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Discuss Proper Horse Trailer Size at the Horse Chat forum - Horse Forums.

Hello to any readers. I have bought my first horse and now am trying to ...
  1. #1
    spc is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Smile Proper Horse Trailer Size

    Hello to any readers. I have bought my first horse and now am trying to buy the proper trailer. The horse is percheron tb cross and is 16.1. My trainer and seller told me I needed a trailer of 7'6" height. I have heard from others that 7' would be enough. Thank you all for any insight you may provide.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tori*AKA*WooHoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    I don't know if this helps any, but my 15.1hh quarter horse needs a minimum of 6'6" trailer, she would probably fit better in a 7' though. I think you may be good either way. Do you have any pics of your horse? Is he/she stocky or more fine boned?
    ~Limited Edition~Tiger Lilly~Sheza Rockstar~Memory Harbor~Joey
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  3. #3
    Senior Member+
    mustang_dodger's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    prophetstown illinois
    i use to have a 7ft trailer and my 16 horse fitted in it just fine
    proud owner of Bob's Dandy Invite AQHA filly
    Legends come and go, some live for ever in our hearts!

  4. #4
    Senior Member+ luckydragon's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    I have a 16.1 hh TB gelding and a 16.2 hand TB gelding and they both fit great in a 7' trailer. I just got a 6'6" two horse gooseneck and both of the horses fit in that one also. But I am only ok with the 6'6" because neighter of my horses throw their head up. Even for a 16.1 hand TB cross that is stocky and 7' should be just fine.
    "Crazy TB Lady"
    Dragon Fly Sport Horses
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  5. #5
    Senior Moderator
    Sandra-A1's Avatar
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    Aug 2003


    I am one of those who believe that bigger is always better....
    No matter what size the seller says the trailer is...be sure to take a good tape measure with you and get inside and do some measuting of your own!

    Look at it from a horse's point of view....
    What does the horse want? Room and light, good ventilation, and safety in design.

    Room and light: An average sized horse ( 15.1h - 16.3h) needs about 10 feet of usable length to be comfortable. A larger horse may even need more. A horse needs to be able to spread his legs for steadiness, but is also important that he be able to use his head and neck freely for balance. A light colored interior and lots of windows or slats will make the trailer much more inviting and less claustrophobic.

    Good ventilation is important for the horse's respiratory health and to control the temperature and environment of the trailer. Hay dust and noxious gasses from manure and urine compromises the horse's respiratory system and predisposes him to diseases such a shipping fever. Roof vents will remove contaminated and/or hot air from the trailer. A light colored exterior, especially the roof, will make the trailer cooler in hot weather.

    Safety in design: There should be nothing sticking out to harm the horse in anyway. Tie rings, and latches should fold flat against the wall. All center posts and dividers should quick release, but should be strong enough to not break apart until you can make the decision. (Exception - dividers should come up and out if a horse would get under it.) No sharp edges anywhere. All parts of the trailer should be strong enough to hold up to the largest, strongest horse who will be hauled in it.

    Ramps should be low to the ground and not slippery. It should be possible to reach every horse individually in the event of an emergency. (This is a special problem with many slant load trailers.) Butt and chest bars should quick release.

    Safety in design also includes road safety. All brakes and lights should be in perfect working order and the emergency breakaway brake battery should be charged. Safety chains on tag-along trailers must be crossed underneath, and ball hitch gooseneck hitches should also have safety chains or cables. Tires should be inflated to the recommended capacity, and rubber torsion suspension will not only reduce road shock for the horse, but will be an added safety feature if the event of a flat tire. It is most important that a tag-along trailer be hitched to a frame mounted Class III or Class IV hitch, and that the trailer be towed in a level position. Whether you are towing a gooseneck or a tag-along trailer, you must have a properly rated tow vehicle to insure your own safety.
    An inside width of 6' (a trailer quoted as having a 6' width may vary by a few inches) with a height of 7' (square sided roof rather than rounded), and a total stall length of 10', will fit a horse from about 14 hands up to about 16 hands. Add 2" to the roof (7'6"), and the horse can be up to 16-3 hands. From 16-3 hands up to 17 hands, you should add another 2" (7'8") to the height, and 6" to the length from butt to breast and 6" to head area (11' total stall), or just add 1' to the head area depending on the "butt to breast" size of your horse.

    If you're roads are not to narrow, you can also go to a wider axle, and have an inside width of approximately 6'8" (102" axles) with no wheel wells inside the trailer. For horses up to 18 plus hands, the trailer should have the 6'8" width, 7'8" height, and 11' total stall length. For horses, such as draft horses, that are approaching 19 hands with weights approaching 2000 lbs., the trailer should be close to 8' tall with 12' total stall length, with extra floor supports, upgraded axles and tires.
    Regarding slant loads:

    Most slant loads will not fit horses over 15-3 hands comfortably. Most slant loads that quote 10 to 11 feet on the diagonal (far corner to far corner) will, in reality, will have stall lengths that are only be 8 to 8 feet long (measure down the center). Some slant loads purport that they have warm blood size stalls, but the only way a slant load can fit larger horses (since there are legal limits to how wide a trailer can be, and there are wheel wells in all stalls up to 4 horses) is to widen the stall, or take out a divider. When this is done, a horse can stand more front to back. The smaller the horse, the better it will fit in a slant load trailer. It's our opinion that the only positive trait to a slant load is that you can stack more horses in a shorter trailer.

    The stall length is rarely big enough unless your horses are very small. Most horses that are 16 hands plus will have their noses pushed up against the road side wall, and their butts squeezed against the ditch side wall. The size problem comes from the limitation of what the legal width of a trailer can be. It can go up to 8'6" but the wheel wells are then inside the trailer and are still restricting the horse's space.
    "It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." ~Dumbledore

  6. #6
    Senior Member foxyfuzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Vernonia Oregon
    I am also in the market so this is a great question for me to subscribe to. In my opinion taller is better.
    The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become...

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