Top Factors to Consider When Buying a Horse / Cattle Trailer

Top Factors to Consider When Buying a Horse / Cattle Trailer

If you’re a rancher, horse owner, or have livestock, you need to have a horse or cattle trailer. Besides hauling your animals to a veterinarian, you may need to transport them to a breeding farm, a rodeo or other places. When choosing a trailer, you need a dependable, high-quality one that fits your needs. Here are three basic considerations to make when deciding on the best horse or cattle trailer.


A bumper pull trailer, which is the most basic type, is suited for hauling no more than three horses. Also known as tag-along trailers or bumper towed trailers, these trailers attach to a hitch that’s on a hauling vehicle. The trailer tags along behind the vehicle hauling it, so it’s not a part of the overall vehicle. It’s generally smaller than other trailers and is cheaper in price. It also weighs less, meaning it uses less fuel when hauling.

Gooseneck trailers are for hauling more than three horses. This type of trailer provides more stability than bumper towed trailers and is easier to operate and safer to drive. A gooseneck trailer is generally are more expensive than other types of trailers, and you may need a commercial license to tow it. Due to their weight, towing them required more power, which means more fuel usage. So they tend not the best option for long trips.

Living quarters trailers are designed for staying overnight, such as for shows & rodeos, and for longer outdoors trips. This type of horse trailer has living quarters designed for overnight comfort, and includes a kitchen, beds, a bathroom, and storage area. They come in a wide range of styles and prices.


A trailer that’s 7-8 feet high and 6-8 feet wide is large enough for the average-size horse. Generally, a trailer needs to be 10 inches higher than the head of a horse at its normal resting height. It should also allow three or more inches of lateral space on both sides of the horse. Smaller trailers are more suited for miniature horses, sheep or pigs. For larger horses, select a wider trailer.

How Your Animals Travel Will Travel in a Trailer

One of your main considerations when buying a trailer is how your horses or cattle will be traveling in the trailer. The two types include straight load and slant load.

Just as their name implies, straight load trailers are constructed so that a horse walks straight into the trailer. Because it provides better balance for horses and livestock, animals aren’t as stressed during longer hauls. What’s more, the stall is longer, which is especially beneficial for larger horses.

A slant load trailer has horses facing at an angle. It utilizes floor space better and includes extra storage in the rear of the trailer. Another perk is that this type of load trailer makes maneuverability easier when hauling several horses on a trailer with a shorter wheelbase. On the other hand, a slant load trailer has shorter stall lengths compared to a straight trailer. It may not be the best choice for larger animals.

Other Tips, Considerations and Warnings

The two key factors to consider when buying a trailer: safety and comfort.
Inspect the interior of a trailer to see if there are any sharp edges.
It’s a good idea to separate your animals inside your trailer for protection purposes. You can use either a solid divider or a partial divider.
Consider the temperature control of a trailer. Because horse trailers are enclosed, it’s critical they’re equipped with vents and windows that can easily be either opened or closed, depending on weather.
Although not all trailers include brakes, those that haul animals must have them, according to the law. The most common type of brakes for stock trailers are electric brakes.

Learn More About Buying a Horse or Cattle Trailer

For any type of horse or cattle trailer, you can depend on Trails West Trailers to give you the highest quality trailer that keeps your animals safe and comfortable. Please contact us for a free quote and learn more about our wide selection of products.

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