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How wide to turn around in horse trailer?

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    How wide to turn around in horse trailer?

    I'm looking at buying a new trailer, I'm thinking about a slant load or small stock trailer. I'd like to be able to turn them around and lead them out the back. The problem? They are 17h+ Irish Sport Horses.

    Can a horse that size turn around in a 6'4" wide trailer (like a Shadow?) Or a 6'8" wide one? I'd rather not go up to a trailer with wheel wells inside. And those widths seem easy to come by.

    My current plan is get a three horse slant and have a divider position added to make 2 extra big stalls, if anyone has thoughts on that.

    Thanks!

    #2
    I have a warmblood height Fautras Promax Premium that has two doors at the front where the horses can walk off. I bought through Gena Ram in North Carolina. The Oblique is their three horse slant. I’m able to tow with an SUV. I really think you can’t go wrong with a Fautras.

    Comment


      #3
      I'm not an expert, but even 6'8 seems pretty narrow to turn a horse that size comfortably. I agree that a front ramp might be a good solution.

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        #4
        Suggestion--frame out a space with the dimensions of the trailer and then see if the horse can turn around in it. I did this using feeder troughs and a fence, but something like hay bales would also work.

        Comment


          #5
          My 16h WB can turn around in my 6 ft wide trailer, but she is only a 75 inch blanket. My 17h 80 in blanket OTTB can do it too, but it is harder for him and he has to kind of contort his head to do it.
          If I was going to be hauling him in that trailer a lot, I would go for a 7ft wide so he could turn more easily.

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            #6
            Train horse to back out, Way way safer

            Comment


              #7
              My 18.2 Clydesdale can turn around in my 6'9" trailer.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Goforward View Post
                My 18.2 Clydesdale can turn around in my 6'9" trailer.
                How wide is your trailer?

                Comment


                  #9
                  My 15 hand horses can turn around in a 6 ft wide trailer.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Would you consider a 2+1 with a front ramp, so you can just lead them out forward? It doesn't even have to be a full box in front if you don't want that big of a trailer, just enough room in front of the breast bar for the ramp to close up safely.

                    Yes, if you do get a slant, you will probably need to extend the stalls. I had a 2-horse slant that I loved... but when I got my big horse (also Irish) ... it turned into a 1-horse trailer except for short trips. He just wasn't comfortable squished into one of the stalls.
                    --
                    Wendy
                    ... with Patrick and Henry

                    Comment


                      #11
                      My 15.3 Lusitania can turn around in my trailer. It is a 2 horse slant, Eclipse, don’t know dimensions. I do extend the stall space for him when hauling. He is good and patient on unloading...

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by wsmoak View Post
                        Would you consider a 2+1 with a front ramp, so you can just lead them out forward? It doesn't even have to be a full box in front if you don't want that big of a trailer, just enough room in front of the breast bar for the ramp to close up safely.

                        Yes, if you do get a slant, you will probably need to extend the stalls. I had a 2-horse slant that I loved... but when I got my big horse (also Irish) ... it turned into a 1-horse trailer except for short trips. He just wasn't comfortable squished into one of the stalls.
                        I currently have a two horse straight load with a ramp, and I hate it. I hate trying to load by myself and get the butt bar up or the ramp up, I hate bending over directly behind the horses, I just hate it. I've had the mat on the ramp replaced 3 times and I've still had horses slide out the back, I finally bought a coco mat that solved the slipping, but I still had to pull it out of the way directly behind the horses. (I suffered a not horse related TBI some years ago, I had to relearn how to talk in complete sentences and walk in a straight line. I'm aware I'm a kinda over the top about this now)

                        a 2+1 is a great trailer, but it's overkill for me. Mostly it's me by myself, though my son has just started riding, so maybe two horses. I like the balanced ride sport a lot, but it's more than my budget. The front unload 2 horse trailers still load like the one I have, so they aren't that helpful.

                        I saw this video and was thinking they might be on to something. They seem to be using a 7' wide trailer. So I wanted to see what people's experience might be, I'm on the opposite coast from them. Their demo horse seems like a sweet heart, but she's mighty small compared to my Irish mare.

                        I've drawn some scale drawings of trailers, and I think a 3 horse with an extra divider position in the middle might be just the thing for my big girl.

                        And, if I just decide to go with a stock trailer, and 2 box stalls, it would be nice to know if they could turn themselves around without getting stuck or something.

                        But, setting up a space with a gate and the fence is a good idea- I'm going to do that.

                        https://horsetrailerworld.com/Review...-Trailer-Sales

                        Comment


                          #13
                          For the record, I meant a *front* ramp to walk the horses out and down. That does not mean you have to have a *rear* ramp on the same trailer. Most do, but you're already talking about a custom trailer, so you can get exactly what you want.

                          You might look at the Exiss STC line -- 7' wide stock combo trailers that come standard with a center gate, so you'd have two box stalls. They can do whatever you want inside though. Be warned they seem to be a big step up -- I ended up adding a rear ramp on top of the doors because it was too big of a step backwards and down in the 2H configuration. But if you're turning to lead them out, no problem. (And my 16.2 tank of an Irish horse did turn around in it just fine when I had the divider out.)

                          Here's an example https://www.flickr.com/photos/wsmoak...57704743630135
                          Last edited by wsmoak; Jun. 8, 2020, 09:14 AM.
                          --
                          Wendy
                          ... with Patrick and Henry

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            I understand about the front ramp- but they still have to go in the back, and I still have to do something behind them to get the trailer closed up, which I'd just prefer not to do.

                            I'll check out the Exiss you mentioned- thanks for the tip!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              To your first question, I have a Shadow 6'4" wide and my longer-bodied horse can turn around in it. She wears a 78 or 81" blanket depending on brand.

                              Originally posted by Blueskidoo View Post
                              I currently have a two horse straight load with a ramp, and I hate it. I hate trying to load by myself and get the butt bar up or the ramp up, I hate bending over directly behind the horses, I just hate it. I've had the mat on the ramp replaced 3 times and I've still had horses slide out the back...

                              a 2+1 is a great trailer, but it's overkill for me. Mostly it's me by myself, though my son has just started riding, so maybe two horses. I like the balanced ride sport a lot, but it's more than my budget. The front unload 2 horse trailers still load like the one I have, so they aren't that helpful.

                              I saw this video and was thinking they might be on to something. They seem to be using a 7' wide trailer. So I wanted to see what people's experience might be, I'm on the opposite coast from them. Their demo horse seems like a sweet heart, but she's mighty small compared to my Irish mare.

                              I've drawn some scale drawings of trailers, and I think a 3 horse with an extra divider position in the middle might be just the thing for my big girl.

                              And, if I just decide to go with a stock trailer, and 2 box stalls, it would be nice to know if they could turn themselves around without getting stuck or something. https://horsetrailerworld.com/Review...-Trailer-Sales
                              Are you sure you will like dealing with a slant any better? I don't understand how people tie their horses if the horse isn't great about standing there, and then you have to get around the divider or duck under it. But 1) my trailer has stock sides, so could tie from outside if I had drop downs, and 2) I give my mare the whole trailer if we're traveling alone anyway. She wouldn't stand for me to close her in my straight load so I had to change, first to a stock trailer with 2 box stalls, then to the 3H slant that we use as a stock trailer. I think a straight load with front ramp big enough to turn and back her in the stall would have been ideal, but more expensive.

                              I watched the beginning of the video. Turnbow trailers was making a divider that could be opened from either end when I was trailer shopping 3 years ago. Definitely another option.
                              That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...

                              Comment


                                #16
                                You never tie a horse in a float without something behind it, because of this you need a well trained horse to load by yourself. It is much easier to teach the horse to self load and close behind once it is in, rather than trying to leave it untied and leave it to do up the back.

                                An angle float is much safer to load with one person as you can lead the horse in, position and close the angle. The horse is now contained and when unloading the horse turns and comes down the same ramp forwards.

                                The ramp has struts on it to make it easier to lift. You could fashion a hook to pick it up off the ground if you don't want to bend.
                                It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by OTTBs View Post
                                  To your first question, I have a Shadow 6'4" wide and my longer-bodied horse can turn around in it. She wears a 78 or 81" blanket depending on brand.


                                  Are you sure you will like dealing with a slant any better? I don't understand how people tie their horses if the horse isn't great about standing there, and then you have to get around the divider or duck under it. But 1) my trailer has stock sides, so could tie from outside if I had drop downs, and 2) I give my mare the whole trailer if we're traveling alone anyway. She wouldn't stand for me to close her in my straight load so I had to change, first to a stock trailer with 2 box stalls, then to the 3H slant that we use as a stock trailer. I think a straight load with front ramp big enough to turn and back her in the stall would have been ideal, but more expensive.

                                  I watched the beginning of the video. Turnbow trailers was making a divider that could be opened from either end when I was trailer shopping 3 years ago. Definitely another option.
                                  Thanks. It's good to know yours can turn around in a Shadow.

                                  Trailer shopping is one of those things- will I really like this better? I don't know. I hate my current trailer situation enough to not go places because of dealing with the ramp and my anxiety about getting kicked while I'm trying to get the back end of the trailer closed. (For the record, the horses haven't been generally bad loaders, or kickers, but they have decided not to stand while I do it and back out in kind of a hurry once in a while and stomp at flies and things, which since the TBI sends my anxiety about it through the roof)

                                  Having the divider open at both ends is a good idea.

                                  I wouldn't tie mine before securing the divider like they did in the video, but always handling the horse from the front would be less distressing for me.

                                  Thanks! This is helpful

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Blueskidoo View Post

                                    Thanks. It's good to know yours can turn around in a Shadow.

                                    Trailer shopping is one of those things- will I really like this better? I don't know. I hate my current trailer situation enough to not go places because of dealing with the ramp and my anxiety about getting kicked while I'm trying to get the back end of the trailer closed. (For the record, the horses haven't been generally bad loaders, or kickers, but they have decided not to stand while I do it and back out in kind of a hurry once in a while and stomp at flies and things, which since the TBI sends my anxiety about it through the roof)

                                    Having the divider open at both ends is a good idea.

                                    I wouldn't tie mine before securing the divider like they did in the video, but always handling the horse from the front would be less distressing for me.

                                    Thanks! This is helpful
                                    Couple things come to mind.

                                    First - regardless of what trailer you get - you need to work on your horses standing in the trailer and not determining for themselves when they are going to exit. Backing out in a hurry when they have just gotten on the trailer is not acceptable behavior and is a recipe for someone to get hurt regardless of your trailer configuration. And that might have something to do with them slipping on the ramp - I've had a covered in manure after a long trip ramp and a horse with rear shoes and he's never slipped on the ramp, but he also backs out very respectfully and slowly.

                                    I hauled by myself all the time in my own trailer and while my horses did not self-load, they would get on and stay put while I took care of business behind the trailer. In addition, they stayed put when we arrived until I came up and backed them out.

                                    You can get a trailer that has full doors with a ramp behind those doors, so that the doors are completely closed before you have to fuss with the ramp. I'm pretty fanatical about having a ramp after having had a horse tear the crap out of a lower leg when he slipped on the ground when the stepped down - plus smack his poll when it happened. I never did get him to load or unload well from a step up again.

                                    Unless your horses are extremely short backed for their height, it is going to be a bit of a contortion for them to get fully turned around in a consumer sized trailer. If you opt for a slant load, you'll need to get custom sized stalls to have them be comfortable at all. My trainer had a 3 horse slant that was built for draft horses, we had to 16.3 and one 17.2 horses and unless it was a local trip we could not put all of them in the trailer - the 17.2 and one of the 16.3 needed a stall and a half for the length. She ended up getting a mid-stall peg put in so we could move the divider. I would never own a slant again with the type of horses I ride, as they are just not built for longer backed horses.

                                    You likely would be most comfortable with a ramp over full back doors and a front ramp. That's going to be a custom order if you want a shorter trailer.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      OP did say she was going to give the horses a stall and a half, so I think (s)he is good there. Pretty good idea about the doors+ramp as a solution. As for me, I wanted to always have a ramp after my first horse got horribly injured when we were away from home--he never could have gotten in a step up that day. Which is why I got rid of my Brenderup (wouldn't let me close her in) and stock trailer (no ramp) to buy my Shadow with the best of both worlds.

                                      I was fortunate to be able to TRY turning my horse around in a Shadow before ordering, as we were at a show near a dealership.
                                      That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I don't think turning your horses around to unload is going to solve either of your issues as I understand them (horses not standing and your anxiety). Turning horses, especially big horses, inside anything but a very wide, empty stock trailer puts you in an extremely vulnerable position. There really isn't enough room to do it safely in most trailers, especially if your horse already has a habit of exiting rapidly. Horses that have learned to turn around rather than back out tend to anticipate and spin/bolt out unless they've been trained VERY well not to do so; if they slam you against a wall or divider in the process, you could get just as injured as you currently fear might happen while closing the back of your current trailer.

                                        A slant load could help you, though, I think. My loading process is to lead the horse in, have it step over against the wall or divider, close the divider, then step out of the trailer and walk around to tie the head. That keeps you out of firing range in 99.9% of cases, at least more so that when doing up a butt bar on a straight load. Then to unload, you untie the head, open the back door and then divider, walk to the horse's head, and ask it to back out. There's no 100% safe way to load and unload - it's one of the most dangerous things we do with horses - unless maybe you run them up a ramp into a stock trailer ala the BLM, I guess. As long as you can find a slant load trailer that will comfortably accommodate your big guys, it sounds like that would make you the happiest. Good luck!

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