Horse trailer preferences

Cymraes
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Horse trailer preferences

Postby Cymraes » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:25 pm

I am in the market for a new horse trailer and have narrowed it down to 3 brands. Would like to hear opinions on experiences with each - pros, cons, etc. The 3 I have settled on at this point are Sundowner, Exiss and Featherlite. I am looking for a 2 horse, probably slant load, drop down windows. Opinions on rear tack? I currently have a 2 horse Circle J which has served me well, but it's time for a new one.

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Sunshine2Me
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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby Sunshine2Me » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:46 pm

I'm not a fan of the tack in the rear. I think it gets in the way. One of our horses is not a big trailering fan, and when I tried to get her to load in a slant with a tack area in the back, I think it looked very narrow to her, and she did not want to load.

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby Canyon » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:02 pm

Sunshine2Me wrote:I'm not a fan of the tack in the rear. I think it gets in the way.


I agree. When I was looking to replace my ancient Circle J straight load with mangers, I really wanted to get a Hawk two-horse straight load with dressing room. I ended up buying a three-horse slant from friends, only because they made me a heck of a deal on it, and it didn't have a rear tack (and it has a big dressing room!) I'm not sure how my horses would do with a rear tack. I didn't want one, because slants make me feel claustrophobic anyway.

Cymraes
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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby Cymraes » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:16 pm

I thought I had heard those complaints about a rear tack in the past, so I'm glad I asked! I'd love to have a ramp since several of my horses are in their 30's and sometimes it's hard for them to jump out. I don't think they would like squeezing past the tack room.

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby redsoxluvr » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:49 am

Unless you have very small horses who load well, I would not have a rear tack.

One thing that I would recommend is that you make sure there is an escape door. Some of the Featherlites and Sundowners we
looked at did not have one. We bought a brand new trailer that does not have one, and I am ready to sell it as a result.
It's one of those things you didn't think you needed until you do.

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby StraightForward » Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:54 pm

I really prefer a straight load for bigger horses.

I did have an older Logan slant that had a front unloading ramp, which was really nice. I never unloaded my 17H gelding that way, but my little Arabian loved it, and I really liked that I could get full access to the front horse without having to unload the rear horse first. Never had an emergency arise where this was necessary, but it gave me peace of mind since I usually haul without someone else around to help me.

Another feature on that trailer that I liked was that it had two gates, so the second horse could be closed in while the back door was open.

Really wished that trailer had slam latches, and would want those if I ever got another slant.
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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby texsuze » Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:38 pm

Bought my Exiss Sport in 2008. BP, 2-horse straight with ramp (my guy struggles with a step up). I can lift the ramp with one hand (men are always surprised to see!). Front tack room with 2-saddle rack. Love it. Not too much, not too little, just what I needed. The only issue I have, and it's not a big one, is the windows have sliding plexiglass over screen and fixed bars (not drop down) and don't provide quite as much ventilation as I'd ideally like. I can leave the "curtain" doors open if traveling back roads, which most of my trailering was. But that leaves only the butt bar and ramp door to contain the horses. But I hauled this way to and from lessons (30 min each way) when the weather was hot, without a problem. I recommend Exiss. Another point: a white interior goes a long way in reducing the 'scary to load' issue. Go for function, not fashion.

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby Quelah » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:38 pm

Since you live somewhere that it gets hot, an important consideration is how well insulated the roof is. Ventilation is also extremely important, but all the windows in the world make little different if you're stuck in traffic on I80 and the roof 18" above their heads is 150 degrees. I say this because I don't know what the roofs are like in the three brands you mention, I know they weren't insulated in the past, that may have changed.

Drop down windows are great (I have them, rarely use them but I have a straight load) but it's neither safe nor advisable to haul with them down, or step away from the trailer with them down. Those barred grills are a nice thought, but they won't stop a horse who decides to challenge them. Apologies if I'm telling you something you already know.

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby Canyon » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:35 pm

Quelah wrote:Drop down windows are great (I have them, rarely use them but I have a straight load) but it's neither safe nor advisable to haul with them down, or step away from the trailer with them down. Those barred grills are a nice thought, but they won't stop a horse who decides to challenge them. Apologies if I'm telling you something you already know.


Wow, and here I've been sad that the bars in my trailer's drop-down windows do drop down as a unit with the windows, so I can't travel safely with the windows dropped, but have to rely on the sliders for ventilation (I'm not sure that sentence is intelligible!)

I've seen photos of horses stuck in mangers & their little windows and in escape doors, but coming through the bars on windows, no I would not have imagined that nightmare!

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby TeresaA » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:54 pm

I have an Exiss, 2 horse straight load BP with a front tack room. I love it- it hauls really well and the horses walk on without an issue. It's insulated and had a white interior. I looked at the slants but didn't think that they were big enough for my two.

My options were limited in our area- but I really liked the quality of the hardware on the Exiss.

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby Dreamer » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:59 am

I prefer a straight load. Slants are not as roomy. I also prefer two full rear door with a ramp over them rather than the ramp being part of the door.

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby Quelah » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:19 pm

Agreed Dreamer, I'm very happy I got my trailer that way.

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby StraightForward » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:43 pm

Dreamer wrote:I prefer a straight load. Slants are not as roomy. I also prefer two full rear door with a ramp over them rather than the ramp being part of the door.


Good to know you both like that design. It's on my list for my future Hawk trailer. Hopefully not too future.
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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby Quelah » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:33 pm

ONly caveat is to specify that you'd like the ramp snugged up as close to the bottoms of the doors as possible. This can vary a bit, depending on who is welding that day and what brand of trailer it is. Mine is about a 3" drop from trailer deck to ramp, I've seen others that are less and it could have been less on mine. When I order my next Hawk that's pretty much the only thing I would do differently, ask them to tighten that up.

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby Cymraes » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:30 am

Thanks for everyone's input. I'm leaning towards a slant load again, mainly because I have ponies and small horses. In the case of an emergency I can get three in a two horse. But, I've seen some straight loads I do like. I'm just starting to look, so will probably change my mind several times!

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby khall » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:02 am

My dream trailer is a 2+1 with a dressing room. I like a straight load because I have big horses, with the extra height. My straight load Exiss GN is 7' 6" and plenty of room. I have had this trailer since 2001 and it has served me well. I did add after market fans in the horse stalls and they really help. I travel with the back skirts open in the heat unless I am hauling a foal. I hauled a mare and foal to FL in mid 90's weather with the fans running. Both were quite comfortable with the fans running.

Slants are made much different now with more room in many of them, but I still don't think I will ever have another one. I had a 3H slant GN many years ago, hauled great and even though it was only 7' tall it was a great trailer for me for many years. Thank goodness the horses I hauled were ok even being taller horses.

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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby DJR » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:14 pm

khall wrote:My dream trailer is a 2+1 with a dressing room. I like a straight load because I have big horses, with the extra height. My straight load Exiss GN is 7' 6" and plenty of room.


Me, too! I currently have a Hawk 2-horse BP, no dressing room, and love the extra head room that the nose of the trailer provides for my Big Black Beast. It hauls two Percheron types easily (17.3h each) with the horses quite comfortable.

But what I'm eyeing is a "Balanced Ride" 2+1 with a dressing room. The rear straight stalls hold the horses facing rearwards (load through the front-side ramp, out through the back ramp), but it can be reconfigured to load front-facing, too (if you ask for that option). The front stall can be designed to be pony-sized (BP or GN) or horse-sized (GN), and there is a full divider to prevent mischief. It is built like a Hawk and is a very nice trailer. The gooseneck version can be designed to haul more than 3 horses (they will work with you to design your favorite configuration).

My problem is that my current truck is a Ford Excursion (SUV style) so I'm limited to BP if I keep it. I'd prefer to upgrade to a pickup style so I can haul either my 2H BP or a larger GN, but that will require forking out more $$$$ and my budget isn't that big for the foreseeable future (darn it!).
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Re: Horse trailer preferences

Postby Kyra's Mom » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:37 am

Do some googling. Sundowner has in the past had quality issues. I don't know how they are now. My friend had one years ago and I didn't like it. The ramp was short and slick amount other things (window leaks).

Anyway, do your homework.

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