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Discussion on Slant vs Straight load

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Debra Dove
Member
Username: 9193

Post Number: 6
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 - 1:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My husband and I are interested in purchasing our first horse trailor. Many people have recommended we get a two horse slant trailor with the reason that it is easier on the horses to brace themselves traveling. Other people have told us that the straight load trailors are safer for both horse and human because in a slant load the horse closest to the front is crammed into the angle and there is little room for a human to get out of the way if the horse decides to bolt from the trailer.
We plan on getting a trailer that is built with a bit more height and width to accomodate TB and WB horses.
I have learned alot from the other posts and am curious to learn what more experienced readers are using and why. Thankyou.
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ANN COLLIER
Member
Username: Dres

Post Number: 251
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 - 3:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

how big are your WB's ..? when you close the window on the slant load a lot of WB's don't fit well.. my mare for one.. she was crammed in like a sardine with the window close.. with it open she had room...

i have large WB's i prefer the straight load... roomer for them...also with a walk thu and drop feeder so they don't have to have their heads held over a manger, hard on the back on long hauls...

just my thoughts..

Ann
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Jerre R
Member
Username: Jerre

Post Number: 38
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 - 12:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Debra, I have several friends who have been very happy with slant loads for their WBs and draft crosses. But, you have to check for a brand/style with extra headroom.

AND, they have bought THREE-horse slants, taken out one divider, and had the remaining divider moved to customize the 3-horse into a 2-horse. The alteration is cheap, $100 or so at a welding shop to move the brackets for the divider.

Everything I read seems to agree that horses will choose to travel at a diagonal if given the opportunity. Some even like to face backwards.

Good luck,
Jerre
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Janet Schmidt
Member
Username: Sparky

Post Number: 54
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 - 3:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Debra - I have a 2 horse WB size trails west and absolutely love the style. I find the standard size a tight fit - as I have crammed my foundation qh gelding into the back of a regular angle haul. I got my trailer from my girlfriend who has a large WB and he had lots of room. As for a horse bolting out. Doing your training on the ground and having a horse comfortable with the trailer is advised. I just hook on my halter rope unhook the trailer tie and he waits for me to step under his neck and he leads the way out and waits for me at the back. Works great. I would never load my horse if it was a rush situation. Take the time to do the steps. There should be no rush to close the devider or door. I have had both types of trailer and would never go back to a strait haul. An angle haul can also be used to haul a whole lot of other things! Hope this helps
Janet
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Melissa Boschwitz
Member
Username: Amara

Post Number: 49
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 - 9:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Any thoughts on getting a stock trailer? they are making them nicer and nicer these days... of all the trailers i've had to haul horses in-straight/slant/stock- my horses seem the most settled when they can be loose in a stock trailer.. that way they can face whatever way is most comfortable for them... and i've found most horses load more willingly and stay calmer when they have the openness of the stock trailer...
just a thought...
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Nancy Reynolds Kiester
Member
Username: Albionsh

Post Number: 36
Registered: 9-2001
Posted on Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 - 2:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My trailer is a golden oldie--a 1963 three-horse Miley. I have the two dividers and have used them either one alone for a large two-horse or the two when hauling three horses a short distance for a trail ride. The big horses are definately crammed in there under that scenerio! Often I am only hauling one or a mare and foal, so I usually leave the dividers out. I can also easily lead in a trio of fillies in the open box configuration.

When in alone, the horses will stand at the diagonal, but they seem to enjoy "switching leads" or even spending time riding straight. Guess it may relieve the strain. My Miley pulls so sweet that I am not even considering getting a new trailer, but it is about due for another paint job!
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: Imogen

Post Number: 385
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 - 4:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It's my experience that different horses like different things... and I should perhaps mention that slant trailers are almost unheard-of in Europe - I don't know why, maybe our roads are narrower. It's either straight load 2-horse trailers or lorries (trucks) that take 3 or 5 horses where the horses travel perpendicular to the road direction. Most horses prefer lorries to trailers.

Anyway, I have had horses that don't like trailers, horses that don't like lorries, I have a friend whose horse will only travel backwards, I have had horses that only like a partition (divider) and others that prefer as much space as possible... and horses that will only unload out of the front ramp.

This of course is another transatlantic division since all horse transport has ramps in Europe... I certainly would not buy a trailer which did not have a front ramp because some horses just hate backing down a ramp. And then of course, there's always that occasion where some eejit parks right behind you at a show and the only way to get your horse out is through the front ramp!

So I think it depends on what your horses like to some extent.

All the best

Imogen
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Colleen Goolsby
Member
Username: Goolsby

Post Number: 48
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 - 8:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I dont have alot of experience with trailers and unfortunally only have a crappy 2 horse with a divider that dosent come out. My Saddlebred and Appy ride in there very cramped. I dont know if the trailer is getting smaller or they are getting bigger. Sometimes I dont know how they fit in there and its kind of scary looking at their tails and part of their behind hanging out the back. Fortunally, I seldom have to trailer them in that thing. My old riding buddy used to haul us around. He is a born trader, so he has had many different trailers. My horses (and myself) seemed more comfortable in the stock trailers. He has hauled 5 in his big stock trailer very well. I am hoping to get a new (well maybe used) trailer in the near future and I will go the the stock type.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 8977
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 - 9:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I highly recommend a aluminum stock type trailer designed for horses. We have had one for 15 years and it hauls anyting from a mare and a foal to 5 adults. My horses literally jump in it when they get near it, I can haul with horses tied so they stand with their rears slanted backwards, incredibly light...
DrO
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Diane S Cooke
Member
Username: Poppy

Post Number: 4
Registered: 8-2001
Posted on Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 - 12:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We have been hauling our Morgans in stock trailers for 15 years. One gelding likes to ride backwards. His lady friend rides facing forward. We've removed the slant panels from our current trailer because we have survived a near disaster when an earlier trailer jumped the ball hitch and broke the chain. It headed toward a steep bank, loaded with a mare in foal and another friend's horse. The tongue dug into the bank,(by the way, ALWAYS removed the wheel on the front of the trailer!!) but the trailer was canted at a terrifying angle. I opened the rear door and was able to get both frantic horses out. I would not have been able to if one had been confined behind a slant panel. My horses will also ride straight and slant, but prefer stock trailer. We just returned this week from mountain camping at Mt. Lassen. Our guys rode home and arrived fresh after 6 hours.
Mickey
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SHIRLEY WARNICK
Member
Username: Swarnick

Post Number: 36
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 - 12:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nancy,

I agree some of the oldies are really great. I found some 90's that were in way worse shape (and poorly made) than some of the good old 60's and 70's models when I was out looking to buy. I found a 79 Stidham with little rust and still perfectly sound even for an almost 25 year old trailer. The Miley's and Stidhams were the premium trailers of their day and many are still around and in great shape. Am working on the cosmetics now but it pulls like a dream and gives my horses a comfortable and safe ride.

Shirley
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Katrina Turner
Member
Username: Kthorse

Post Number: 75
Registered: 11-2001
Posted on Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 - 7:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, I feel a bit stupid here. What is the difference between these trailers. I grew up in Australia and most were 2 horse trailers with a ramp. they had the chest bar and a divider and 2 doors in the front for people to go in or out. When I first came to america it was the first time I saw a trailer without a ramp. That shocked me however my horse happily stepped up. What is a slant trailer? forgive my no knowledge in this area.
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George Taglioli
Member
Username: Tagloili

Post Number: 32
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 - 10:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Horses loaded into a slant horse trailer do not face fore and aft, but rather at about a 35 degree angle within dividers either facing toward the side of the trailer. Check this URL for diagrams: http://www.sundownertrailer.com/710_gn.htm
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Katrina Turner
Member
Username: Kthorse

Post Number: 76
Registered: 11-2001
Posted on Friday, Aug 22, 2003 - 7:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you.
Katrina
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Melissa Webster
Member
Username: Mwebster

Post Number: 350
Registered: 5-2001
Posted on Friday, Aug 22, 2003 - 10:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One more opinion: I think horses are pretty adaptable, so whether they're in a stock trailer, a straight load, a slant load, or a cushy horse van, most will travel fine.

More important I think is safety: do you have enough tow power for your load, do the horses have a comfortable well-ventilated environment, are they going to get along or do they need some separation?

I'm very happy with our 2-horse straight load bumper pull. Our horses load happily and arrive calm and fresh after 6-hour hauls. Of course, now that we have 3 horses, I'm wishing I could take them all along to Acadia for a vacation... so really we need a 3-horse...

I love the idea of a stock trailer, and it would be great if that would work for our 2 geldings and 1 mare, but the 2 geldings are both alphas and inevitably one has always gotten kicked when we turn them out together, even in pastures larger than an acre. So hauling the 3 of them in a stock trailer might be fatal, and might also be a little drafty in the winter here in New England at highway speeds.
M
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George Taglioli
Member
Username: Tagloili

Post Number: 33
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Friday, Aug 22, 2003 - 11:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

There is one more very important aspect of trailering horses that should not be overlooked. Both for the comfort of ride for the horses and taking strain off the towing vehicle and its transmission. We use both the receiver hitch and gooseneck models. Check out:
http://easyriderhitch.com/airride.html
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JANETTE MCDOWELL
Member
Username: Westks

Post Number: 25
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 - 11:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

They make 3 horse slant load stock trailers all you do is face them the other way (butt first)in the slant. Same for enclosed trailers too. If your horse cannot turn around in trailer, trailer not wide enough for your needs.
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Holly Z.
Member
Username: Cowgrl

Post Number: 11
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, Mar 22, 2004 - 4:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Riding slant is much more comfortable for the horse. If you rode back there with them you'd see them riding slant wise and facing the rear.

I have a 2 horse straight with a removable divider and a 4 horse slant that I removed the dividers on. When I first got it, I thought, great dividers, much better. Well my quarter horse usually rides in the front and with the divider closed, he started scrambling and trying to climb the bulkhead wall. The divider prevented him from spreading his legs for balance. I took out the dividers and haven't used them since. My horses ride just fine without them and all my friends have taken the dividers out of their trailers too for the same reason. The horses are too busy staying balanced that they don't have time to annoy each other. Another plus of no dividers is that if there is an accident and the trailer rolls, the horse can get stuck under one and the divider can become jammed and you can't get it undone while the horse is thrashing about in a panic. Scary situation indeed.

I also keep lead ropes on my horses while trailering. I have them tied with a regular trailer tie and loop the lead over their neck. This way, if there is a crash, you don't have to hunt around for a lead or try to attach one to a panicky (sp?) horse. My horses have never become entangled or otherwise hurt using this method. The worst that has happened is if one of them is a slob and urinates in the trailer and the end of the rope is down near his feet - yuck!

Holly
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