Horse trailer buying guide
Well here’s the thing – for many of us, it comes down to budget. It seems simple, but you also need to be sure your budget can afford the vehicle to pull your dream trailer.
What you need to think about when horse trailer shopping:
- Horse size. Extra tall or warmblood? Might need a trailer that is extra tall. Also make sure your horse’s width can fit – this is more of an issue for a slant, but it’s good to keep in mind.
- Slant or straight. This might just boil down to personal preference, or what your horse prefers. And when you are thinking about it, ramp or step up. Again, largely a personal preference here. Do you know what type of trailer your horse has been in before and how he reacted?
- Think about the overall length and size of the rig. You might find that in your state, you will be required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This is typically related to how big your rig is. You might also find that you need an electronic logging device (ELD), but this is largely determined by the reason you are hauling horses – for a business or not.
- Reason for getting a trailer. Is this strictly for emergency evacuations? Or are you showing every week? If you are showing, are you working out of the trailer or getting a show stall? If you get a show grooming stall, you might be able to get away with a smaller tack room. Will you be camping at the shows and need the living quarters?
A small tack room can be plenty of space!
And then think about the safety features you want in a horse trailer.
- The separation between the stalls in the trailer is safest when it’s all the way to the ground. Horses like to shuffle, some like to kick, some really dislike their travel buddy. A physical barrier can be ideal.
- Windows come in all configurations. It’s part personal preference and budget here, but think long and hard about windows or slats without screens.
- The floor material might depend on where you live. Some floors can be treated with a grippy protective surface like you would treat the bed of your truck. All floors benefit from mats.
- Bells and whistles are nice, too. Interior lights, fancy saddle racks, top of the line rims, custom paint.
But perhaps the most important thing is that your horse will easily load and be comfortable. Part of that comfort comes from what trailer you buy, and another part comes from your training of him to load easily and willingly. Happy horse trailer shopping!