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.