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Slant load trailer stall sizes -- help!

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  • Slant load trailer stall sizes -- help!

    First, I am a straight-load gal and always will be. I like them so much more than slant loads.

    That said, I need to upgrade to a 3 horse trailer, which puts me out of straight loads unless I buy a 2+1. I'm not sure I want to spend that much $$.

    I have larger horses (TB max size 16.3 hands) who haul well. I'm considering ordering a 3-horse slant that's 7' wide, 7'6" inside height, with 44" wide stalls.

    Does the 44" stall width in a 7' wide trailer sound large enough to handle big horses? Will their faces be smashed up against the drop down windows?

    Also, is it worth it to order the "escape" door in the first stall, even if it's just a person escape door, not a ramp for a horse.


  • #2
    You can sit at home and draw a floorplan and do some math, but it won't replace actually trying your horse in one of the stalls to see if he looks comfortable.

    I think for any 7' wide trailer it is going to be a tight fit for a big horse.

    Assuming the wasted triangle in front of the first stall is also 44" long, then your stalls will measure about 10' diagonally. A regular straight load stall is about 11' long, and in reality, the difference is bigger as horses are not pointy at the ends so you probably lose about another foot of useful length depending on how wide the horse is.

    So look at him in his current trailer and figure out if there is two foot spare.


    • #3
      In a word NO. We ordered a custom trailer 17 years ago before the manufacturers started making the 2+1 trailers. (We had always been horse van and then 4 horse head to head people!! We started with a 5 horse slant, 7 wide, 8 high and had the stalls 48" when in the slant mode. The company outfitted the trailer with spring loaded posts to make it a straight load of two forward facing stalls and an optional slant stall at the front of the horse compartment - lots of space between straight horses and slant horse. We don't haul slant except on very RARE occassions. We have a people/escape door at the head of the first horse and a 4' ramp behind the first horse as well as a full rear ramp. Normally we load the horses on the front ramp, lead them into the front corner and back them into the straight stalls. We unload by walking frontward off the front ramp, rarely using the big back ramp at all. If we have a third horse in the slant stall, we swing the partition, turn the horse and unload head first. Even with the 4 foot stalls, EVERY time we have hauled 5 slanted for any distance EVERY horse had serious rubs on the right hip. Your big horses will NOT be comfortable or happy in a 7' wide slant!! JMO
      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


      • #4
        As a general rule of thumb, on a typical 7' wide trailer you will have about 90" from nose to tail in a slantload.
        Most straightloads will give you anywhere from 82" from chest to butt, to 90" chest to butt, with additional space (generally about 3') for the head and neck.
        Your big guy will be tight in a 7' wide slant, no matter how tall you go.
        If you can, try to get a 7'6" wide or 8' wide trailer for maximum room.
        Or if all of your other horses are small and you carry him infrequently, you can open a divider to allow him the use of two stalls. Then you could get away with a 7' wide.
        I have had both, and I do like the slants a lot, especially for ease of use when shipping alone. They just tend to run a bit smaller.


        • #5
          I own a slant and haven't found a horse yet that doesn't fit in any of the spots. Typically your last spot is longest so if need be put your biggest back there, but I am talking 2 17.2hh monsters of horses in mine with room to move around. Even bigger then width on the divider (which mine are 42" by the way) is how the dividers are angled. If they are fairly straight across you loose room for the horses, if they are angled more you add some length to the trailer. Really if at all possible put your biggest one in and see what it looks like. We are a slant load barn, and love them. Never had a horse come out with a rub (well besides the little paint mare that is all of 15hh that loves to lean on the divider and get the aluminum black marks, but that ain't a size issue), they all travel fabulous, and haven't had a horse that doesn't fit. My current trailer is a LQ so is actually 8' wide by 8' tall, and my last one was 7'6" by 7'6" with the big 50" dividers which I didn't like because they moved around too much.


          • Original Poster

            Thank you for the very detailed and helpful replies. Please keep them coming!


            • #7
              Just keep in mind if you get an 8-foot trailer, you'll probably have wheel wells sticking into your horse compartment. I personally don't like that, but lots of people use them and their horses haul fine.


              • #8
                I have a 4-Star modified 4 horse. The slants are 10.5 ft long(diagonal length.
                The trailer is 7'6" H X 7'6" W x 24' L.
                With 4 - Star, you can get any length slant you need. Keep in mind the angle may get steeper, because you can only so wide a trailer on the road. You can also have a variety of options for loading/unloading.
                My trailer has a side ramp(4') on the driver's side, double rear doors (with collapsible rear tack) with ramp over the doors. I can load horses in forward slant or reverse slant. Tie partitions to the walls to haul the lawnmower or gators to be serviced. The tack room is straight not slant walled(better use of space for me) and a fake mid tack but with stallion partition, with it's exterior access on the off side.


                • #9
                  My 16.3 Paint, who wears an 84 blanket, did NOT fit in my Sundowner 4 horse slant. He was waaaay to long - the door couldn't be closed without his neck being arched and his face stuffed into his hay bag.
                  On the 8th day God created the Quarter Horse. On the 9th day, he Painted the good ones.


                  • #10
                    Lots depends on the angle of the slant, so ask specifically for measurements. When I was shopping, I would ask for "diagonal length" (corner to opposite corner of slant stall) and "straight length" (straight down the middle of the slant stall). The numbers are often very different and practically speaking, the straight measurement is the useful one. Most specification charts will tell you the diagonal one.

                    That said, as far as brand recs, I think Trail-et has some of the best sized slants out there, along with 4-Star and (if I remember correctly) Silver Star. I had a 3H slant Trail-et Jetstar, standard size, that just barely fit my big 16.3 guy--when I could, I shipped him in back, or in the middle with the rear divider snapped open so he essentially had 2 stalls. However, Trail-et makes a wider & taller version of most or all of their slant loads, called the Eventor model (so, for instance, the Jetstar Eventor would be that larger version). With a few more inches, my big guy would have fit in one stall quite comfortably, so you may want to look in that direction.

                    Oh, and yes on the escape door, especially if you're used to straight load trailers. Always good to have access to the horse's head, or just to be able to slip out that door after loading without having to squash back by and out the back. I loaded my slightly anxious mare in that front stall with the escape door and would open it when we were parked--she was much calmer being able to stick her whole head/neck out and peer around, better than a window.
                    Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!


                    • #11
                      My 17 hand warmblood with a long back

                      does not fit easily in a slantload. so when I was trailer shopping, I bought at the end of the season and found a 4 horse Trail-et slant load at the same price as a 3 horse slant.

                      I solved the problem by taking out the first divider and using two slots with this horse.

                      the trailer is very nice, but my really long backed horse was not comfortable in a single slot, so this was a good solution.

                      I can easily haul 16.2 hand horses in the other slots too.


                      • #12
                        I have a slant and have shipped some VERY big horses in it (17h+). It makes for a pretty roomy stall--and my wheel wells are on the outside.
                        Inner Bay Equestrian


                        • #13
                          Trail-et has the nicest slants in terms of space. I have a 1987 SST Jetstar and it was customized for large horses. It has oversized "stalls" and extra height and width. I can haul my Belgian mare or my extra large TWH mare (17.1) and very long. together in the 3 horse. Lots of light, airy and the slant measurements should be made from the INSIDE of the slant posts otherwise some trailers will measure 44 inches outside to outside, but inside is what counts and that can be off by 2-3 inches. I did a LOT of looking and measuring to see the differences and it seems Sundowner had the smallest slants while Trail-et had the largest (on standard models). Mine was owned previously by a lady who had the large warmbloods and Trail-et still had the modified drawings in their computer from 1987..lol.. My trailer looks very good and is still sound after all these years. Next year I am going to give it a new paint job, but the welds, etc. are still in excellent shape. The only thing I do not like about Trail-et is the lack of drop down windows for better air circulation down here in the south. So I bought four fans and they will be installed next spring. The thing I do like about mine is that the slants can be removed to make a large box stall for hauling a mare and baby or a horse that is "iffy" when confined. I rarely use my slants now, as my horses know each other and get along very well hauling, but they are easy to reinstall and use if needed.


                          • #14
                            Hate slant loads. We have a two plus one and the manufacturer suggests limiting the horse in the slant to a specific height - when we do use the slant one of the smaller polocrosse horses (15.1) goes there so there is plenty of head and neck room. One of the things I love about the 2+1 is that I can get to and unload any of the three without touching the other two - a conventional slant if the horse in the middle is in trouble you can't get to them without going over horse one and three. Personally I don't think horses travel as well in slants as in straights. JMO.

                            If you do decide to go that route, do follow grasshopper's recommendations.



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pegasusmom View Post
                              Hate slant loads. We have a two plus one and the manufacturer suggests limiting the horse in the slant to a specific height - when we do use the slant one of the smaller polocrosse horses (15.1) goes there so there is plenty of head and neck room. One of the things I love about the 2+1 is that I can get to and unload any of the three without touching the other two - a conventional slant if the horse in the middle is in trouble you can't get to them without going over horse one and three. Personally I don't think horses travel as well in slants as in straights. JMO.

                              If you do decide to go that route, do follow grasshopper's recommendations.
                              Ditto what she said.

                              I have had straightloads, then a 4-star custom slant with extra wide/long stalls, and now have a 2+1. Love the current trailer for the versatility, for the fact there is PLENTY of space for my big horses in the straightload stalls, and I love the convenience of the front stall for storage space, tacking up space, or trailer space for a smaller horse. The 16' handish TBs are fine in the front slant, but I would not put anyone big up there. The slant stall is 48" wide on a 7' wide trailer.

                              Our previous trailer was 7'6" wide and the slant stalls were 44" or 46" IIRC, and truly, the big horses were tight, making them claustrophoic and more likely to paw or get rubs.
                              Hindsight bad, foresight good.


                              • Original Poster

                                Thank you once again to everyone for your detailed and thoughtful replies. I am printing these out as I go and the trailer dealers think I am very paranoid. It's just that I'm going to spend $17k to $25k on a trailer and want to be happy. Grasshopper, thanks for the specifics on taking straight measurements of slant stalls. I measured my current straight load trailer. The total length of a stall (horse body area plus feed manger) is 9 feet, which fits my horse well. I checked the stall length of the 2+1 I am looking at, and it's approx 9 feet in length as well.

                                I am going to find out "straight" measurements of the slant stalls on the slant I am considering. Quite sure it will not be 9 feet, though. I'm going to find out about slanting the stalls more and see how much that changes dimensions.

                                Thank you so much. This is really giving me some hard numbers to work with and a lot of food for thought.

                                For you 2+1 owners, what's the difference between a straight wall and a slant wall between the front horse stall and the tackroom? I see it done both ways and don't know why.


                                • #17
                                  You are talking about position of the bulkhead wall, right? Having a slanted bulkhead wall is going to give you more nose-to-tail space for the horse in the front stall area.

                                  If you want to transport a driving cart or golf cart in the front area, then a square space is going to be more useful than a slanted one.

                                  You may want to talk to Resa at Happy Trails (http://www.happytrailstrailers.com/)—she sells Hawk 2+1s designed both ways and can give you good advise and a competitive price and the trailer will ship from the factory to anywhere in the country.
                                  Hindsight bad, foresight good.


                                  • #18
                                    I have a 3 horse slant without the tack room in the back- My 17.3 h Westfalen fits fine in it. My horses are much, much more comfortable in the slant than they were in previous straight load.
                                    "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                    So you might as well have a good time"


                                    • #19
                                      This really all depends on the length of your horse. My guy is 16.3, wears a 76" blanket and fits fine in my 7' wide, 2 horse slant load, 4-Star. I am usually only hauling one horse at a time and could very well haul him loose but he prefers having the security of the wall and divider for support.

                                      I do wish I could have gone with a 2 horse straight load. They are less expensive but I think they aren't as popular for resale. I did have an old Horton straight load but unfortunately had a horse that did not load well in one (well he did not load well in anything). I did get a newer trailer out of the deal (the slant load) and when I load him I put the divider back, walk him in and turn him around (he cant back out that way). I then finagle my self out and he hauls loose and backwards. He is only 15.3 so I know width is not the issue.

                                      I do like the fact that I have both options with this trailer depending the horse I am hauling. My 16.3 guy is only 3yo so if he grows up and out he will still be fine. If he grows longer I can just get my divider retrofitted to be telescoping and give him more room that way. He still has room to spare now so he would really need to add a good bit of length to get to this point. However, seeing as I will NEVER EVER buy another horse that will not load I still like the versatility just in case I need it.

                                      Good Luck!