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Trailer shopping!

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  • Trailer shopping!

    So, having been a horse owner for a few years now I think the time has come to purchase my own trailer and stop hitchhiking with anyone who will let me Goals for it are short local trips to shows and trails, and to have on hand just in case we need to go to the vet school 30 minutes away. Budget is under $2k. Preferably closer to $1k if I can get something absolutely safe for that. Willing to do some work, but would prefer something ready to go.

    So far, that puts very very old 2 horse straight loads and stock trailers within my budget range. Anyone want to weigh in on pros or cons of straight versus stock? So far I have:

    Stocks: Cons: often not very tall, probably very cold in winter (when I wouldn't be going anywhere often), Pros: seem to be cheaper, more room for horse to move side to side to get comfortable.

    Straight: Cons - not sure, but read that horses are more comfortable not standing straight Pros: under manger tack storage in some

    Also, anyone have any ideas for places to look other than ebay, horseclicks, craigslist? There is a dealer in my state but 3 hours away.

    Thanks!
    "Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?" ~Deltawave

  • #2
    Horses are easier to load in a stock trailer, generally. I just sold my stock/combo for $2500, so you can probably find something reasonably close within your budget. Frame, floor, and tires would be the big priorities.

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    • #3
      www.horsetrailerworld.com

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      • #4
        It depends on what you are towing with, but as for straight vs. stock, there is little difference to me there. My horses prefer the dividers in the straight so they can lean on them for balance, but I still have stock sides b/c I am ventilation nazi. Horses just like to get in where there is light and air and space. The only warning would be to NOT get anything under 7' tall unless your horses will always be 14 hands. I learned that one the hard way, sold first trailer (a great 88 WW, just too short) to people with ponies.
        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

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        • #5
          OK, my opinions. NO manger in front trailers. I've seen too many horses panic and rear up, getting their legs stuck in the mangers....And there's no forward leg room with them. And they're hard to clean, AND they'll rust first on a steel trailer. AND the 'escape door' on those types is usually a half door....try to get out one fast and you'll see you don't want that.

          Straight loads are fine, but be sure it isn't a 'rattletrap'. I had an older Cotner 2H straight that was in need of.....help. My horse got progressively worse riding in it because I'm sure he thought it was going to disintegrate any time, due to the thinness an rattling-ness of it. I also think the back ramp, though closed, allowed for him to see far too much happening at the rear, meaning traffic, interstates type. That'd make me nervous, too.

          What area are you in?

          Make sure it's light colored inside, or be able to paint it with something like Rustoleum in white or gray (non gloss) after you get it. Good windows and ventilation. Bus windows aren't great ventilators, but if you have windows near the head that'll help.

          I'm betting you can find something, though it may not be fancy.
          "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.

          Comment


          • #6
            The one challenge with your stated budget is that it puts you at the mercy of much older trailers. That poses several issues that you'll need to be very careful about:

            1) Condition...rust, floor, brakes, tires, etc...everything safety related must be checked carefully to insure that remediation is possible and financially viable

            2) Size...a large percentage of trailers of older vintage don't fit today's horses very well and sometimes the very style of the trailer is confining and uncomfortable for the horse. Some don't even have proper escape doors. Be sure that any trailer you consider is sized appropriately for your horse(s) and will allow safe handling...by today's standards

            When I was trailer shopping, I did look at a few that were in the $1K-2500 range. most were rust-buckets; some were doable, but shorter in height than I would have preferred and would have required putting a bit of money into them to make them road-worthy and horse-safe. I then got lucky and found a 2004 vintage trailer in outstanding condition for $4K on Craig's List. It "sold" before I could respond, but that deal fell through and the seller recontacted me. So the moral to that story is take your time and find the right trailer for you...it's not just about money, but also suitability.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Melelio View Post
              OK, my opinions. NO manger in front trailers. I've seen too many horses panic and rear up, getting their legs stuck in the mangers....And there's no forward leg room with them. And they're hard to clean, AND they'll rust first on a steel trailer. AND the 'escape door' on those types is usually a half door....try to get out one fast and you'll see you don't want that.

              Straight loads are fine, but be sure it isn't a 'rattletrap'. I had an older Cotner 2H straight that was in need of.....help. My horse got progressively worse riding in it because I'm sure he thought it was going to disintegrate any time, due to the thinness an rattling-ness of it. I also think the back ramp, though closed, allowed for him to see far too much happening at the rear, meaning traffic, interstates type. That'd make me nervous, too.

              What area are you in?

              Make sure it's light colored inside, or be able to paint it with something like Rustoleum in white or gray (non gloss) after you get it. Good windows and ventilation. Bus windows aren't great ventilators, but if you have windows near the head that'll help.

              I'm betting you can find something, though it may not be fancy.
              I just sold my CM Saratoga (for $4500 to the first person who saw it)which had mangers. There was a FULL door between the mangers into the dressing room. I never had a problem with them.
              I wasn't always a Smurf
              Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
              "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
              The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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              • #8
                But carol, that kind of feature in a trailer is probably not going to be found in OP's budget....

                I'm sticking by my dislike of mangers.
                "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would avoid mangers too. I find horses don't like having to keep their heads in that confined space. I got a 1999 2H straight load Bison for $4500. Good condition, new tires, sufficiently tall, well-maintained and recently inspected. I agree with the above poster that you should up your budget a bit so you can find something safe. I looked and looked but ended up finding mine through my farrier, so you may want to put word out that way too.

                  Make sure your intended towing vehicle is appropriate for the trailer you get!!!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I have an old but good condition Chevy 1500. I live in Wisconsin, land of ice. I didn't know some horses don't like mangers, mine have been doing fine in one with mangers but perhaps they would be even better without.
                    "Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?" ~Deltawave

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                    • #11
                      I have a steel stock trailer with a divider diagonally across at the front so you can have a separate tack area, or leave it open for more room. 7ft 6 tall, and big enough for two horses + tack room. It was only 4k new, so definitely doable used. I prefer stock trailer because in the event of an accident (rapid deceleration) you are most likely to have the horse thrown forward, and the last thing you want is for them to be thrown forward onto their head and neck. Better to have their butt take the impact, so I like my guys to travel backwards - and that's what they all choose to do in the stock trailer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In your budget you are really going to have to be flexible and take your time looking at what's available in your area. Look at anything that might fit your need and budget and go from there. Think long and hard about things you've liked and disliked about trailers you've used in the past. Come up with a list of the must haves and go from there.

                        A few years back when we were looking for our first trailer the must haves were a ramp and it had to fit my big wb. Other than that we were quite flexible on the layout and features. After looking at a lot of trailers we ended up finding a late 90s model straightload that fit the bill. It had some rust but was overall in great shape and came in under budget at $1800. It has been a great trailer and worked prefectly for what we needed. My friend still has it and uses it regularly.

                        Since then I've upgraded and when I was looking this time my budget was a bit bigger and my must have list was more specific. For example the escape doors on the first trailer were those smaller half doors of which I am not a big fan. So one of my big things on this search was I wanted full sized escape doors and a dressing/walk-in tack room along with a ramp and being WB sized. I ended up buying and selling a few trailer before I settled on the right one but thankfully I found the right fit for me and my herd.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think escape doors are a priority. If you have a tricky loader and need to walk in with him, you need to be able to walk straight out without ducking under dividers and whatnot to get out. My trailer now is my dream trailer except that there is no front escape door, which is how I found myself climbing out the window at 5 months pregnant so I didn't interrupt learning to trailer load well (it worked). He trailers fine now, but I wish I had a door.
                          Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I grew up with 2 horse bumper pulls with mangers and the first two trailers I owned were exactly like that. However, I would never own another one again because horses can and do get their front feet up there and it's a pain in the butt to get them out. I've helped a friend get their 14.3 hand Morgan out of the manger of their tiny old straight load and I've helped a friend get her 15.2 hand quarter horse out of the manger of her fancy-pants, all aluminum, slant load Sundowner.

                            I even quit using the corner hay bags in my slant load trailer after my then yearling got one of his front legs in the hay bag. He didn't panic or freak out but it was back breaking for me to unclip the corner feeder with his weight in it. Grrrr. Now I use a hay net tied high.

                            OP, my advice is to save up money and get yourself into the $2000/$3000 price range for a trailer. In the $1500 and under you are going to be dealing with some very old trailers that have hard wear and tear on them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I found my trailer on a local equestrian website and only paid $2,000 for it. It took me a while to find what I wanted - I was looking multiple times a day in various places. I think I found it about 5 minutes after it was posted. You have to be quick since ones like this go VERY fast. And I looked at quite a few other trailers that were more expensive and total crap.

                              I've had to put a little bit of work in to it, but it was totally worth it. It's older but a very solid, quality trailer (Valley). Do you have anywhere local you can put up a "Trailer Wanted" ad? I did that as well and included my requirements and price range.

                              http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...82731912_n.jpg

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Update! I found a trailer! 7' tall 2 horse bumper pull, right at my optimum price ($1500) and BLUE to match the truck! It was originally the kind without a manger, but the guy who fixed it up put in half doors in front instead of the bars. I could reverse that easily if I wanted it. New reinforced floor, everything newly painted, new tires, good hitch, very little rust on the bottom. Only thing it needs is new padding inside and brakes hooked up, and new windows. I am so excited to bring it home tonight. Any ideas for DIY padding? I don't even know where to look for materials. I might just ask the trailer shop to do it.
                                "Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?" ~Deltawave

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