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2+1 Horse Trailer For Sale: Is This Trendy Model Right For You?

Last updated January 28, 2024 by Brad Heath

2+1 horse trailer

For many horse owners, a 2+1 horse trailer for sale is the ultimate find.  It’s a 3 horse trailer with a unique layout that makes show day prep a breeze.  The 2024 model 2+1 Trailer from Double D Trailers includes safety features like:

  • 3 horse trailer with 2 straight load stalls in the rear,

  • Side loading ramp and door with show day box stall for third horse,

  • SafeBump roof for protection and temperature control (it’s leak proof!),

  • Z-Frame Chassis - strong like steel but light like aluminum,

  • Insulated walls with Galvalite layer for extra strength and protection,

  • V-nose design for easier towing and turning,

  • Rumber floors to prevent heat and vibration transfer into horse legs,

  • Special rivet-free design for a quiet ride and clean look,

  • And Z-Frame, tubular head dividers for air flow and visibility.

This model has many appealing features, but we’ve long held off on building it.  Why? Despite all the perks of this 2+1 horse trailer for sale, we still feel the SafeTack 3 Horse Trailer is a better option.  Here are the pros and cons of the 2+1 horse trailer so you can decide for yourself.

What is a 2+1 Gooseneck Horse Trailer?

This 2 plus 1 horse trailer design has been gaining popularity among horse owners over the last several years.  It is a gooseneck horse trailer with two straight load stalls in the rear of the trailer with a third box stall towards the front.  There is a dressing room compartment / tack room in the gooseneck portion of the trailer.

When asked why it was so popular, Double D Trailers owner Brad Heath laughed, “I wish I knew!”  People like the idea of a horse trailer with a box stall, which many people use as a prep space on show day. It works well for horse owners with three animals who also want a gooseneck dressing room area for relaxing or even spending the night.


2+1 horse trailer floor plan for 3 horse trailer

As Brad said, “Not everyone likes the same thing…some people like Chevy, some like Ford.” If a 2+1 horse trailer for sale is what you’re looking for, then Double D Trailers would be happy to build a custom designed version just for you.

Pros and Cons: 2+1 Horse Trailer vs. SafeTack 3 Horse Trailer 

First, you may want to check out some of the pros and cons of this model so you can decide if the SafeTack 3 horse slant trailer may be an even better option.

Pros of the 2+1 Horse Trailer

2+1 horse trailer with show day box stall Pro #1: Works Well as a 3 Horse Trailer

If you wanted a straight load horse trailer that worked for three horses, you are limited in your options.  Some manufacturers will cram all three horses side-by-side, but you’re left with narrow stalls and an extra-wide trailer design.  This 2 1 horse trailer for sale solves this problem by placing your third horse in a box stall in front of the two rear straight-load stalls.

Pro #2: Includes Box Stall for Easy Show Day Prep

The forward box stall is accessed by a separate side ramp and door, so it provides a convenient place for show day prep.  A horse trailer with box stalls will let some people tack up away from the rain or use this space to let their horse have a midday nap.

SafeTack 3 Horse Trailer Comparison:

Our 3 horse SafeTack horse trailer also has the ability to make a show day stall with a separate loading ramp and door.  This 3 horse slant load trailer has a front partition that can easily be swung over so you are using the space from the front two stalls to create an enclosure.

SafeTack front partition divider creates a show day stall

Pro #3:  Stores Larger Equipment in the Box Stall

The Double D Trailers 2+1 Horse Trailer for sale has solid doors between the forward box stall and rear straight load stalls.  This barrier prevents the front horse from bothering the rear animals.  Plus, it makes a safe area for you to store large equipment like tack boxes or even small carts.

Some 2+1 horse trailers for sale from other brands don’t have this solid barrier.  They just have chest bars or partial partitions separating the horses.

(It should be noted that Double D Trailers has made custom horse trailers with better storage solutions for carts, canoes, and even motorcycles. More on this later…)


Floor plan comparison for 2+1 and SafeTack 3 horse trailers

Cons of the 2+1 Horse Trailer

You may be surprised to see that we actually have a much longer list of cons for the 2+1 horse trailer design.  Yes, we’d be happy to build it for you.  No, we do not think it is the best option for a 3 horse trailer for sale.  Here’s why…

2+1 horse trailerCon #1: Long Length Makes it Difficult to Tow

A typical 2 plus 1 horse trailer for sale has a box length of around 22 feet and a total trailer length of 28.5 feet.  A very long trailer can be harder to maneuver along farm lanes or at the showgrounds.

Brad explained, “To me, a 2+1 horse trailer is a poor utilization of overall space.  There is a lot of extra trailer to haul.”

This extra length is created by the straight load and box stall layout of the 2+1 horse trailer design.  We should mention that if a mid-tack storage area is added, the length will go even longer.

SafeTack 3 Horse Trailer Comparison:

The SafeTack 3 Horse slant Trailer is only 18-feet in length and makes much better use of the floor space with a slant load trailer layout.

In contrast to a conventional slant load, the SafeTack slant load design has an enclosed tack compartment in the rear corner of the trailer that swings out like a second door.  This leaves a wide open area for loading and unloading.

Con #2: Horse Trailer with Box Stalls Are Not the Safest for Hauling 

When a third horse is positioned in the box stall of a 2+1 horse trailer, they are left without any sort of security or support in the case of a sudden stop.  There are also limited places to put padding.  It’s like the third horse is an after-thought.

SafeTack 3 Horse Trailer Comparison:

In this trailer design, all three horses have identical and safe stalls with partitions to help the horses balance.  Plus, the stalls are well-padded, so each horse is equally supported in the case of a sudden stop. (See the floor plan of a SafeTack 3 horse trailer with box stall in the image below.)

Floor plan for SafeTack 3 horse trailer with box stall

Con #3:  Front Horse Can Bother Back Horses

Oftentimes, 2+1 horse trailers are built without any sort of barrier between the front box stall and the rear straight load stalls.  This means the front horse is free to nip or kick these rear horses during travel.  In our 2+1 trailer design, we include full length doors to prevent this problem.

SafeTack 3 Horse Trailer Comparison

All three horses are separated by partitions with tubular head dividers.  Horses can see their traveling companions and benefit from quality air and light flow, without having the freedom to bite and kick at each other.

Con #4: No Separate Tack Storage Area

Double D Trailers 2+1 trailer with solid barriers separating horses

In the 2+1 horse trailer design, most owners choose not to add a mid-tack storage area because it adds to the length of an already-long trailer.  This means, they must store their tack and grooming equipment in the gooseneck dressing room area.  Not sure about you, but we think sleeping with smelly and dirty equipment isn’t ideal.

SafeTack 3 Horse Trailer Comparison

The SafeTack 3 horse slant trailer allows you two other possible areas to keep your equipment away from your dressing room.

  1. The SafeTack compartment in the rear corner of the trailer has racks for saddles, hooks for bridles. An enclosed floor space works well for loose things like brushes and fly-spray.  You can even add a hay bale rack to the side of this compartment.

  2. You can choose to include a mid-tack storage room between the horse area and the dressing room area.  Since the SafeTack 3 horse trailer is a shorter 18-foot design, you can afford to add footage for the mid-tack if you want.

Con #5: Box Stall is Not Ideal for Storing Larger Items

As we mentioned before, many people will choose to store larger pieces of equipment in the forward box stall.  In the case of a cart or carriage, you may need to load this through the back doors, in which case you’ll have to remove the horse dividers, center post, and box stall doors each time you wish to load or unload your cart.

SafeTack 3 Horse Trailer Comparison

With the SafeTack, you can simply swing over partitions to load or unload a cart or carriage.  We’ve built several custom designs for storing carts, motorcycles, and even a canoe!

Double D Trailers 2+1 has straight load stalls in backCon #6:  Safety Concerns with Straight Load Horse Trailers

We’ve already written an article outlining the safety concern associated with straight load trailers.  Here’s a short list of the main safety concerns:

  1. Loading through a narrow straight load stall “hallway” can be difficult for many horses.
  2. These trailers tend to be longer with a higher tongue weight that can make them difficult to tow.
  3. We are not a fan of the danger that front chest bars can present.  A horse that rears up can get a leg hooked over the bar.

SafeTack 3 Horse Trailer Comparison

Our SafeTack 3 horse slant trailer solves these problems. Here’s how:

  1. The trailer provides an easier walk on – walk off loading configuration that works for both forward or rear facing stalls.

  2. The shorter length is easier for towing.

  3. Every horse is in their own enclosed stall without the danger of butt or chest bars.

Con #7: Horse Trailer with Box Stalls Not for Large Horses

The specific size of the front box stall varies with the manufacturer.  Our design tries to make the best use of space so that the front stall isn’t too cramped.  Still, there are limitations and this front stall does tend to be a bit small.

SafeTack 3 Horse Trailer Comparison

Our SafeTack 3 horse trailer for sale can be customized to work as a draft horse trailer or a warmblood horse trailer.  Extra width or trailer height can be added to easily fit 17+ hand horses.  Plus, we can vary the size of the individual stalls.  This works well if you have one very large horse and then one or two smaller animals that don’t need as much space.

Which 3 Horse Trailer is Right For You?

Double D Trailers SafeTack 3 horse trailer with side loadingHopefully it’s clear by now – we think the SafeTack 3 horse slant trailer  (image right) is a better option for a variety of reasons.

  • It provides easier towing,

  • Has more safety elements for the horses,

  • It still provides the convenience of a show day stall in a three horse trailer.

  • Plus, the SafeTack design works well for both forward and reverse load horse trailer orientation with an easy walk on / walk off layout.

But, as we mentioned before, we will happily offer a 2+1 horse trailer for sale if that’s what you have your heart set on. Brad explained, “We custom build to order so if a client insists on a particular layout, we will advise them (from a design perspective) on the pros and cons of various styles, but it's the client’s choice what they want.”

If you have any questions about either trailer model, feel free to contact Brad.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a 2 +1 horse trailer mean?

This is a gooseneck horse trailer with two straight load stalls in the back of the trailer with a third small box stall towards the front.  It’s a popular model lately with horse owners.  The SafeTack 3 Horse Slant Trailer has many of the same advantages with improved safety.

How long is a 2 1 horse trailer?

A 2 1 horse trailer from Double D Trailers has a box length of around 22 feet with a total trailer length of 28’6”.  The height comes standard at 7’6” with an 80” box width. These values will vary from brand to brand. Remember, a longer trailer is usually hard to tow and maneuver.

How much does a 2 1 horse trailer weigh?

A 2 1 horse trailer is a 3 horse trailer from Double D Trailers and weighs 6,200 pounds without extra options.  It has a box length of 22.0 feet with an overall length of 28.5 feet.  It comes standard with 7’6” height and includes 2 straight load stalls with a third box stall in the front.

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