Slant Load or Straight Load? Which Is Better for Your Horse Trailer

Slant Load or Straight Load? Which Is Better for Your Horse Trailer

Here are some things to consider when comparing a slant load to a straight load and deciding which you want. The ultimate decision includes factors such as the number of horses you are hauling, their size, and your budget.


Reasons to Get a Slant Load

Some reasons to go with the slant load include:

Better for Larger Vehicles

The original reason for slant load trailers was to fit more horses in a larger vehicle. Therefore, if you are looking to haul four or more horses, you may want to get a slant load trailer so that your trailer is shorter and easier to maneuver. An easier trailer to drive is better for you and for the horse (horses do not like being thrown around in the trailer because of tight turns).

Unload Horses Head First

You can unload horses head first rather than backing them off. Horses are more likely to trip when backing down a ramp or off a step, and some horses really do not like backing off a trailer.


Slant loads can be built with a standard stall or warmblood stall. It is also easier to remove the dividers altogether, such as when transporting a mare and foal.

Faster Unload Time

It is easier to unload all of your horses quickly with a slant load, which is more convenient if you are riding more than one horse.


Slant load trailers tend to be wider and more inviting for the horse, meaning that they are easier for difficult loaders.

Less Stressful for the Horse

horses will naturally stand at an angle in a moving trailer, which indicates that slant load trailers are more comfortable for the horse.


Reasons to Get a Straight Load

However, there are also good reasons to choose a straight load trailer:

Easier With Multiple Horses

It is much easier to remove just one or two horses from the trailer, leaving the rest loaded.

Better in an Emergency

It is easier to get to the front horse in an emergency. Sometimes with a slant load, the front horse can be trapped behind the others and if that horse has a problem. Also, the handler can more easily become trapped between the horse and the exit with a slant load, while this almost never happens with a straight load.

Less Expensive

Straight load trailers tend to be less expensive.

Better for Certain Horse Breeds

The maximum legal width for a trailer in the US is 8 1/2′ wide, resulting in a maximum width of 6’8″ without the wheel wells protruding into the stall area. This limits the length of the stall. Because of this, large Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods (over sixteen hands) and draft horses generally do not fit well in slant loads. Even if it seems like they fit they may be claustrophobic or have their head stuck in an improper position.

A Horse Trailer Is a Personal Preference

Overall, slant loads are slightly better unless you have a limited budget or are hauling very large horses. Generally, it is down to personal preference and your needs. Contrary to popular belief, neither slant loads nor straight loads have been demonstrated to be safer or more comfortable for your horses than the other. What is more important is a well-built trailer which is light, airy, and easy for the horse to get on and off.

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