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rear-facing trailers?

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    rear-facing trailers?

    Does anyone have any experience with a rear-facing 2h trailer? I saw an article about it being less stressful and more comfortable for horses, and I am curious to know if there is any truth to this. And if so, why can you not buy one in the US?

    I think the original research was done in the 1970s - anyway, a LONG time ago. They attempted to measure stress by hooking horses to sensors that would record such things as heart rate, respiratory rate, etc. At that time, following that research, rear-facing trailers were made. I don't think they ever caught on.

    An interesting point noted by my daughter. When she had her assistant trainer's license for race horses, she drove a large trailer where the horses shipped in box stalls. She had a TV screen to watch them in the trailer. Most of the horses rode backward or on a slant with their heads to the rear when they were given the choice. Actually, you can buy large trailers where horses face rearward now ... and 2 horses face rearward in every 4 horse head to head.


      My mare rides in a stock trailer and the first thing she does is turn around to face backwards and spends most of the ride like that. She does turn around sometimes - possibly checking out the view? She will fly backward and break something as she runs out of the trailer if I tie her....should have gotten her used to tying but never did (owner error).

      Prior to that she rode in a three horse slant with varying degrees of 'quirkiness' and hilarity at the expense of her 'quirkiness'.


        My horse always prefers to ride backward on the trailer if he can. I have a 4 horse slant so I open all dividers and they can choose to ride however they would like. One of them likes riding while staring out the rear window. I will always try to make sure any trailer I buy allows them the option to ride backwards.
        A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham


          Turnbow still makes reversed slant loads- a few other company do them for the big trailers with living spaces. I would love one. My gelding will only haul backwards.


            Original Poster

            So in looking at the Turnbow slant, it says you can haul forwards or backwards. Can you do that in any slant, or will the tongue weight be too high? I know you can't just flip the horses around in a straight-load BP without moving the axels, but what about a slant?


              The horse is heavier at his shoulder, so the reason you can't ride the horse backwards with a bumper pull is that too much weight behind the axle will increase the risk of the trailer coming unhitched. Also, it has a good risk of fishtailing.

              A gooseneck usually has the back axle so far back that this is not a danger.

              If you are hauling only one horse, just tie all of the dividers over agaainst the left side and let him ride loose. Do not tie him.

              If you are hauling more than one horse, you are out of luck because you can't reverse the dividers to keep the horses from nipping each other.


              If we do not wish to lose our freedom, we must learn to tolerate our
              neighbor's right to freedom even though he might express that freedom
              in a manner we consider to be eccentric.


                Actually, Turnbow makes a bumperpull. I would guess that, it order to ride either way, you would need to have the ability to switch the slant wall- I know that turnbow has a telescoping slant wall, but I'm not sure of the dynamics of it. If you call them I'm sure that they would tell you. (be sure to report back! I'd be interested to know!). Also, I have a bumper pull stock trailer and horses ship loose- they usually opt to stand backwards, but I've never had an incidence of fishtailing or coming unhitched. I guess it depends on the size of your rig vs. trailer size and being sure that you have a properly fitting ball hitch.


                  Hey Hampton Bay - check your PM - I have several standard rear face models


                    I would LOVE to have one. I had a 2 slant load and always let my horse be lose in the box - he would always face the rear.

                    The horse is heavier at his shoulder, so the reason you can't ride the horse backwards with a bumper pull is that too much weight behind the axle will increase the risk of the trailer coming unhitched. Also, it has a good risk of fishtailing.
                    That makes sense but you'd think technology is advanced enough to compensate for it and stabilizing bars should restrict fishtailing too I would think.


                      I had a stock combo 2 horse slant. Wheneve I was pulling just one horse I would always turn it around to face the back and tie him to the plexie glass wall.

                      Boomer actually prefers to ride backwards and now that I have a 4 horse with rear tack I'm having some issues. The last two times I have had reatrouble loading him and I think it is due to the forward facing.

                      Tomorrow he goes for a ride and I think I'm going to turn him around and tie him to the plexie glass side. I pulled out one division so he rides in the middle two slots and he think can ride just find backwards in his one big spot. I have to turn him back around and back him out of this one though because it's higher off the ground and to get out he would either have to jump out like a bank down or he will hyperextend his back. I don't like the thought of either.

                      But again this will only work with one horse in the trailer. I think he'd be happy with a 50/50 compromise though. ; )
                      Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                        Can anyone post information/research articles regarding hauling backward versus forwards?

                        I am intrigued... and looking for a trailer.

                        Dreaming in Color


                          I also have a stock trailer, and when I haul just my old guy I let him ride loose. I've driven behind several trailers as he rode in them, and he hates straight loads. He spends the whole trip torquing his neck as far back as he can, one side and then the other, trying to look over his shoulder. Tied in a stock trailer, he just stands quietly, but given the option he will turn and stand on a backwards slant.


                            What about hauling 1 horse with a 2 horse BP with the center divider taken out completely...will the trailer lose any structural integrity?


                              Originally posted by Dapple Dawn Farm View Post
                              What about hauling 1 horse with a 2 horse BP with the center divider taken out completely...will the trailer lose any structural integrity?
                              I don't think it does - I had my divider tied to one side all the time unless I hauled 2 horses. had a Trails West Sierra 2


                                Original Poster

                                Actually I have heard that you need to move the axels FORWARD vs a standard 2h BP. Reason being, the head and neck take up some room and don't weight as much as the body. So when you turn the horse around, you are putting their body more forward in the trailer. If you were to just flip the horse around, the tongue weight would be increased quite a bit.

                                I too have noticed that my mare prefers to ride backwards if loose, but I would very rarely just be trailering one horse. My boarder or my fiance would always be traveling with me to shows or trail rides. So leaving the mare loose just isn't an option


                                  Cotner in Revere, PA, makes rear facing slant & 2 horse straight trailers upon request.

                                  When I last visited them last summer they were just in the process of custom-making one.


                                    Why does hauling my horse lose in a 2 horse BP with the divider out make me so nervous...I've not seen it done before. I think my guy might like it though since I only ever haul him by himself. Anything I need to know before trying this? (A little hand holding here might me good)


                                      Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by Dapple Dawn Farm View Post
                                      Why does hauling my horse lose in a 2 horse BP with the divider out make me so nervous...I've not seen it done before. I think my guy might like it though since I only ever haul him by himself. Anything I need to know before trying this? (A little hand holding here might me good)
                                      As long as you are not cutting the divider out, the trailer is meant to be configured like that. The divider is just there for hauling two horses; it is not part of the trailer's structure. You will be just fine removing it


                                        OK, more hand holding...I just load him in and let him lose? I think I'll just try this at home and not moving at all at steps...

                                        ETA: Oh, I should mention that my trailer has mangers ( I know people don't like those but that's what I have) it still doable?