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Slant load trailers and big horses

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  • Slant load trailers and big horses

    Ive only owned 2 h BP trailers so far. I've been looking for a lightly used GN 2-3 horse trailer. A friend told me 7'6 width is a must for bigger horses. Its like finding the holy grail..... everything seems to be 7' wide.

    For big bodied horses averaging 16.2-17h, is the extra 6" in width absolutely necessary?

  • #2
    I am not a fan of slant load trailers for large or long bodied horses. There simply is not enough room for the horse to stand comfortably with its head and neck in a normal position. When the manufacturers of slant trailers give the stall size, they usually measure from front corner to the opposite back corner to give the longest possible dimension. But the horse does not stand that way - their head is facing the window with their butt against the back wall. Measure your horse from the tip of his nose to his tail (when he is standing in a normal relaxed position) and compare this to the actual stall space in the trailer. Once, when I was in a real pinch, I hired a friend with a slant to transport 2 of my 4 horses on an 8 hour trip. My 16.1 mare arrived in terrible shape, having rubbed all the hair off her butt and practically staggered down the ramp when unloaded. On the return trip, I put her in my 2 horse TB size straight load and she arrived home just fine. So if you are determined to get a slant, please do find one with extra width (I think they even make some that are 8 feet wide) - your horseys will thank you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree with Cdalt --we have BIG Thoroughbreds and a BIG Percheron. I have a 3 horse slant. While we CAN mash the big horses into a slant load, muscle soreness is a problem if the haul is more than brief. However, I hunt a 15 hh quarter horse who has no problem fitting in the slant load. What we do is put the small horse in the first slant, then just leave the back part of the trailer "unslanted" for the bigger horse. Works for us. It is rare that I have to take two big horses any place together, but when I do, we just mash them in there. Not ideal, but it does work. I must say that at every event I've been to --when people are using slants, they bring the big Thoroughbreds out of them just fine. One fellow says that a "tight fit" is preferred as the horse is more stable.

      But honestly, I think my horses were all more comfortable in the two horse straight load. The three is better for showing as we have more room to haul hay and stuff, but for horse comfort, I think I preferred the straight load.

      But as I said, my QH is happy --

      Foxglove

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by cdalt View Post
        Measure your horse from the tip of his nose to his tail (when he is standing in a normal relaxed position) and compare this to the actual stall space in the trailer.
        And factor in hanging a hay bag/net...

        I have a 2h GN slant, and stocky 15.1h horses. In order to have room for the hay bags, the horses are reasonably tight in there already... can't imagine having bigger horses without going to an 8' width or warmblood sized stalls. Not just overheight, but wider stalls. Trails west does warmblood size -- stalls are longer and wider.

        Comment


        • #5
          I got a good deal on a 2H GN slantload but wish I'd kept shopping.
          Like you, I had a 2H BP straightload before this.

          The only way I like to load my 17h+ WB is when I haul him alone.
          Then I just tie back the partition and he has almost the whole trailer to himself.
          If I need to take both, the 2nd is a 13h pony and he fits just dandy in the first slot, but then Big Guy is pretty tightly wedged in #2.

          If the back tack was collapsible it would help, but unfortunately it is not in this trailer.
          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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          • #6
            I have an older slantload that accomodates my two larger horses* adequately because the "stalls" are ajustable in length. I thought all slants were that way, but maybe not. My wheel wells are on the outside of the compartment, which may make a diffence. The newer trailers that I've seen have the wheel wells inside the compartment, so the nominal space could be nearly 8 ft, but the horses who are riding in the same slot as the wheel well, better be short backed.

            Although my trailer is a 3-horse, the back slot is smaller in width, so it's really a 2 horse and a pony.

            What puzzles me is that all the trailers I've seen have the horses facing toward the left. Why is that?

            *A warm blood and a draft cross, both over 16 hh, blanket sizes 78 and 80.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a warmblood sized three horse slant. I NEVER use it as a three horse. Years ago I took out the front partition so I now have a nice roomy two horse. Both partitions are now double sized, since the rear slot was already huge.
              Slants are horrible for larger horses.

              Also, since the slots are HUGE, the horses can position themselves with lots of leeway. They all tend to scootch left, to be more perendicular to the line of travel, except one mare who stands at an angle.
              Last edited by arlosmine; May. 14, 2015, 10:34 AM.

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              • #8
                When I hauled big horses in a slant, I tossed the hay on the floor and left the horses untied. They were too tight to turn around and then there is no hay net to get a hoof hung in, which I think is a real safety hazard in a slant load. I kept the halters on and kept the lead ropes on the passenger seat beside me where I could grab them in a flash in case of emergency. It worked very well and the lack of net gives the horses more room.

                I started doing this after a horse caught a foot in a net and fell underneath 3 other horses in the loaded 4 horse. Never again!

                If you have something like a pony or something that is green and might try turning around you might need to tie it. At some point they become seasoned campaigners and know their jobs, that's when they graduate to this system.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cdalt View Post
                  I am not a fan of slant load trailers for large or long bodied horses. There simply is not enough room for the horse to stand comfortably with its head and neck in a normal position. When the manufacturers of slant trailers give the stall size, they usually measure from front corner to the opposite back corner to give the longest possible dimension. But the horse does not stand that way - their head is facing the window with their butt against the back wall. Measure your horse from the tip of his nose to his tail (when he is standing in a normal relaxed position) and compare this to the actual stall space in the trailer. Once, when I was in a real pinch, I hired a friend with a slant to transport 2 of my 4 horses on an 8 hour trip. My 16.1 mare arrived in terrible shape, having rubbed all the hair off her butt and practically staggered down the ramp when unloaded. On the return trip, I put her in my 2 horse TB size straight load and she arrived home just fine. So if you are determined to get a slant, please do find one with extra width (I think they even make some that are 8 feet wide) - your horseys will thank you.
                  Agreed -- but I am also not a fan of slants in general because of the torsion they put on the horse's limbs.. it's a lot harder to stay balanced when you are diagonal to momentum than it is when you are parallel in either direction. Fine for very short trips but I would never want to haul a horse any significant distance in a slant.
                  AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We would never haul the boys in a slant load, they are just too big. I don't want them stuffed into a space, not able to move during travel. Even just a little extra room, lets horse move and change the muscles he is using for balance. Horses are NOT shaped like a slanted stall trailer, so all pressure in leaning, is on the left side, right rear butt cheek, since no other parts are touching stall sides.

                    Our horses stand 17H, with 7ft bodies and 3ft of head and neck in front. Weigh in about 1400 pounds or a bit more, deep bodied. They flat out take up a LOT OF ROOM.

                    All the horse trailers we use have straight stalls. Some ride backwards, some forwards, but the horses come out of the trailers in good shape, even on very long trips.

                    No way I would haul them in a slant load, they don't deserve that kind of poor ride.

                    You might want to "try on" a trailer, before purchase. Especially since the inches sound larger than they allow horse to stand well inside of. Husband offered to buy a new slant load once, so I took the old mare over to shop. She loaded, but even a double stall was hard to close, crammed in there like a banana in it's skin! No way I would have hauled her in that trailer! She wasn't even quite as big as the boys we have now, her sons.

                    Husband the Farrier sees other issues on horses hauled a lot in slant loads, with right front being the most problem place. Horse uses that hoof ALL the time while riding in a slant, to hold himself still, brace for corners, stops, never lets it rest. Hoof and leg is often very overworked during travel, long trips, being hauled often. Something to consider, on the minus side of slant load trailers.

                    Warmblood is a generic term, covers a lot of sizes of horses. You tend to THINK it is a bigger size, but often is not really much bigger. 16H to 17.2H horse can mean a LOT bigger animal in his size needs for trailering.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have posted this before....and will again for those interested in a slant load trailer for the big horses. And I mean the 17.hh and taller warmblood horses.

                      An wide 8 foot slant trailer that has slant stalls that has been "designed" for the wider, taller and longer warmblood or draft horse WILL in fact accommodate the larger horses quite nicely. Certainly not the QH slant trailer models of the past.......obviously. And I would highly recommend the 8 foot width, nothing smaller. But if you go with a good manufacturer that offers the larger slant stalls any riding horse will be comfortable....with room to spare. Lots of head and neck room, lots of room to shift positions if the horses choose to do so (as with a regular straight load). I love the slant stalls. My horses love the slant stalls.....they are safer for both myself and my horses. And in my opinion much more comfortable for the horse during travel....which is my primary concern anyway. There is a reason they are becoming increasingly popular. They used to be the standard at the Western shows but I see a ton of them now at our English A hunter/jumper venues here in Southern Ontario. Big fancy rigs too

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks all.

                        I actually prefer a straight load but in the 2hGN, the slant seems to be the most popular when I'm looking at slighty used ones. The straight load 2hGN's I've found also seem to run higher in price than the slant.

                        Ordering new is obviously more money and time. Still looking for the "holy grail", but a few years old

                        A 2hGN with tack storage and a 4ft weekender would be ideal Probably never use the weekend part but it would be cool to have I think.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am not a fan of slant loads for bigger horses (not a fan of slants at all). I have bigger horses and a slant load made for bigger horses, and I don't even think it's all that great for them.

                          I think the one thing you can look at, besides width, is how angled the slant stalls are. My trailer was custom for the previous owner, who ordered a 4 horse size made with 3 slant stalls. The wall dividing the tack room from horse compartment is angled more than most, and the stalls are wider and longer due to the way it's configured. I can haul a big long 17 hand warmblood I ride, and he rides well in it, although even then he seems to be crowded around his back end and hips. This trailer is 7'4" wide.

                          I have another trailer that was custom built and is 8' wide. It's basically fine to haul but it always feels very wide and I only haul it with a dually due to that. I am not crazy about it because it just feels huge for running around town.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hermein View Post

                            What puzzles me is that all the trailers I've seen have the horses facing toward the left. Why is that?
                            Perhaps because it's customary to handle horses from the left, which keeps the handler towards the back/open doors of the trailer?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had a <7' wide (can't remember what it was, but something in the 6'10" range) 3H slant bumper pull that I hauled my horses with for 12 or 13 years. Most of my horses are in the 17h range, though I guess for a lot of that time I was hauling 2 giant ones (17.1h and the other a bit bigger) and one smaller horse (15.1-15.3h). I found that I had plenty of room for 2 big horses, but my last horse would get crammed into the last spot if all of the horses were big. As someone else mentioned, my trailer also had adjustable length gates which allowed me to make the stalls a bit longer by adjusting the slant angle.

                              Last year was the first time I was hauling 3 17+h horses routinely and I became a bit more disenchanted with my trailer. This year I bought a 4H Featherlite that's 7'6" wide and I love all the room! Though much of the room comes from the design of the Featherlite versus my little semi-stock BP model (MorganBuilt). It's just plain made to hold big horses with wider and longer stalls.

                              But with that being said, I hauled my horses all over the place (3 - 10 hours from home) for a loong time with that little BP and my horses were none the worse for the wear. I never had a horse that fit in that trailer step off of the trailer sore or stiff and all rode in the trailer well. The only issue I ever had was when I had to cram a bigger horse in the last stall - I hauled that way to a clinic once and my young mare did come off stiff and sore (which is what started the search for a bigger trailer).

                              I'll be curious to see how my guys fare in my big trailer now. I've always suspected that being held snug-ly between the two gates is a positive as the horse isn't having to actively try to balance the whole ride. I hope that now that my guys have boatloads of room they don't start suddenly sprouting RF foot/leg issues!
                              __________________________________
                              Flying F Sport Horses
                              Horses in the NW

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Our previous trailer was a 4 Star 3H slant that was designed for large horses. Pretty much a 4H trailer made with wider stalls set on less of an angle so they are longer also. It also had a beefed up floor. It was a great trailer until we got our super huge 2+1.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Hermein View Post
                                  I
                                  What puzzles me is that all the trailers I've seen have the horses facing toward the left. Why is that?
                                  .
                                  I have a 3H Hawk slant - I took the front divider out for my 17.1 gelding. My 16 hd filly does fine in the rear slant.

                                  Guess what? I have the unusual "right" hand slant - the horses face the passanger side instead of the driver's side. Not sure why the original owners of the trailer ordered it that way. It did come in handy when I had to pull over on the side of the freeway for a minor mechanical - they could put their heads out while I was stopped.

                                  My next trailer I would like to have the 2+1 model: 2 straight loads with the possibility of a front box. A side unloading ramp would rock also!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I know competitors who use slants for their 17+ warmbloods. They are custom 8' wide trailers designed for huge horses. They travel quite far regularly for training and to shows on the H/J circuit. I have never heard of any hoof issues, definitely not saying it isn't possible.
                                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I think slant loads are nice for people and straight loads are nice for horses. Slant loads are convenient to load in by yourself and you can fit more horses in a shorter trailer.

                                      I do think it's easier for a horse to brace himself in stops and starts using his chest and bum rather than his right front and left hind and that most bigger horses are at a disadvantage in a slant. Ultimately though, I can't imagine most horses spend enough time being hauled for it to make that much of a difference. Personally, I would never buy a slant.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The horse prefers to face the rear when hauled loose. Which means that's the way they feel best. So I prefer that method when possible. Open stock trailer is what I have and will be my choice when I get a new one.

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