Buying your first horse trailer is an exciting experience for horse owners. Having a horse trailer will give you a sense of peace knowing that you can go wherever you want, when you want (and you don’t have to rely on others for a ride)! Even though your excitement might take over, don’t jump the gun. Take your time when you are looking for a horse trailer. Take into consideration three very important things: your horse, yourself and your budget!
When looking for a trailer, your horse should come first! This can easily be forgotten when you are looking at beautiful trailers with living quarters that are nicer than your home! Horses, by nature, are prairie creatures. They like to have wide open spaces and plenty of space to run due to their “fight or flight” response. This is impossible to do when you are shoving your horse into a horse trailer. A horse will eventually get used to being trailered but when you buy your first trailer; try to find a trailer that will make your horse feel the most comfortable. Horses specifically like room, light, and ventilation when being trailered. If your horse is larger than 16H you will most likely need something with more head room and stall space than a 7ft tall, slant load. Believe it or not, horses actually LIKE stock trailers. They can see outside, they are bright during the daylight, and there is plenty of ventilation. Even a taller, wider enclosed straight load trailer will have more light, air, ventilation and space for your horse, than a slant load. Fortunately, newer model horse trailers are being built with much bigger windows, which really helps.
What do you need your trailer for? Do you plan on just going to one day or weekend shows? Or do you plan to stay in your trailer for an extended period of time? This can help you decide whether you will need a living quarters or a tack room. For short weekend trips, you can probably get away with just having a tack room. If you plan to camp for a while, a trailer with living quarters might be in your best interest. How do you plan to haul your trailer? What type of hitch do you have? One thing to keep in mind is that it is nearly impossible to find living quarters in a bumper pull that is not too long with a heavy tongue weight which would require a major truck tow vehicle.
A horse trailer is an investment. If you will only be using your trailer a few times a year, don’t spend an outrageous amount of money. The more luxurious and big the trailer is, the more expensive it will be. Make a list of what you WANT for your trailer and what you NEED. You may want a 4 horse trailer, but if you only have 2 horses at your farm you might consider reducing the size of the trailer. Be realistic. Look at what trailers are selling for that fit your needs. This way you can avoid paying too much for a trailer.
Buying a trailer is exciting but it should also be done with caution. Don’t get too excited and spend your hard earned money on too much trailer. Be realistic, take your time, ask lots of questions and find the perfect trailer for your horse, yourself, and your budget. Good luck!