Buying a trailer the first time can be overwhelming if you
don't know anything about rigs. It's best to take a friend
with you who hauls their own horses. Even then, you'll still
have to provide information on your horse and truck to make
sure you get the right trailer.
Where to Find a Trailer
Most people would rather not pay full price for a trailer
if they don't have to. Look in the classifieds of your local
newspaper; go to your local tack store. Both will have ads
for trailers; the tack shop might have a photograph of the
trailer which is always helpful. You can also ask the staff
if they know the person selling the trailer, about the type
of trailer, etc. You can also post an ad at the tack shop
for a trailer which might quicken the process. It will take
a while to find the right one, so be patient.
Used trailers can be found on websites, but you're always
taking a chance if you buy off the web. It's better to buy
the trailer off a lot – new or used – because you can check
out the overall condition of the trailer; see if there are
rust spots or other damage the seller hasn't fully disclosed.
Make sure you get a warranty if one is available.
The necessary details
You'll need to know the length, width, height and weight
of your horse to make sure you get the right size rig. They
come in a few standard heights: 7 feet, 7 feet 4 inches, and
7 feet 6 inches. Most 15 to 16 hand horses will easily fit
in a 7 foot tall rig, but the added height is an advantage
if plan to get another horse in the future or want to haul
someone else's' horse. If your horse is over 16 hands, you'd
want to get the 7 foot 6 inch rig.
You need to know the weight capacity of your hitch and the
towing capacity of your truck. And finally, you'll also need
the gross trailer weight, which is determined by adding the
weight of the trailer and the weight of the cargo you'll carry
inside it. Don't forget to include all the other horse gear
– saddle, show clothes, tack, water buckets, hay, and anything
else you'll be carrying. Make sure you don't exceed the towing
capacity of your vehicle or the weight capacity of your hitch.
All trucks have labels and paperwork saying what their towing
capacity is. Make sure you have this information when looking
Slant Load or Straight Load Trailer
Most slant loads come with a dressing room which is great
for horse shows or trail rides. Make sure to measure slant
loads and well as straight loads since the dressing room may
take up space for your horse and may then be too short and
Some manufacturers think slant loads are less stressful for
a horse because they can lean on the dividers to rest if needed.
You can also turn your horse around in a slant load and don't
need to worry about backing them out if it's an issue for
The Material Choice
The majority of rigs are made of either steel or aluminum.
Steel is stronger, heavier and will hold up in an accident
or crash. A steel trailer will cost less, but you may need
to spend more on upkeep later if the trailer rusts. Since
the steel trailer is heavier, it will affect the towing capacity
of your vehicle, so keep the weight difference in mind. An
aluminum trailer weighs less then a steel trailer and will
be more expensive. However, an aluminum trailer will hold
its value better and want to trade up for a new or larger
model. Aluminum trailers tend to dent easier, which could
be a problem if your horse is restless when being moved and
tends to kick.
Before you start looking for a rig, do some research. . Go
to a horse expo, check out a truck dealership. Consider sharing
your rig with a friend who also goes to horse shows. He/she
can help with the gas costs and you'll have someone to go
to shows when other people at your barn may be busy. Be safe,
stay within your budget and have fun wherever you go!
About the Author
Edna X Wilson is a writer for www.HorseClicks.com,