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Anyone actually using a reverse slant? Not just know someone who is?

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  • Anyone actually using a reverse slant? Not just know someone who is?

    I am looking at two horse trailers, and am somewhat enamored of the Turnbow reverse slant trailers. I am not a fan of standard slants, partly because of where they put you if you have the misfortune to be dealing with a difficult horse. I am a bit unclear on the exact mechanics of loading with the reverse, especially on which direction the dividers swing, and therefore whether you stay at the front of the horse or not. There are a lot more choices if I go with a straight load, but I do have a line on a used Turnbow reverse slant. This configuration results in a very large trailer, but also quite roomy.

    I have seen several posts by folks who have friends who use and love them, but I would like to hear from people who are actually using one.

    I had a trailer dealer trying to convince me today that reverse slants were a bad idea. Front end of horse lower than rear due to crowning of roads. But then again he has none of them to sell me, so I know which side his bread is jellied on!

  • #2
    does it have a side ramp for loading?
    mine is a hawk custom stock and it is designed to use as a reverse slant, though i never did buy the partitions for it.
    imo a side ramp would be necessary to load and a rear ramp to unload is the safest way to go.


    • #3
      I do.

      My trailer is 8' tall by 8' wide and the stalls are extra wide. I can open the dividers from the head or tail but just open them from the tail side since it is easier.

      My horses load fine in it. They are used to walking up the ramp farther to the left and just turn to the right and scoot their haunches over.

      Horses that have never loaded in one like this take a moment to realize they have to turn right and stand.

      I do have a side ramp nearer to the front of the trailer, but I am a carriage driver and my carriage and all my gear is in the front so it is blocked. I have never had a problem going in and out the back of the trailer with the horses.

      My trailer has living quarters in the front and has a straight wall as opposed to a slant wall which I like much better (and need) for my application.

      I can pull the dividers, put one divider straight across and configure a box stall as well.

      I do travel long distances and have never arrived with a sore or overly tired horse.
      Kanoe Godby
      See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


      • Original Poster

        Anyone actually using a reverse slant? Not just know someone who is?

        The trailer I am looking at does have a side ramp. I will have to enquire what the width is, though I expect it is under 8 feet. My mare should have no trouble turning around to shove her haunches in the corner if I load from the rear. She turns around in a non-extra-wide regular slant.

        The bulkhead wall is on a slant.


        • #5
          Just my .02....

          If your horse is a normal size the regular size/configuration should be fine. If she is bigger or longer you may need to have brackets adjusted for the dividers to make the stall bigger so she will have more room.

          The common complaint I hear with a regular slant load is that the stalls aren't long enough in a 7' wide trailer for a Warmblood size horse and then end up kind of squished in there.
          Kanoe Godby
          See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


          • #6
            My ex-BO had a regular slant and just put the horse in backwards. That particular horse preferred it. No special design needed for him.
            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


            • #7
              I have a Turnbow Trailer and LOVE my trailer. Turnbows are EXCELLENT trailers, so that is a huge plus. Mine is a 1994 model and going super strong.

              That said, I would check the LENGTH of the slant stalls. IMHO, all slant stalls are NOT long enough for really big hores. They dont' allow the neck to stretch OUT horizontally. If you look at a 16+ hand horse in slant stall, you often see his butt muffin-topped on one end, and his neck and head having NO ROOM to extend OUT and DOWN, on the other end.

              That said, I've always been curious about reverse slants and how horses prefer to haul. Are they more comfortable facing backwards?

              A friend of mine puts her old horse in her normal slant, facing backwards because he prefers it. REALLY prefers it.

              My trailer is a stock/slant combo and I removed the second divider so I have a HUGE HUGE stall for the biggest horse (our 17.2 hd Belgian) and we use the normal slant stall (it is extra wide, custom built that way, so it helps the length a LITTLE) for our small horse - 14.3 1/2 hands.

              Have fun trailer shopping! If I could afford it, I'd get a 2 + 1
              Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
              **Morgans Do It All**


              • #8
                I think it depends on the horse.

                My 16 h Appendix is long backed and does.not.fit in a normal slant stall unless I make him a sardine. He hates riding that way and given any space will wedge himself as close to straight as possible (my trailer is a straight load).

                My 16.2 h TB is short backed so he can fit in a slant, but still likes riding straight better.

                A must for me is the head and neck having room to move. But each person has to find what works best for their horse and for themselves.
                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CDE Driver View Post
                  Just my .02....

                  If your horse is a normal size the regular size/configuration should be fine. If she is bigger or longer you may need to have brackets adjusted for the dividers to make the stall bigger so she will have more room.

                  The common complaint I hear with a regular slant load is that the stalls aren't long enough in a 7' wide trailer for a Warmblood size horse and then end up kind of squished in there.
                  I had this problem w/ a mare that much prefers a slant. She will ride squished in, but as I only haul one horse, I tinkered with the divider latch so that it is more open. Works just fine.

                  OP may want to check to see if it is built over the wheels instead of inside them...Otherwise may be tight.
                  We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                  • #10
                    I literally just bought one yesterday. I had never heard of Turnbow before, but my trainer has one and it is simply the nicest trailer I've ever worked around. Horses load happily, ride quietly, and unload calmly - I have never seen a more 'horse friendly' trailer. My OTTB came with a healthy respect (read: FEAR!) for trailers and a tendency to sit back on the wall/butt bar and stomp his feet. He loaded in the Turnbow the first time like it was nothing, and has ridden 4 - 5 hours in it and walked off calm and happy.

                    Hers is a 3 horse "reverse slant" load. Mine is a 2 horse version. They are both "oversize" and we have loaded horses up to 18hh in hers with no trouble. I don't pick mine up for another week, so I can't say how large a horse has ridden in it yet!

                    Both of our trailers can be used either as reverse slants, or you can attach the divider the other way and make it a forward facing slant. I'm pretty sure that this is the standard design, but if you have questions I would suggest calling Turnbow and asking them. I've spent some time on the phone with them this week, and made the drive to visit in person yesterday, and I was thoroughly, completely impressed with everyone we spoke to. I've been trailer shopping for a few months and nothing I've seen so far (or in the last 20+ years of horse ownership) can quite compare.

                    Mr. Turnbow is lovely to speak with and extremely knowledgeable - they have been in business for 53 years. My trainer's trailer was a custom design (still the reverse slant load) that she had built 10 years ago, and it is still in GREAT condition with minimal maintenance. I tried to convince her to sell me hers and she wouldn't go for it, so I had to go buy a new one!