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Brenderup Trailers

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  • Brenderup Trailers

    I have a friend who has recently purchased a new horse and they are having trouble getting the horse onto their brenderup trailer- its a two horse. Their former horse- 14 hand pony walked on with ease apparently and now this horse- 16 hand stocky wb is very hard to get on and once she gets on there throws a mild fit. Now the former owners of the WB have been contacted to see if this was a problem in the past- which if it was is fine- it is something that obviously needs to be worked on- but if it wasnt a problem- maybe it is the trailer itself.

    I have never been a fan of brenderups- I think that they are too narrow and too light to be safe to pull on the road. The fact that they can be pulled with a volvo is not a plus to me- shouldn't horses be hauled with something substantial since they are substantial themselves?


  • #2
    As someone who's been on COTH long enough to see a dozen or so Brenderup threads turn into train wrecks, let's start with this.

    Are you interested in starting a debate about Brenderups and whether they are safe? Or are you here to educate yourself about the Brenderup to determine if the trailer design could be a legit factor in this horse's freakout? Or are you here to try and understand what could be causing the horse to freak out when another horse walked onto the trailer just fine, which may be totally unrelated to the trailer type/design? Those are all legitimate discussions to have, but let's have the one you're trying to have and not a holy train wreck, which I define as "The thread where someone shows up and implies that the Brenderup is unsafe, then a bunch of other people who are equally unaware of the product's design pat them on the back and agree that the product is unsafe, and no actual legitimate reasons for its non-safety are discussed."

    In order to avoid that, please read this link and then come back. You may still have questions about the B'up after reading it, and you may have very good reasons to still dislike the product, but at least they will be reasons based in fact rather than on cursory assumptions (like "it just looks too light and narrow"): http://mrtruck.net/qstour5.htm

    Could the horse be freaking out because of the trailer type/design? Sure. I haven't yet met a horse that reacted poorly to a Brenderup, but every horse is different and there's a first time for everything. I suppose a horse could be freaked out by the brightness of the interior, or by not having windows at eye level (although it's typically the reverse, most horses get freaked by having windows AT eye level that allow them to see things flitting by their eyeline), or whatever else.

    If the potential problem is that the trailer is narrow, the stall is 32.5" wide--not the widest stall on the market by far, but I've seen a draft horse ride comfortably in one. I've heard a very few complaints about horses leaving sweat marks on the walls--I wonder if that's due to the horse being too wide or the horse leaning on the wall. It could be either one. Incidentally, 32.5" is also the width on my friend's Bison Alumasport trailer, which she used to tote around her 17.1h Rhinelander. No butt marks, no sweat marks, no complaints there.

    If the problem really is narrowness, have your friends tried wagging the stall divider to the side, which would give the horse almost 64 inches of room to load? If the horse loads easily into that, then there's your answer--it doesn't like the stall width. The solution then would be to either gradually wean the horse onto it, perhaps by standing on the trailer with the horse and wagging the bar closer and closer while feeding the horse grain. Another would be to call Brenderup and order a 3/4 butt bar, which they designed to haul a mare + foal but could easily be used to haul a horse in a wider stall.

    If the potential problem is that the trailer is "light", which might imply that it bounces around, I find that a little hard to believe--the floor is matted which would dampen any hollow sounds, the ramp is as sturdy as any other trailer ramp I've ever seen, the whole trailer has a suspension system that would absorb any knocks and rattles from the horse, and there's even pop jacks at the rear of the trailer to stabilize the ramp (not that I've ever seen these used--they're kind of redundant.) There's a video on the Internet somewhere of a lady riding in the back of a Brenderup, and she puts a wine glass on the trailer floor going 45 mph down a dirt road. Doesn't sound unstable or uncomfortable to me. I've seen and heard my horse walk back and forth in my Brenderup, and there's no perceptible movement from the outside.

    MY guess is that the horse's problem is probably a much more conventional "bad loader" problem, like people who weren't good at helping horses load into trailers in its past/present, a previous bad experience with a trailer that makes the horse skittish once it's on a rig, etc. I would be curious to know if this 16h WB has less of a freakout riding in a conventional 2-horse bumper pull. Maybe your friends could borrow someone's traditional 2-horse bumper pull, try to load the WB on that, and see if they experience the same problems? If they do, then you know it's probably not the Brenderup. If they don't, then you know it has to be something that's not present in the traditional 2-horse scenario--possibly the Brenderup trailer, possibly the handler or loading technique, possibly the horse itself, etc.

    The only "definitely could be the trailer" thing I can think of is if your friends own a Brenderup Prestige. That trailer is only designed to accommodate horses to 15.3hh, so a stocky 16-hander would be a pretty tight fit length-wise (would be fine width-wise). If they own a Solo, a Royal, or a Baron, then space shouldn't be an issue.

    As you can probably tell by now, I'm a Brenderup fan and I did my research before I bought one. In the name of fairness, I'll give the following reasons why this trailer might, IMHO, be unsafe:

    1. It is unsafe in the hands of people who don't know how to drive it. We could say the same of any trailer. But just because your trailer is designed to be hauled by an SUV or car doesn't mean you should yahoo down the road or push your luck.

    2. You could put a too-big horse into it. The Solo and Royal accommodate horses up to 17 hands, the Baron up to 18 hands, and the Prestige only up to about 15.3hh (you could do 16 but it would be a tight squeeze). Again, we could say the same of any trailer--don't load a horse that's too big for the trailer.

    3. As with any trailer, the brakes COULD theoretically fail. Personally, I trust a surge brake system hooked to four wheels (which is mechanical) a lot more than I would ever trust a trailer brake box hooked to two wheels (which is electrical).

    4. For all of its accommodations that make it ideal for pulling with a smaller vehicle, there's a point at which you're just plain pulling several tons of weight with a small vehicle. And if you don't put on a sufficiently big after-market transmission cooler, you will probably kill your transmission in short order. Let's hope your B'up salesperson made a big deal about that--mine certainly did.

    5. As with any trailer that lacks an escape door, there's the question of how you'd free a horse in an accident. I console myself that in that nightmare scenario I'd rather see a rescue team try to cut through phenolic resin than attempt to cut through metal, but it's still a bummer. Sadly Brenderup discontinued their Apollo model (which had an escape door out the front) many years ago.
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


    • #3
      The only other thing about Brenderups that I thought might cause an issue was the "noise". I know that they are supposed to deaden the sound, but stepping onto a Brenderup makes a different "noise".

      Try loading with earplugs.

      Other than that, I'd be inclined to agree that it is a horse issue. The Brenderups are usually better lit with fewer shadowy spots than most straight loads (including mine) and have no less space (provided they have the right size).
      Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


      • #4
        We had a Brenderup trailor several years ago. When empty I noticed they sway more side to side esp if its a particular windy day. I could not pull it very well on those days. Now the reason we sold it was for that fact and the other fact that Jelly Bean was to wide to fit in it comfortably. IT was a tight fit with no room between her and the walls. Danner fit just fine and trailors well (both do). We ended up buying a lightly used Ponderosa. They are heavier trailors by themselves but they dont sway when empty on the road or pull when windy. Now ours (should say mine) is more opened than your traditional trailors but we had plexy glass inserts made for winter trailoring which we rarely do anyways. I check the trailor over realy well before use in spring for any potential problems from wasps nest to axle grease.

        I know of another person who has a Brenderup and loves it.

        Perhaps its more Preference.
        Take time to stop and smell the flowers.

        Don't poke the Bear!


        • #5
          I've owned several trailers over the years, and now have a Brenderup. I have found horses load on it easier than the other trailers because it's very open and light. I don't see anything about it that would scare a horse compared to any other trailer. But, I believe that horses should load on whatever trailer they are asked so they made need to just work more w/ this horse.


          • #6
            I sheared a wheel off of my trailer heading to a show the week before last. A friend dispatched someone from her barn to pick my horses up so I could take the trailer to get repaired. The gals showed up with a Brenderup.

            It took us FORTY FIVE minutes to get my normally-totally-happy-to-walk-right-into-the-trailer horses loaded. The issue with my gelding was the ramp (I have a 3H slant step-up) and the narrowness of the trailer. We opened up the divider, which helped, but the bigger issue BY FAR was the ramp (and the fact that the ramp was as narrow as the trailer meaning that my horse kept stepping off of the side of it and freaking himself out even more).

            My mare is my "show miles show horse" and has been hauling all over the place for most of her life. She was totally and completely freaked out by the ramp as well, and I suspect that the narrow opening she had to walk into wasn't helping matters (we loaded her second, so we couldn't open it up any further).

            Once we got the horses loaded they were totally fine. I thought it was an exceedingly nice trailer once the horses were in. And I'm not going to address whether it's "substantial enough" or not. It sure didn't seem any less substantial than a lot of other trailers I've been in....other than being a little bit narrower (and lighter on the inside, and built with a really nice and high roof, etc.). That seems like a train wreck of a question.

            Anyhow, I guess my perspective is that I wouldn't be surprised about a horse not wanting to load into the Brenderup if she'd always been hauled in a slant trailer where there's a lot more room while loading....or even a wider straight load. As for the fit once she got on the trailer, I have no idea. I have a friend who ended up buying a slant trailer for one of her horses because he wouldn't ride in a straight load without throwing a tantrum. So maybe she just doesn't like a straight load???
            Flying F Sport Horses
            Horses in the NW


            • #7
              I am not a fan of any bumper pull. But I have been around Germany a lot, and those plastic trailers--under a bunch of manufacturers names other than just Brenderup--run around all over the place and those WB's don't seem to have any problems with them.

              I haul commercially. I could tell you that horses are creature of habit. If they have always done a step up, then they will stop at a ramp until they have done it a couple of times. And ramps are not all the same. There are wide rear ramps--I have 2 4Star slant load trailers that are 7'6" wide and the ramp is that wide. Most horses just walk right in. But horses who have never been up those narrow, and steeper, side ramps of the big rigs sometimes balk. But a good horseman who hauls lots of different horses can get them to load calmly and safely most always.

              I agree the plastic trailer has a different sound when they step onto its ramp versus a metal/wood ramp. Maybe that's it.

              But my guess is you have a horse that came with a history. Be patient and spend some time with him/her and all should be fine.

              Great suggestion to open up that stall divider. That looks awful narrow and a dead end to a horse. Put yourself in the horse's shoes, so to speak. I used to have a 6 horse head-to-head with a rear ramp and a side ramp. A couple of my horses would never back into those narrow slots, so I took the petition down, backed them in, and put the petition back up/or I walked them up the back ramp and they rode in the back. A couple others would not walk up that back ramp into the narrow slot, so I opened the petitions up and had to load them first. That third slot had to be for the horse who thought it was just fine as narrow as it was. Every horse is different.

              Viva la difference!
              Last edited by feather river; May. 19, 2009, 05:33 AM.
              Discipline is the Bridge between Dreams and Accomplishments


              • #8
                Originally posted by feather river View Post
                I agree the plastic trailer has a different sound when they step onto its ramp versus a metal/wood ramp. Maybe that's it.
                The Brenderup is constructed of plastic?


                • #9
                  They aren't plastic, its a resin composite. The Europeans have been using these kinds of trailers for years and it works.

                  My guess is that
                  a) the horse is a bad loader
                  b) might not like ramps (one of my two only likes step-ups.)


                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=Rye;4104311]They aren't plastic, its a resin composite. The Europeans have been using these kinds of trailers for years and it works.

                    I know that! Lighten up will ya. It is similar to boats, the Corvette body, etc. Same technology. Give me a break.
                    Discipline is the Bridge between Dreams and Accomplishments


                    • #11
                      My horses went from a ramp trailor (the Brenderup we had) to a step up (the Ponderosa we have now) and both horses were a little confused at first but then right up they went. Jelly stopped right at the door, looked in, backed up a little, then jumped realy big right into the trailor. IT scared me and I ma glad Danner wasnt in the trailor yet. She was fine though just stood there are looked at me with this expression of "what?" I had to pick my heart up off the ground. Danner didnt even balk. Danner has been exposed to a variety of trailors from ramps to step ups to cattle ramp into a box van. Jelly I think must have only been in ramp style from the way she reacted to the step up. She was a little aprehensive about backing out and having to step down but she figured it out.
                      I Know sometimes smells can be different and loud ramps to dark trailors to narrow trailors giving the horse a question about loading. Some horses are just easily excited about some things.
                      Take time to stop and smell the flowers.

                      Don't poke the Bear!


                      • #12
                        I have had my Brenderrup since 2001 and I hauled 2 hunky horses in it for years pulled by my Tundra. Now I have just 1 young horse who I bring to shows and she's a huge Holsteiner. She does not enjoy getting into the trailer; however she does not enjoy getting into anyone's trailer - be it an American 2 horse, or a comfy air ride gooseneck. Once she is in she is quiet as a mouse and comfortable. Since I only haul 1 now to shows, I had my Brenderup (Baron) customized so I can make it a 1-horse and she has tons of room but I can revert back to the 2 horse style as needed. This is the easiest, most dependable and enjoyable trailer I have ever owned. I never have a problem in windy conditions and of course, no matter what, I always drive slower and more cautiously when hauling any horse. This trailer puts less wear and tear on my truck also. Should I ever need a new trailer - I'll get another Brenderup.


                        • #13
                          I have never had a problem with my Brenderup (Royal TC). I have never had any sway issues, even in high wind but I wonder if it is because I pull it with a full sized truck. Heck, I can hardly feel that the trailer is back there at all. I have hauled two large horses in it (16+ hands) and while they don't have any room to spare side to side, they have plenty of space front to back and lots of head room. When I'm hunting and hauling only one, I remove the center divider and use my special one piece butt bar (available from the manufacturer) and make it into a roomy "box stall". That way if the weather warrants it, I can load my horse in the trailer after the hunt with hay and water etc and they are comfy and cozy while I attend the 'breakfast" after the hunt...

                          The only negative I have to say is that on really cold windy days I have dressing room envy....