1 horse in a 2 horse straight load???

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1 horse in a 2 horse straight load???

This is a discussion on 1 horse in a 2 horse straight load??? within the Horse Trailers forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • How to balance load on horse trailer
  • Do you need center dividers in a horse trailer

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    07-30-2012, 12:07 AM
1 horse in a 2 horse straight load???

I have one horse and am wanting to get a 2 horse trailer soon because I've heard that 1 horse trailers are unstable.

However, all of the decent trailers I've found are all straight load, and I've also heard that one horse in a 2 horse straight load makes it unstable too, because of the uneven weight. Is this true?
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    07-30-2012, 12:10 AM
It is true. With a 2 horse trailer with only one horse, you have an off-centered load and are more likely to have your trailer sway and maybe even lift off the ground on the lighter side.

I would look into getting a slant load or a stock trailer.
    07-30-2012, 12:16 AM
We have a 2 horse, straight loader, bumper pull, and HATE it! Our horses are very big, and it's always a squeeze to get two of them in there. When we are only hauling one, they usually stand horizontally in the trailer because it is most comfortable to them. At one point it did have a divider, but it seems to have disappeared as the weeds grew higher, lol. I don't recommend getting one.
    07-30-2012, 12:25 AM
I took my divider out and let my horse ride stock. He stands backwards at a slant, so good weight distribution.
    07-30-2012, 12:33 AM
Green Broke
In a pinch I think you could get by with a straight load for your horse. The trick is to remove the divider and let your horse stand the way he/she wants. That will likely be more in the centre of the trailer and probably at a slight angle. I have a slant load now but my old trailer was a straight load and when hauling one horse I took the divider out and I feel that it made it more comfortable for the horse. The horse would usually pick an angled standing position. It was tied to the manager by the way.

I was led to believe the stability issue of one horse in a two horse trailer was due to most roads having a crown in them (ie the centre of the road is slightly higher than the edge to allow for water run off). In that case then if you were hauling one horse you were supposed to haul it on the driver's side to provide the least interference to stability. As a matter of interest, I did have to haul one horse on the right side of the trailer (passengers side) and I couldn't really tell any difference - the trailer pulled fine.
    07-30-2012, 12:38 AM
Yes, it's true - one horse trailers are more likely to tip or go in their own choice of direction and 2 horse trailers can be unbalanced with one horse in them. However, MANY people haul a 2 horse trailer loaded with one horse perfectly safely (myself included). It does mean you need to be more careful when driving, take your turns carefully, mind your speed, keep the heaviest horse or the single horse on the driver's side, etc. It's not going to add a level of instability that makes it unsafe to drive.
    07-30-2012, 08:24 PM
I haul one horse in a two horse straight load trailer and I agree with whats been posted already. You do have to be careful but i've personally never noticed a difference as I'm very careful when hauling my babies in the back and I presume any horse person would feel the same. I also agree with letting the horse decide which position it decides is best to travel. I let my filly and all previous horses (when hauling a single horse) travel untied and have yet had a problem with it. I watched my grandpa do it and at first was scared the horse might falll down but have yet to witness one go down in the trailer. They all seem to find that position and stick to it. I like doing this especially for long trips; my filly and I recently did an 800+ mile trip in 113F this really helped her move to areas where there was good circulation of air and stay comfortable. I've also noticed they tend to go slanted and backwards which I've found out is because horses are more likely to founder when facing foreward as opposed to backwards. My final reason for letting the single traveling horse go untied is because if they were to fall in the trailer theres nothing holding them which could cause them to panic (which is why people use panic release trailer clips).

Maybe I'm off base for letting em go freestyle but it's how we do it
    07-31-2012, 01:37 AM
Gotta say that I've enjoyed my Sardine Can immensely for 10 years. We have draft crosses and they haul like nobody's business. That said, not every horse seems to load well or even haul at all in Big Blue. Ours is 7' tall. I've always hauled with a divider except once and it ended in disaster. Horse tried to turn around but the space was too narrow. She got wedged, fell and damaged her back. Chiro and 2 months' pasture rest did cure it. Never again without divider, but I do not bother to tie, as they cannot go anywhere anyway. They do use the walls to brace and balance themselves.

We've actually just sold our little trailer and are sprucing it up for the new owners. We've added a third person (& subsequent horse) to our family. It's a bittersweet move up for me and I'm not entirely sold on slants, prefer stocks, but this is what Opportunity plunked into our grateful laps and we'll certainly be riding in style!

Go for the 2 horse. You'll have a blast. Super easy to haul and park!
    07-31-2012, 01:44 AM
If your horse loads & rides in it ok (which means it's not causing them discomfort), having one horse in the driver's side is no problem. I hauled for a year like this, never did have 2 horses in there. Very easy to back, tow, etc. I hauled up & down mountains in an alpine region, never noticed tipping or wavering or nothing. Only thing I did notice, my mare went from being a good loader to a very difficult one & then would fall down in the trailer once loaded. Back to the stock & she was fine again.
texasgal and themacpack like this.
    07-31-2012, 11:49 PM
Lots of people have a two horse trailer and haul just one. In fact most people I know with larger trailers still keep a 2horse or wish they had just for the small hauls.

I do t think it's as much of a trailer safety issue as it is a driver and tow safety issue. Just because it's a 2 horse doesn't mean you can tow it with an undersized vehicle. And driving safety is important with all trailers regardless of size or style.
texasgal likes this.

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