Horse Trailers: Ramp vs. Step-Up Styles

Horse Trailers: Ramp vs. Step-Up Styles

At Trails West, we know our customers love their horses! We know your horses are more than pets, and often much more than a hobby. Horse-sports are a lifestyle!  When it comes to loading and hauling, your goal should be a stress free experience for both you and your horses. Whether you need a trailer for Friday night barrel races, ranching, rodeo, or relaxing weekend trail rides, we have the right horse trailer for you.

As you look at trailers, you’ll find two main loading styles: ramp or step-up. Let’s examine the differences between these two styles.

When are Step-Up Style Horse Trailers a Good Choice?

We speak with decades of authority when we say that for most folks, step-up style horse trailers are the right choice.  If your horses are sound and healthy, and tend to load easily, a step-up style horse trailer is most likely the best option for you.  Why? In our opinion, the majority of horses will load into them easier. A simple step up is something most horses understand and can execute without a struggle.

It’s important to understand that horse trailer ramps can feel awkward and unnatural to horses.  Horses know they’re walking on an incline, but it doesn’t feel or sound like the ground they are used to walking on.  Ramps can move a little when stepped on, and may get a little slippery which makes horses uneasy.  Horses can find ramps disconcerting and because of this they resist loading into a ramp style trailer.

Another point to consider is ramps can be less convenient for you, the horse owner, to use.  Some trailer ramps can be heavy and usually require more steps to open and close the rear of your trailer.

When are Ramp Style Horse Trailers a Good Choice?

Having said all of that, we know that ramps can be the best choice for some horses and horse owners. If you own smaller breeds, ramps can be a good option to avoiding high step in heights.  Ramp style trailers can also be a good option for older horses. If your horse has always been loaded using a ramp, and is accustomed to this, there is no need to “re-invent the wheel”.  Continue loading your horse with a ramp, the way it is accustomed be being loaded.  Also, if you, as a horse owner, feel more comfortable loading horses using a ramp, buy a trailer with a ramp.

Ultimately your choice of trailer loading style (ramp or step up) should be determined by what you and/or your horse is the most comfortable with.  If your horse loads easier and is more comfortable with a step-up, buy a step-up style trailer. If you horse loads easier and is more comfortable using a ramp, buy a trailer equipped with a ramp.  At the end of the day, what you want is for you and your animals to be comfortable with the process of loading and unloading.

At Trails West Trailers, our goal is to match your needs with the perfect trailer. Whether you prefer step-up or ramp style loading, bumper pull or gooseneck, simple tack room or full-on living quarters, we have the right trailer for the job.

As always, if you have questions beyond the scope of our blogs, you are welcome to contact us.