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Trailer configurations--how do you get around with horse and cart(s)?

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  • Trailer configurations--how do you get around with horse and cart(s)?

    I'm sniffing around the prospect of getting a new trailer next year. I mainly event one horse, sometimes haul a friend along, and my 2H trailer is OK for that. However, I want to up-size a little bit and eventually want to do some competitive driving, either with my current pony or with a small horse. (I even have one picked out, currently in training)

    So in thinking about types of trailers to get, I am well aware that the smartest thing to do would be to get the kind of trailer I need most of the time--which would be a regular 2 horse job. But I sure would love to have the option of 3 horses, and/or space for a small cart(s).

    My "dream trailer" is one of those 2+1 straight loads, with the biggish box stall in front of two regular straight load stalls. However, the reality is that this will be much more room than I need a lot of the time. I don't want two trailers. I'm leaning towards a gooseneck.

    The other thing that keeps going 'round in my head is a 3 horse slant. Now, I don't LIKE slants much. But in a compact space it seems you can do a lot, take one horse, two horses, three horses, one horse and lots of gear, one horse and a cart, etc. etc. just be reconfiguring the "box".

    Is this what most of you do, or do you have a preferred arrangement for transporting horse and cart(s)? A stock trailer, maybe? (I'm not wild about them, either) I'd love to hear (and maybe see, if you have pics) the kind of rigs that driving folks use to get around. Thanks.
    Click here before you buy.

  • #2
    It'll depend on what carriage/cart you drive.

    I had a 16' stock trailer, the horse went in front, shut the calf gate and could fit my Kuhnle 4-wheel marathon carriage with inches to spare. I got a surrey and a doctors buggy, I could bring the carriage or the horse, but not both.

    So, got a 24' Eby stock/combo....dressing room, and 20' on the floor in horse/carriage area...I rarely hear anyone complain of too much room.

    Forget slant loads, you can't bring any carriage along due to their design.

    Have fun in the search...but figure the width and length you'll need before you shop.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


    • #3
      Ummm...I have a three horse slant load- BP. I used to have a three horse GN. I can get my war wagon (and the horse) in the new one, and could in the old one. I simply pop the shafts off, et voila- we are good to go. The new trailer is a livestock Adams- I loff it, and, if need be, I could put in a cart, with shafts, backwards, and still be good to go.
      When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


      • #4
        We have a driving friend who used to haul her Morgan and 2-wheeled Meadowbrook cart quite nicely in a 3-horse slant BP trailer. Not sure how she did it but it worked well so I know it's possible.

        We OTOH believe more is better - so we upgraded from a 4-horse GN slant w/dressing room to a wider/longer 4/6 horse GN head-to-head straight load with dressing room We can now haul 1 horse (hubby's), 2-ponies (my pair) and up to 4 carriages or a mixture of carriages and golf cart and/or ATV. Feels a bit silly when we just haul one pony and pull in with our big dually and 37' long trailer - but we never have to worry about having enough room And I find the bigger trailer hauls SO much better, is easier to back up, and gets slightly better gas mileage (it's all aluminum)
        Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

        PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages


        • #5
          I've got a 4-horse slant GN that we've taken the front divider out of. It's got 18' on the floor and is 8' wide 7'6" high - no dressing room. I can put a two-wheel cart in the front and the horses in the two slant stalls in the back. If I want to take the pony and a cart and a 4 wheel marathon carriage, I can take out another divider and it will all fit. My plan is to get a pacific cart for the STBD and it will fit in the front with the pony's cart because the shafts will come off. In addition, if I want to take three horses, the front "stall" is extra large because on the removed divider.

          I really wanted a 2+1, but found I'd have to go longer in order to have the 6' side ramp required to load the road cart in the side. Of course, you could load the horse in the front and the carriage(s) in the back, but that doesn't work so well if you are shipping more than one horse with your carriages.

          Friend of mine has a 22ft long 8ft wide BP stock combo (no tackroom). Has two straight stalls in the rear and a big open area up front for carriages. It has the 6ft side ramp, but her large cart has to be loaded from the rear, which means removing the dividers and then reinstalling after the cart is loaded. However, we have put two carts, one horse, one pony and all our harness in it, as well as the marathon vehicle in the bed of the pickup. The ATV would go in my pickup and every spare inch was filled when we went to a multi-day show. People were quite amazed to watch us unpack!


          • #6
            I use a horse box not a trailer.

            Over here the regulations for towing are much tighter and we're not permitted to tow the weights you are and particularly not for stock.

            Like you I also transport a variety of combinations: riding or driving horses. The trick is to have a lot of fittings for your partitions.

            Its got a rear stock loading ramp and a side groom's door. No living accommodation. It could definitely be described as function over form and style

            So I've electric winch fitted on the back and for driving and that's something I personally consider to be a driving essential - I can't be doing with heaving a pushing carriages and then being laid up with a bad back! : The carriage/s go on first. It will take either 1 road coach or large landau or else 2 HDT vehicles (4 wheel cross country marathon and a show vehicle). There's no living accommodation at all but plenty of space in the back for all the paraphanalia that accompanies driving and that includes clips and fittings on the wall for hanging livery coats, first aid kits, spares etc etc. I prefer to put harness inside as well though there are harness lockers accessible from the outside.

            A partition shuts across once that's all on board. I keep the carriage/s attached to the winch once its back so ensure they don't come free and roll forward but I also wedge the wheels as well. Poles are taken off and put underneath and there's a fastener to hold them down. Shafts can fold up and stay on.

            Then it will take any combination up to 4 horses travelling slant.

            When the carriages aren't in, it will travel 7 full size horses slant or herringbone. However the partitions will move in still further to take more if thats to be accommodated and there's ponies on board.


            • #7
              16 foot stock trailer, BP

              can haul one marathond carriage, 1 15 hand ARab and a small ATV plus all of the stuff I need for a show. No tack room.

              Its tight but it works for me! If I had more dollars I would love to up grade to a 20 foot stock trailer.


              • #8
                18' gooseneck stock.
                Carriage in front, then pony, or the middle door moves back and I can but the carriage in, ATV, then pony with room for all the hay, feed, etc.


                • #9
                  I have a 36' Sundowner with living quarters. I can haul 3 horses, 2 horses and one carriage or one horse and 2 carriages. It is a bit of a behemoth to haul with a crew cab dually, but I love it. You really need to plan ahead for getting in and out of places.
                  Kanoe Godby
                  See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


                  • #10
                    20' gooseneck stock. Cart goes in first, shafts forward into the goose. Marathon carriage in next, then ATV angled alongside the rearmost slant divider. Pony goes in rearmost slant stall. The trailer was originally set up as a 4-horse slant w/ dressing room. The front two slant stall dividers are removed, and the dressing room wall has been modified so that it will swing and stay open. It's a very tight fit. Wish I had 4 more feet on the floor, but my truck is maxed out with this rig as it is.

                    For trips where only pony and cart go, I close the dressing room door, put cart in backwards with shafts held to the ceiling, and pony in the rear stall.


                    • Original Poster

                      Great info, thanks. My farrier, who drives competitively, has a 4H stock that he uses the way many of you describe: carriage in front, horse(s) in back. I'm just not wild about stock trailers.

                      I went and looked at a 2+1 GN last week and it really seems perfect--not as big as I feared and the price is good--just have to wait for finances, LOL! It will also be perfect for my current status as an eventer--that extra room in front is just too wonderful to contemplate!

                      Right now my driving creature is a Shetland, so whatever I have to haul for her will be tiny. My current cart fits in the short bed of my pickup! The next horse (whom I got to visit this weekend, I am infatuated with her) will be around 15.2 full grown, so I figure she could go in the "+1" stall and ride there, and I can put the cart in the back. I will probably be a "one cart person" for the foreseeable future. But of course one never knows about THAT . . .
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • #12
                        This is why I'll be driving only at home for the foreseeable future!!!

                        However, when I went to a driving show last year with my trainer and a friend, we put two horses and one small meadowbrook in a four-horse gooseneck, and put the other cart on a landscaper's trailer towed behind a passenger car.

                        I figure if I get my own trailer at some point I'll get a simple two horse trailer, and then buy a landscaper's trailer (the things people haul ridden lawnmowers around with- open, flat, two wheels, usually with a metal bar around three sides or in front that you can strap the cart to) to carry the cart.

                        Usually at least two people going to the driving show, so one can drive the truck and horse trailer, and one can drive a passenger car towing the little trailer.


                        • #13
                          2H slant bumper pull w/ tack room in front - also has a front unloading ramp. Room for up to 3 ponies actually.

                          Pony in front, carriage in back with shafts out the dutch doors. I haul one 99% of the time, but trailer could hold 2 ponies and have room for a jog cart in back - but not the carriage. Would have to use a landscapers trailer for it if I haul 2 ponies.

                          My ideal would be 2 horse straight load in back, with 2 side ramps (like a head to head) to an open area for carriages/carts and harness with dressing room or LQ up front - gooseneck of course. Maybe after I win the lotto.


                          • #14
                            I have a 2/1 and love it. Its 17' on the floor goose with a side ramp.

                            I had a gate installed in between the 2 horse straight in the back and the front compartment. Prevents things from rolling back or horses eying things like hay in front and pressing on the breast bars.

                            Easily, I can remove the center divider and make it into two box stalls.

                            It is very flexible and allows me lots of options.

                            Did I say I love it?
                            save lives...spay/neuter/geld