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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 19, 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    288

    Default Need trailer purchasing advice.

    Hi all. I am selling the house I was renting out bc the market is so good right now. Renters moving out by August 1st and I have 3 full ask offers waiting for me when I can officially list it. One thing I need to buy is a trailer. I was originally just looking for a little 2 horse straight load (not really a huge investment) bc all I had was my daughter's pony. I recently bought a large ottb for my son and he will not be comfortable in that tiny trailer. So obviously now i will need to make a substantial investment and go with a slant load.

    I have a 2500 Dodge diesel so i can pull it no problem. Kind of thinking i should go with a gooseneck since i am almost always alone when i hook up. Does that make it easier?

    I also want a walk in tack room. No living quarters. Pony is tiny but tb is 16hh. What features should I look for? It will mainly be for short hauls to youth rodeo events and our farm house about 45 miles away.

    What can't you live without? What do you regret not getting? I want this purchase to last. Any advice would be appreciated. I have never owned a trailer.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    14,933

    Default

    I'd favor a gooseneck as that's my preferred style. Others like the bumper pull. Probably a "coke vs. pepsi" issue.

    A walk in tack room is really nice. The gooseneck has a lot of space in it but it's not always easy to use. I've heard of people mounting industrial type drawers so that you can put stuff up there and then get it back easily. That would likely be a Good Thing.

    A couple of 12v outlets and an RV battery is nice in a tack room as you can plug in a 12v cooler, charge your cell phone, etc. A 12v light or two is also nice. Mount the battery under the gooseneck.

    If you want to carry water have a tank put under the gooseneck. I've got a 50 gal. one and it supplies both the "weekender" LQ and can be used to gravity fill horse water buckets.

    If you want to go a bit fancier insulate the walls, floors, and overhead and add an air conditioner (carry the generator in the bed of the truck). This gives a cool place to sit on hot days (if you need such). With 110v service you can have a TV or other appliances.

    I'm sure others have stuff they can add, too!

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2003
    Location
    Virginia Hunt Country
    Posts
    1,331

    Default

    After I bought a used Cortner a fiberglass roof was my first priority in a trailer. They are a lot cooler. Next I would want a rumbar floor. They have a longer warranty than either wood or aluminum (20 years), the first time I stood on one my feet went thank you so I figured the horses would appreciate it too, and there are no mats to haul out (a factor as one gets older). At least a hand space between the but bar and the ramp or door so the horse doesn't rub their tail up against the door the whole trip. Insulated is nice too.

    I have a Hawk currently and it has stood up to heavy usage. The Suspension gives it a smooth ride. The butt bars have a neat feature where when you put them up they slide into place and stay there until you put the pin in meaning you can do it with one hand and if you have a horse that leans back it stays in place while you put the pin in.

    At one point I was hauling a 16.3 warmblood and a 10.3 shetland at the same time. That was in an old style shoop. The middle partition went to the floor. That feature might help the little guy. Most trailer dealers can add it if you want. However I have hauled mares and foals as young as 3 weeks in the Hawk with no problems and it doesn't have the divider to the floor.
    "I am sorry, I lead a bit of a complex life, things don't always happen in the right order" The Doctor


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2013
    Posts
    1,949

    Default

    You don't necessarily need a slant load for the big horse! Some straight loads have incredibly roomy stalls, and I know of one person with a slant load that large horses HATE. They feel like they don't have enough room. It's probably just her make/model of trailer, but plenty of people haul big horses in straight loads, so keep your options open.

    I've never had a gooseneck, so can't tell you which is easier, but I have no problems with hooking up my bumper pull. One thing I think you'll really want to have is adjustable butt/chest bars, so you can make a comfortable stall for the pony. I do not have this and wish I did since my son's pony is 12 hands. I made the butt bars adjustable myself, but they end up not being as secure as in their original position.

    The other thing, if you are ordering new, is to get them to add more tie rings on the outsides, so you have enough for horses, water buckets, hay nets, etc.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2004
    Posts
    3,264

    Default

    Don't assume because it is a slant that the stall size will be bigger! I've heard a lot of people complain that their huge horses aren't comfortable in a slant. My old 16.0 hand TB fit comfortably in my straight load bumper pull and it wasn't an extra wide trailer (plenty tall though). You really need to compare the actual stall size measurements. Personally I prefer straight loads and would love a gooseneck but reality is my Kingston bumper pull suits me just fine for what I need.

    Bumper pull vs. gooseneck is like Chevy vs. Ford, etc. - everyone has their preferences.
    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2009
    Posts
    4,387

    Default

    I have a slant load bumper pull because my mare decided she hated my straight load. Here is the problem: She is a 16'2" warmblood and while she will go in the stall, she's all scrunched up when the divider closed. I had to re-jigger the panel so that it would not go all the way closed to give her more room. Not a problem as I only haul one horse. She's happy.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2009
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    228

    Default

    I've actually found that on many (but certainly not all) slants, the stalls aren't large enough for bigger horses. So if you go the slant route, make sure you choose one w/ larger stall size. Remember that slant stall length is measured along its longest angle, which isn't all usable space.

    As far as features, I love my built-in trunk (which doubles as a bench) in my DR and the extra row of hooks. You really can't have too many hooks.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2000
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,017

    Default

    I second the comment about adjustable butt and chest bars. I did not do this when I ordered my Hawk several years ago, thinking I would only haul big horses .... Then promptly went out and got a 15 h QH mare. She's OK with the height of the chest bar, but could get under the butt bar in a panic. I always make sure to have the back ramp up when she is in the trailer.

    *star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    7,509

    Default

    Most slant loads have smaller stalls than most straight load trailers. Obviously, both can be ordered extra wide, extra high and made to accommodate nearly any size horse - but that's not what you'll normally find on the used market.

    Height should be your first priority. You want something 7' tall.

    If you really want to go slant, close all of the dividers and then measure from the center of the stall on the back wall to the center of the stall on the front wall. This is your body length (i.e. between the butt bar and chest bar in a straight load) plus the headroom.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2005
    Posts
    1,758

    Default Been through the slant load nightmare.....

    Don't do it, they do NOT make them big enough. When they measure it they go from farthest diagonal to farthest diagonal, not center of the chest to center of the butt, and they seem to forget the horse has a neck & head. TRUST me......no one (unless completely custom....and hold on to your shorts when the manufacturers hear that word $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!!!!!) makes a slant big enough for the bigger guys.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2014
    Location
    Eula TX
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Goosenecks are not always easier to hook up. I have one that has to be exactly centered over the ball or it won't drop down. Practice makes hooking any trailer easier. But, goosenecks to tend to pull smoother, and generally have more room inside. They also can turn tighter. The slant load vs straight load is an issue that you will almost have to use a tape measure to look over. You might even look at the stock type trailers, that don't have stalls, to accommodate the larger horse. There are even stock type trailers with full living quarters, so I am sure you can find them with tack areas.
    I am owned by Red, a ranch sorrel with a personality all his own, Sister, my daughters POA, Coco, my daughter's pony, who hasn't moved to a new family yet.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    5,268

    Default

    My daughter and I both bought new trailers that we really like last winter. I bought a Sundowner BP 2 horse straight load with drop down windows. Usually, I drive less than an hour to trail ride. With the backup camera, it is easy to hitch up the trailer. I drove to Florida last winter with my 16.2h horse and his 17h friend, and was pleased with the trailer. The drop down windows make a big difference in cooling the trailer on hot days when we are in slow traffic. There was plenty of room for the horses.

    My daughter bought a new 2h gooseneck Sundowner straight load with a dressing room. She added an extra foot to the dressing room, a door between the horse area and dressing room, and a roll out awning. She often takes her horses camping, so wanted the extra space. She drives long distances and felt the gooseneck is more stable at highway speeds on windy days.

    Trailer needs vary from person to person. I would find her trailer to be large and cumbersome. She thinks her trailer is perfect.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 19, 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Lots of great advice here. Thanks. Really want to get this right. I am thinking I need to go look at a variety in person. I just feel like a total noob. The straight loads I have used are not long enough for my tb.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2000
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,017

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kaitsmom View Post
    Lots of great advice here. Thanks. Really want to get this right. I am thinking I need to go look at a variety in person. I just feel like a total noob. The straight loads I have used are not long enough for my tb.
    If there is a 'Horse Expo' near you, go to that. The ones in this area usually have multiple trailer dealers with dozens of models available. The last two times I was trailer shopping (once for me, once for a friend), we crawled through every trailer in the Expo with notebooks and measuring tape in hand. We looked at how the butt and chest bars worked, the fit and finish of the frames and windows, the placement of door latches and steps -- everything we could think of that had bugged us about previous trailers.

    And the Expo is where I learned about custom ordering a trailer. When I finally got my Hawk, I had it made longer than usual -- an extra 1 foot in front of the chest bar and 1 longer in the horse area to accommodate Her Very Large Chestnut Self. Love that extra space and routinely tack up inside the trailer when the weather is iffy or the horse is difficult to tie to the outside.

    *star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2005
    Posts
    1,758

    Default You're in Texas, the heart of QH country.....

    There are going to be a gazillion trailers way to small for your horse. I would suggest googling a jumper or dressage show in your area and go see what all the people with big horses are using and ask a few questions about where in your area these trailers were bought


    3 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 19, 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    288

    Default

    I doubt there will he any expos until Feb when the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is in town. I am lucky to live near Houston though and have a lot of options on who to buy from. I will probably just make a weekend of trailer shopping and measure and climb through as many as I can. I am trying to make the hook up and backing up/parking as easy as I can for myself since I am almost always on my own with the kids. No back up camera and no plans for a newer truck since it was my dad's and I sold my newer one when he died so I could keep his. It is also diesel and the last year they made where you can still run the cheap farm diesel.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2006
    Posts
    2,434

    Default

    I personally would go for a straight load gooseneck w/dressing room for personal use. It has extra storage space and I just personally like straight loads and goosenecks! And since you already have a great truck to haul with I would go for it. I would only ever get a bp if I thought I would have to pull it with a large SVU, but if I had a truck I would get the goose neck every time.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2009
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    228

    Default

    If you're in the new market, you can pretty much pick the size and features that you want. In the used market, you'll be more dependent on what is popular in your area, and I believe that TX is slant country. I have a 2H GN straight load in the "standard" size for the manufacturer, and I've hauled 17H+ horses in it w/o a problem. I think the stalls are 10'L (7' for body + 3' for head) x ~3'W x 7'4"T. It's very roomie for my horses, which are all 16H - 16.2H.

    One thing I would avoid like the plague is built-in mangers. They may be too high for the pony to be comfortable, and won't let your son's horse lower his head to cough to clear his air passage.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2007
    Location
    S. Central KY
    Posts
    2,360

    Default

    If you want to stick with a straight load BP look for a Shoop trailer. They're tall and wide. They also come in different varities ie; with/without dressing rooms or extra storage. I have an older Shoop and my big fat draft mare and my long TB fits in it comfortably.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
    Posts
    24,136

    Default

    There are plenty of H/J shows in the Houston area. And many different types of trailer. I'm personally a gooseneck fan and can do a decent job of hooking up by myself, but I would think an electric jack would help enormously. I hate rear tack rooms and built in mangers. My ideal trailer would be a 2+1 that would outlast me from a good manufacturer. If you pay up front for quality, you can get a trailer that is good for decades with good maintenance. Good manufacturer's trailers hold their value extremely well. With a 2+1, you have two straight load stalls and a storage area that converts to a stall.

    One thing that I've noticed is that my horses ride facing rear in a box stall or stock trailer. A good stock-combo trailer might do well.

    One thing you might want to consider is that if you buy a full living quarters trailer with a functional toilet and shower and all the waste water tanks, interest on the purchase can be deducted from your federal income tax as a second home.

    Some of the more Western trailers to look at are Turnbow and Hart. Favorites here seem to be Hawk, Equispirit, Balanced Ride, Eby, 4 Star, Jamco, Merhow, and Adams. I'm sure there are many others that I can't think right now that manufacture good trailers.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



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