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Discuss Best way to load a horse in slant trailer at the Horse Training forum - Horse Forums.

Let me tell you about my trailer so you know what I am dealing with: ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member swansonspaints's Avatar
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    Best way to load a horse in slant trailer

    Let me tell you about my trailer so you know what I am dealing with: I have '91 Charmax 3 horse slant. It has a ramp, and 3 2' x 2' windows that drop down so the horse can put their head out. I do not have bars on my windows - wish I did. When the window is closed it has a tiny window, that slides over. When the tiny window is open, the screened part is only 6" x 6" - doesn't allow a lot of air to flow through. I have purchased Kensington screens that cover the entire 2' x 2' window when opened.

    When I load my horses, I go in with them and hook the first one in the center stall to a trailer bungie cord - about 2' long. The bungie cord hangs from a ring above the window. I then swing over the partition and latch it. I then bring in the second one, hook up in the same way. I then have to lift my heavy ramp and latch it. Then I have a long skinney part that shuts over the top of the ramp.

    When I unload, I open the back, go in and unhook the first horse and back them out. I then undo the partition, and unhook the second horse and back them out.

    Am I doing things the right way?

    Plus, is it safe to haul with just those Kensington screens on?


    My mare hauls wonderfully. She hops right in and backs right out. Is obedient every step of the way. My gelding, my big baby, hauls much better now that I put him in the center stall, but sometimes he can give me **** getting in. He goes in at a snail's pace. One step every 30 seconds or more and sometimes his ears grow real long and he turns into a mule and stops at the top of the ramp. I have to wait a long time for him to go in, but once he makes that decision he is fine. He is a little nervous when I hook him, but still obedient to me. Also there are times he backs off the ramp, and won't go in for a long time. He doesn't back out of control, but he is going to back so I just let him. He is getting better about it, but once he actually puts one foot onto the trailer floor he is fine.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Senior Member+ KristinJ's Avatar
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    Whenever I use a slant load I usually turn them around and walk them out, except one horse we have that prefers to back out. I am not familiar with those kensington screens so without knowing how they attach to the trailer would depend if I would drive with the window open. I see people a lot driving down the road without bars or screens, makes me SO nervous! If the screen is very light and is attached loosely (again not sure how they are attached to trailer) the horse MAY easily be able to just push it out.

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    I never turn them around. IME it creates a horse that tries to spin around to get out the second the door opens. A horse who is backed usually is more patient and waits for his handler. I would stick to your backing

    Another thing I do is I usually will open the windows and untie the horse before opening the divider. That way if the horse starts to come out, he doesn't catch himself and pull back when he feels the pressure. My horses don't pull back but I used to haul with some "weird" trailer horses and just picked up this precaution.

    If I don't untie first, I'll open the divider and if the horse starts come back still tied I'll give a firm "whoa". If he starts to get antsy or impatient I'll just close the divider. Go around, untie him, let him settle and then go back and get him.

    I think the screens should be fine. My 3 horse slant doesn't have bars either. It's very inconvienent with the heat and ventilation. I just open all my vents and keep the windows closed unfortunately. If I only have 1-2 horses in it and I'm travelling on fairly quiet roads, I'll open the 3rd window for more ventilation. The screens are definately on my list of wants.

    It sounds like you've got the situation under control, no fatal errors LOL.
    -Erin
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    Senior Member+ luvmyride's Avatar
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    I have always been told (and always done it this way) that you always use the front part of the trailer first. So if you have a 3 horse slant, you should use the one in the front of the trailer, and the middle one, not the middle and last ones. Does that make sense?

    This helps evenly distribute the weight, and also means less weight at the farthest point away from the towing vehicle. If for some reason you come to a sudden stop, there is also less jarring to the horses (it's all about the weight again).
    Sometimes I wonder if I've fallen down the rabbit hole with Alice. Curiouser and curiouser...
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    Senior Member swansonspaints's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmyride View Post
    I have always been told (and always done it this way) that you always use the front part of the trailer first. So if you have a 3 horse slant, you should use the one in the front of the trailer, and the middle one, not the middle and last ones. Does that make sense?

    This helps evenly distribute the weight, and also means less weight at the farthest point away from the towing vehicle. If for some reason you come to a sudden stop, there is also less jarring to the horses (it's all about the weight again).
    I used to haul my gelding in the front, but he would paw like crazy up there! I mean rock the house paw! In the center, he is pretty quiet. I put my mare in last, because she is a better hauler and when I have to put my ramp down, she stands there and waits for me to unhook her. My gelding woud probably help me and hurt me bring down the ramp if you know what I mean. I also had three horses at one time. I had the most awesome pony for my kids and he was even nervous looking when I took him out of the front stall. My horses just don't like that front stall.

  6. #6
    Senior Member swansonspaints's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HUS_WP_lovr View Post
    I never turn them around. IME it creates a horse that tries to spin around to get out the second the door opens. A horse who is backed usually is more patient and waits for his handler. I would stick to your backing

    Another thing I do is I usually will open the windows and untie the horse before opening the divider. That way if the horse starts to come out, he doesn't catch himself and pull back when he feels the pressure. My horses don't pull back but I used to haul with some "weird" trailer horses and just picked up this precaution.

    If I don't untie first, I'll open the divider and if the horse starts come back still tied I'll give a firm "whoa". If he starts to get antsy or impatient I'll just close the divider. Go around, untie him, let him settle and then go back and get him.

    I think the screens should be fine. My 3 horse slant doesn't have bars either. It's very inconvienent with the heat and ventilation. I just open all my vents and keep the windows closed unfortunately. If I only have 1-2 horses in it and I'm travelling on fairly quiet roads, I'll open the 3rd window for more ventilation. The screens are definately on my list of wants.

    It sounds like you've got the situation under control, no fatal errors LOL.
    thanks! I have thought about unhooking them first but didn't want to create any problems...I am such a nervous ninney about hauling still - need to do it more and often. I will try it. they are good for me when I go in, but if they decided ever not to be, I could get seriously hurt in there with them.

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    Senior Member swansonspaints's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KristinJ View Post
    Whenever I use a slant load I usually turn them around and walk them out, except one horse we have that prefers to back out. I am not familiar with those kensington screens so without knowing how they attach to the trailer would depend if I would drive with the window open. I see people a lot driving down the road without bars or screens, makes me SO nervous! If the screen is very light and is attached loosely (again not sure how they are attached to trailer) the horse MAY easily be able to just push it out.
    The screens are pretty sturdy. It is what they make their fly sheets out of. I have their fly sheets and they last and last. I am only worried if for some horrible reason, the trailer were to flip in a crash, the horse could come through the opening and get even more hurt. I know what you mean about people traveling with their horses' heads sticking out. what about rocks, big bugs, and debri hitting their eyes?

  8. #8
    Senior Member swansonspaints's Avatar
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    bump bump...any more thoughts anyone

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    Senior Member+ LRHenneman's Avatar
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    I send my gelding into the trailer--don't have to lead him in. I go in and clip him, but I don't really have to. I could do it from outside, once I've closed the divider. He unloads by either backing or by turning and will not insist on turning around if I back him out. It's probably safer to unload by backing.

    I have screens on my windows, but would dearly love to have bars and screens. My previous geldings would lean on the screens. I could see it through the rearview mirror. My current gelding will stick his nose and almost all of his head around the screen, so he travels with the window up and the slider open. When it's warm, I take out the sliding plexiglass on the butt side. Unless it's really cold, the second dropdown window is always open. The vents are open in any case.

    Personally, I don't like ramps. It's just one more thing on the trailer and can limit where you unload. Plus, horses can step off as my friend's gelding did and suffered an injury to his canon bone. Just personal preference.

  10. #10
    Senior Member swansonspaints's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRHenneman View Post
    I send my gelding into the trailer--don't have to lead him in. I go in and clip him, but I don't really have to. I could do it from outside, once I've closed the divider. He unloads by either backing or by turning and will not insist on turning around if I back him out. It's probably safer to unload by backing.

    I have screens on my windows, but would dearly love to have bars and screens. My previous geldings would lean on the screens. I could see it through the rearview mirror. My current gelding will stick his nose and almost all of his head around the screen, so he travels with the window up and the slider open. When it's warm, I take out the sliding plexiglass on the butt side. Unless it's really cold, the second dropdown window is always open. The vents are open in any case.

    Personally, I don't like ramps. It's just one more thing on the trailer and can limit where you unload. Plus, horses can step off as my friend's gelding did and suffered an injury to his canon bone. Just personal preference.
    I hope they don't ever figure out how to stick their nose around the screens. They are pretty taut and cover the whole opening, so it will be hard, but they are strong, determined animals.

    I don't like my ramp either. I'm always leary about bringing it down when I have a horse in the last stall. What if they decided to pull back and thrash around prior to getting the ramp all the way down? It could potentially be very dangerous. Whenever I can afford it I do want to upgrade this trailer. I want one with bars on the window and one without the silly 8' door that shuts over the ramp. When I have to pull it back to open the ramp, it is seriously a dangerous thing. It is sharp and a horse could try and go under it. Sigh...if only I were rich! Lol!

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