Horseboxes in the US?

Hi y’all — anyone have experience with buying a UK-style horsebox (as opposed to a trailer) in the US? Where did you get it from? Did you like living with it better than a trailer? Ballpark price when you bought yours?

TIA!

Google Frank DiBella Vans

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I looked at the Stephex vans (the two horse model) when they were on display at WEC. And saw a ton of them in Wellington. The big advantage seems to be parkability - at WEF people were parking them in the regular car parking spaces. They looked to be about the same size as a longbed pickup.

It would be awesome to have one just to run around short distances, or with one horse, or if I was going somewhere I knew parking would be tight. But for me, there’s not nearly enough space if I was taking two horses plus all the crap I need at a horse show.

The Stephex van looks intriguing to me! Did you happen to learn if they have 4 wheel drive? That would be a dealbreaker for me.

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I just don’t remember if I saw 4WD as a feature or not. I oohed and aahed over the display vans and then realized the only way I could justify having one of those in addition to my regular truck and trailer (which is what I’d need) is if I won the lottery :grin:.

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It does depend on the size of the box! European Eventers, riders and crew, live out of theirs all season, with several horses and all their necessary equipment in a vehicle generally less than 40ft long. The top end are just like luxury yachts with the same mindset of maximum storage in minimum space. The horses get a/c and computer-controlled suspension and comfort lighting… Probably, however, American safety standards are different.

www.oakleyhorseboxes.co.uk

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Me, too re: the lottery. Take note I didn’t ask about price😀!

I had one a few years ago. The 2-horse box was by Annard (Irish company) on a Ram 3500 Promaster chassis. It was easy to drive and park (and back up!!) which is the main advantage I think. You feel the horses in the back much more than in a trailer. The horses ride facing backwards. I ended up not using it much since I pretty much stopped showing and also don’t drive back and forth between Florida and NY anymore. It wasn’t worth maintaining a special purpose vehicle, registering it, insuring it etc. so I sold it to a woman in California. They are expensive!! If you can afford it and are in an area (like Wellington) with very limited parking it can be useful.

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yes… FORD TRANSIT 350 RWD/ AWD dually

https://www.horseboxesusa.com/inventory

pricing shown for rear wheel drive starts at $79k for base model going up to about $93k

which at first seems expensive but Ford these days is pricing their F150 Lightening at over $100k and just an average 250/350 can be in the $80,000s

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Thank you (I think😉)! My truck and gooseneck trailer add up to more that that. I wonder if these ‘boxes’ are less stable on the road because of the height. I know the vans that sit way off the ground like a semi we’re not so stable. My 4 Star and F250 diesel don’t feel semis going by so much…

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The big American pick up and gooseneck rig are just not used in Europe. Roads are smaller, more wriggly, terrain changes quickly, urban centres are close together with narrow and crowded streets even as the major freeways are full of big commercial trucks travelling at speed. So any horse box, by design, has to be very stable, manouverable, easy for anyone to drive, easy for the horses to load, comfortable over long distances for both humans and horses. There is a strong market for small two horse boxes, possibly replacing trailers, judging by the box park at Eventing competitions I go to.

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Thank you for this information. I have neck and back damage from radiation. I was wondering if this would be easier to manage than a truck and trailer.

Check out Equi-Trek! I know our Canadian distributor is bringing in horse boxes and I’m assuming US distributors will too. And if not, you could always order from Canada. The distributor here is called Westmill Trailers.

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I watched their videos. Those look really nice! I wonder if the ramp can/is moved to the other side for driving in the US. I would never have thought of it, but in one video, they pointed out how the ramp was positioned to unload on the road in England.

Hi – definitely easier to drive, park, backup and maneuver. And of course no more “hooking up” to the trailer. That being said you’re still dealing with a reasonably heavy ramp, and all the vagaries of loading and unloading horses from a box on wheels. If your horses are good travelers and easy to handle I’d say it could be easier.

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I tested a STX two horse mini-van style with a friend. Two horses in the 17.2 range loaded well, seemed happy. You do feel them a lot more - especially when they kick the back of your seat. She ended up buying one and loves it.

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The only down side is that you have to live in the van /truck style horse box all weekend at the event, but if you have a truck & trailer you unhook, go to your nice warm/with hot water and big bed/and food served to you in a nearby restaurant - Hotel.

Equi-Trek Portland/L&D trailers facilitates the van and trailer sales in the US, shipping options to various ports around the country.

I have always wanted one, but as mentioned would need to win the lottery first! I am looking at Equi-trek trailers though if I ever buy a new one.

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No reason you can’t drive your horsebox to the hotel/restaurant. I saw one parallel parked in town at HITS last year. I don’t know anyone who sleeps in theirs. Plenty of people get dropped off by a professional shipper on the first day of the show, and picked up on the last - no reason you need to have a trailer on the premises.

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[quote=“joiedevie99, post:19, topic:768268”]

No reason you can’t drive your horsebox to the hotel/restaurant. I saw one parallel parked in town at HITS last year. I don’t know anyone who sleeps in theirs. Plenty of people get dropped off by a professional shipper on the first day of the show, and picked up on the last - no reason you need to have a trailer on the premises.
[/quote]

This. The 2-horse horse boxes for sale here are very maneuverable — you can easily drive it to your hotel and park it in a “normal” parking spot for the evening.