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buying 2 horse trailer-questions

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  • buying 2 horse trailer-questions

    I would like to buy a 2 horse trailer in the near future. Please tell me your experiences and preferences with ramp vs step up. Straight load vs slant load. Aluminum vs steel. etc. Thank you.

  • #2
    I prefer a ramp, as I've seen many a skinned shin from scraping it stepping out. It does take training with a ramp, teaching them to back out themselves when you tug on their tail, and being ok with the slight give of the ramp when they step on it.

    I prefer a straight load to a slant for a two horse, but that's because I have really big horses (17.2hh and up draft crosses or warmbloods) and they tend to not fit in one stall. Plus, if you haul long distances, their left hind leg can get very tired and sore.

    My favorite trailer is aluminum skin over steel frame. Steel is heavier, which can be nice as it tend to pull straighter and have less sway when the horses move/shift. But the aluminum skin is nice as it stays looking nice, no/little rust factor!

    I also HIGHLY recommend a gooseneck over a bumper pull if you can get it. It takes a bit more to learn how to drive it, but totally worth it! Far less bounce for your horse!!
    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

    Comment


    • #3
      ditto the above all around. Also had to trailer more than one injured horse who would have had a hard time getting off a step, much easier with the ramp.
      The big man -- my lost prince

      The little brother, now my main man

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm another ramp person along with aluminum over steel frame. I love my Adams 2 +1.
        Epona Farm
        Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

        Join us on Facebook

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        • #5
          I've had both and prefer the ramp along with straight load.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fizzyfuzzybuzzy View Post
            I prefer a ramp, as I've seen many a skinned shin from scraping it stepping out. It does take training with a ramp, teaching them to back out themselves when you tug on their tail, and being ok with the slight give of the ramp when they step on it.

            I prefer a straight load to a slant for a two horse, but that's because I have really big horses (17.2hh and up draft crosses or warmbloods) and they tend to not fit in one stall. Plus, if you haul long distances, their left hind leg can get very tired and sore.

            My favorite trailer is aluminum skin over steel frame. Steel is heavier, which can be nice as it tend to pull straighter and have less sway when the horses move/shift. But the aluminum skin is nice as it stays looking nice, no/little rust factor!

            I also HIGHLY recommend a gooseneck over a bumper pull if you can get it. It takes a bit more to learn how to drive it, but totally worth it! Far less bounce for your horse!!
            Total ditto.

            It's why I ordered an EquiBreeze from the fine folks at EquiSpirit. Ramp, straight load, 7' 8" high and 6' 8" wide. Plenty of room for my drafties.

            Can't STAND slants..... if you have to get #1 horse off, you have to offload #2.

            Can't STAND step-ups... I've seen horses go under. Not pretty.
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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            • #7
              Absolutely agree with everything above.
              Lilykoi


              Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare

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              • #8
                I'll be the lone voice of dissent--I prefer a step up.

                My 2H GN straight load step up is awesome. I'm not sure if it's Al skin over steel, or all Al, though.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I prefer a step up. I also prefer a slant, I do not care to make a horse back out of a trailer.......ramp or not. Of course slants are sometimes not practical for larger horses. There is really no difference safety wise, we all know horses whove gone under step ups and off the side of ramps. Personally I have no use for the extra cost, maint, weight, hassel of a ramp.

                  We are always joking with some of our friends; they rider large H/J type horses, we rider smaller QH types. Their tall horses are the ones who need the ramps to get in the trailers
                  Disclaimer;
                  Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
                  Not in the 42% or the 96%

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I prefer a straight load w/ a ramp. We used to have a six-horse step up, and it was very challening for some of the ponies to back off the trailer. Since, we've always had a ramp, and I've never had any issues training young horses to back down it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I prefer a straight load with ramp, aluminum over steel. Unfortunately, I have a slant load, step up. If I have to take one of the big WB's to the clinic, I have to pull a divider out as they do not fit into the average slant load's stalls. The step up is difficult for some of our older horses or those with certain health issues. Ever try and get a horse with bi-lateral stringhalt in a step up? Not a fun time.....
                      Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
                      http://www.horseretirementfarm.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        say NO to ramps!

                        I'm with ya Simkie!
                        I HATE my ramp
                        Weighs probably a metric ton and is just one more friggin' thing to maintain (gotta keep the hinges clean & oiled).

                        I've seen horses (my own) go under a stepup & I agree it is scary.
                        But I would still take a step any day over a ramp.

                        Notice that horses will tend to lower their heads when stepping into a trailer, where they will almost always raise them going up a ramp.

                        They then konk themselves, scramble down the ramp, repeat ad nauseum...

                        As for the rest, I'd take:
                        -Aluminum over steel - for weight & durability
                        -Straight over slant - for ease loading
                        -Dressing room over manger - for more & better storage
                        *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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                        • #13
                          Straight Load.. w/ramp

                          I REALLY like the straight load with the ramp. The ramp is spring-loaded, it's not heavy at all. And once horses are used to it (that's the disclaimer right there!! USED TO IT) they are calm and relaxed going in and out (My horse hated 'feeling around' for the step off and would continually try and rush out of the trailer if i wasn't paying attention... with the ramp, he's much more confident and we have no more rushing problems). Also, just personally, horse didn't like to 'self-load' with the stepup trailer... and with the ramp, he casually walks up all on his own.

                          That said ramps can be dangerous (falling off the edge, when horses are learning to load) BUT step ups can be too (legs goin underneath). Pick your evil i guess...

                          I have a '97 sundowner 777 (wb) size, and have NEVER had a horse refuse to go in. There's a ton of room and lots of light. Actually, horses are fairly content to hang out in my trailer with the side door open, munching on hay. I LOVE IT! IT WILL NOT BE SOLD UNLESS TO UPGRADE TO A 4 HORSE STRAIGHT STALL CENTER LOAD lol In 30 years haha

                          As for travelling straight/slant trailers... Any long trip will take its toll on a horse (muscle fatigue, mental, etc) your choice, cuz people will tell you, the best way for a horse to travel is loose in a stock trailer

                          What is really important is - good ventilation, lots of space, safety, and the amount of light... I've never really seen a big airy slant load (altho i'm sure they're out there ) just for me personally! you'll figure out what you want... I like the hybrid, steel/alum... lighter than steel, and tougher than all alum...

                          2 thumbs up for straight load w/ramp

                          http://www.sundownertrailer.com/trai...ad/sunLite_777

                          This is the trailer (i looked for 2 years before deciding on new)... and i have the one with the tack room
                          Carol and Princess Dewi

                          **~Doccer'sDressage~**

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            DITTO on Gooseneck, good ramp, lots of ROOM for bigguns

                            Originally posted by fizzyfuzzybuzzy View Post
                            I prefer a ramp, as I've seen many a skinned shin from scraping it stepping out. It does take training with a ramp, teaching them to back out themselves when you tug on their tail, and being ok with the slight give of the ramp when they step on it.

                            I prefer a straight load to a slant for a two horse, but that's because I have really big horses (17.2hh and up draft crosses or warmbloods) and they tend to not fit in one stall. Plus, if you haul long distances, their left hind leg can get very tired and sore.

                            My favorite trailer is aluminum skin over steel frame. Steel is heavier, which can be nice as it tend to pull straighter and have less sway when the horses move/shift. But the aluminum skin is nice as it stays looking nice, no/little rust factor!

                            I also HIGHLY recommend a gooseneck over a bumper pull if you can get it. It takes a bit more to learn how to drive it, but totally worth it! Far less bounce for your horse!!
                            Ditto. I love my ramp - but it's a GOOD ONE. There's a huge difference. I can open and close it with ONE HAND. It lowers iteself, slowly and SAFELY. It's also a VERY LOW RAMP...not steep at all.

                            Always get a trailer BIGGER than what you think you need. 7'6" minimum inside height. And I'm feeling the downside of having a slant/stock combo. The slant stalls were fine for my normal sized horses, but the length is a problem for the draft.

                            My 'stalls' are extra wide at I think 50" too. But it's physically impossible for a very large horse to lower his head/neck comfortably in standard slants.

                            If you must get one, get an 8' wide trailer so the slants can be "longer slanted"

                            Better yet - straight load. Or a 2+1. I'd get a 2+1 if I could do it over again.

                            thankfully my trailer converts from a 2.5 horse slant, to a 1 slant + large box big enough for two horses in the box, as long as one of them is small. OR open it all up to a stock trailer.

                            And yes - Gooseneck all the way.

                            Love the 2+1 that was suggested here - by EquiSpirit
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                            www.elainehickman.com
                            **Morgans Do It All**

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I love my 2 horse Sundowner straight load. It has a big ramp that is not slippery. The ramp is very light, so I can lift it with one hand. The Sundowner has lots of room so horses ride well in it. My neighbor's horse gives her a hard time about loading, and then kicks repeatedly when she puts him in her trailer. He walks right into my Sundowner and rides quietly.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                steel
                                step up
                                slant
                                many paths up the mountain

                                I love my trails west sierra 2002 with dressing room. I pull it with a f-250
                                A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  hate a ramp... hate hate hate hate hate- my horse jumps into the trailer... step up or not I bought a ramp because my friend was selling it and I got it for 600 bucks and it works. I hate it. I am not sure I can convert it either but yeah... I hate the ramp. I also let him ride loose so its akward to catch said horse before the ramp comes down, never an issue with a step down.

                                  I prefer goosenecks because they are easier to drive and back, but if you really dont' want anything but bare bones a goose neck two horse is a bit much. I don't have living quarters or even a dressing room (my trailer is from 1980 *-* I love it for what it is really) but, I don't travel much and I don't show- used to do endurance so roughing it is just how things worked. shrug.

                                  I love stock trailers, but have worked with slants, slants are great for easy going horses... they aren't as good for anything w/ an attitude or for people who don't have good nerves. Currently my little thing is a straight loader- center divider removed. Having easy access regardless of the situation (if the trailer is on its side can you get to all the horses or just one?) is always nice. I have a suicide door that my little 13 hander could crawl through so I'm very careful about opening it up but I'm super glad its there in case anything happens and it allows me to check his sides or even get in there if I need too (dangerous obviously but sometimes you have to do what you gotta do)

                                  yeah step up is my choice- gooseneck is good too. If you can afford a full tack GREAT and or dressing room kudo's to you... thats a big perk for me that I'll be excited about upgrading too when I can afford it!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    definitely step up

                                    My older gelding is very head shy and he absolutely will not load with a ramp. As a previous poster mentioned, a ramp will cause the horse's head to go up. Because the horse will lower his head as he steps up, I feel that this style trailer is much safer. I've never seen an injury with a step up (knock on wood), but I have seen many scraped legs as a horse has slipped off the side of a ramp while unloading at an angle from a slant load trailer.

                                    Did I say I also prefer a straight load? I want easy access to both of my horses.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The RCMP did studies since they travel all over with their horses. They used heart rate monitors, vitals, and I think blood and/or urine tests. The horses preferred: hauling backwards best, next on the angle, and lastly straight haul.

                                      When I have trailered loose, my horses have ended up on an angle, or facing backwards.
                                      So, I go with an angle haul since it seems they like it best, and I like the ease of step-up for me. Never had a problem loading, or unloading.
                                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                                        The RCMP did studies since they travel all over with their horses. They used heart rate monitors, vitals, and I think blood and/or urine tests. The horses preferred: hauling backwards best, next on the angle, and lastly straight haul.

                                        When I have trailered loose, my horses have ended up on an angle, or facing backwards.
                                        So, I go with an angle haul since it seems they like it best, and I like the ease of step-up for me. Never had a problem loading, or unloading.
                                        I heard about that study after watching 3 or 4 of our horse's chose in our little two horse to turn around. Partly because they could reach the hay strapped to the whell well fender dealio... funny as hell to see horse's head just peaking around the side to grab hay!

                                        now unless its a curvey road or there is a second horse... I haul lose... my boy just pokes his head out the top and is happy as a pig in pig shit. I laugh cause I can see people slow up on the fast lane and take pictures and stuff... as if I don't see them!

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