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Leaving Top of Back Doors on Trailer Open?

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  • #21
    My general vote is for a stock trailer but yes, I when I had a 2H I used to take the doors off for the summer- my horses rode quietly, were tied properly and the back door was almost 3/4 of the way up the back of the trailer. Very hard for a horse to escape I would say. It seems like everybody knows someone that knows someone who's horse jumped out the back, etc but I wonder how much of that is just urban legend.
    And the poster who made the comment about east and west of the Mississippi is spot on LOL!
    "Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
      If you are going on dusty roads be aware that the turbulence swirls up and over and your horse will end up with an inch of dust on his back and who knows what he would have been breathing.



      Nothing swirls in the back doors if you keep air flowing through the trailer from front to back, by keeping the windows up front open. My back doors are very rarely closed even in the winter. The horses benefit from fresh air even when they are blanketed. (It's not that cold here). There is less condensation also if you park the trailer with the doors open.
      ... _. ._ .._. .._

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      • #23
        Wow, I never even thought about people throwing things into the trailer! SICKOS!

        We open the (screened) front and side windows, AND the back doors, all the time, when it's hot. No problem at all.
        Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

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        • #24
          I leave the one on the right open. My horse rides on the left,and I close the one behind him.
          My trailer, an older Trailers USA two horse BP straight load w/ tack, has very poor air flow. There are windows in the front, in the tack area, and the wall is open about 2 ft on top. I suppose I could get more air flow if those windows were open, but then if it rains my tack will get wet. No good answer. Thinking of having vents installed in roof, but it's fiberglass, and i don't know if it can be done.....

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          • #25
            lorilu, I have a 2004 Trailers USA Minuteman and I don't see any reason why roof vents couldn't be installed. Whether only the front brow is fiberglass and the rest aluminum (like mine) or the whole roof fiberglass, a proper sized hole can be cut for the chosen vent (they are not large holes and will not compromise the roof structure), sealer applied and then appropriate fasteners used to secure the new vent(s).

            I don't have the tack area like yours and have a front window, windows in the escape doors and windows alongside of the stalls. I can appreciate how getting hot air out might be more difficult if you can't leverage that front window!

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            • #26
              I too, prefer stock trailers for this reason.

              I bought a new-to-me trailer that only has drop down windows at the head side, sliders at tail side and two sliders at the rear doors. I has 4 roof vents as well, over each stall......and with EVERYTHING OPENED UP, I still feel like the stock trailer was way "airy-er" and had more "air flow"

              This new trailer feels so much more "enclosed" But it had every other feature/spec that I needed and I love it. Just prefer stock trailers, still, to be honest.

              We get pretty danged hot out here in California, though.
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
              www.elainehickman.com
              **Morgans Do It All**

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center
                Wow, I have driven quite a bit on back dusty roads, and never saw any of that?!?!

                been MILES down dirt roads and seen no such thing. Ever. But what do I know.

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                • #28
                  If it is warm I keep them open, unless I'm hauling a fractious horse or a baby. With the former I weight the pros and cons of the temperature and the possibility of a wreck. If I have a baby loose in the trailer, ain't no way I'm leaving them open.
                  If your top doors are really heavy or hard to put on, perhaps you can have new ones fabricated?
                  As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Must depend on the trailer - because it sure happened to my horse in my old trailer.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      It depends on what I am hauling...with a good shipper I will occasionally leave the back doors open, however i have a tall ramp. I also have a five foot wide side ramp and sometimes I will close the back doors and leave the side ramp top door open. Obviously if I'm converting my trailer to two box stalls and using both I close all the top doors!

                      I believe it was last year that someone threw a lit ciggarette into a horse van (tractor trailer) and the haynets caught on fire. Horrific scene and made me realize that anything can happen, my thought now is to close all top doors while on the highway.

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                      • #31
                        ^^^ Okay, these stories of folks throwing things into horse trailers make me SICK!!! A lit cigarette catching the haynets on fire? Firecrackers exploding? Beer bottles? ARGH- who are these maniacs???

                        Poor poor horses.....
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                        www.elainehickman.com
                        **Morgans Do It All**

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by lorilu View Post
                          I leave the one on the right open. My horse rides on the left,and I close the one behind him.
                          My trailer, an older Trailers USA two horse BP straight load w/ tack, has very poor air flow. There are windows in the front, in the tack area, and the wall is open about 2 ft on top. I suppose I could get more air flow if those windows were open, but then if it rains my tack will get wet. No good answer. Thinking of having vents installed in roof, but it's fiberglass, and i don't know if it can be done.....
                          My hawk has a fiberglass (reinforced) roof and no problem with vents on it

                          Also I put full doors on the back of my trailer when I was designing it and a small ramp over that...so I guess I don't have to worry about the top of the back doors open! I wanted the back to be as sturdy as possible in case of being rear ended. I did add extra windows down the side so more airflow through there, and I put a fan in the trailer.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Fancy That View Post
                            ^^^ Okay, these stories of folks throwing things into horse trailers make me SICK!!! A lit cigarette catching the haynets on fire? Firecrackers exploding? Beer bottles? ARGH- who are these maniacs???

                            Poor poor horses.....
                            Unfortunately normal looking people. Seems we grow more and more of that kind each year.
                            You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

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                            • #34
                              Are there vents on your trailer's roof? Mine has a vent over each horse. Open them to the front to get great direct air flow during travel; open to the back for good, low-key airflow during the winter (if yours opens both ways; many do). Good luck!
                              Green Bean Farm

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                              • #35
                                I never trailer my horses with the back doors open. I'm too worried about debris, rocks, etc. that might get kicked up and bang a horse. What really freaks me out is when people trailer their horses with the drop down windows dropped and their heads hanging out. Didn't your mother ever teach you to keep your body inside the vehicle!?

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                                • #36
                                  OP- When I hauled a two horse tag-a-long, and I hauled many interstate miles in it BTW, I had no top doors. I always thought that those who had doors and traveled with them shut were strange. Even now I wonder what they're thinking on a warm day.
                                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                                  • #37
                                    Wow, there sure are some interesting "theories" about horse trailers.

                                    I am a ventilation nazi -- AIRFLOW AIRFLOW AIRFLOW. I get positively ill when I see a trailer go by with everything shut up tight except for one sliding bus window (hate those things). I think people too often think about what makes THEM comfortable and not what makes the horse comfortable.

                                    Horses do not melt in the rain. Horses generate a LOT of body heat in confined spaces. Horses do not blow away in wind. Horses like to SEE their surroundings.

                                    Yes, you guessed it, my trailer has stock sides. I would have no issues hauling a horse without the top doors -- but I know both of my horses haul safely and have many road miles. He always wears a fly mask to protect his eyes from blowing hay bits and debris and perhaps a light sheet in the winter if it's particularly cold and biting out. He always arrives alert, cool, dry, and calm.

                                    People do horrible things, there is no predicting that. I did have someone throw an orange drink on my horse on the road one time (wtf?). However, people bent on doing malice will do so and I will not make my horse ride in an oven box because of that.
                                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

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                                    • #38
                                      We were transporting a couple of steer. People were honking and flashing their lights - we stopped, looked and the darned thing was hanging out the back with his feet out. Afraid to say it, but hubby started up, then jammed on brakes and the steer fell back in. That was years ago and we still laugh at our greenness. There was cow sh*t everywhere. That was in the days when not many people had trailers.
                                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                                      • #39
                                        I grew up in NJ horse country when there was still a lot of country- and I used to love following horse trailers and looking at the colors of the rumps of the big horses in the little two horse trailers- I really loved it when their tail fell to the outside.

                                        I actually experienced the mishap with a horse (POA) who reared up- broke her trailer tie snap- fell over backwards- scrambled on the floor under the divider for a terrifying minute and then popped her face up looking out the back of the trailer- seemingly quite proud of herself. This didn't happen going down the road- but at unloading time. I made the mistake of unloading her brother first and when he "left" (all of 10 feet) without her, she spazzed.

                                        I just saw this vid this AM... egad.
                                        https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=223571357692445

                                        I would still say- doors open- or maybe see if you can have grills fabricated which would serve as summer doors.

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                                        • #40
                                          I wanted to re-visit this thread as my "hauling with open back doors" is what I do with trailers that do not have short ramps, or are not too small for the horse. That said, I really don't think top doors are strong enough to hold a horse in trailer.

                                          Neither is the ramp, for that matter.

                                          I threw a fit when a "professional hauler" was picking up horses here to take them to Montana. He had taken the butt bars off his trailer. I made him find them and reinstall.

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