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Straight load vs slant load trailer

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  • Straight load vs slant load trailer

    I know the general differences between a straight and slant load trailer, but is one safer than the other? I am thinking of buying one next year and a friend of mine told me to get a slant, but I never did get a reason why. I would be mostly hauling one thoroughbred mare.

  • #2
    Safer? No. Well, I guess technically if we are looking at it from a horrible accident stand point, then I would want to go with a straightload. But that's just how my gut goes, I don't have any research to back it.

    All I can say is, if your horse has never been in a slantload before, I would borrow a trailer and take him for a haul in it. My guy is a dream to load and haul, self loads and unloads. Always very calm and collected. He has been in a slant load (same one) twice (with an excellent driver) and came off visibly nervous each time. Not panicked, not soaked in sweat, but it was clear that he didn't like the ride for whatever reason.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      The only reason that I could imagine is that a straight load trailer could tip over easier hualing one horse?? I have never pulled a horse trailer, so I am guessing.

      Comment


      • #4
        You could put your horse in a stock trailer, drive behind and see how she likes to stand. I learned that my horse prefers to stand at an angle most of the time as she would in a slant load. I currently have a straight load but hope to get a slant load next. Just be sure it is big enough for your horse to be comfortable. A great book on trailers is The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer by Neva Scheve. Best of luck to you!

        Comment


        • #5
          I have had both and there are pros and cons to each.

          One thing I liked about the straight load is they had LOTS of room in front of the chest bar so they could stretch their neck down, etc.

          My slant load does NOT have a rear tack compartment so the back stall is VERY roomy. And the trailer is perfect for hauling a mare and foal - just hook the divider to the wall (mine is a full divider that goes to the floor and it lays flush against the wall) and you have a big stock trailer for mama and baby. That is MUCH easier than having to take the divider out of a straight load and worrying about baby getting under chest bar, etc.

          Some of my horses also like being able to turn around and walk out in the slant load (instead of backing out.)

          I would suggest 2 things - do NOT get mangers if you get a straight load and do NOT get a rear tack if you get a slant load. But, I'm sure some people LOVE their mangers and LOVE their rear tack. I personally would never buy a trailer with either of those things.

          Comment


          • #6
            Inca, why no mangers in a straight load? We're thinking about buying our first trailer and am looking for any and all information i can find. Thanks!

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by inca View Post
              I would suggest 2 things - do NOT get mangers if you get a straight load and do NOT get a rear tack if you get a slant load. But, I'm sure some people LOVE their mangers and LOVE their rear tack. I personally would never buy a trailer with either of those things.
              I am curious as to why. It seems easier to find a used straight load for sale where I am.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Koniucha View Post
                The only reason that I could imagine is that a straight load trailer could tip over easier hualing one horse?? I have never pulled a horse trailer, so I am guessing.
                No, silly. Neither style trailer will be tipping over anytime soon unless you're a blooming idiot. Or, I guess, hauling with a VERY improper vehicle.

                Originally posted by Carolinadreamin' View Post
                Inca, why no mangers in a straight load? We're thinking about buying our first trailer and am looking for any and all information i can find. Thanks!
                The day you see a horse that has somehow mashed itself into the manger (and although the one I saw somehow made it out alive and unbroken, many are not as lucky) you'll know why mangers are a terrible idea. From a slightly less dramatic standpoint, they don't allow the horse to put their heads down and cough.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by inca View Post
                  I would suggest 2 things - do NOT get mangers if you get a straight load and do NOT get a rear tack if you get a slant load. But, I'm sure some people LOVE their mangers and LOVE their rear tack. I personally would never buy a trailer with either of those things.
                  I agree wholeheartedly.

                  Mangers are dangerous - I've had to pull over numerous times and extract a restless horse from a manger. NOT fun. I got rid of that trailer ASAP.

                  Rear tack means harder loading and/or unloading for some horses who won't go through the narrow space left when the tack area is in use, or having to unload everything so you can compress the tack area and get horses in/out. My slant had a full size front tack room and I loved it. It gave me a nice big rear stall which was great for the bigger horses or the claustrophobic ones.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Koniucha View Post
                    I know the general differences between a straight and slant load trailer, but is one safer than the other? I am thinking of buying one next year and a friend of mine told me to get a slant, but I never did get a reason why. I would be mostly hauling one thoroughbred mare.
                    Each method of loading has its own pros and cons. At the end of the day it's a "dealer's choice" question.

                    There are several threads on this subject in the archives, I'm sure. Do some research and then ask any questions that have not already been covered.

                    G.
                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                    • #11
                      In short, no, neither one is generally safer than the other. It is mostly personal/horse preference.
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've had both. I prefer a slant load, but I don't have big horses. If you're hauling horses over 16 hh I think a straight load is roomier. But I've never had a horse even hesitate to get in my slant load, and have had horses fight about the straight...but then, it had a ramp, and sometimes those can scare a horse who's never walked up one.

                        It depends on what they're used to, I guess, but I think they can be taught to accept both.

                        I agree on the rear tack, by the way. I don't like them, have never used the one on my current trailer but keep it folded back and flat. To me it defeats the purpose of a big, open, inviting slant load trailer. And I get claustrophobic going in that smaller space. I send my horses in to load, I don't go in with them. Just my preference.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          RCMP did a study using heart rate monitors and vitals, and whatever, and found that horses prefer to travel facing backwards
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                          • #14
                            Practically every trailer around here is a stock trailer or slant.
                            You rarely any more see straight loads.

                            That may be why you may see more used straight loads around, as those that have them trade to slants?

                            It may be a regional thing, I don't think there is that much difference, once a horse is used to either kind of trailer.

                            I know that the old type of two horse straight trailers were a bit harder to get some horses loaded into, that would just hop in our stock trailer without a second thought.
                            That hesitation was overcome after a few times of hauling in those.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My first choice is an open box stall (eg. a stock trailer). If not, a straight load is the best 2nd choice.

                              When I haul my horses loose, they find an angle that feels most comfortable. It's usually facing straight backwards. I never see them standing on the sharp angle that slant trailers for horses to stand.

                              As someone who hauls drafts & draft crosses, I've also found that slant loads have deceptively small slots for horses. Most of the slants I've seen have that dumb little tack closet in the left rear door, meaning you have to load your horse through the narrow space on the right door only. Some horses see that narrow opening and balk. So if you absolutely must but a slant, go for one with no tack box in back.

                              Another user posted the problem with trailers that have mangers: they prevent the horse from lowering his head much. I agree with the idea that for long hauls the horse does better if he can lower his head from time to time. I've also noticed most people using slant loads and even some straight loads will tie their horse's head up short for hauling. In other words, he won't be able to lower his head down anyway. So maybe the spin-off topic is to discuss if horses must be tied (or at least how short they should be tied)?
                              Veterinarians for Equine Welfare

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                As Tiffani B said, mangers can be very dangerous if a horse gets a foot (or both) up on them. Plus they take away one of the advantages of a straight load - allowing the horse to stretch their neck down.

                                And as stated, the rear tack in a slant load can make loading/unloading difficult with a young horse or a claustrophobic one. Without the rear tack, you have a VERY roomy back stall that almost any size horse will fit in very comfortable. My 17hh, 1,400 pound mare can TURN AROUND in my rear stall. She won't load in the front stall but self loads into the rear stall.

                                I have more than enough room in my dressing room for everything I need so there is no reason to get a rear tack compartment.

                                I LOVE my trailer - 4 Star 2 horse gooseneck slant load with dressing room. It is 10 years old and after its annual acid washing, it looks brand new.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Bluey, yep, that's a regional thing -- I noticed the same thing when I lived in TX and I think it's that stock horse type stuff was more common down there (smaller horses). Here, the straight load or head to head prevails in eventing community, by a large majority -- the larger horses just fit better in them.
                                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My trailer is a stock combo, which means it WAS a two horse straight in the front, and stock/open area in the back. I took out the dividers in the front, after one horse fell and ended up under the other, and we had to cut the butt bars and divider support to get them out. I think a divider between horses that is only at (human) waist level is more dangerous than no divider. I won't use another divider unless it comes down low enough to prevent a horse from getting under it.

                                    I have mangers, and I have never (knock wood) had an issue, even hauling rescue horses, but I can certainly see how it could happen.

                                    I think stock trailer is the best choice. There is nothing to get hurt on, they can stand however they prefer to stand, and most horses load more willingly on an open trailer.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      A friend had an issue with a 6 horse slant load. On a full trailer trip ...The horse that was loaded farthest forward (toward the front) got himself in trouble and had slid under the stall bar and got stuck. Luckily all this was easily and quickly seen on the trailer cam. But since the trailer was designed that you have to load/unload ea horse in order, every horse behind the one in trouble had to be taken off first before having the opportunity to get to the horse in trouble and open up the space to get that horse back up. Luckily no lasting damage was done to the horse... but that kind of delay could have been serious.

                                      Not all slant loads are designed like this. You can get direct loads. But the design and how you would be able to handle emergency situations should be a consideration when choosing a trailer.
                                      It's a lot like nuts and bolts - if the rider's nuts, the horse bolts! ~Nicholas Evans

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by katyb View Post
                                        I think a divider between horses that is only at (human) waist level is more dangerous than no divider. I won't use another divider unless it comes down low enough to prevent a horse from getting under it.
                                        Agree - that is why I got a full-to-floor divider in my trailer. Costs a little extra but worth it in my opinion. That is the great thing about 4Star trailers. You can order them EXACTLY the way you want them. Don't have to compromise on anything.

                                        Comment

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