Horse trailers and Trucks to pull them with
My family and I will be making a cross country move (Virginia to Arizona) and have decided to trailer our two horses ourselves in stead of having them shipped. We have never had a horse trailer because we always have a friend to trailer for us. I want to know opinions and experiences, straight load or slant, goosneck or not? Manger, no manger? Stock halfstock? And we will be getting a durable used truck what are some favorites, note we will be hauling a long way with lots of different terrain. :shock: all the online research I've been doing has me overwhelmed, I'd like to hear from some real people please.
Hauling that long you're going to want something with air ride and box stalls would be really nice for the horses. As well if you are not an experienced hauled, that is a big trip.
IMO I would contact a shipping company. With the rig I would like to have to haul that distance, a hauler is going to be far less expensive. I would want at least a 1 ton truck and a 5th wheel 4 horse head to head with the stalls converted to box stalls and an air ride. Not a cheap rig.
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Honestly, even though we haul our horses everywhere, anything over an 8 hour trip, I would seriously consider a professional shipper. Less expensive, and safer.
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I would hire..
A lot of hauling companies are very reasonable. Just look for a reputable hailing company. Ask about the rigs they use whether or not they insure etc.
I'm using a company to haul my horse it's 300 hundred bucks for about 400 miles. (8 hour trip)
Wouldn't that be about what you would spend in gas anyway? If not more?
I trailered my horse from Indiana to Montana in a two horse bumper pull trailer. I stopped ever three to four hours to let her out for 15 to 30 minutes. I had a water tank that I filled in Indiana that I had in the bed of the truck that way she had water from Indiana all the way to Montana. Something to think about is a half way stop for a day or two to get your horse out of the trailer. I drove strait there it was a long drive. An other thing is Arizona a brand state. I didn't get brand inspections done and had a little trouble once I got here, Call the arizona brand inspectors office to find out what you need to do.
As for a trailer, Personally I like stock trailers, good air flow, and roomy. If money was not an issue I would get a 1 ton ford have a cummins diesel put in it and get a nice goose neck aluminum stock trailer with at lest one divider. I have a 24 foot that has two dividers. I can get nine to ten horses in it. but thats big. if that not what you need go with a 16 foot trailer. you can get 6 horses in a 16 foot but its "tight" four horses do great in a 16 foot stock trailer.
My two cents.
but check into the brand inspection stuff before you go.
All the research I've done tell me a lees expensive shipping isn't the safest thing for you're horse and if you want good shipping you have to be willing to pay up,. Plus we need a trailer anyway and will be buying one way in advanced to get experience hauling ( takimg the horses on trail ride trips and such all summer, which is a fun way to learn.
Thanks Cowboybob, we only have two horses though. We are defiantly getting a diesel, my dad does biodiesel and vegetable oil so fuel for this trip will be free!
Rule of thumbs for trailer shopping:
-Add up how many horses you normally intend to haul then add a spot, so in your case get a 3 horse. Extra slot is for hauling your third horse that you just haven't got around to admitting your going to buy yet or a friends horse.
-Check the axle ratings on a trailer plus the trailers GVW before buying. If they match or are close, don't buy it. Many manufacturers go light on axles to save money and that's not really a good thing. Running them at max or near max weight will decrease longevity and can cause a nasty wreck with precious cargo. You want axles under that trailer that are designed to haul a heck of a lot more than the trailer is rated for. IE trailer max GVW is 7000 pounds and the GVW of the axles is 3500 pounds each, walk away. Here's why. A 3 horse steel bumper pull trailer will weigh ~3500 pounds empty, figure ~1000 pounds per horse and you are at 6500 pounds with just your horses in it. Now toss in tack and supplies and you are at or above 7000 pounds.
-Check how much weight the trailers tires are designed to carry. Again many people and manufactures will put on lighter tires than needed to save money. Buy tires that will carry what the axle can at a minimum. IE if you have a 3500 pound rated axle the tires need to carry at least 1750 pounds of weight each. But you should apply the same rule as above, you really want tires that can handle more weight than the axle is rated for.
-Ask how old the tires are, if they are more than 5 years figure in replacing them. Trailer tires usually will blow out long before the tread looks bad on them due to sun rot. That makes age a better indicator than tire wear.
-Buy a white trailer, they are cooler inside than colored ones. Don't believe me? Go to a trailer lot on a sunny day, pick several colors then step in the back of them. You'll be able to feel the temperature differences. As you are moving to Arizona where it can spend months at a time over 100F, it will make a huge difference for your horses.
Now other advice.
Slant vs. straight is always a debate. I personally think horse haul better in a slant while others say straight. I also think they are easier to get a horse to load into as they are more open and inviting but that's my opinion. Go for what you want.
Get a tack room water tank installed. Handy for both long haul water supply and watering your horses in dry climates after a ride.
Canvas corner feeder for slant loads are handy. Get ones that are water proof and you can put water and hay in at the same time. I'm sure there's something similar for straight loads, just haven't looked.
Wow, thanks Darrin, I'm taking notes !
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