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Trailer butt straps v/s butt bars

Looking at a new trailer. It has butt straps?! When did this become a thing? Additional $1600 to install the spring loaded ones that the manufacturer carries. They are checking on after market. But meanwhile, what’s the general consensus regarding straps?

I would think that it does not matter if the thing behind the horse is made of metal or strap in most cases.

People who like the strap say that one of the positives of the strap is that if there is an accident or emergency, the strap can be cut with a seat belt cutter ,where a metal butt bar can not.

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I have a slant load with a wide, heavy-duty strap, I put a pool noodle on it to make it more visible. After 11 years I’ve had no problems with it

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In my 1st trailer - 2H BP straightload- buttstraps were chain encased in heavy rubber. No cutting through those! :open_mouth:

The one concern I saw on another site was that the because the strap is flexible,
it wouldn’t keep a horse from leaning on the doors, causing stress to the door latches.

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I did this with a mare who would freak if she felt the metal bar on her rear end. I ran a bungee cord through a pool noodle and attached the ends of the bungee to snaps so it was easy to drop. She liked this set up and if she backed into it or bumped it she was fine. It was much easier to use that the metal butt bars too. Still have the same set up years later.

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The trailer I bought recently had straps. I didn’t think anything of it… I’ve had a trailer with butt chains before, with a turn buckle on them to tighten them up, which were kinda similar. BUT, taking my horse out for a trail ride, when leaving the parking lot to come home, I felt a bit of a jolt. I continued home. My friend who was trail riding with me followed me down my driveway. She pulled up just as I walked behind the trailer, finding that the ramp latch was GONE on one side. Nothing was holding the ramp up on that side. The other side was still intact, and the ramp was still UP, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what had happened. My friend got out of her car, holding the latch that was missing off my ramp. Horse had backed up a step in the trailer when we started to move, and the butt strap had NOT held him off the ramp. The ramp do up had broken then. She stopped to pick it up, and followed me home. This trailer was taken to our local trailer guy, who nodded knowingly. This is a thing that happens with butt “straps” rather than bars. I did not know this. He replaced the straps with solid bars of his own design, which work perfectly. It was not expensive, he fixed a number of other small things, welding aluminium as required, which is what he does. I was gonna get the other things fixed anyway, it was purchased as a “used” trailer, not new, and had these other small issues that needed attention. Find the right trailer guy, and he looks after you!

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To me this is a design error is where the but straps are verses where the ramp is, not so much of a strap versus a bar thing.

The straps should be a length that when sat on (because heck, they are going to be sat on) the horse is not pushing on the back door/ramp.

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Yes, it was a design flaw, for sure. But apparently… that happens. If they are solid bars, it does not happen.

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My trailer has a high setting and a low setting for solid butt bars. Even in the low settings I need to be careful with medium and small ponies. I unhook them before I drop the ramp and NEVER leave them in the trailer with the ramp down. They can shimmy under the butt bar. I would think that this would be magnified by a butt strap since it can flex over their butt. Set too low a horse can step over it, set too high a pony or small horse can flex it up. There are some very hot days I would prefer to have the ramp down at a show for better air flow but can’t with the ponies.
I almost wish my trailer had 3 butt bar settings- large horse, horse, and pony.

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given that nothing is beyond a horse breaking, on butt and chest bars- those that are held in place with drop pins I ran into a problem when following a friend who was hauling a new horse in a trailer that had chest bars. Horse had hopped over the chest bar becoming hung with all its weight pressing down on the chest bar bending it so the pins could not be removed. To this day I really have no idea how I was able to drag that horse over that chest bar as it had passed out. As I got its head out the personal door the horse just kind of flowed out onto the ground, passed out since it could not breathe with with its weight on its chest over the bar. Horse appeared dead, but after a few minutes got up, shook then reloaded into the trailer

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I have a HAWK. My BIL added a lower chest bar setting for me. He used two metal plates, one outside and one inside the trailer, and bolted them together. The inside one had the holes to hold the pin welded onto it. He added tie rings on the outside for me too.
If you don’t have anyone that handy (he can fabricate pretty much anything), I bet a trailer shop can add a lower one for you.