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Trailer with FULL rear doors AND ramp over..THOUGHTS??

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  • Trailer with FULL rear doors AND ramp over..THOUGHTS??

    I have a horse who is a frightened loader. Someone suggested that my new trailer (ALREADY on order) should have full length rear doors AND a ramp???? I am not so sure, as I am old school and have only used a ramp/storm door config... and my old horse loves to travel with the storm doors open...

    the reasons given were
    1. ability to make a box stall (safe to close him in without the ramp crashing down on me)
    2. Safety for him, he tends to sit UNDER the butt bar and stand up blowing the back end of trailer apart
    3. Most horses find it more comfortable to deal with a swinging door rather than an up lift of the ramp
    4. Safety in a crash. take the ramp off and horse can still exit in a fender bender
    5. resale
    SO>>> I shouldn't need more convincing, but the only plus I see is #2.. which is huge to me, but part of me thinks that with time, he will learn.... am I dumb to think that???

  • #2
    I agree with you, the only one I see being valid is #2 IF he's done this before. Another option, and probably cheaper is to either add a second (lower) butt bar or just lower the one you have. I've seen Hawk trailers with several heights in one trailer, I'm sure others will do the same. I think the two doors and a ramp is a little excessive. I wouldn't avoid it, but it's not something I would look for and definitely wouldn't pay extra to have.


    • #3
      After having a massively difficult loader, I would always opt for the full doors/ramp option. I would have loved to be able to load the bad one, shut the full door so he had no where to go, and then either deal with the ramp or load the second horse. The bad one would get on, then flip out when you raised the ramp. More than once I would not get the ramp latched before he would decide he was unloading himself. Dangerous as hell.

      I would've loved to be able to shut a door, which I think you can do faster, and does not have the same option for someone getting stuck under it.


      • Original Poster

        Win1. he HAS sat down under the butt bar twice already, and it seems to be a pattern.. i.e.: it is the first thing he starts to do when I lift the ramp on our existing trailer. He has actually blown out the back end leaving me with a trailer I couldn't use for weeks because the butt bars needed replaced, the ramp hinge needed work and the center divider bowed..
        On our new trailer (HAWK) I have already requested adjustable breast/butt bars for HIM and our future (kids) ponies...

        Perhaps I should just suck it up and do what is best for THIS horse-- after all he is MY baby! lol

        Thanks for the post. I appreciate any/all input!


        • #5
          I have a Merhow with full doors and the ramp over. I love it. The angle of the ramp is not nearly as steep and I like being able to shut the door quickly. I also don't worry about the doors coming open while going down the road. It is really good if you have youngsters as they don't seem to mind the slope of the ramp.


          • #6
            go with the doors... no more repeats of the weekend adventure ;-)

            Becky & Red
            Becky & Red
            In Loving Memory of Gabriel, 1998-2005 and Raalph, 1977-2013


            • #7
              How about a 2+1 or 4 horse H-H set up with a side ramp? Then you have the back ramp/doors in case of an emergency but primarily use the side ramp to load/unload (like a van). Just a thought...
              Watermark Farm
              Watermark Farm Facebook Fan Page
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              • #8
                I got the full doors with the ramp and I am very happy with it.

                For me, the additional protection in a crash was a huge plus. If you are rear-ended, the ramp provides a substantial layer of wood and steel in addition to the doors.


                • #9
                  Equispirit trailers have full doors and a ramp. Have one; love it. I'm a one-man operation, and I got it because I have a horse that managed to turn around (flexible!) and then tried to jump out over the ramp and me while I was trying to close it -- also why I would never travel with the upper doors open (at least with this horse).


                  • #10
                    Full door and ramp is safer for horse and handler alike. I have a friend who was very badly injured by a horse blowing through the buttbar and ramp while she was trying to latch the ramp up, she was trampled under the ramp and horse.

                    I cringe when I see the back storm doors open, I have seen a foal jump out the back, and another horse get his stifles hung up over the ramp when he bucked/kicked in that configuration. That horse was crippled for life.


                    • #11
                      Love my Eby full door with ramp over! Works well with difficult loaders.


                      • #12
                        No way would I go without the full doors & ramp over. LOVE IT! Also if unloading only one horse you are protected from kick of the other horse if you're having to stand near it.
                        Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


                        • #13
                          After having a Sundowner whose ramp fell off at a show (and it was only a few months old at the time - bought it brand new), I got my new trailer with full doors and ramp over them. I LOVE this trailer. It's safer to shut the rear door before reaching down and pulling up the ramp, as your head isn't within kicking range. if the ramp breaks off, I have a step-down. I do have windows in the back to open (screened) for ventilation. I have heard that things like cigarettes can be swept into the open storm windows in a trailer, which I why (when I had a trailer with ramp and storm doors) never left them open. If you can afford it, I'd get the full doors and ramp.
                          "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                          So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by anglotrak View Post
                            I have a Merhow with full doors and the ramp over. I love it. The angle of the ramp is not nearly as steep and I like being able to shut the door quickly. I also don't worry about the doors coming open while going down the road. It is really good if you have youngsters as they don't seem to mind the slope of the ramp.
                            Ditto this - I have an EquiSpirit with full doors and a ramp and love it. Can close one door if I need to (although I haven't needed to), and I don't worry about a horse kicking through a door (not that my horses do this, but I just worry about all possible bad scenarios) or a door somehow coming open while driving down the road.
                            "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                            • #15
                              I ordered ramp over full rear doors after seeing it on a friend's trailer and LOVE it. I doubt I will buy a trailer in the future that doesn't have it. Everyone who has used my trailer has said the same thing.

                              I never left my 1/2 doors open while trailering anyway and since my full length rear doors have windows with screens on them this one has better airflow anyway.

                              As mentioned by many, the full doors provide some additional help when loading/unloading and some added rear-end crash protection. They also offer some protection for your ramp.... if a horse kicks in the trailer it won't be kicking the ramp.

                              Also, my ramp attaches to my trailer below the rear doors so there is no way a horse backing out will ever step on the hinge. The only downside to this is that if you roll things onto your trailer there will be a tiny "step up" from the ramp into the stall area (maybe two inches). This has not been a problem for the horses I have trailered at all but if I am rolling heavy equipment onto my trailer I have a small bump to navigate. This hasn't been a problem for me.

                              You would want to make sure you are comfortable with how your trailer manufacturer structures the doors. For example, that the stall floor is smooth and uninterrupted etc.


                              • #16
                                I haul a lot of different horses and I love having full doors and a ramp. I will never do anything different.


                                • #17
                                  That's what I special ordered when I got my 4-Star back in '94. I was showing mares w/foals. Having those doors was safer for foals who travel loose to keep them from barreling out while trying to drop the ramp -- especially when unloading alone.

                                  With the removable partition it converts to a perfect box stall which came in handy several times hauling a horse w/colic to the hospital so it could lie down.

                                  Definitely has many advantages..
                                  www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                  "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                  Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                                  • #18
                                    Love my trailer with full doors and ramp and won't ever have just the ramp again.
                                    Mary Lou


                                    Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


                                    • #19
                                      I have a rear ramp and a side ramp. My horses go off the front, so they never think about backing out. Of course, it takes a couple of times for them to realize that they will be going out the front, but they catch on fast!


                                      • #20
                                        CD - yes, that can work well also. I had a 6 horse Tracer with side and back ramps, but I had it modified so I could use for 6 horses stalls or slide the partitians turning them into for 2 box stalls for mares/foal and a center aisle. I could open the side ramp for off loading and then just open their box stall doors and lead them out face-first with no chance of babies getting hurt.

                                        LOVED that trailer, but didn't need that huge a rig, so I when I order the 4 star tried to get the same ease and safety being able to have them "stalled" with doors to keep them contained while dropping the ramp. Works well. At least it made it easy for me, often trailering alone.
                                        www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                        "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                        Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube