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Trailer - straight load vs. Slant load

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  • #21
    I have only had slant loads and have had no issues with any of my horses getting in/out or scrambling. I also like the idea of having my saddle rack in the rear and not in my front tackroom. I have a very heavy reining saddle and it would kill me to have to get it in/out of the saddle rack in the front.
    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

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    • #22
      Hate straight loads. Slants are better. Stock trailer works the best. At least for me and what I use it for. Years ago I had a wide, tall straight load with a ramp and escape doors. The horses hated it. Even the seasoned travellers got on with reluctance. Not to mention all the chest bars, butt bars, dividers etc for them to get stuck under and over.

      Now I have two stock trailers and all the horses load fine and travel quiet. I can use the trailer as a mobile stall. I can leave them to ride loose and find the most comfortable way to stand. Most of them ride facing backwards at a slant. I am now convinced that it is easier for the majority of them to keep their balance facing backwards.

      There is only one center divider that goes floor to ceiling, so no chance for horses to get stuck under anything. Can easily load and transport young horses, untrained horses. I would never own a straight load again.

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      • #23
        I have had them all, and most of the horses I have hauled preferred straight loads. With a ramp even. In fact had to put a ramp on the slant load I am using now to get horsey to load and unload well. But using the slant right now for the scrambler who has only ever ridden on huge tractor trailers. He barely fits...but it works for him.
        My favorite of all of them was my 4 horse head to head...sigh, wish I still had it
        "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
        carolprudm

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        • #24
          I personally LOVE my slant, and so do the horses. It has the wider stalls, is nice and open and airy with the jail bar, padded dividers. It also has stalls that are offset more than usual, giving them extra length. No rear tack, hate those things. Two back doors with no centre bar. I only have two horses, but a three horse slant for when I want to haul hay.

          They travel super well in it and with the slam dividers, they are super easy to load by myself. I also love having the drop down windows because I travel with both horses and no other rider usually, so whichever one is left in the trailer can happily lounge around with his head out the window for the hour or so I'm off riding the other one. I usually just let the one left at the trailer loose in there with a flake of hay on the floor and the windows down. Works great at shows without having to get a day stall.

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          • #25
            I have an Adam slant/stock combo. Have had no issues with it and my horse loves it but he is very easy-going. I love having the option to haul him in the slant stall up front, or loose as a stock trailer. He is 16.1 and long. I do wish I had gone 6" wider, as he does fit, but if I hang a hay bag near his head, his face is in it, hence my thread above for feed bag options! It is a bit too tight for him and a hay bag. We don't haul far but it would be nice to have.

            Mine has a lovely side escape door and a small dressing room up front. I load alone 99% of the time and it's perfect for me.

            My advice to you would be look at alot of trailers and actually go through the loading/unloading logistics in your head. Walk through it also, as though you are loading your horse. If you are alone, can you manage? For many I looked at, the answer was no! Good luck!

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            • #26
              It's very much a matter of personal preference. My horses seem to ride fine in either type, but I much prefer a straight load for all of the reasons listed. No matter what you get, bigger is usually better in terms of the size of the horse box.

              Makes me sad to see these gorgeous, pimped out, roomy LQ trailers with itty bitty cramped stalls for the horses.
              Click here before you buy.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Lateralwork View Post
                Hmm. Well, to each her own, but my bad loaders always were easier to put in a slant load, and I've not had any horse scramble in a slant, which I cannot say about straight load. With the slant load, you can walk them in, and walk them out.
                This is why I like slant loads (I own a 2 horse slant load).
                They also have more front-to-back room, IMO. My horses are squished in my BO's straight load, but have easily 2' of space behind their butt in a slant. I like it because it gives them room to back up and put their head down to get the hay on the ground.

                But I almost bought a straight load because my two horses at the time loaded just fine in anything, and it would have given me an easy out for trailering other people's horses. "Oh, your horse doesn't go in a straight load? Too bad, he won't get in my trailer".

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by NoDQhere View Post
                  IMO a two horse slant load trailer makes a decent one horse trailer if your horse is over 15 hands. But for two, bigger horses? No way. Straight load is so much better, safer and roomier.
                  This is true. A friend of ours has a 2 h slant. She has a MAYBE 15 hh qh mare so didn't get the extra wide, extra tall because who would think she would need it? She can only haul giving the mare both stalls because she doesn't fit in one. I was shocked!

                  I personally don't mind either. We have always had both, slant for the bigger trailers and straight for the small 2 h. I like the straight because on long trips I can get in and see their legs, clean poop, more easily offer water or add hay. Also, my big guys are much more comfortable in the straight loads having much more room for their head and neck (the rest of them too!). I haven't noticed a difference in how easily they travel in either, but I've been lucky to always have pretty good haulers.

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                  • #29
                    IME, a loose horse will stand backwards more often than at a slant in a trailer.

                    That said, I prefer straight load. Grew up with them, had a slant, now back to a straight. SO wants our next big trailer, for his rodeoing, to be 4h slant; I'm going to pitch a h2h and see what he says, but I'm sure he'll disagree. Which is why I'll be keeping my straight load .
                    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                    • #30
                      I have an extra wide / extra tall 2 horse slant that fit 2 WIDE Percheron mares - one 16.2, one 17.2 - very comfortably. Personal preference, but I would never have a 2 horse straight load. A lot of times they do not have safe escape doors and less than perfect loaders are easier to get on a slant than a straight.
                      Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                      An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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                      • #31
                        We have a 4h head to head with rear and side ramps and absolutely love it. Wouldn't even consider a slant. We are looking at adding a 2 horse bumper pull trailer for when we haul locally for places that we cannot get our big trailer into. It as well will be a straight load with a ramp. Haven't totally decided on brand yet, but most likely it'll be either a Sundowner or 4Star.
                        David A. Staples
                        Pony Tail Acres | Find Us On Facebook

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                        • #32
                          I own large warmbloods. We have had 2 horse straightloads, a 4 horse head to head and now a 3 horse slant (extra wide and tall). The slant by far is the safer of the three both for the horses loading, unloading and travelling and for myself loading and unloading on my own.

                          Once the horses are contained in the slant stalls they cannot go over or underneath any bars and are contained front to back securely, quickly and safely. I cannot count the number of times I have had to load a horse, by myself, onto a straight load ramp trailer and quickly run around to the back to put up the butt strap without said horse trying to quickly back out and trample me or dive under/over the front chest bar. My own horses were just fine but others were not.

                          I also like the fact that when at horse shows, when I often work out of the trailer, I can see my horses at some distance with their horses outside the large side windows munching on their hay nets hanging just outside the trailer rather then standing inside a 2 horse trailer totally out of site. That peace of mind is huge when I have one in the trailer and busy riding the other.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by shortbusgeek View Post
                            We have a 4h head to head with rear and side ramps and absolutely love it. Wouldn't even consider a slant. We are looking at adding a 2 horse bumper pull trailer for when we haul locally for places that we cannot get our big trailer into. It as well will be a straight load with a ramp. Haven't totally decided on brand yet, but most likely it'll be either a Sundowner or 4Star.
                            What brand is your h2h?
                            COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                            "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                            • #34
                              Many issues that people list have to do with training or purchasing choices, as well.

                              Want escape doors -- buy a trailer that has them!

                              Want more width or height -- buy a trailer that has that!

                              There is a lot of variety out there, so there is no reason to have something that lacks an escape door, or space unless you just made a poor purchasing decision. Straight loads do not "lack escape doors" nor are all slants the same width -- these features vary by brand and model.

                              Also, how well a horse loads in any trailer depends on whether you put the work in to train it and how good your trailer loading skills are. When loading problem horses, I far prefer a straight load or open stock and I ALWAYS teach horses to self load -- I don't get in the trailer with them.

                              So there are a lot more variables at stake than just which way the dividers face.
                              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                              We Are Flying Solo

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                              • #35
                                Been hauling a slant load since 1988.

                                Had a bp slant, got goose slant now. Goose slants hauls MUCH better than a bp.

                                All my horses better "self load". They can either turn around and walk out or back out, I train them to do both.

                                You can get a oversized slant so it will accommodate a bigger longer horse.

                                My panels never "swing". They are on a spring.

                                No horse I have ever hauled ever had a problem seeing a panel come to them for them to be closed in.

                                Slant means no scrambling going around corners.

                                They do have slants with escape doors.

                                I have drops on my slant. I have a big mesh screen or I can close it.

                                I think slants can be much more cooler and airy for the horse.

                                I can leave the panels open and have a stock trailer. Can't do that with a straight.

                                More options with a slant than a straight. If you move furniture, or something like that you will not have to move the center panel aside, what a hassle. My panels stay open securely unless I close the panels. So it is big and open if need be.

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by rmh_rider View Post

                                  I can leave the panels open and have a stock trailer. Can't do that with a straight.
                                  Actually, yes you can. I only have to pull one pin to drop my divider on my straight load and it comes right out to make a stock. It's very easy. It's all about good design and user-friendliness.
                                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                  Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                  We Are Flying Solo

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                                  • #37
                                    Well poo. Just talked to the SO (last time for another three + mos, but that's a different whine), and he nixed the h2h idea. Meh. We do both agree that horses prefer backwards but he said he wants slant. Ah well.
                                    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                                    • #38
                                      I bought a straight load for several reasons:

                                      1 - 16.2h TB never seemed comfortable in his neck in a slant. In the straight, he can move it around more, making him more comfortable.

                                      2 - Oldenburg youngster ALWAYS hated a slant. Travelled horribly in them for some reason, but never had a problem in a straight.

                                      3 - I don't buy the "slants distribute the weight better" line. In a slant, all the force goes to the front right foot because they're slanted, not perpendicular to the road. In a straight, the force can be evenly distributed between the front two feet (which is reasonably natural) and the chest bar. Maybe that all can't be proved, but it made intuitive sense to me.
                                      Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

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                                      • #39
                                        Has anyone tried the Featherlite Convertible? It converts from straight to slant... seems like the perfect solution. I have a 16.3h Anglo Trakehner gelding. He does better in either an Xwide/Xtall slant or Xtall straight load. He needs room, that is all. I made the mistake of cramming him on a smaller slant load last year as I did not really have a choice, but, now I know. It has to be roomy. Period. I had to retrain him to load on a trailer after that. Thank GOD for my BFF who happens to be very GOOD and trailer training.
                                        ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
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                                        • #40
                                          I prefer a slant- my horse loads, unloads and rides better in one. Around here it is easier to find a slant with more options than a straight load. I usually only haul one horse, and when I have to haul by myself I like knowing that I can turn her around to walk her out of the trailer.

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