Trailer interior height

I’m customizing a new trailer. I have a really tall 2yo WB gelding could be close to 18h when fully grown. I know, it’s ridiculous, but we bought him as a weanling - he’s sweet, smart, and talented…just way too big!

In any case, is there significant value in upgrading to an 8’ trailer over a 7’6”?


When my tallest was learning to trailer, the things I worried about were 1) how tall the actual entrance doors were or were there any lower lips under the opening to bang the head on when they walk on or backed off with their head up high.
2) are the structural frames in ceiling lower than their advertised ceiling height. Some of those beams are 3 inches lower than ceiling height.
If your horse tends to be high headed I’d go as high as practical on height.

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I appreciate that your horse is not fully grown yet. But measure him when he is standing in the “full alert” position, from ground to the tips of his ears. Then add in a bit more for anticipated growth.

If the result is a few inches lower than your present trailer height, you’re good. Otherwise, go with more roof height for the new trailer.

This is based on hauling my Clydesdale over the years in different trailers. He does NOT like his ears to brush a trailer roof.

You have to consider the practicality of it as well. My Hawk trailer is 7’8" tall. I am 5’3" tall. It’s at my maximum reach to open the latch on the upper door above the side ramp. It’s not happening if the trailer is uphill from me. It’s also a lot easier for me to open the windows from inside the trailer than from outside. However, my tallest horse is 15.2, so I really have more height than I need.

If you have the option of 8’, I’d go with that. More air, more room is always an advantage, especially if you have large horses.

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You may want to get longer stalls, over a lot of height. Horse who can move a bit, can lower his head. We have large horses, 17h+ and long necks. Not draft or draft crossed sized horses. Stalls are straight to be able to use ALL the body room, necks not cramped. They are also wide bodied, need stall width on both sides in a trailer. Not touching walls if standing centered in the stall. Smooth sides, no wheel wells inside the horse space.

Husband modified our stock trailer with adding a divider for stalls in front. However, height is 7ft. Our horses always wear head bumpers so I do not worry about injury on the top of their heads.

We do have a small 2nd barn with a lower loft above the stalls. All the horses have been stabled in there, learn where the 8ft roof is. “If your ears touch, DO NOT raise your head higher!” Sometimes a tall horse just has to learn there is no escaping the human by raising your head!! This could be for haltering, worming, other reasons, and is a very useful life lesson to him.

We kept the “evergrowing” young horse in there before we sold him. He kept his head down even when he did not like what we were doing on him! The small woman (about 5’2") who bought him was always able to do anything around his head (clip or worm, fit his bridle) with no issues later. He ended up at 18.1H at 8yrs old. She loves him and he makes her look great.

So I would say keep the smaller height, put a head bumper on him. Things should be fine if he has stall length to back a step, lower his head. I want the stall giving horse a bit of room, not touching on sides or front and back. He can shift around in travel to rest tired muscles and stay comfortable.

It does cost more hauling taller trailers, more wind resistance on them, so that might be a consideration if you plan to haul a lot of miles over the time you own the trailer. It was a big consideration to us in keeping the 7ft stock trailer, instead of getting a taller trailer. Fuel costs add up. It gets hauled a lot of miles each year, hauling many things besides horses. My Kubota with FEL fits in there with the roll bar down!