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Slant Load or Straight Load Two-Horse Bumper-Pull Trailer?

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A friend and I were on our way to look at some two-horse trailers. I asked him if he’s buying a slant load or straight load, and he informed me he hadn’t decided yet but was wondering which style would be best for him.

Straight-load is best for a two-horse bumper pull horse trailer. The straight-load design is safer, less expensive, and easier to load and unload horses. There are advantages to slant load horse trailers, but those advantages don’t outweigh the positives of a straight load.

Many people looking for a two-horse trailer choose their model based on how the horse loads. To help you decide, the best style for you we did some research and provide answers to common questions here.

Slant-loading trailers have their advantages, and some people prefer them over straight-loading trailers.

Slant load trailers are typically shorter than straight load.

For years all two-horse trailers were straight-load and had an escape door in the front. In the 1980s the slant load was introduced, this was a revolutionary design.

The slant load could carry multiple horses in a shorter trailer. A shortened trailer was possible because horses being hauled stood at an angle with their heads toward the side of the trailer.

Slant load trailers have extra space in the rear.

In a straight load trailer, the horses stand next to each other and face the front of the trailer. Space is created when horses are standing in a trailer at an angle that you can use for storage, such as tack rooms, your emergency kit, or whatever suits your needs best.

Some slant loads don’t have a front escape door. The lack of an escape door creates a dangerous situation wherein a handler becomes trapped between the horse and the exit.

Some horsemen claim that horses prefer to travel in a slant load and that it’s more comfortable for horses; I doubt this claim. Slants loads provide more room, and early models have broader entry access. However, there are no studies to prove horses prefer a slant load.

Slant load trailers have shorter stalls than straight-load trailers. The width is mandated by the United States Department of Transportation regulations which prevent trailers from exceeding a width 8 1/2′. Trailer stall must be short to stay within the legal width requirement.

Straight-load two-horse bumper-pull trailers are the best.

Slant-load trailers may be the choice for larger trailers, but for hauling two horses, straight-load trailers are the right choice.

Picture of a two horse straight load horse trailer.
  • Emergency: If you have to reach your loaded horse in an emergency, it is easier and safer. Straight-load trailers have an exit door that allows access to trailered horses.
  • Cost Less: Straight-load trailers are much more affordable than slant-load; if you intend to transport two horses, why spend extra money on a slant load. Straight-load trailers offer great features and high quality for a reasonable price.
  • Hauling horses: Slant loads limit the size of horses you can transport. The typical slant load trailer has small stalls not large enough to carry big horses. Straight-load trailers can accommodate large horses comfortably.
  • Loading: Straight-load two-horse trailers come standard with exit doors in the front. The exit doors allow a person to walk a horse into the trailer, secure his horse, and exit the front. Some slant-load trailers can be ordered with front escape doors.
  • Unloading: The process of loading multiple horses requires a horse loaded and secured with a divider, then the next horse loaded. The horses are unloaded in reverse order. With a straight load, you can unload either horse anytime. Having to unload the front horse to get to the other horse can cause problems in an emergency. Assume the first horse you loaded needs to be extracted immediately, and you can’t get to the horse until after you unload the other horse.

Should You Tie a Horse in a Horse Trailer?

I like to tie our horses in the trailer when we are hauling them, my wife only ties the horses when I’m with her. We have differences of opinions, does it matter if the horse are tied in the trailer?

A horse should be tied in a trailer with a quick-release snap. The horse should be secured but have slack so it can move his head enough to eat hay and be able to cough.

Tying or not tying a horse depends on the horse and trailer. Safety is the primary consideration in determining whether or not to tie horses when hauling them.

The purpose of tying a horse when hauling in the trailer is to prevent him from getting hurt, turning around, or intimidating other horses in the trailer. To find out more about tying horses in trailers, check out this article: Should You Tie a Horse in a Trailer? the Pros and Cons

Tying a horse in a trailer prevents injury.

A tied horse can’t lay down or attempt to crawl under a barrier. Bored horses can find ways to get themselves into precarious positions when left untied.

A mean horse can get another horse to panic by biting them. A panicked horse creates a dangerous driving condition. By keeping a horse’s head tied his mouth can’t get to other horses.

When tying a horse always tie him high, so he doesn’t get tangled in the lead rope. Leave enough slack, so he has the ability to retain his balance. A horse tied too tight can’t move enough to maintain its balance.

Untie your horse before opening the exit door.

Always untie your horse before you open the door. Opening the door while leaving him tied could cause the horse to panic and injure himself. Work with your horse and teach him cues so he can learn when you want him to exit the trailer.

Don’t tie a horse in a trailer with a bungee cord. Bungee cords won’t hold a horse, and when they stretch to the point of breaking the whiplash effect could lead to severe consequences for you and the horse.

Tie your horse in the trailer using a material that breaks such as leather. You can also invest in breakaway products such as Intrepid International Tie Safe Trailer Ties

How Tall of a Horse Trailer Do I Need?

When we were looking at trailers, the salesman asked about the size of the horses and the height of the structure my friend planned to store the trailer. These questions must relate to trailer height conderations.

  • Horses that are 14 hands to 16 hands tall need a trailer 7′ tall with a square-sided roof.
  • Horse up to 16.3 need a trailer height of 7’6″
  • Horses up to 17 hands tall need a trailer with a height of 7’8″

The height of your horse will determine how tall of a trailer you need. Most horses fit comfortably in a standard two-horse straight load trailer. Use the right size trailer for the horse you are hauling.

If you have a large draft horse, don’t jam him into a smaller sized trailer. Even though he may fit, he won’t be comfortable, and you could create a dangerous situation for the horse.

If you want to check out heights of more horse trailers this article provides some useful information: How Tall is a Horse Trailer? Heights of Popular Models

How Wide is a Two-horse Trailer?

Our next consideration is the width of the trailer. How much room does his horses need, and how wide is the standard two-horse trailer?

A standard two-horse straight load trailer has an inside width of 6′ and is 7′ tall with a stall length of 10′. If you intend to haul large horses, they need room for balance. Manufactures have wide models or you can custom order.

The desired width for a stall should allow three inches of space on either side of the horse. Three inches is wide enough for a horse to comfortably shift its weight without the risk of him turning around in the trailer.

Another consideration when hauling big horses is axles capacity. The axles must be rated to carry the appropriate weight. Before buying a trailer, make sure you know how much your horses weigh and the maximum load capacity of the trailer.

How much does a new two horse bumper pull trailer cost?

New two horse bumper pull trailers sell between $15,000-$19,000. A new two horse bumper pull trailer made of a composite of steel, aluminum, and wood will cost between $15,000 and $19,000.00 dollars.

The models I priced came with a steel frame, treated wood floors, and aluminum exterior. The difference in price was based on the manufacturer and standard features.

How much does a two horse bumper pull trail weigh?

A standard two-horse bumper pull trailer is 3000 pounds. The weight of a trailer varies depending on the manufacturer and the materials used to build the unit. The weight of a trailer made of steel, wood, and aluminum is close to 3,000 lbs.

A standard two-horse bumper pull trailer is 14.5 feet long.

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