78 State Rd.
Whately, MA 01093

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How to Choose the Best Horse Trailer for You and Your Horse

Today’s horse trailers offer a multitude of options and amenities for both human and horse safety and comfort. When looking to purchase a new trailer for your horse with Orchard Trailers, here are the most important things to consider.

Towing Safety

First, be sure you know the tow rating of the vehicle you will be towing the horse trailer with. After all, it would not make sense to buy a trailer that will be too heavy for your vehicle to pull. A major consequence of pulling a trailer that is too heavy is the lack of stopping power you’ll have. That can be very dangerous for you and your equine cargo.

Horse in Trailer
Horse With Trailer

Horse Trailer Type

The next step in your trailer buying journey is deciding what type of trailer works best for your needs and vehicle. If you have a pickup truck with a fifth wheel or bed hitch, a gooseneck horse trailer is a great option! If you do not have those install options, or just don’t want something quite so big, a bumper pull trailer is an excellent choice.

When buying a horse trailer, it’s important to consider the breed and size of the horse or horses you plan to tow. If you plan to tow a pony or a smaller stock type horse, under 16 hands, they will likely fit in any trailer you purchase. If you plan to tow a larger horse, such as a warmblood or draft horse that’s taller than 16 hands, it’s important to be mindful of the height, length, and width of the inside of the trailer. These are also important to consider when deciding on the loading type of your trailer…but we’ll get to that in a little bit.

Now that you’ve narrowed down a major category, it’s time to start thinking about your needs and the needs of your horse(s).

2 Horse Bumper Pull Trailers

2 Horse Bumper Pull Inside View
If you only plan to tow 1 to 2 horses, a 2 horse bumper pull trailer will likely suit your needs. These trailers usually have a dressing room or small tack room at the front of the trailer. They provide storage for your tack, supplies, and even a bale or two of hay and a bag of grain. Dressing rooms can also be fitted with lights, customizable saddle racks, bridle hooks, and additional storage options. The 2 horse bumper pull trailer is perfect for the avid trail rider, camper, or occasional or local horse show attendee with only 1-2 horses.

Some bumper pull trailers may come in a 3 horse option, but these are not as common and can be quite heavy when fully loaded. However, if you do not have the option to pull a gooseneck trailer and want to tow 3 horses together, this is the trailer for you.

Kingston Trailers offer a wide selection of 2 horse bumper pull trailers for you and your horse’s needs!

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Gooseneck Trailers

Kingston Gooseneck Horse Trailer
Gooseneck trailers usually offer 3 horse half stalls and up. The number of horses you plan to pull with your horse trailer will decide the number of spaces needed. If you plan to tow more than 2-3 horses, a gooseneck horse trailer is probably the trailer for you. Gooseneck trailers are also known to be easier to tow because you have more control when accelerating, turning, and stopping. It is a common opinion that towing a bumper pull trailer is more difficult to maneuver. If you are upgrading from a bumper pull horse trailer to a gooseneck horse trailer, you may be surprised by the ease of towing it!

Adam Trailers offer widely loved gooseneck horse trailers for easy towing and multi-horse capacity!

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Horse Trailer with Living Quarters

If your vehicle can tow a gooseneck trailer, check out a horse trailer with living quarters. In a horse trailer with living quarters, you can sleep in your trailer at horse shows, camping, or traveling with your horses. Living quarters trailers are at minimum equipped with a full or queen size bed, small kitchenette, storage space, and a small bathroom with toilet and shower.

A horse trailer with living quarters can be purchased with full luxury RV style living quarters, too. A higher end luxury model will likely boast a full kitchen (oven, stove top, microwave, refrigerator), living room area, and best of all, a queen or king size bed. Some higher end horse trailers with living quarters can even offer multiple beds for additional sleep space.

(Orchard Trailers does not currently offer horse trailers with living quarters. However, feel free to contact our sales team with questions. We may be able to help guide you to a local dealership that does.)

Hawk Living Quarter Horse Trailer

Straight Load or Slant Load… Which is Right for Me?

Bumper pull and gooseneck horse trailers come in both slant load and straight load options. As horsemen and women, you will likely have a preference based on previous experience. Deciding to purchase a slant versus straight load horse trailer depends on your preference and what you feel will work best for your horse(s).

Slant Load Horse Trailers

Slant load horse trailers position your horse to stand at an angle, which is known to be the most common stance when being towed. They also allow horses to turn around and unload headfirst, rather than backing off which may be necessary for your horse. If your horse is a difficult loader due to confined space, a slant load horse trailer will offer more inviting loading. Slant load horse trailers also have the option to customize the placement of partitions. This allows for more room for your horse, the same way it does in a straight load trailer. If you plan to tow more than 6 horses at a time, a gooseneck slant load horse trailer will be necessary.

While bumper pull slant load trailers have shorter "stall" slots, larger gooseneck slant load trailers often have longer stalls for larger horses. In these bigger trailers, partitions can often be removed, to allow for one horse to take up two combined spaces. This may not be comfortable for longer trips, as slant load trailers do not have full length partitions, so horses cannot lay down safely.

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Straight Load Horse Trailers

Straight load horse trailers offer room for your horses’ head to hang down in front of them, allowing your horse to rest their neck. Your horse can use their head and neck to find their balance while towing. When breaking suddenly, the horse is less likely to hit their head or face against the trailer. Straight load horse trailers also make it easier to get to the front of your horse during an emergency. Some 2 horse bumper pull straight load trailers have solid hay mangers instead of a chest bar, so this would not apply in that trailer design.

Larger gooseneck horse trailers that are straight load with 4 half stalls offer forward facing and rear facing options for your horses. They usually have a side ramp, for easy loading and unloading. A widely loved feature in these straight load horse trailers is the ability to create a “box and a half” or warmblood stall by removing the partition between two single half stalls. Combining 2 half stalls for 1 horse allows for more room and ability to tow a larger horse. Long trailer rides can be more comfortable and less stressful for your horse, too.

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Regardless of your needs, Orchard Trailers has a horse trailer for you and your equine companion. With our variety of horse trailer manufacturers, you’ll be sure to love one of our Adam Trailers, Kingston Trailers, and now Hawk Trailers. At Orchard Trailers, any horseman or woman can find the perfect trailer for them!

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