Comfort is key when it comes to transporting horses. Additionally, you need to right equipment to ensure safety and the integrity of trailer parts and equipment. Read the following information to ensure a smooth transition from one point to the next.
The basic or ‘stock’trailer accommodates three to four horses. The floor of the trailer is thin and offers a bumpier ride. The trailer is open, so horses are able to walk around the inside, yet it does pose a potential safety hazard.
There are no windows but ‘slats,’ providing ventilation and giving the horses a roadside view. The most economical choice, the basic trailer is optimal for short distances and one or two horses.
The two-horse straight trailer accommodates two horses separated by a partition. The horses, situated straightaway with a tiny manger for food and water, do not have room to turn around or ‘mingle.’
Some straight trailers are fixed with breakaway ‘escape’ doors. Typically, riding in a straight carriage is not as comfortable as riding in a slanted trailer.
Slant-load trailers are the most common and popular with horse owners. Slant loads can accommodate two or more than ten horses, with a bumper pull or gooseneck design. The design is much more comfortable for horses; turning is not difficult and the insides better during stop-and-go driving. Of course, you can pamper your horses as much as you’d like. A 2-horse gooseneck trailer is incredibly comfy for two.
Owners access drop-down doors for feeding, so horses can poke their heads from the sides of the trailer. Partitions swing between horses for easy access.
Safety and Weight
Seasoned truckers know the right and safe way to stack and distribute load weight. It’s best to stack heavy materials on the bottom and lightest on top so loads do not shift during travel. Unfortunately, the majority of a horse trailer’s weight is a few feet above the floor, making it easy for trailers to shift uncontrollably during transit.
Weight distribution and horse safety is the reason why you must buy a hitch that can handle equal or greater weight than the load you’re pulling.
Before selecting an appropriate tow vehicle, you need to know the exact weight of your trailer. Do not confuse the weight of the trailer with the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) or the manufacturer’s recommended weight limit. Never load your trailer beyond the recommended weight or you’ll risk the health of your horses as well as other drivers on the road.
Sometimes, the weight is listed on the certificate of origin or on the title. Alternatively, you can take the trailer to be weighed, computing the added weight of horses, food, equipment, etc.
Those with utility and off-road vehicles sometimes attach trailers to bumpers, which is not advised or safe. Most bumpers cannot handle the weight of trailers. Also, it’s essential the trailer is aligned horizontally; if not, the horses will be constantly off-balanced during the ride. Also, such a dynamic causes swaying and unnecessary tire wear.
Approach a vendor about the right kind of hitch for your setup. Be attentive to two numbers – the weight carrying rating and the weight distribution rating. The former tells of the capacity of the hitch without weight distribution bars attached. The second number is usually twice the weight-carrying rating. Make sure you are getting the right kind of hitch.