What To Put Where in the Horse Trailer

As I am starting to try to get out a bit more with my horses this year, I play around with “what to put where” in my new horse trailer.

My old trailer is a two-horse bumper pull with mangers on top and a tack storage area underneath the mangers. The new trailer is a two-horse bumper pull without mangers and without a separate tack area. Instead there is a saddle rack and bridle hooks along the nose of the trailer.

With this arrangement, the only thing that separates the horses from the saddle racks and bridle hooks are the chest bars and a few feet of space. While this set-up keeps the overall cost of the trailer down, it could present safety issues if any of that tack should shift. And I definitely don’t want tack and grooming items to go sliding back underneath the horses during travel.

As part of the trailer purchase agreement, I had some D rings installed around the nose of the trailer. I use a mesh netting and carabiner clips to cover all the items in a way that will hopefully secure everything. So far this set up has worked well for multiple short trips in a flat-land area.

Below you can see the nose of the trailer from the left side door of the trailer.

Here you can see the view of the nose taken from the right side of the trailer. I am standing behind the right side chest bar and facing forward. This is the view that a horse placed on the right side would have of the trailer nose. On the left side of the photo, you can also see a hint of the hay bag hung from the head divider that separates the horses.

I am also very accustomed to dividing storage between my trailer and my truck. The tack storage area under the old trailer is small enough that I can’t fit larger equipment like broom, muck bucket or an extra hay bale in there. So I am already in the habit of securing those items in the bed of my truck. I am continuing to do so with the new trailer.

There are so many different options when it comes to horse-trailer design. All come with pluses and minuses regarding cost, safety, size, humane convenience, horse comfort, etc . . . As with most products, selecting a trailer is a series of trade offs for many of us. I can’t afford the exact type of trailer I would otherwise purchase.

I realize not all horse people have horse trailers. Any kind of horse trailer at all. I have definitely spent years at a time when I didn’t have either a truck or a trailer. Sometimes the purchase price and cost of maintenance has been prohibitive depending upon our financial situation at the time. If you are in that same situation now, I understand how frustrating and limiting that can be.

I started off as a new horse owner without a hauling vehicle or trailer. Then purchased both. Then sold both and spent several years without either before the next purchase. And who knows. I may have to do go through that cycle again someday. Experience shows me that having a truck and trailer is not something to be taken for granted. I know the importance of trying to take advantage of what I have while I still have it.

All that brings me to a question. For those of you out there currently with a horse trailer, what do you like about your trailer’s set up? Alternatively, if you could change one feature of the trailer, what would it be? It’s always interesting for me to hear what works for someone’s individual situation and why.

7 thoughts on “What To Put Where in the Horse Trailer

  1. Ohhh, I can talk horse trailers all day! I started out with the same type of trailer you did, and every horse I stuffed in there hated it. It was a gift from my best friend who was glad to see the end of it, and I sold it (to a non horse person!) and bought and fixed up my current trailer, which is fine enough and I’m thrilled to have it, for the freedom and access it gives. I’ve ordered a custom Double D trailer, which will hopefully be my 30 year trailer. One thing I do like about my current two horse stock area is it does have a separate tack area, but it’s not enclosed (just a stud wall). It also tows super easy and I don’t have to worry about getting in and out of places. The biggest thing I dislike about it, especially for my new sensitive mare, is it’s not insulated at all, and it’s hard for her to relax when we’re on the freeway and a semi comes barreling up behind us, it’s so noisy! I keep telling my mare that her new, sweet, comfortable, classy ride will be here sometime in August!

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  2. Your float looks pretty & shiny. Carrying gear can be tricky can’t it. I made a gear stand out of a old plastic outdoor chair to go in the boot of a car or the slide into the back of the wagon & buckets for everything else. Our float is unregistered at the moment & I am thinking of selling it cheap as a project for someone. The lady we bought it off said her horse was terrified, we found out that she put the jockey wheel on the floor of the float with the horse in it. I gave her a quick lesson on towing a float & how to manage her horse & gear in case she needed in the future. We are fortunate to have a descent hire float in our town if I am desperate. So true they are crazy expensive & not everyone’s bells & whistles play the same tune. I would like an angle float next, if I can afford it, lol.

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    1. That is awesome that you have a float for hire in your area! I wish that were more of an option for horse owners in my neck of the woods. True, sometimes you can beg/borrow from a friend, but not everyone is willing to loan them out or haul your horse for you, understandably with the cost-time-liability involved. I think having a trailer available that you can rent is a great option and so cost-effective.

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  3. Wish I could share my experience with horse trailers, but I can’t because I don’t have one! The farm that I live on is right next to National Forest, so a ride right down the road takes me to miles of trails. We also have horse trails on our own property. Traveling to the vet is the only reason to use a trailer, and in that case I use our cattle trailer. It’s not the best setup, but it’s perfectly safe for the horses and works for us😊

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