2 Horse Trailer- Slant or Straight? Ramp or No Ramp?

I’ll bet that pretty much any trailer manufacturer will do this. But make sure you get detailed engineering drawings and that the step up isn’t almost 19" like it was on mine!! (It now has a ramp…)

Here’s a Hawk with a step-up rear: https://horsetrailerworld.com/home/trailerdetail.asp?ID=1400915

pair that option with one of their floor plans that has a front ramp and you’re all set. https://www.hawktrailers.com/bumper-pull.php

(Well… if you want to wait until next June… :joy:)

If it’s not a true 2+1 it might be a bit of a challenge to load from the front ramp. I don’t think there will be enough room to get turned and lined up for the drivers side stall. You might have to walk in and back into the curb side stall. Or… back up the ramp?

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Thanks, @wsmoak! I bet Hawk could make something; good thinking. A modified/smaller 2+1 is my future ideal. I have Arabs - my biggest mare is 13.3 - so I don’t need a ton of room to manuever with one, typically. Plus, if the horse is compromised enough to not be able to step up onto a trailer without a ramp, I’d imagine it would also need to be shipped in a box stall, so taking the divider out would probably make loading from a side ramp easier.

It’s all theoretical at this point. But a girl can dream!

I thought that the ideal trailer might be a 2+1 with rear step up. Or actually, in keeping with “you can access/remove any horse without moving the others,” a 2+1 with the ramp that converts to a swing gate on the rear (a la Boeckmann) would be best as I don’t like backing off a step-up. Thanks for reminding me of the day my horse refused to get in the Brenderup and I backed him in to get home!

I thought of another trailer design that would work for me, inspired by the mare that wouldn’t self load->got stock trailer->she always wanted to turn around after loading. A straight load trailer where you load a horse on the right hand stall, walk forward, turn around and walk into the left stall. The right side horse then loads normally. Probably would be a 16’ long trailer, maybe shorter would work. An Equi-Trek side load or a rear facing trailer would probably work for my mare too. I’m sure my stock side trailer was cheaper than any of these ideas.

Not so when my horse had his horrific leg injury, he was thankfully able to load into the Brenderup. It likely was a good thing that he had the wall and divider to support him.

So you’d want the left stall to be rear facing but the right stall to be forward? Probably Balanced Ride can figure that out. But I can just see my pony spending the entire trip chomping on the other horse’s butt. I think it would need a full height divider!

While we’re dreaming… full height divider that slides to the side so you can reconfigure into a box stall without getting someone to help you pull the pins and remove the divider. Cimmaron has it, I’m not sure who else.

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I bought a 2h straight load with a walk thru between the mangers to the tack room just before the crazy trailer market happened. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I sometimes haul young or crazy horses and having a real manger in the front of them seems to prevent them from trying to scramble over and out the front (I once saw at a horse show a young horse who jumped his front bar and was in the open front tack compartment. He was pretty beat up). it also really separates the two horses so they can’t bicker at each other the whole ride.

I was feeling a little bit of remorse because I had desperately wanted a 3h slant load (what I used on the west coast) before purchasing this one. It’s just that around here slant loads are not common at all and I couldn’t find any that were large enough. But, last week I loaded a 1800 pound draft into that trailer and while he was a little wide in the stall, he fit length wise. I don’t think I could have gotten him into the slant load even if I took out a divider.

I have owned a straight load, slant, and a small livestock trailer. I vote straight load. It is easier to access their head for food and water. The horses like it, more easy to stretch their neck. My hard loaders have preferred the straight load. More inviting, more light. I think it is safer for the handler. The horse can’t turn around and plow you over.

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I have had a three horse slant previously and now a two horse straight with a ramp. While I love the height and width and openness of the two horse (has an open area in front of the horses with chest bars and escape doors on each side, plus a tack room), I have found that I really need my horses to self load when I’m by myself for it to be done safely. The stalls have butt bars, and I prefer my horses to walk in on their own, then I secure the butt bar behind, and go up front later to tie. I tie last thing when they load and untie first thing when unloading. With one person, it feels a bit iffy to lead the horse in, leave them untied and trust them to stay put (hay nets don’t always provide enough incentive, especially if they are the least bit uneasy), walk to the back to secure the butt bars, then go back up front to tie. With help it’s no big deal, they can secure the butt bars for me after I lead the horse in. But with one person it’s a whole different thing.

Also, scary loaders are a nightmare with a ramp. Having a back gate to slam shut quickly is a nice feature I wish I had on this one. Getting a ramp halfway up and then having a horse plow it (and you) down is not a good thing. It would be perfect, I think, if it had a single gate inside the ramp. But that being said, I appreciate the other features it has, like removable dividers. When I hauled my yearling filly on her first trailer ride ever (a four hour trip from the breeder’s), I took out the center divider, closed everything up, and just left her loose in there to find her footing and comfort. I tied hay nets front and back for her, watched her on the camera, and in the end she wound up riding backwards at a slight angle. I liked having the ramp for the filly, I’m not sure she would have loaded as easily if I’d had to teach her to step up at the same time. But with the ramp and open box, she just walked right in, no hesitation.

The main things I disliked about my slant load are probably the same things others have mentioned - no access to the middle horse, small stalls, lack of any real ventilation - and the main thing for me was nothing between the last horse and the back gate. I never did feel comfortable not having something there to keep the horse in if the gate gave way. Not that it ever did, but that was a big wide open space that felt un-secured to me with just a gate latch. And the front stall was only big enough for smaller horses. My 15H QH was just too crowded, but my 14H QH fit…okay. It wasn’t the best, but she was the smallest of the three. The Appendix guy got the back.

Funny story about my rescue mare - I had a heck of a time getting her to load in my straight load, especially the right stall. She’d get halfway in, then just lose it and barrel out backwards. I tried lots of different things, and finally called her previous foster asking for help. She said, “I dunno, she always loaded fine in the stock trailer.” Her stock was a slant. Light bulb went off, I swung the middle divider over to the same angle that a slant would have, and viola` - mare loaded into the left stall without issue. Once she was in, I could move her over with the divider until she was standing straight and I could latch the butt bar, and she was fine with that - but I always had to start with the divider swung all the over. She was a pretty big mare, and I think it was just a claustrophobic habit she had. Walking in straight just didn’t feel right to her, she need her angle! Now teaching her to self load was a whole nuther story - but we got there.

Confession… I have not read all the threads. I would love to get something for two horses. My girl is a 16.2 TB and she doesn’t really fit into any slant load I have ever tried. I think my BF eventually would also get a similarly sized horse. I prefer straight loads because in an emergency you can get one horse out without having to unload another horse (unless your slant load has an exit for the first horse. I also like to have a breast bar with the horse able to stick it’s feet out in front of that. My girl does not seem to need a ramp. I recall a 2 horse bumper pull straight load trailer in which you could access the tack from BOTH sides! Now that was impressive!!! I think BF would really prefer to get a goose neck. We shall see what the future brings. At present I have a two horse slant no ramp and I just tie the divider to the side so Angel gets the whole thing. She loves it! Her favorite trailer was when she got to ride in my friends big stock trailer and had the whole back half of the trailer to herself. We just want our horses to be comfortable and happy right?

:wink: I wish there was an animated nodding emoji. Though once I did put my horses in the slant load with my mare facing backwards and nobody got hurt.

Yes, since my mare won’t let me close her in a normal straight load (backs out) I think this would work. Actually I think the balance would be better this way if the horses are close in size. I could load my mare by myself facing backwards, and go to pick up my friend’s horse…or load my gelding who is more reasonable than the mare. I really prefer a straight load. As I consider moving over 10 hours away, I’ve contemplated how to offer water on a slant load trailer with stock sides. Hmmm, I could have a door put in the divider between the tack area and the first stall. Or get one of the things that prevents water from splashing out of a bucket and put water in there before departing. Most likely I’ll end up shipping the horses.

I have a single gate with a ramp behind. If you’re loading alone, I fail to see how this is a good thing with a problem loader. I have to get to the wide door and swing it 180 degrees (usually) to shut it.

You could consider a 3H slant load made for 2 horses. I kind of wish I’d done that with mine, but who knows maybe in an emergency I’d put all 3 horses in there. OOOhhh, imagine if they made a slant load where you could adjust where the dividers are? I’d give my big girl an extra half stall, maybe I could move the second divider as far back as possible to make a bigger second stall with a divider to close!

Then you lose space to hang things and have to keep the floor clear. I have seen trailer with the tack door on the slanted nose of the trailer, I think I’d like that.

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I’ve seen this done on a bumper pull with a front ramp so you could still have a little tack area. Draw a diagonal line from the front edge of the front ramp over to the front edge of the escape door, and then put the exterior door on the angled front of the trailer. There is still enough room for the drivers side horse to make the turn and walk out.

I like my ramp over full double back doors. The doors serve as guides to discourage stepping off the edge of the ramp. And you can have one horse fully secure with its door shut while you unload the other one.

210925_9125 by Wendy, on Flickr

I have more issues UN-loading where he wants to turn around to see me. I have a long rope that runs through the front tie ring and back to me, so I can keep his nose pointed forward. I also use it for loading but don’t really need it since he’s happy to get in and see what’s in the bucket.

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Ramps have always worried me, having seen way more horses scrambling on them than having any kind of trouble on step-up trailers.

One reason, unloading some colts, the groom was standing on the side, ready to grab the lead rope as the horse backed off the ramp, horse’s hind leg slipped and he stepped off to the side, his hock hitting the groom in the middle.
Groom said he was ok, limped off with the colt, and then collapsed.
He was rushed to the hospital, where he died of a ruptured some or other internal organ.

You bet any horse being loaded or unloaded, I am sure everyone is standing well out of the way, accidents happen so fast.
With ramps, it seems that people tend to just get closer and the ramp is a hindrance not there on step-ups.

Now, with step-ups, it makes sense those not being a big step up or down, park where it will be as short a distance as possible and on solid, not slick ground.
Our vet clinic has some dirt and gravel to get trailer’s unloaded so as not to do that on the slicker asphalt.

Practically all our trailers are plain stock trailers, but right now, our vet asked us to get a pull type one he can haul any horse in an emergency with his vet truck, as he lives right past us on the way to his clinic.
Came in handy three summers ago when we had one horse snake bitten, he came pre-treat and then hauled him for us to the clinic, horse’s leg was swelling very fast.
Horse was fine after a few days.
It is a 14’ stock with an angled small tack space using the space of the front slant wall.
There are no divisions inside.
We had easily two horses at a slant in there, three in a pinch.
Is very well balanced, hauls like a dream, have made long trips and horses love it and come out fresh.

I guess I was thinking more of a run 'em in scenario more than a lead-in. Or at least a two person job to get one in.

Yes, this is what I would like to havel! Doors plus ramp! I can see where two would definitely be easier than one.

@Bluey, what are the dimensions of that stock trailer (height and width)? Manufacturer? I’m thinking about buying a stock trailer for the reasons you gave. You haul the two horses at a slant, but no dividers? Thanks for your information!

Our local trailer maker, Reyes Trailers, Canyon, TX builds most around here, has for decades. He has built several for us, this 2017 one the latest he built for us.
He builds them any size someone wants, all I remember is ours is standard sized pasture/cowboy model, made so you can pull thru rough country, mud won’t ball up, made on their basic 14’ length:

When gooseneck trailers with that extra open space over the gooseneck first became popular decades ago, many noticed horses would jump in them more readily, without hesitation, unlike on closed straight front trailers.
Later, once slant trailers started, we also noticed a horse that would stand and look before getting in a shorter standard straight end trailer would be more eager to climb on those with a slant wall in front, as if that was drawing their attention, rather than a straight wall may have made them look twice.

I wish someone would find a way to study that?
Since we have been using this trailer, we rarely have a horse stop and look before hopping in.

Do horses have room to turn in this trailer, or just back out?

Guess a smaller horse could turn around, ours are taught to walk in and back out as asked to.

Any trailer can be made to any specifications, longer, taller, wider.
I bet there is some trailer manufacturer in your region, maybe talk to them?

So I can find it again… here’s a video showing Cimmaron’s divider that slides on overhead tracks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGG9S_Ziw0g

Looking at all the latches, I wonder how noisy that is. Anywhere it’s metal on metal it’s going to rattle.