Many horse owners with large breed horses are hesitant to buy a slant load trailer. They feel that their horses will be too cramped for safe and comfortable travel. Here at Double D Trailers, our slant load trailers can be specifically designed for large breeds like Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, and draft horses.
We spoke with one woman who told us about her experience designing a trailer with Double D Trailers. She has been extremely happy with how her Hanoverian Warmblood and Paint/Draft Cross horses travel in her new 2 horse slant load trailer.
Here are several reasons why Double D Trailers is a great option for large breed horses:
A typical slant load trailer from another manufacturer likely will not work well for your larger breed horse. Most brands follow a ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy that only works for horses that are around 15.2-15.3 hands and weigh 1,100 lbs.
Since we build custom horse trailers, each Double D Trailer is specifically designed to fit your individual animals. If you have a 14-hand show pony and then a 17.1 hand Percheron, we are going to give each horse a custom-tailored stall that will work safely for them.
Brad Heath, owner of Double D Trailers, explained, “On a Double D Trailer SafeTack, if you increase the stall width by 1-foot, it will support a horse up to 16.2 hands. If you increase the stall width by 1-foot and increase the trailer width to 90”, it will support a horse that is 17+ hands like a Warmblood or Draft horse. We even go to 96” width with many clients for additional head and neck comfort.”
Brad continued, “Just like humans, horses vary greatly in size, so the idea of creating a ‘one-size-fits-all’ trailer just doesn’t make sense.”
Anne from Keene, New Hampshire is one Double D Trailers customer who needed a trailer to fit her large breed horses. “I was a little nervous about switching from a straight load to a slang load,” she shared. “I have two horses and they travel alone and together. Summit is a Hanoverian and he is 16.3 H, 1250 lbs. Rocky is a paint/draft cross and he is 17.2 H, 1490 lbs.”
Anne was able to tour a Double D Trailer at the Equine Affaire convention in 2015. She said, “It was obvious that Double D’s trailers were very well built, above and beyond what we were seeing in other trailers at the show. The SafeTack Reverse was an option that I loved from the very moment that I saw it.”
One of the features that Anne loved most about the SafeTack Reverse was how this model maximizes space. She thought “the design was brilliant” and loved how the rear tack area swung out like a second door. This allows her to keep dirty and sweaty tack out of the main dressing room area.
Another advantage with the SafeTack storage compartment is that it allows for a wide open entryway for loading and unloading. On a conventional slant load trailer, a stationary rear tack storage area leaves a very narrow rear door that can spook timid loaders. In addition, this feature allows the handler more room to safely maneuver around their animal with less chance of being pinned against a wall.
The SafeTack slant load horse trailers work well for owners who like to walk their large horses forwards off the trailer. Because of the wide open design, it is convenient to turn your horse completely around so they can walk off the back of the trailer without ever needing to back up.
Another option is to incorporate a side horse loading door and ramp. With this configuration, you can walk your horses on from the back door and then forwards off the side ramp. Or, if you want to haul in a reverse facing direction, you can load from the side ramp and then walk your horses off the back ramp for unloading. This system minimizes the stress that many horses feel when they are asked to back off a horse trailer and keeps the handler safe.
Anne told us, “I can walk both of them in the back, turn them around without any issues and secure them inside. On other trailers, I feel they are more cramped (especially if the tack is in the rear) and I have since loaded my horses into my friends’ straight load trailer and compared to my Double D, I feel like they seem cramped now.”
Another benefit of these side horse ramps is easy access to any individual horse in the case of an emergency. With a conventional slant load trailer, you are forced to off-load all of the rear horses in order to reach the front positioned horse. Our design allows you to load and unload in any order.
As we mentioned already, the entire width and height of your Double D Trailer can be customized to fit your larger horses. Anne told us, “Yes, they absolutely fit comfortably and I have had no issues with them while traveling. I have the camera system and when hauling, I watch them constantly. They both seem very happy and content.”
Anne mentioned one time when she was forced to take a turn faster than she would have liked. She glanced at her on-board camera and saw her horse Summit who was traveling in the rear-facing direction. “[He] braced with his rear end and then pushed his head forward to counter-balance himself. He had plenty of room to self-correct himself and he was not worked up at all when we arrived at our destination only about 10-minutes later.”
When asked about her buying experience, Anne admitted that she had been nervous at first about her horses fitting. “I must have asked Brad three times, ‘Are you sure my big horses will fit?’ The design measurements seemed to make sense but I still had concerns. However, they both have plenty of room. They have room to move sideways and they can step backwards even on the slant.”
With the SafeTack slant load horse trailer, you have the option to choose a forward or rear facing design. Anne chose to purchase a SafeTack 2 Horse Reverse Gooseneck horse trailer after witnessing horses in stock trailers standing backwards out in Montana. “All the pieces I was being told, read about, and saw-first hand, fell into place,” she explained. “I wanted the most comfortable ride for my own horses so I decided to trust their natural instincts and do what made the most sense for THEM, not what was the most conventional decision for me based on what was the most common practice.”
“Sometimes they go forward because the trailer is parked in a way that I can’t access the side ramp. On the longer trips I always have them facing backwards. I have been watching them in the camera in both directions and trying to pay attention to their body movements, especially when braking and accelerating.”
“I notice that in the rear-facing direction, they can shift their weight more readily to their rear, allowing them to counter balance more easily. When forward facing, all their weight is thrown to their front-end when braking and it also prevents them from using their head and neck properly.”
All of the trailers from Double D Trailers have a number of features built in to help minimize stress and fatigue for horses. The interior is bright and airy with large windows, tubular head dividers, and overhead air vents. The floors are constructed with treated lumber or synthetic Rumber material to minimize heat and vibration from the road. The walls and roofs on the trailers are insulated to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. Even the skin of the trailer is secured with a chemical 3M bonding system to minimize the creaks and rattles associated with typical bolted-together trailers.
This allows for a calmer experience for your large horses.
Anne told us of her horses, “The trailer is so bright and roomy when the ramps are down and the doors are all open. It is an inviting place to step into. The best way I can describe my horses after hauling them is that they are just happy. They are not stressed out, sweating, racing out the side door or the back, etc.”
“I am a huge advocate of these trailers,” she continued. “This was by far one of the best purchases I made. I am very pleased that I did my research and came out ahead!”
If you have questions about how a Double D Trailer will work for your large breed horses, please contact Brad directly. We’re always glad to answer your questions!