Trailer dilemmas: slant vs straight, stall length etc. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-25-2013, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Trailer dilemmas: slant vs straight, stall length etc.

Aaaaaaaallllrightey. So I'm looking for my first trailer - yippee!! ...except that its turning out to be super stressful! I'm looking at used trailers as 1) I don't want to bang up a brand new trailer whilst learning and 2) they're obviously more affordable.
As you guys know, Ronan is quite large - 16.3 3/4 hh and quite long (81" blanket) so finding a "reasonably priced" trailer is proving to be challenging. And the trailer market in my area seems to be red-hot. I replied to an ad less than 30 mins after it was posted and the seller informed me that someone was coming to see it right away, and to call back in a few hours to check if it was sold - and it was.
Moreover, finding a trailer big enough for Ro has its challenges. My coach has a trailer that's 7' tall (plenty of height for him) and 6'6" wide slant load, and we can't close the divider. It seems like used trailers big enough for Ro under $10k are **** near impossible to find.
I've found two and because of the red-hot market, I have to act fast.

My questions for those who don't want to read a novel:
- straight load with mangers: yea or nay? And why?
- how long should the stall be in a straight load for a horse that wears a 81" blanket? (Keeping in mind that blanket measurements wrap around the chest and butt, so 81" isn't accurate)
- straight or slant load preferred?
- is hauling a single large horse in a straight load dangerous?

My dilemma:
Trailer 1: 2007 Circle J slant load. 7' tall, 6'6" wide. Ronan fits, but divider won't do up, so hauling two horses either means Ro is in back or the divider is open, or they won't fit. It's also means he can swing his butt to and fro. He doesn't like to back off, so he somehow accordions himself together to turn around. This trailer is newer and pretty, and cheap for what it is. Decent sized tack area. Easily re-sellable.

Trailer 2: 1995 Featherlite 2 horse straight load. 7' tall, 5'something wide. Stalls 6'1" deep, then room in the manger for the horses' heads. Divider is removable or can be pushed aside. Double doors in back, step up load. There is a walk through door from the large tack area to the horses so you can check on them fully without opening doors to their area - I looooooove this feature. The butt bars are a unique design that are easy to do up even with a tough loader. The cons are that there are mangers, so that cuts down on space, and the drop down windows have no bars, so it's either drop down or nothing. I haven't trailered Ro in a straight load step up so it will be a learning curve.

Thoughts?? I'm completely stressing about this trailer buying business. Haha.

The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-25-2013, 11:40 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oregon
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I hear ya! My two wear 81" and 87" blankets. I guess I got lucky. I just bought mine in January. I got a 91 circle J, it is x tall and x wide. It is 7.5' high and not sure about the other measurements. It is a strait load and they both fit. Not huge room but it works. I think what you need will be out there, you just need to keep looking. I would not buy one that will work for one now but cannot work like it is supposed to for two. As far as hauling just one. Keep the horse on the road side, toward the center line, not on the outside.

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post #3 of 10 Old 05-25-2013, 11:57 AM
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A 3 horse slant is an option, you remove the first gate and make it a two horse. The back section is always wider than the first two. When I was looking at trailers, I didn't see any two horse slants that I would consider big enough even the brand new WB ones. One of my horses is 16hh and long bodied and the 3 horse slant was the only option I would consider, he has plenty of room loaded in the first or second compartment. Another thing to consider is the tackroom, a swing out saddle rack is very handy as you don't have to enter the tackroom to get a saddle, makes life much easier.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-25-2013, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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I agree with maybe getting a three horse slant. When we were downgrading from a four horse goose neck to a three horse slant we lucked out and found an tall, extra wide. So they are out there.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-25-2013, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NW Oregon
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You will save yourself added grief and stress if you can find what you need to start with. Voice of experience......

Your horse may fit in a 7' trailer, but he is tall. A 7'5" would give him a little added height. The suggestion of a 3 horse slant is a good idea. I personally prefer a slant to a straight. But I have seen a very roomy 2-horse straight that was warmblood size. After a couple trailer purchases in the last number of years we got one that is perfect. A 3-horse slant extra tall. Our horses are average size for stock types but I love the extra room. And they ride very well.

One more thing to consider is the tow vehicle. Make sure it is rated for the tow weight. No end of the fun, huh? : )
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-25-2013, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
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No end to the fun is right. I have a half ton rated to 8000 lbs. I'd prefer to stay with a two horse because I want something easy to tow with my half ton.

I think I'm going to go with the two horse straight load. It's a great trailer for the price and my "cons" to it are minimal. I'm buying it on the condition that Ro fits easily.

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post #7 of 10 Old 05-25-2013, 03:35 PM
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I went for a slant just because I don't like dealing with mangers and the center/door pole in the straight loads, especially if a horse is prone to being difficult. My guy isn't, but I can't guarantee he'll always be good or that I'll always only be hauling him. I will however, be hauling just him the majority of the time and didn't want to have a horse on one side and not on the other.

So I vote slant. That said, there's nothing actually 'wrong' with straight loads, so go for it if your horse fits in it better. I just have a personal preference.

ETA, with the slant, if you're just trailering him, just clip his halter to the front trailer tie and leave the divider clipped to the wall. So long as he's not a scrambler, that would probably enable him to ride comfortably, and as you said, when doing two horses, just load him last so he has the larger section.
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Last edited by Sharpie; 05-25-2013 at 03:38 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-29-2013, 01:24 PM
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I'm also starting my search for my first trailer. My trainer recommended I stay away from manger-style straight loads. The wall right there in front of their legs doesn't allow them to balance well in the event of a quick stop and my trainer said she's seen quite a few horses rear up and scrabble into the manger. Straight loads with just a breast bar are fine.

I personally prefer slant load because it's the only type my horses have ever been hauled in and it seems like it would be more comfortable for them to travel at an angle. I'll also only be hauling one horse, so I feel it also distributes the weight better left to right.
verona1016 is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 05-29-2013, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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I bought a 3 horse slant, Ben, 84" blanket, travels up front, with the partition in the first position at the head, and the second position at the rump. There was only one partition in it when we got it, so it is always used as a two horse, always will be when Ben is on board
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-29-2013, 06:41 PM
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Location: Connecticut
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I would steer clear of hay mangers. At least in my horse's case, they really made him feel cramped and claustrophobic. The solid object prevents them from putting their front legs slightly forward to balance themselves. I had to sell mine and replace it with a straight load with more open space up front. He likes it much better.

For a horse your size, I think straight load is the only way to go. You would have a hard time finding a slant he will fit in comfortably unless you go really overboard on width.

I really like Featherlites, just not that model with the mangers.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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