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Hauling in a stock trailer

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  • Hauling in a stock trailer

    Does anyone ever haul in an actual STOCK-stock (ie, 6'6", NOT 7'+)?

    For a couple of years now, my father has offered to loan me his trailer to haul my horse around. I haven't taken him up on it, for a few reasons-- mainly because they live almost 4 hours away, I didn't have a tow vehicle (and would thus have had to borrow his trailer AND his truck), and it's a standard (non-horse) stock.

    We did haul a horse in it a couple times before, over 10 years ago-- my first horse (16.2 OTTB), once when I moved away from home and then once more to bring Horse home to retire. I was young and naiive then and didn't think much about the fact that said trailer wasn't "horse height;" either way, Horse hauled fine in it and we had no problems.

    Fast-forward to now. I DO have a tow vehicle of my own (Chevy 2500, bought used) which is more than capable of towing said trailer. Purchasing a trailer of my own won't be in the works until next summer due to paying off an existing car loan.

    Dad's offer to loan me his trailer still stands. It's in immaculate condition, garage-kept, and he only uses it maybe 2-3x/year, usually in the fall/winter to move some cows to auction. It would be easy for me to have it from Memorial Day to Labor Day without him being "put out" without it.

    BUT it's a shortie.

    I'm sure I'm going to be flamed... wrapping up in some asbestos and making my own popcorn...
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

  • #2
    I will measure it tomorrow, but all stock trailers here are whatever is standard and horses go places in them all day long and are fine.
    Some cowboy horses are rather large also and fit in there just fine, right along with the smaller ones.

    Why don't you try it for size, then decide if it works for you?


    • #3
      Take some short trips in it and see how your horse likes it.

      All I my horses except one did well in them. The other had diarrhea non-stop and I could never get him use to the full open style, but he'd always load and unload safely. Go tell.


      • #4
        Take some short trips in it and see how your horse likes it.

        All I my horses except one did well in them. The other had diarrhea non-stop and I could never get him use to the full open style, but he'd always load and unload safely. Go tell.


        • #5
          Unless you have a monster horse, that should be fine.
          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

          Might be a reason, never an excuse...


          • #6
            buy a leather trailer head bumper/ poll guard and drive carefully.
            ...unless your horse is one that jerks his head up without much provocation.... They generally adjust and lower their heads

            That said, some horses just find trouble anywhere and get themselves cast in an indoor arena!! Go with your gut and the knowledge of your horse.


            • Original Poster

              Lol, I thought for sure I'd get pilloried for hauling in anything under 7'6"... I'm quite sure I'd get more than a few hairy eyeballs from some fellow boarders!
              *friend of bar.ka

              "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


              • #8
                We used to haul a 16.2H horse in our 6ft trailer. It was all we had, he was not a high headed horse and he got extra length, so he could hold his head down level with no problem. He was hauled from MI to Penn., more than once in that trailer.

                He didn't have any issues about loading or unloading in the shorter height trailer, no hauling issues, came off sound and ready to ride in either state!

                He ALWAYS wore a head bumper for protection, was able to spread his legs with the partial divider for good footing. He was long bodied, 84" blanket, so that extra 2ft in stall length kept him very comfortable.

                I would not give you a bad time for hauling in a 6'6" stock trailer, provided the horse had a head bumper on, good mats with some bedding under him to prevent slipping during travel.

                We haul in a stock trailer all the time, nothing wrong with that. Horses like looking out, have great airflow so they don't overheat in summer, load in and out EASILY with things so wide open. Ours has a ramp husband put on, which horses do like. Stepping up or down was just too high for comfort, ramp is helpful for lots of things we haul in that trailer besides horses.

                If this is the only trailer you can have to use, it is safe for horse to travel in, easy to haul down the road, then go ahead and use it to have horse fun. They don't give prizes for the "best outfit" in the parking lot!! The fact that you can get to the competition or ride to enjoy your horse is LOTS more important than how expensive the trailer cost!

                I gave up worrying what "others might say" many years ago when I had to RIDE my horse to the show grounds and mom arrived with my show clothes in her car. We had a great time showing, sometimes I even got some ribbons! And from there, the methods of transport of equines got even MORE exciting! It counts more if you pack your sunny smile, good attitude and give things your best effort when you take your horse places. Not that important how you got there. And if someone makes a comment, have a joke ready to deal with it. In my case the comments WERE about being jealous, with me winning better ribbons as horse and I got experienced. They had the money and great accessories, but horse and I could out ride and out perform them regularly, however we got to the show.

                Hope you have a fun summer with your horse!


                • #9
                  I have had 17h horses haul just fine in the short stock trailers. I think they preferred them because the trailers are open with more light than many horse trailers. I always use a bump cap and fly mask, no problems.


                  • #10
                    I think it is rare that a horse actualy rides with its head way up in the air, holding it lower and more in front of them helps them balance. I wouldn't hesitate to to use it.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cnvh View Post
                      I'm quite sure I'd get more than a few hairy eyeballs from some fellow boarders!
                      Who gives a $%*! They aren't coughing up money to buy you a taller one, and until they do, I'd not bother with what they thought.

                      I haul with a stock trailer (it has a slant divider in it so is like a horse trailer) but has the short height of the stock types. My horses load and ride fine in it. If he is willing to loan you the trailer, say thanks and take her for the summer! LOL!
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                      • Original Poster

                        Wow, I must say, I'm flabbergasted-- I always read the trailer and towing threads with great interest (mentally stockpiling data for when I finally get to shop for my own trailer!), and I recall seeing many people mention how they wouldn't consider hauling in anything shorter than 7', they prefer 7'3"-7'6" if possible, etc., etc. I thought for sure I was going to be blasted off CotH with a flamethrower.

                        OK, so now a couple more considerations... Said trailer is a Bison stock (like this onehttp://dandltrailers.com/bison/trailhand.html, 12' long); there are floor mats all the way up until the escape door, so the "nose" end of the trailer is bare wood flooring. Right now, the whole thing is just open inside, all the way to the front.

                        I'm expecting I'll tie Horse to the forward left side of the trailer, but I'd like to put up some kind of partition to keep him out of the nose end (where there are no mats), and also to possibly give myself a little room for gear, since my hauling truck is a regular cab. I'm thinking a 2x4 or 2x6 barrier at chest height (which is what we did when we hauled my 1st horse, many moons ago), but I'm also wondering if maybe I shouldn't screw some heavy rubber "sheeting" or plywood to it to hang down to the floor, to keep Horse's feet where they belong? Or would that be overkill?

                        My current horse has hauled in stock trailers before and seems to like it... Honestly I prefer stocks as well; my "dream" trailer is an Eby 16' GN stock combo. But my previous experience with stocks has been the bigger ones with swinging gates... what would be the best way to arrange things inside a totally open stock to haul him as safely as possible?
                        *friend of bar.ka

                        "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


                        • #13
                          Having grown up in Europe, I can tell you that the American mantra of "bigger is better" is not always true. Over there you'll find large horses in tiny trailers pulled by little station wagons. With careful driving at appropriate speeds, it all works just fine. I had to giggle at a girl I knew who had a little Morgan cross and she was shopping for a trailer, but was limiting her trailer search to X-tall/X-wide trailers only. The horse was 14.3hh on a tall day! I have a large TB and have hauled her in a smaller stock trailer and she traveled quite well. I didn't even close her into a partition - just left it open. Have a little test drive around the block with your horse in the trailer and then go from there. I bet it will work great! Happy trails.

                          Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments


                          • #14
                            We have hauled with a stock trailer for many years. Never had a problem with head banging etc.. We have a 2 X 12 that makes a slanted barrier that runs from behind the walk door passenger side to near the front driver side of the trailer. It's about the same angle that a regular slant load would have. It is made to be removable in a hurry if we want. 2 x 4 and 2 x6 would not be strong enough. We have nothing to below the barrier for feet to tangle with. It stops the horses from turning around and riding backwards. Which is fine if you only have one horse but we haul 3 in a 16 foot stock trailer just fine. I would be selective as to what I hauled in the front area but we have hauled hay etc.. Give it a try. I like it much better then our slant load.


                            • #15
                              Some horses actually prefer a stock trailer. Gasp.

                              I say give it a try and see what your horses think.


                              • #16
                                I measured and ours is 6'6" and one of our neighbors has big horses, probably close if not 16 hands, as they are big men.
                                Their horses fit fine in my trailer.

                                To keep horses from walking into the front, we have had some trailers with a chest bar across the front, so the horse can still stick it's neck and head in the front, but not walk in there and maybe try to turn around.

                                EVERY horse we ever had and trained liked stock trailers, never had them refuse to go in there, even colts in their first few rides.
                                We used to ride our colts the first few times under saddle up the caprocks and have a stock trailer up there to go back home.
                                Made them love to see the trailer and get in when tired and knowing it was the way home and kept them from wanting to become barn sour.
                                We had an old horse the first few times to show them the way, that helped.


                                • #17
                                  I just sold my 4 horse stock and I miss it. I have great memories with it. It was a 6'6" Ponderosa, I bought it at a time when I needed a 4horse but had a very small budget to work with. I used it for 8 years & it was great, I could take 3 horses (2 POA's and a small TB) to Pony Club and throw in my QH if I felt like taking a hack during their lesson. I live in New England and there's definitely an anti-stock mentality here, but it worked great for me. It also doubled quite well to move things, I could pick up 40 bales of hay in it, helped my family on several home moves...swingsets, patio equipment and riding lawn mowers fit well in it. We also used it to bring home a huge Viking gas grill we took in as barter for work done. We even helped the town animal control officer pick up a loose cow in it. She stayed overnight in it until someone could come pick her up. I reluctantly sold it because I'm down to one kid at home who rides & competes, both of our present horses are 16'2 and uphill built, and we needed a dressing room for shows. I bought a taller 2H with DR. Not one of my horses loads or travels in it as well as they did in the stock. I say go for it!
                                  "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


                                  • #18
                                    In Alberta, it is recommended that you have 1" of trailer clearance for each hand of horse height as per their Standards of Care.

                                    So a 16 hand horse would need a minimum of a 6'8" trailer to be considers safe and humane.

                                    A 6'6" trailer would be permitted for horses 15.2 and under.
                                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      So, any suggestions for what to use for a DIY barrier between Horse and front? I'm thinking (in agreement with MTC) that a regular 2x4/2x6 would not be strong enough, but I'm at a bit of a loss re: how to put together something sturdier. Oak plank? 2x6 but with a 2x4 screwed along the back like a sideways "T"? 2x12 would be OK by itself?
                                      *friend of bar.ka

                                      "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


                                      • #20
                                        I would go to a welding shop and have them put in a big pipe divider for your space. Probably a 3" thick pipe for big, smooth diameter that is comfortable to lean on. You can add padding, make it even thicker and softer, wrap with duct tape to cover padding.

                                        You could have them make a drop pin holder at each end, like butt bars have. Pipe could run straight across the trailer or go at a slant like a regular divider.

                                        And this sounds odd, but you need to run a piece of wood inside the pipe to strengthen it. Could be a 2x2 or 2x4 if inside hole is bigger, with wood corners trimmed down. Wood needs a snuggish, NOT really tight, fit into pipe. Trim off a LITTLE more wood if it is hard to get started, this is NOT one of the Labors of Hercules! It is a bit of work hammering the long wood length inside, but CAN be done. Wood inside will strengthen pipe, needs to be one solid piece. One length of wood is to help prevent pipe "folding" with pressure on any one area. Short pieces of wood inside would not add the same strength as one length does to the pipe.

                                        The welder guys will probably tell you if what line you want the pipe to take is possible, with secure pin anchors on each end or if there is only sheet metal and "that location" is not going to work. Husband made our pin anchors for trailer by just cutting a pipe length for pin in half, one half on the wall plate, other half on the pipe end, and a round bar cut to length with ring welded to the top for a pin. Trailer dealers also might have ready-made pins and brackets for purchase, have the welder install them on the walls and pipe itself. Tell the welder guys to clean off any welding points smooth, so horse can't get cut on it.

                                        I would look for a small mat of some kind, to cover that floor in the nose area. TSC sells half-size stall mats now, you could cut it to fit with not much wasted, or find a used one cheap, to cut. I don't want any metal or bare wood flooring that horse could get a hoof on to slip.