5 Things To Consider When Buying A Horse Trailer

5 Things To Consider When Buying A Horse Trailer


Horse trailer shopping is exciting! It can also seem overwhelming. Before you get started, make a list of key points that matter most. By deciding on details like horse trailer construction, loading style, and hitch type, you can separate the grain from the chaff and make your trailer shopping experience much smoother. 

Today the team at Trails West Trailers will cover five things you should consider when buying a horse trailer. Let’s ride!

Horse Trailer Construction: Aluminum vs. Hybrid Styles

We’ve explored this topic in more detail in another blog. For now, know that:

  • Aluminum horse trailers are 10% — 15% lighter than steel trailers.
  • If you are hauling out often, this can mean significant fuel savings.
  • But hybrid construction trailers — a blend of steel and aluminum — are sturdy and become a good choice for professional livestock CDL drivers on the road 70 hours every week.

Next, consider hitch type. 

Bumper-Pull vs. Gooseneck Horse Trailers

The towing ability of your truck has a huge impact on the horse trailer you select. If you plan on hauling three or more horses regularly, you’ll prefer a gooseneck-style trailer and a bigger truck. Goosenecks also provide other options, like more tack space, dressing rooms, and even living quarters ideal for extended stays at the rodeo grounds. 

But if you only have two horses and don’t head out to the show grounds for more than a day or two, a bumper-pull trailer will be plenty!

Loading Style: Slant Loads vs. Straight Load

This Stablemanagement.com article says it well: “When a horse enters a closed, dark space it is counter to his survival instinct, a throwback to living in the wild… But, walking into a light, airy trailer [appropriate] for your horse’s size [with] adequate ventilation can reduce the most common causes of stress and stress-related accidents.”

  • Many horses seem to prefer to load in a slant loading trailer.
  • But most can be trained (eventually) to handle a straight load.
  • Buy the trailer that suits your budget and horse’s preference.
  • And remember that older, arthritic horses might prefer a ramp. (We’ve written more about osteoarthritis in competition horses, too.)

Next, let’s think about horse size — for both your current and future mounts.

How Tall Are Your Horses?

Any horse trailer will accommodate a horse that’s around 16hh, give or take. If you plan on competing in classical disciplines like Dressage or Showjumping, you’ll eventually buy a bigger Warmblood type horse, so you’ll need a horse trailer big enough to suit him. 

  • Smaller — but hugely popular — breeds like Quarter Horses and Arabians can ride in any standard horse trailer.

And finally, consider the tack space of any horse trailer you consider purchasing. 

Adequate Tack Room

Imagine your ideal trailer. Now, imagine using your horse trailer for an outing. Whether you’re hitting a local trail, hunting up in the high country, or pulling up at the rodeo grounds on Friday night jackpot to “chase cans,” you’ve brought the right tack. You’ve invested some serious funds into those saddles, so choose a horse trailer with adequate tack space! 

Eventers, we’re looking at you, too. We know it takes three sets of tack to tackle three days of competition. Keep your expensive tack safe from scratches and scrapes with the right tack room on your horse trailer. 

Ultimately, every equestrian has a different vision for their new horse trailer. At Trails West, we have the right horse trailer for any competitive or recreational rider. Visit our blog for more great articles about horse trailers and hauling, and contact us for a quote today.