Open stock trailer for two horses in hilly terrain? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-29-2014, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Wild Wonderful West Virginia
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Open stock trailer for two horses in hilly terrain?

Hi there,

I'm working on buying a gooseneck trailer of some sort, and have been weighing the relative merits of trailering my two horses (who get along fine) either tied or loose in an open stock trailer. The reasons I like this idea are:

1. Stock trailers are pretty simple: the ones that I've found are generally cheaper, in better shape for the money, have fewer moving parts to go wrong, etc., and are more open and airy for hot months when we trailer most and

2. They tend to have side ramps, which is a feature I *really* want.

We live in WV where pretty steep HILLS happen. We only trail ride: no showing. When we camp, we use a tent for us and only choose to go to places with paddocks for the horses. So, we don't need living quarters, though the gooseneck will be nice if it pours while we camp, so our air mattress will be there for inclement weather. We don't go far; our typical haul is about 15-20 minutes, and our longest haul is about 1.25 hours. But: every mile is up and down, or around curves (some are hairpin).

Question for those of you who like/regularly trailer without partitions: do horses need the support that partitions provide if the terrain isn't flat? (Seems like most of those who post about trailering in open stock trailers live out West, where land is flatter, and roads are straighter.



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post #2 of 7 Old 05-29-2014, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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When I put horses into an open stock trailer, I leave them loose so that they can stand how they choose. Usually they will choose to stand backwards.

As long as you drive as nicely as you can, it shouldn't be an issue driving in hilly terrain, as far as support goes.

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post #3 of 7 Old 05-29-2014, 01:00 PM
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I live in a very hilly section of Oregon and everybody I know uses stock trailers for their horses. The horses seem to do just fine...of course, I'm also very unacquainted with the 'feel' of a horse-horse trailer.

However, my very picky mare was VERY picky about evvvverything but she loved going for trailer rides. So I think she probably was super on board with the ride she got, over hills, in a stock.

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post #4 of 7 Old 05-29-2014, 01:43 PM
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I think your horses will be fine in a stock trailer. You may need to experiment a bit to find out what works best for them - in other words, leave them loose or tie them. Needless to say, if you tie one then the other needs to be tied as well.

I'm a slant horse trailer person. I will use the partition for two horses but, depending on the individual horse, may leave a horse loose in the trailer (the partition is against the wall and not in use). My sister, on the other hand, is a stock trailer person and leaves her horses loose. This just goes to show the role personal preference can play but gets the job done anyway.

Whatever type of trailer you get, I think the most important thing above all else is good driving. Accelerate slowly, brake slowly, turn corners slowly, adjust driving speed to the condition of the road and drive defensively. You do that and the horses will be able to manage themselves well (with or without partitions) and might actually enjoy the ride.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-01-2014, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
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I have a stock that I haul two horses regularly in. I too prefer stocks as they provide more ventilation. Ours is a stock combo, but I wasn't real pleased with the dividers and removed them. I prefer that but my horses get along well so it works. I won't haul unfamiliar horses like that though. When hauling more than one I always tie them unless it is a mare and foal. I am just more comfortable with that, but from the comments above it doesn't seem to be a problem for most. As we have lots of hills (and when you have hills, nothing is straight) I understand your concerns, but as was stated above as long as you drive carefully and take your time you shouldn't have a problem. With or without dividers horses can get into trouble when you stop or turn too quickly.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-23-2014, 04:55 PM
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Montana, USA
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I don't think horses really use the partitions/dividers to help them stand (except maybe the first few hauls if they accidentally bump it while learning how to balance). They will always try to keep themselves standing up on their own. Because it sounds like your horses are well-traveled and have lots of trailering experience, I think they would be just fine in any kind of trailering situation.

My concern would be the amount movement in back while going down the road if they are loose. It can be a distraction or even a hazard, depending on the severity. Again, sounds like your horses have lots of experience, so they might not really move around at all. As another poster said, it will just take some experimenting, trial and error. And yes, a horse can fall even when there ARE dividers - and sometimes that is worse.

On a side note - I purchased this baby monitor for my horse trailer this year and I love it! No more worrying about what's going on back there. Battery life is about 4 hours. : Uniden UBR243 4.3-Inch Baby Monitor with Indoor Portable Camera (UBR243) : Baby Monitor Video : Baby
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-27-2014, 10:18 PM
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You can get a stock trailer with a divider/gate that closes in the middle, so one horse has the front part and the other has the back part. You can also leave the gate open and haul a mare & foal or cows, sheep, etc. I owned stock trailers for years and years, and once, we did camp with it. We laid a tarp down over the shavings (I cleaned manure up first, lol) and put the sleeping bags down and slept in there. Lots of room and very comfy.

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