straight load

    I know this has been mentioned in many other threads that I have read but it seems like some people swear by slant loads and some swear by straight loads for a big warmblood.

    I agree that it seems like straight loads are better in the fact that the length of the horse slots are longer and more roomy. But, is the trailer not off balance at all with a big warmblood on one side of it? And, if they moved around a lot it could pull the truck around more so than a slant load, no?

    I admit that I have really only driven slant loads and this is going to be my first personal trailer so I am trying to make the best decision for my horse's comfort and safety.

    Also, if you have any suggestions for trailers that do not cost a arm and leg I would appreciate it! It seems like every brand I look into there is always something negative someone has to say about it.

    Thanks in advance!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    42,528

    Default

    Seems that most trailers many in the SW are pulling are GN and slants, hardly ever see any other.

    Yes, many compete on larger horses, barrel racers get to be easily 16 hands and so do many roping horses.

    I would not know, but I would say, if slant was not definitively better, my guess is we would not see most be slants.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    17,329

    Default

    Just depends on what you like. No, having one horse in a straight load doesn't really cause any problems. You always load one on the driver's side, due to the way the roads are crowned.

    I prefer my 2H straight load to the slant loads I've had, and the horses I have now seem to travel better in a straight load. I find the horse has more room and I like being able to unload either one without unloading the other. The straight wall in the dressing room portion is also nice.

    But really--NEITHER is "the best." It's what you like, what you need and what you find your horses like. Slants are also a hell of a lot easier to find, so you might have more choices, especially if you're on a budget.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,586

    Default

    In Virginia, I hardly ever see bigger horses in a slant load. Most people use a warmblood sized straight load. I often take my Irish Draught by himself in my 2h bumper pull Sundowner. I have never felt any problems due to only having a horse on one side of the trailer.

    Make sure your towing vehicle is big enough for the trailer and that the area for the horse is big enough. I love my 2001 Sundowner, but be aware that some of the older ones (?2001 to 2003) have problems with frame and floor corrosion.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2011
    Location
    racetrack
    Posts
    1,685

    Default

    I am one that swears by the straight load. I am not crazy about slants. Poor horses have their nose shoved into a window, in a straight load they are usually looking at the inside of the trailer and the hay net, not the road and cars going by. Straight loads have always made more sense IMO. All the big commercial haulers will use straights. It's very handy to not have to disrupt the whole load just for one horse. You can water without having to open and shut doors and untie the horses.

    The only advantage I've ever seen in a slant is that they save space, but cramping as many horses as you can into a trailer isn't always a good idea, especially in the case of an accident.

    "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2007
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
    Posts
    854

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Seems that most trailers many in the SW are pulling are GN and slants, hardly ever see any other.

    Yes, many compete on larger horses, barrel racers get to be easily 16 hands and so do many roping horses.

    I would not know, but I would say, if slant was not definitively better, my guess is we would not see most be slants.
    I think a lot of it depends on what people are used to and what is manufactured in your area.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    42,528

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MaybeMorgan View Post
    I think a lot of it depends on what people are used to and what is manufactured in your area.
    We have a 16' GN open stock trailer and our horses, one or four, loaded loose, all prefer to stand on a slant, all on their own, head to the left, behind to the right.
    Those are not horses that were hauled hardly if ever in a slant, is not habit, even before slant trailers, ranch horses did that.

    Now, if straight was better for their balance, would they not prefer to stand straight when given a choice?

    That is in an open trailer, maybe in slant trailers with divisions, that may be different again, in that narrower, slant space.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,827

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelico View Post
    I am one that swears by the straight load. I am not crazy about slants. Poor horses have their nose shoved into a window, in a straight load they are usually looking at the inside of the trailer and the hay net, not the road and cars going by. Straight loads have always made more sense IMO. All the big commercial haulers will use straights. It's very handy to not have to disrupt the whole load just for one horse. You can water without having to open and shut doors and untie the horses.

    The only advantage I've ever seen in a slant is that they save space, but cramping as many horses as you can into a trailer isn't always a good idea, especially in the case of an accident.
    Totally agree. I prefer the open-ness of my straight load GN and ease of loading/unloading.

    I haul my Clyde-X on the left/driver's side and there's no issue with weight distribution.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    11,515

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by warmbloodlover11 View Post
    I know this has been mentioned in many other threads that I have read but it seems like some people swear by slant loads and some swear by straight loads for a big warmblood.

    I agree that it seems like straight loads are better in the fact that the length of the horse slots are longer and more roomy. But, is the trailer not off balance at all with a big warmblood on one side of it? And, if they moved around a lot it could pull the truck around more so than a slant load, no?

    I admit that I have really only driven slant loads and this is going to be my first personal trailer so I am trying to make the best decision for my horse's comfort and safety.

    Also, if you have any suggestions for trailers that do not cost a arm and leg I would appreciate it! It seems like every brand I look into there is always something negative someone has to say about it.

    Thanks in advance!
    There are pluses and minuses to each design. If you want a rear tack compartment, for example, you'll prefer a slant.

    Personally, I would never have a slant load trailer, because I tend to have larger horses (17H+) and I want them to have as much room as possible. Also, I don't want to have to deal with removing one horse from the trailer to get TO the one in front of him if there is a problem (or simply have to move both horses if I want to get the one in the front stall off the trailer at a show or other event.) With a straight load, you can get to either horse without moving the other, and I consider that both safer and less of a hassle.

    A properly designed straight load trailer will not handle any differently with one or two horses in it (there is no "tipping" issue with a single horse loaded.) Nor will a moving horse swing a (properly hitched) trailer around behind the tow vehicle.

    I generally prefer gooseneck trailers, but with my BPs, I've always gotten an equalizer hitch for an extra measure of safety. (Even though I tow with a big F250 long bed.) Worth the few extra $ for the piece of mind - and the peaceful feeling of having the trailer track up behind my truck when we are passed on the interstate by those big 18 wheelers

    With respect to pricing... that is one area where I've always felt like it made sense to save up/spend a bit more to get the best possible quality. That said, it's generally possible to find some good deals on quality used trailers.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    5,380

    Default

    Hahhaa, it's like asking what brand of truck to buy -- it's what suits you and your horse best. It will also depends on what is most available on the market in your area.

    In eventing world, at least on the E coast, you don't see that many slants for our leggy horses; they, on average, START at 16 hh. If you do, they are custom/extra width to accommodate. Even my 16 h Appendix doesn't fit in a regular slant b/c his back is loooong. Both of mine very much like the straight load and like the dividers to lean on if needed. I also have stock sides since I am self-proclaimed ventilation nazi and they like the airy space. Open stock trailers are great for many things, but I don't think I could haul my horses in one -- when I slam on the brakes, I reallllly don't want them to fly/slide/tumble around in there. Some are split in half, which helps -- it's just a personal thing. Lots of horses do great in them, so that's just me.

    Oh, and I am very often hauling one horse alone and no, it does not cause any issue -- the combined weight of the rig should be MUCH greater than your horse. I'm a big fan of steel so truck and trailer together weigh close to 10,000 lbs. The horse is a fraction of that.

    I can highly recommend Adam, as I know many others can, for making a solid, affordable trailer. My 2H BP w/ DR was under $6k brand new on the lot and almost 6 years later, it is in just about new shape -- it can easily go another 20! My first trailer was a 1988 WW, also a solid beast. It happened to be too short for my horse at 6'6" but it was an easy sell to pony owners, even at 20 years old and I got more than I paid for it, LOL.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2001
    Location
    Finally home in CO
    Posts
    399

    Default

    I prefer straight loads; the stalls are roomier, easier to load and unload, etc. That said I did have a horse that preferred to be at a slant. If this horse was in a straight load she would try to fall down. If she was in a slant no problems at all. The horse I have now tried to crawl out of a slant window. I went back to a straight load and she pawed, but no more trying to crawl out of windows. I think it depends on the horse; some may prefer straight and some slant. BTW, the horse that pawed no longer does. I guess she figured out that she was stuck.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 15, 2002
    Posts
    1,026

    Default

    You have to compare apples to apples here.....many times I hear how a large warmblood (17.0 hh) will not "fit" into a slant trailer. Well there are quarter horse slant trailers and large oversize warmblood slant trailers specifically made for the longer, taller and usually heavier type warmblood sport horse.

    There is a huge difference in the actual stall space allocated to each type. I was a straight load girl for a long, long time but am totally convinced my horses are safer and travel better in a slant trailer. And easier and safer for me to load and unload as well. Each to their own of course but I will never ever buy a straight load trailer again.



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