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Horse Trailer Recommendation

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  • Horse Trailer Recommendation

    I have a friend that is getting back into horses after a very long hiatus. She is looking to buy a horse trailer. She will be looking to do just trail riding and such, so just a bumper pull to be used behind her Suburban.

    What brands are safe and offer ease of use? Which would you avoid?


  • #2
    First she has to decide if she prefers straight haul or angle haul, and what her horse prefers. does she want a tack room? Does she prefer mangers or chest bars?

    Then she will need to look seriously as the towing capabilities of her vehicle and see if there is anything light enough to be safe on an SUV.

    Honestly, if she is just getting back into horses she should wait on the trailer until she is familiar with her horse, can lead him anywhere, has some ground skills again, and can ride on the trail safely. she should haul with a friend or shipper a few times to get a feel for it.


    • #3
      Totally agree with Scribbler.

      After time, homework and learning, she'll find none better than an EquiSpirit.
      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


      • #4
        And learn about towing capacity. There isn't a single car dealer that seems to know it -- they just say "it can tow anything." Vehicle might say 10,000lb towing capacity -- but make sure it can also sustain the hitch weight -- and make sure the hitch itself is rated for 10,000lb as well. The hitch weight on a bumper pull (payload on a gooseneck) is the weight of the trailer that the vehicle must handle. Tow capacity is about the engine/transmission/etc, but hitch weight will be on the suburban. Most trailers have a hitch weight of 10-20% of the fully loaded trailer weight (horse and tack and trailer). Lastly, make sure you have the brakes. Many times it all pencils out but the brakes aren't enough -- even with trailer brakes assisting.

        The Equispirit designers wrote a book on it: "buying, maintaining a servicing a horse trailer."


        • #5
          Yes, I think I have that same book. Excellent overview.

          I am a one horse ammie that returned to riding in middle age a decade ago. I bought my first truck and trailer three years ago, and last summer upgraded from the aged half ton to a newer three quarter ton (tired Ram 1500 to newer Ford F250). I was completely new to trucks as well as trailers of any sort! Though I realize lots of people accumulate relevant experience with a truck and hauling other things.

          I didn't think about getting my own trailer until:

          1. I was totally confident riding my horse on strange trails w t c and spook.
          2. I had very good ground manners on my horse and ground skills myself.
          3. I knew my horse loaded well and loved going new places.
          4. I had traveled with my coach on both short and long trips and learned to load.
          5. I knew how to load and unload safely.

          My coach has a tricky standard transmission jeep thingy so I never got behind the wheel until I bought my Ram 1500. And probably I hadn't ridden in a full size truck more than half a dozen times in my life! If that.

          Honestly, though I love having my own rig, it is not a cost effective way to move a horse! If I paid a hauler $200 to take me trail riding once a month all year, I would come in under my annual insurance and gas costs.

          My advice for a newbie or returning horse owner is to take it slow, pay to go out with a coach or a good hauler or even a *very experienced* friend, and learn how to load, unload, what decent driving looks like.

          then you will need to practice driving and backing up and parking the rig.

          After you have your own rig you will need to draw a line in the sand for yourself personally about who you will and wont haul and ride with. I like taking my friends with good loaders out with me. I have no interest is fighting with someone's badly behaved horse or going trail riding with someone who will put me at risk by wanting to yahoo around. Or indeed who is just irritating to me as a person.

          I am very happy to have the extra power of the F250 now, as we live in mountainous country.


          • #6
            Good advice here already.

            Just wanted to add, when she's ready, consider a stock trailer.
            I have owned BP, GN, slant & straightload & never thought a stock would work for me - mostly ride Dressage, drive a mini - but I LOVE my 16' aluminum stock BP.
            In a pinch all 3 of mine (16H TWH, 13H Pony & 34" mini) will fit, more than enough room for my cart & mini & in warm weather I could conceivably camp in the trailer - center gate closed - with horse either in the back or highlined.

            I have towed with a Chevy blazer (2H BP) F250 (2H GN w/LQ, then 2H GN w/DR) & currently pull the stock with a Chevy Trailblazer.

            BP works best for Older Me as getting in & out of the truckbed to hitch a GN was becoming a PITA < & knees!
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


            • #7
              in Virginia .... straight load with ramp load would the norm


              • #8
                I've had two Hawk trailers and have been happy with them. They're generally well-liked by everyone.

                If looking for a used trailer, there are many more important things than brand. She will need to read up on everything to check on a trailer to make sure it is sound, and/or take it to a pro for a pre-purchase exam. She should also avoid those old, small trailers you see used fairly often. I'm assuming she has a full-size horse, and those trailers are really cramped, and hard to work in.


                • #9
                  I was so excited when I upgraded from my old 16' stock trailer to an Equispirit Breeze 2-horse. And I love the trailer. LOVE it. The folks at Equispirit were really nice and really easy to deal with. The trailer has a front unload ramp, which is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I highly recommend it.

                  But the thing is...I'm probably going to sell it this year and replace it with another stock trailer. The stock trailer just fits my life better. Part of me thinks I'm nuts, but the bigger part that misses the stock trailer just tells that part to shut up. But I digress...

                  In terms of brands, I love Equispirit. And, I believe that Hawk, also mentioned above, is (or was) actually the manufacturer for Equispirit, so both are good brands. I have friends with a Merhow and he is really, really picky, so that suggests to me that Merhow makes a quality trailer.
                  "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                  that's even remotely true."

                  Homer Simpson


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for the replies so far.

                    She is ready to JUMP into the deep end. She rode my semi retired pony some for about a few, but I haven't really seen her in a year. She has 3 boys in elementary school now and feels she's ready to do this.

                    Her husband asked memoir trailer recommendations, so thats the advice I'll provide. Hopefully , I'll have a chance to offer some advice without raining on her parade too much.