Types of Horse Trailers - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-18-2019, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Types of Horse Trailers

Sorry if this has been beaten into the ground, but...

What's the difference between front/straight load vs slant load in terms of weight distribution, balance, "easier on the horse"? Which do you prefer? Why?

This is for hauling normally one, maybe two at max, horses.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-18-2019, 10:43 AM
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I'm not sure in terms of weight distribution or balance but I can tell you 1000% my horses prefer to be in a slant load. We have a bumper pull stock trailer and a 4 horse weekender slant load gooseneck and my horses much prefer to get into the slant load. I prefer it too because I feel like there's less room for them to move/get into trouble but we rarely use the stock trailer for more than very short distances.

My best friend had a straight load bumper pull and it would take her hours to get her horse in it. He got better after lots of work but it was still a rush to try to get the back bar down before her gelding could back out of it. She switched to a slant load weekender and he hops right in.
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-18-2019, 11:05 AM
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Well. Just thinking it through - Let's say you have a two horse straight load, but only one horse to take with you on trip A.

That horse will be to one side or the other - the weight will not be evenly distributed. If horse A weighs more than Horse B, weight will not be evenly distributed.

Slants are considered better for a horse because it's easier for them to adjust their weight to the movement of the trailer as you pull it down the road. It's considered less tiring. It also distributes weight better, be it one horse or two or four or eight.

As for us, when we take the stock trailer it means we have four or five loaded. My husband makes a big deal out of putting the lighter horses in the front, the heaviest ones over the axle, and then any lighter horses in the very back,to help further with weight distribution.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-18-2019, 11:24 AM
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From what I can tell, most horses prefer to ride slanted or backwards. I know my horse does.

Slants can be problematic for unusually long horses like many warmbloods.

As far as hauling goes, there are a lot of variables affecting stability, including the wheelbase of the tow vehicle and the tongue length of the trailer. But almost anybody here probably knows more about towing than me. I just drive real slow.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-18-2019, 12:12 PM
Green Broke
 
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My current trailer is a 4-horse stock. The horses prefer to stand at a slant or backwards. It had slant dividers, but I took them out when we moved to haul our furniture, and haven't gotten around to putting them back in. Horses ride just fine without the dividers; one rides better.

A friend's TB mare refuses to ride in a stock or slant trailer. She has a 4-horse head-to-head (straight load) and the mare loads happily in that. I think the big mare is just too long to ride comfortably in most slants, and is used to the support of a divider, so for her, an open stock trailer isn't comfortable.

Horses have preferences. Not all are the same.

If you decide to purchase a 2-horse side-by-side, get one where you can completely remove the divider if need be. That enables you to haul one horse at a slant, or two side-by-side. If you haul only one horse in a side-by-side, he needs to be loaded on the left (or to the inside of the road if you're not in the US). The roads are usually crowned in the middle, and a horse on the outside of a trailer puts too much weight on the low side, making the trailer more likely to fishtail or overturn if you drop a wheel off the shoulder. By the same token, when hauling two horses in a side-by-side, the heavier horse always goes on the left side.

Your tow vehicle, type of trailer (length, axles, air ride vs. leaf springs, hitch vs gooseneck) has a lot more to do with the stability and towability than the horse configuration.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-18-2019, 02:49 PM
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I don't know about weight distribution, but I do know most horses prefer to ride in a slant.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-18-2019, 03:01 PM
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I prefer a slant. I feel like it distributes weight better for sure.

Ride more, worry less.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-18-2019, 10:20 PM
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Horses decide how they want to ride...
Once you know that fact, then you can "decide" to work with it or not...
Not every horse likes slanted, not every horse likes backward and not every horse likes straight...
Preference, the horses choice.

I have 2 trailers.
A 2-horse straight load and a 4 horse semi stock.
Semi-stock has a moveable/removable stall divider for straight loading capability, then a slam gate to separate horse areas and then I can put 2 more horses in the rear section tied straight, slanted or loose...
Or do whatever I feel like by moving a divider and opening/closing slam gates..
So, my horses load in anything...
Lately when I take 2 to ride I will lightly tie them to the side and let them figure out straight or slant...
They choose straight.
Both have just enough tie to squish together so they stand straight and can look out my front window...their choice.
They could stand slanted, they don't want to.
They choose to stand facing forward...and yes, I've left them completely loose in the entire trailer so if they wanted to turn backwards they could...
Again we found them facing forward standing straight...
It is their choice made, now I just tie them knowing their preference....

...
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-20-2019, 11:18 AM
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A slant load (at least the ones without a rear tack room) appears wide open and most horses will jump in more readily than a straight load. That doesn't mean they'll be happier riding in a slant.



My big guy prefers a straight load or an open stock trailer. He gets the heebie jeebies in a slant. There are two big advantage to a straight load: room and ventilation. There are DOT limits to how wide a trailer can be, so it's very difficult to make a slant trailer big enough for a really large horse. By contrast, a straight load can have stalls almost 4' wide and practically unlimited length. And on a hot day, a horse standing in a straight load stall can get a steady blast of air down his neck and back from the opened front ceiling vent.


I spent more than an hour working with my horse the first time I put him in a straight load. Then I hauled him 1500 miles. We stopped often for water breaks and to stretch his legs, and he always hopped right back in.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-20-2019, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Reiter View Post
A slant load (at least the ones without a rear tack room) appears wide open and most horses will jump in more readily than a straight load. That doesn't mean they'll be happier riding in a slant.



My big guy prefers a straight load or an open stock trailer. He gets the heebie jeebies in a slant. There are two big advantage to a straight load: room and ventilation. There are DOT limits to how wide a trailer can be, so it's very difficult to make a slant trailer big enough for a really large horse. By contrast, a straight load can have stalls almost 4' wide and practically unlimited length. And on a hot day, a horse standing in a straight load stall can get a steady blast of air down his neck and back from the opened front ceiling vent.


I spent more than an hour working with my horse the first time I put him in a straight load. Then I hauled him 1500 miles. We stopped often for water breaks and to stretch his legs, and he always hopped right back in.
My slant load 2 horse stock trailer has all the ventilation anyone could want and then some, and my biggest horse is 14.2, so my slant set up works great for me and my horses. I agree big horses can be real uncomfortable in a slant.

I am prejudiced though, as I fought with my horse for a year before I gave up, sold my straight, and bought her the slant she wanted all along.

Short horse lover
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