Having used both, and having done some research, I think you'll find people who are absolutely sure that one is better than the other. I like some things about each. Here are some ideas to think about:
- Drafts are both taller, wider, and longer than saddle horses. Do slants even come in draft widths? I know that straight loads do come in tall and wide sizes for the bigger horses.
- Slants in stock trailer/combo trailer often don't have an emergency exit for the horse for the fore compartment. In other words, if you had to get to the horse loaded first, you have to unload the last horse(s).
- and they often don't have an emergency exit for the person loading the first horse.
- my slant stock/combo trailer has open panels (some have plexiglass panels that slide on and off to use during wet or cold weather). I can live with that, but I found that I can't get my hand in through the slats easily if needed to straighten a halter, release a trailer tie snap, or whatever. I loved how I could check on the horse through the window when they were in the straight load.
- straight loads usually have a solid manger in front, with chest bumpers. This means the horse can't put its head down while traveling, which is important for horses. If you haul long distances, this would be an important consideration.
- straight loads with windows at the side are easier to feed/replace hay/water from, compared to slants without windows and mangers.
- some people say horses - if left to choose - would rather travel on the slant. Other people say some horses like to travel straight. I don't know the 'right answer.' I can guess, though, that a horse traveling on the slant will ALWAYS have to brace with the same foot first, where a horse traveling in a straight would be able to use first left front, then right front, to brace.
-Some horses load better in slants, at least for the first horse to load. The last horse has to be very good at loading in order to get tucked all the way inside the trailer so the door can be shut (they can get their front in far enough to tie, but the back end is still hanging out of the trailer unless they walk on in and get in the right position.)
- Slants can be used easily for mare and foal by leaving the divider fastened open to the wall. Many straight loads have fixed center panels and aren't as flexible in hauling different livestock as slants. (We use our slant stock combo for horses, sheep and steers. Love it for that.)
I hope this helps!
Last edited by Ladytrails; 01-01-2012 at 04:22 PM.