Has any one used a trailer like this before? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-16-2014, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Mexico
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Has any one used a trailer like this before?

QUESTION: Could the horse get injured by not being able to turn in the trailer when loading or unloading?

I occasionally borrow this trailer from a friend as I don't have one of my own yet but for some reason it makes me nervous and I wanted to ask if any one else has one like this and can tell me if it is safe.

The trailer is an open stock trailer and it is half covered. The front half is covered and then there is a divider gate that goes across (not slanted) and the back half is open on top. It is definitely more for stock (cattle / sheep) then horses.

So the part that makes me nervous is that it is wide enough that the horse stands like he would in a slant load when being hauled BUT it is not wide enough that the horse is able to turn around. Therefor the horse must back out. This isn't a problem except because they stand cross they think they can turn around.

Last time I used it with no issues only that my horse was slow to back out (not jumpy or anxious). Just wondering if any one else has one like this and if its ok. Also I tied him high so he wouldn't be tempted to turn around when trailering.


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post #2 of 13 Old 01-16-2014, 06:57 AM
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Horses back off of trailers all the time and it is fine and safe to do.

Your horse just needs to go slowly so he can "feel" when he reaches the trailer end and needs to step down...don't let him rush or run backwards off the trailer.

The trailer is probably a 6' wide trailer...and if your horse wanted to I bet he could and would turn around. Horses are more flexible than most realize in where they can fit their bodies.

If you use this trailer often and will continue to use it for some time you might want to work on teaching your horse a signal to alert him he will be stepping down.
The word "down" is simple and accurate...simple word association horses understand when done repetitively.
Think "whoa"...he understands that and knows how to act and what to expect...same idea as "down"...
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-16-2014, 09:04 AM
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All my horses back off the trailer, IMO you are less likely to have a horse on top of you that way. I tell them to "back, back, back" and when they get close to the edge, "step, step".
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-16-2014, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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I usually always have my horse back off any trailer even if he can turn. Just wanted to know what the safety implications were if we did have a wreck and he couldn't turn.

He knows not to start to back until I give him the que which is after he is untied "back" and I also say step when he has his last step off.

Thanks for the replies it sounds like he is safe enough.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-16-2014, 09:36 AM
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This is sorta, kinda related. I camp at an area in Colorado that has a lot of outfitters coming and going. Their method of hauling their horses and mules is in a stock trailer - The horses loaded complete with saddles and pack saddles - jammed in side by side and tied to the left side of the trailer with their lead ropes. The halters are usually over the head stalls. Then they are all backed out with a lot of crash, banging and noise and left loose or tied to the trailer until they are loaded and ready to head up the mountain. It is something to watch! I know some of these outfitters personally and they never have a problem. They make their living with these horses and they can't have injuries.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-16-2014, 10:00 AM
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My horse always backs out of the trailer. It's just what I've been taught, so you don't end up with a horse on top of you while trying to turn around.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-16-2014, 10:49 AM
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When my horse was hauled 500 mi in a gooseneck he was in there without a halter and could wander around. He chose to ride backwards. Apparently the only time he moved about was when the trailer wasn't moving.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-16-2014, 10:59 AM
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I have a 3-horse slant. I always back my horses out, even if they do have room to turn around in one of the front slants (the back slant has no room to turn; must back out).

It's all about taking the time to each your horse to handle in any trailering situation.

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post #9 of 13 Old 01-16-2014, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Herosbud - when we go to the ranch for sorting and branding we do the same thing. Each horse gets tacked up completely then we load them all loose and go. Then they all back out when asked. Most people would flip out at how dangerous this could be but we haven't had a problem and when you have work to do and daylight to do it you don't have time to fuss around. You are right it is a sight to see!

Thanks for your replies every one - but like I said my horses know how to back off a trailer so that wasn't really the issue I was asking about.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-16-2014, 12:35 PM
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If your horses are used to being able to turn around in a trailer then I would say yes it would be dangerous to travel them loose on one they couldn't turn around in but as long as you cross tie them securely and they know how to back calmly out there shouldn't be a problem
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