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Trailer - straight load vs. Slant load

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  • #41
    Does anyone have any issues with a 4Star trailer. They have a 2 + 1 that I'm looking at. I have a 3 horse slant now that I like, pulls like a dream but hauling mares and foals I think would be much easier in the 2 + 1 rather than my slant load. Opinions?


    • #42
      Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
      What brand is your h2h?
      Sundowner 740. As for loading by one's self, we usually load through center ramp and back the horse into it's spot. No butt bar to have to run around to the back to put up before the horse decides to move. Just walk straight in, turn however we need to, back into the spot and put up the chest bar / attach trailer ties.
      David A. Staples
      Pony Tail Acres | Find Us On Facebook


      • #43
        Originally posted by rmh_rider View Post
        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.
        1. Slants more cooler and airy for the horse? Can you explain that please? Our h2h has roof vents, side windows, rear windows and we put fans in there for the rare times that we haul on a hot summer day.

        2. Can't remove panels in a straight? I beg to differ. All of the dividers in our Sundowner h2h are removable for one very large open space. 4Stars do the same. There's a farm locally here that I know of that picks up horses in Kentucky on a regular basis but will bring back a few hundred bales of hay on the same trip by taking out the dividers on one side and filling the side of the other divider. According to my measurements, the MINI Cooper we used to have would have actually fit in the trailer. Never tried it, but thought it was funny nonetheless.
        David A. Staples
        Pony Tail Acres | Find Us On Facebook


        • #44
          I have been in accidents (4-horse and 8-horse straight load) and have worked accidents as a vet tech (4 and 7 horse slants). I think that so long the the trailer is well constructed it really does not matter when it comes to survivability.

          I have also had 3-horse slants for the last 15 years (Sundowner and now a 4-Star). I like the slants as they are pretty easy to open the trailer up so the horses can get double stalls, but then again it could be due to how I design the layout of the trailer. Yes, horse access is "easier" in a straight, but in an emergency stop or a head-on I have had and seen horses go under the chest bar or slip under the partitions. In the slants it seems the horses stayed up-right more often as a larger portion of their body weight was distributed along a partition. Yes, it is a pain to get them all out after they accordion. That is why I have a front door as well in the slant.

          I dislike chest bars in straight loads. I would rather the horses have a solid structure down to the floor that they can go against in an emergency situation. Horses will crouch when the footing goes bad, hence why they go under the partitions and chest bars. I like solid partitions in slant loads for this reason if the stalls are wide enough for a horse to spread their legs. At the same time, horse tied with nothing in front of them (e.g. a h2h) will have massive neck injuries in a large accident as they have no way to release or brace against something solid in front or behind.

          Last edited by RAyers; May. 13, 2011, 12:51 PM.


          • #45
            Around here for hundreds of miles, at playdays, rodeos, horse shows, cuttings, all you see is stocks or slants, rarely a straight load of any kind, other than some really old trailer.

            May just be coincidence, maybe it is a better way to load/haul or just preference by the ones hauling.

            What didn't go in a commercial van, we used to haul to the race track in one of those little tin two horse trailers pulled by other than a pickup or our standard cattle stocktrailer.
            That stock trailer is all we have used for years now, without any problem, other than a few raised eyebrows in some real fancy places, that are used to the big, fancy rigs, I guess.

            I wonder why so many here, having a choice, went to slants, unless they really are generally a bit better.
            All those I have seen have a 40/60 swinging door/tackroom in the back, the 40 the tack room, so you can open it wide if 60% is not enough for some horses.


            • #46
              Like someone else said: it's mostly personal preference or a very picky horse that dictates whether you go slant or straight.

              AND with sooooo many options available now from trailer builders, you can get what you want, how you want.

              I wanted straight load, but needed XXL/XXT for my drafties. Had to have a ramp. We did our research, asked a ton of questions and decided on an EquiBreeze by EquiSpirit. All the benefits of great design seen in the EquiSpirit, but in an open custom stock version that we could afford.

              Take your time deciding exactly what you want. You're investing a lot of money, so don't settle for 2nd best.
              <>< 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.


              • #47
                I dislike chest bars in straight loads. I would rather the horses have a solid structure down to the floor that they can go against in an emergency situation.
                That's one option I'd like to see. I don't want a manger--I like horses to be able to put their heads right down if they want to, and I like the space in front of them--but a partition in front of them other than a chest bar would be nice.
                Click here before you buy.


                • #48
                  Slant load trailers became popular because it is possible to get more horses in less space. So you could have a nice big living quarters and still haul several horses.

                  Head to Head trailers are longer. Ours has a 6' Dressing room/camper up front. Then 3, 8 foot sections for stalls and center aisle making 30' plus the gooseneck. In the same amount of footage you could probably have an 8 or 9 horse slant.

                  I've got a lot of miles under my belt hauling long distance and would never go back to a slant. In fact I had one of the first slants as we were trailer dealers in those days. We had average sized horses then, (under 16 hands) and they hated that trailer. We were hauling 8 to 12 hours to competitions and they got off the trailer tired, and sore.

                  IMO, the best way to haul is loose, in a box stall, and we do that whenever we can. But since we've had the Head to Head, the horses love it. We can get in to feed and water and check everyone out. Or unload which ever horse you need and leave everyone else on the trailer.

                  As an aside, I LOVE the 2 + 1s and would live to have one for short hauls.
                  Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts


                  • #49
                    I'm gonna take a contrary view, here.

                    I like slants precisely because they restrict a horse's motion. I'm a Gracefully Aging Retired Naval Aviator and I know from personal experience that loose objects in a confined space can be a Very Bad Thing. Hauling a horse loose in a box stall sounds great until you have to make a panic stop from a highway speeds because some moron in a MiniCooper decides to stop short so they won't hit a squirel. When you hit the brakes what does the loose horse do? If you're not sure, review Newton's First Law.

                    The slant load we have (a Featherlite 4H) "cradles" our horses (15h + Marchadors @ about 1050-1100 lbs./ea.) very nicely. They can brace against the wall or divider in the event of sudden movement. I've never had one step off a trailer sore, even after a 13 hr. run (the longest we've ever done).

                    Hauling to me about defines the phrase "necessary evil." I really don't like to do it. If I have to I want to ensure safety first and comfort second. IMO the slant load satisfies this standard right down to the ground.

                    As in all things, YMMV.

                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                    • #50
                      My mare hauls in either, but despite hauling in a 3 horse slant for 2 years she will not turn around and walk out. She also loads straight and stubbornly refuses to slant herself even if it means stuffing her head over the divider. She will pin her ears and plant her feet if you ask her to turn around even if the entire trailer is open, she'll back all the way out.

                      Other then being stubborn about how to get off a trailer she doesn't seem to mind either.


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                        Around here for hundreds of miles, at playdays, rodeos, horse shows, cuttings, all you see is stocks or slants, rarely a straight load of any kind, other than some really old trailer.
                        Because in TX, there are HEAPS of quarter horses and stock horses -- which generally are under 16 h. A slant load puts more horses in less space, which is why they built them in the first place.

                        Around HERE on the event scene, you will see predominantly straight loads and head-to-heads -- because the horses are bigger and longer.

                        So, once again, buy what suits you and your needs and your horses.
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                          Because in TX, there are HEAPS of quarter horses and stock horses -- which generally are under 16 h. A slant load puts more horses in less space, which is why they built them in the first place.

                          Around HERE on the event scene, you will see predominantly straight loads and head-to-heads -- because the horses are bigger and longer.

                          So, once again, buy what suits you and your needs and your horses.
                          You must not have been to many playdays, rodeos, barrel races or horse shows, because there are many rather large, very large horses there.
                          Granted, at cuttings, many are little.


                          • #53
                            That's one reason I teach mine to "Point and shoot" IOW self load. Also since I am usually alone it's safer
                            Yes, well, that's great if you've got the option. I seem to have had my share of older horses with bad loading experiences; one of mine had a terrible trailer accident before I got him (scars to prove it). I've owned him 9 years, and it takes 1 - 2 hours to load him, no matter what. My friend with years & years of natural horsemanship experience, who self loads all her horses, has helped me most of the time. We take our time, and eventually he goes in, but you have to lead him in, and you have to shut the door pretty quickly once he does go in. He will ride fine once he is in there, but he will not self load, ever. Just too much baggage in his brain.


                            • #54
                              I was a die-hard straight load girl for years and years. Then I ended up with a slant, but was terrified that I would not like it from a user-friendly and horse comfort perspective. Once I got used to it (quickly), I LOVED it, much more than my straight load....and the horses loaded and traveled much better. I recently had to downsize and went back to a straight load. The first time I loaded my horses on it they both kind of looked at me with a disgusted look like "what is THIS?" They were much much much happier with the slant and so was I. But the straight is functional and it is what we have now.

                              I think you really have to USE a slant to appreciate one, and also take into consideration that all slants are NOT created equal. My slant was a 4-Star, with plenty of room for big horses and loaded with user-friendly and safety features. My gelding particularly liked the slant because he loved looking out the window, and the ventilation in that trailer with the big drops was much better than in a traditional straight (he is a hot-natured draft cross). Like I said, I was a die-hard straight load girl most of my life, and no one was surprised more than I when I discovered that I like a slant much better.


                              • #55
                                I have one of each.

                                My slant load is set up as a reverse slant, the horses heads are facing backwards towards the passenger side. The trailer is also 8' tall and 8' wide with over size stalls. I have only had one horse that was totally confuzzled by the go in, turn to your right and scoot your haunches over maneuver. I also have Pro Cushion under the mats that absorbs vibration and provides extra cushion. Even on long hauls they come off the trailer happy and fresh.

                                My straight load is a TrailEt, one of the bigger ones that is 7'6" tall. I think it is wider than a standard two horse as well. I use it for short hauls and they all do great in it as well.
                                Kanoe Godby
                                See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


                                • #56
                                  Maybe I'm just too practical, LOL but a straight load can be 'loaned' out to DH and used for hauling stuff; lot more difficult with a slant load.

                                  But I agree with all the posts that say its really a personal choice. I have very large WB and they won't fit in a slant load comfortably!
                                  Pao Lin


                                  • #57
                                    My problem with a slant load, including the brand the OP was talking about, is getting one wide enough to have a long enough stall. Yes, as someone posted, an 8 foot wide trailer is certainly able to be configured for comfort for large horses, but I don't think the Avalanche is even close to 8 feet wide.

                                    I go through a lot of road construction up here in the summer, and an 8 foot wide trailer would be a p.i.t.a. I think...

                                    I am intrigued by the Avalanche as well, OP. I don't think it is even in the same class as a 4 Star, which several posters have mentioned loving. But, I sold a horse who was sometimes a tricky loader and he walked right on the buyer's Avalanche (it was a 2 horse without the rear tack and with a ramp). He was 16'2" and fit nicely in the trailer with the partition open, but I wouldn't have liked to try to close him in that first stall!!

                                    I like the closed side by the head option with the stock side at the rump (that the Avalanche has).

                                    My personal problem is weight. I need a very light trailer that will fit larger horses. I am probably stuck with a small stock, budget-wise.
                                    Last edited by TrotTrotPumpkn; May. 20, 2011, 02:07 PM. Reason: clarification
                                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by paohatch View Post
                                      Maybe I'm just too practical, LOL but a straight load can be 'loaned' out to DH and used for hauling stuff; lot more difficult with a slant load.
                                      Funny, I've always considered slants easier for this. In general, slants are more likely to have a removable divider and no center support. My slant can easily be used for hauling big, wide stuff, but not one of my friends' straights can be. (Yes, I realize some straight loads are like that, too, but in general, slants are created that way, not straights. Also, slants are usually wider.)
                                      "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                        I dislike chest bars in straight loads. I would rather the horses have a solid structure down to the floor that they can go against in an emergency situation.
                                        Actually, I dislike the partition down to the floor. It seems to make my horse claustrophibic. I think he likes being able to 'brace' if he needs to by spreading out his feet. I don't really know why he doesn't like it, TBH, I just know he likes his chest bar.


                                        • Original Poster

                                          Here's an update everyone:

                                          Found out my horse does not have a preference as to straight or slant(we went to a schooling outing with some barn friends in the big 6 horse slant) - but still dislikes ramps, she tries to jump over them mostly... So I found a great deal on a 2 horse Hawk straight load with tack room and no ramp and I am going to look at it tomorrow. I LOVE the Hawk trailers. I think they are great and everyone I know who owns one seems to really like it as well. It's really the exact trailer I've always wanted. A friend of mine has a Trail-Et which are pretty similar to Hawk and my horse really enjoyed trailering in it(but I honestly think my horse really doesn't care). So unless there is something wrong with it hopefully I will be coming home with a new(to me) trailer tomorrow- oh and then spending the afternoon watching some Cross County. I am very excited.