Horse to Trailer Size - Advice Needed
Well, I took possession of my horse trailer. This is my first experience with trailers to horse ratios, so please help me with my decision to keep this trailer or not. Sam has always been transported in oversized haulers with full doors. When I saw him in the trailer, my heart sank because I worried it was too small. But, I've been Googling my head off and looking at images and mathmatically it should work. Most straight load two horses don't have oodles of room behind the horse.
Before you read all of this: keep in mind that right now my goals for a trailer are to get to vet appointments if necessary and to go trail riding at my favorite campground, which is 41 miles barn to campground via divided highway.
My tow vehicle will have no problems pulling the trailer and horse based on weight.
The trailer empty towed exceptionally. It didn't walk or shift ever.
Here are the specs for the two.
Blanket Size 72 in.
Single Horse Trailer:
Height: 7'4" throughout
Width: 3'6" equally thoughout
Length: This is where it gets tricky. The trailer has a front outside tack storage that is about 4' high. Along the cargo area, from the inside manger wall to the rear is a solid 7'. The manger is just over 3'. The horse's head goes into this area and there is a tie down at the very front of the trailer nose.
So, the floor length is 7' but the total horse cargo area (above 4 ft is 10'.)
One trailer website stated (for a two horse trailer) that an inside width of 6' with a height of 7' and a total stall length of 10' will fit a horse from about 14 hands up to about 16 hands.
Since this is a 1 horse trailer, 3'6" is more than the cargo area for a single horse in a 2 horse trailer. It should work correct?
During our practice load, he loaded fine. Very little encouragement from me to pop in. I had to coax him ALL the way forward, but he usually is in a 3 horse slant or 9 horse stock trailer. The fact that he was hesitant at first is not a surprise.
I pushed him in and attached the butt bar. I threw hay in the manger and watched him. He shifted his weight (which is typical, he is a weight shifter) but never acted like he would go nutso. When he shifted his weight, the trailer did rock slightly, but I have had other people say that is normal.
It took some coaxing to back him out, but again, this is new. I ended up having a person guide him at the back and we snaked the lead rope through a side window to guide him straight back. He made 3 false starts, check 4 times, and then walked back gingerly and popped himself out. The entire backing out process took less than 15 minutes and was mostly spent with us talking about the how.
I am attaching photos.
The other people at the barn that day said it was too small. :-( But, the measurement math works and the original owner said I was being hysterical (his horse was the same size and fit) and refused to take it back. Nice, right?
The day my husband picked the trailer up he immediately bought 3 brand new tires. We have an appointment this week to get the bearings repacked and replace the electrical. During this, the mechanic will check the floor and axle joints for any potential failure points.
So, look at the photos and chime in. I don't know enough to know what is acceptable fit and what is unacceptable.
In this photo, you can see where the butt bar is between Sam and the door. There are two lead lines. The one that shoots off to the right goes out the small door and is loose. I have the trailer tie down attached to his halter.
This is a straight on photo of Sam in the trailer. There is plenty of room on either side. Does his rear end stand too high above the door? Should the butt bar be higher? If I had a professional move the butt bar attachment points higher would it be better?
Another from the rear. You can see he has room to shift and move his head back and forth. I will probably want to bag his tail to keep it from flopping around during transport. The walls right now are single plywood. I want to replace the plywood and I am considering maybe adding bumper rails. (Floor is solid)
This is the trailer so you can see the cone. The front tack area is on the other side. From the cone seam to the point of the cone is the depth of the manger.
So, do I cancel the appointment to have the rest of the work done on the trailer or for my purposes is this trailer worth keeping for the time being to give me mobility to the trails?
I should also add when I tow our 26 foot travel trailer, I pretty much drive 10 and 2 and roughly 5-7 mph below the speed limit. I take corners very slowly and allow LOTS of room for braking. I pull away from stops slowly.
To say I am confident but very defensive and cautious when towing would be accurate.
From what I've been told the butt chain should sit half way between the hocks and the top of the tail. So yours looks fine. It probably couldn't hurt to add a top piece to your door to make it taller.
Is this trailer listed on craigslist? I want to say I saw it on there.
My husband had the bearing completely replaced for the three tires and the electrical has been updated.
I chipped out the peeling paint from inside the tack room and painted the tack room, the plywood, and the manger area in a bright white semi-gloss. I must say, it looks much nicer. I am hoping that the brighter walls and cone will give it a more spacious feeling for the horse. It definitely looks nicer to my eye at least.
We are going to install a saddle rack this week and I am going to find a way to affix a large feed bowl to the front manger for hay/soaked pellets to help keep down the mess and hay flying around during transit.
We have now officially put more into the trailer than its purchase price. LOL.
My mare wears a fly mask all the time but when I put hay in the trailer, I have my gelding wear one too to help prevent stuff from getting into his eyes. Just an extra protective layer.
Is it bad that my first thought when I saw the pics from behind is him pooping and it flying at the cars behind you? LOL I think the picture just makes it look like his butt is right on the door, especially the one with his tail over it, which makes me think of that.
The door does not "push" into him, but there is no excess room for him to move forward and back. The butt bar is up next to the door and touches Sam.
If he poops it could very well hit the street. (Can I get a ticket for that?) Hey, if someone it tailgating close enough to my horse trailer to get pooped on... serves em right! :twisted:
Armyrdr... How would one go about raising the door higher or adding another piece to the door?
I would get a ball extender and lower the ball so it sits level. Looks like he fits. If it were safe I would use it if that is all I could afford. I am not sure about your comment about the seller not taking it back. No one would it is an as is sale.
To explain, I bought it sight unseen based on a coworker of my husband's. She offered to pick it up in OK from her FIL and bring it to Kansas where my husband could hook it to his truck. I wasn't given an opportunity to view it myself until it landed in my driveway.
I sent a letter with my payment that I wanted to verify the trailer first and load my horse. IF it did not work out, I would expect to cancel the deal. In my letter, I stated if those terms were not satisfactory, to not cash my check and keep the trailer because it would be better to walk away.
Since I was not notified that the deal was off, I figured my terms were acceptable. After it landed in my driveway and I saw the fit I immediately called the coworker and was told by the coworker's husband I was being hysterical.
So.... same old addage. The only people that will screw you are the ones you know because you allow them the opportunity.
I asked for measurements and was told it fit their stallion with a saddle on its back. I asked for the breed (for reference) and was told a full size horse.
That's the only reason... I should have driven out to OK with my money or met my husband at the office before it was attached to his truck. Once he attached it my check was cashed.
I'm feeling much more secure with everyone's comments. I had no idea how how the door should fit and whether or not he needed enough space to do the Rumba while we were tooling down the road.
It is completely roadworthy now. The tires and bearings alone have us up to the purchase price. My hubbie didn't spare a dime in picking out good quality rubber.
I'll look at getting an extender to make it more even.
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