How to position horses in a trailer
There is actually good reason for loading your horses in a specific way – it’s to keep the rig balanced and safe on the road. This also helps to create a more pleasant trailering experience for your horse! And the number of horses does make a difference in how you position horses in a trailer.
Straight load, slant load, or head-to-head? Each trailer style has some loading guidelines.
For straight-load horse trailers:
- When you are going in a straight load, the single horse should be on the left, the driver’s side. Put the heavier horse on the left if you have two horses in a straight-load trailer. This is best for two reasons:
- Roads are generally crowned. This means the middle of the road is taller than the edges to allow for drainage.
- Your rig has a greater chance of staying on the road if you slip your outside tires off the surface of the road and your horse is on the inside. If you are chugging along with your horse on the passenger side and the wheels slip off the pavement, your horse’s top heavy weight can pull you off the road more…or worse.
Horse placement in the trailer for slant loads and head to heads:
- For slant loads, the single horse should go in the front for balance and a smoother ride.
- For multiple horses, the larger ones go towards the front. I’m not sure I would follow this guideline to the letter, for one reason – the spastic horse. In a slant load, you need to unload every horse to get to the one at the front, and if the one at the front is a dingbat, new at trailering, a known troublemaker, a violent kicker, you will need easier access. In addition to some serious behavior training, that’s another story!
- In head-to-head trailers, most horses prefer looking out the back of the rig. Butt towards the front is best if you have a choice!
For tips on how to dress your horse for a trailer ride, this article has you covered!
Don’t forget to conduct inspections of your trailer inside and out, your towing vehicle, and your horses before you load up. Travel safe – and have fun at your destination!
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