It was an ordinary day in 1999, just like so many others, when tragedy struck. A horse owner from Raleigh, North Carolina was loading her horse into her conventional slant load trailer just like she had done so many times before. Her young gelding was usually reliable and calm, and had never had any loading issues in the past.
She walked her horse onto the narrow entryway past the rear tack compartment and into his stall. But, since the space was so confined, she walked around to the side of the trailer to reach in and fasten her horse’s halter.
Suddenly, without any warning and without giving her owner any time to react, the horse reared back and snapped her owner’s arm. And instead of driving calmly to the nearby countryside for a weekend ride, the horse owner was rushed to the emergency room.
One of the most dangerous moments for both you and your horse is during the loading and unloading process. These are high stress moments in a small, enclosed space that can lead to drastic injuries for both you and your horse.
Your horse could bolt out of the trailer and bump into you. Or, he could even run you over, or injury himself while quickly trying to exit. During the unloading and loading processes, there’s an infinite number of ways that your horse could hurt himself, or you. You can train your horse to load calmly and confidently, but something unexpected could happen at any moment. And sometimes, your trailer is hurting rather than helping.
In this article…
When it comes to loading and unloading safely and effectively, there are trailers that help, and there are trailers that don’t. Simply put, some trailers are just not designed for a smooth and peaceful loading process.
Take your typical slant load trailer, for example. These trailers are designed with a built-in tack storage area in the very back of the trailer. While on paper this looks like a great spot to add some storage, in real life, it makes for a super narrow rear door that’s difficult to load and unload from.
The narrow loading area just doesn’t give you and your horse enough room to comfortably enter and exit the trailer. This can become problematic and, as you can see from the story mentioned above, it’s a huge safety hazard for horse owners who have to load their horses onto these types of trailers.
Brad Heath, owner of Double D Trailers, heard about the terrible loading accident shared above and knew there had to be a safer way to load a horse onto a trailer. So, Brad and his business partner started brainstorming possible solutions. Eventually, they came up with a design that would eliminate the dangers of loading and make both the unloading and loading processes much easier and much more comfortable for both horses and their owners.
Their design was trademarked as “SafeTack” in 2011, and is now available on both bumper pull and gooseneck horse trailers from Double D Trailers. What makes it so special is that it has a full, wide loading area…and a rear tack storage area. But, with this design, the rear tack storage area doesn’t get in the way at all.
That’s because it’s part of the rear trailer door – it’s stabilized on swinging hinges so it swings out to the side when you open the back trailer doors. This unique design gives horse owners enough tack storage area for all their tack needs, and a wide-open loading and unloading area that’s much safer for both them and their horse.
Brad said, “Horses are unpredictable animals. That’s why you always want as much space as possible, just in case you need to get the heck out of the way.” The SafeTack design gives you and your horse the maximum amount of space – making your Double D Trailer much safer than traditional trailers.
But Brad didn’t just stop there. After designing a wide loading and unloading area, he kept thinking about how to make the trailer even more horse-friendly. Now that loading would be easier, he started to think about the unloading process. He knew that traditionally, to get your horse out of the trailer, the owner had to guide their horse out of the trailer backwards. That’s something that’s very unnatural and stressful for horses, since they are moving directly into their largest blind spot as they back up.
Then, Brad read an article from the Journal of Veterinary Behavior about how different positions during transport affect a horse’s stress levels and behaviors. For decades people had been trailering their horses in a forward-facing position, like we ride in our cars. But it turns out that when horses are trailered in the rear-facing direction, opposite of the direction of travel, they are less stressed and actually safer because they can balance better.
That’s why Brad designed the SafeTack Reverse Slant Load horse trailer. This reverse load configuration is patented and unique to Double D Trailers. In fact, it’s not available from any other trailer manufacturer in the United States.
Not only is this reverse-facing design better for your horse during travel, it also makes the unloading process much easier. With Double D Trailers, you can avoid all the stress of backing out your horse from the trailer with the walk-on, walk-off unloading design.
Simply load your horse into the trailer from the wide side loading door and walk him to his stall in the trailer. Then, when you’re ready to unload, just open the back doors, and since your horse is already in the rear-facing position, all you have to do is walk him out the back of the trailer! Problem solved.
If you don’t want to trailer your horses rear-facing, you can still easily walk them out the back of the trailer as well. Since Double D Trailers are large and spacious, you’ll have enough space to turn your horse around, then walk him out of the back of the trailer.
This eliminates much of the stress of unloading that your horse faces. You’ll find that the unloading process can be headache-free and injury-free with a Double D Trailer. It’s safer for you, and it’s safer for your horse as well.
Before we answer this question, let’s emphasize one point: The SafeTack trailer design is available in BOTH forward or rear-facing options.
If you’ve trailered your horse in the forward-facing position for many years, you might be wary of trying a new trailering style. You might ask yourself, “does my horse want to ride in the trailer backwards?” It’s a good question, and it might seem counterintuitive to think that your horse actually prefers riding facing the back of the trailer.
Many years ago, researchers asked that same question, and decided to conduct scientific studies to see whether horses are more comfortable traveling in the forward-facing position or the backwards-facing position. The results showed that horses travel better when they are in the reverse facing direction.
Many scientific studies have proven that horses are less stressed when they travel in the rear facing direction. One study in Italy that looked at Standardbred trotters and their cortisol (or stress) levels while traveling. They realized that horses that traveled rear facing had lower stress levels than those that traveled facing the direction of travel.
Another study found that when horses travel in the rear facing position, they can balance better, resulting in better movement and less injuries. It’s more natural for horses to be in the trailer rear-facing because it makes it much easier for them to balance and maintain their natural movement.
One Japanese study decided to observe horses during travel – and without any barriers in the trailer. They took yearling Thoroughbreds and loaded them into a trailer – but didn’t tie them up or anything. They found that the horses naturally situated themselves in the backward-facing position. They noted that the horses were more balanced and stable when there were abrupt trailer movements if they were facing backwards.
The science seems to be pretty clear – horses that travel in the rear facing direction have better balance and arrive at their destinations less stressed than horses that travel in the front-facing direction. But don’t just take science’s word for it – check out what real Double D Trailers customers have to say about their horses riding in the backward-facing position.
You can find happy Double D Trailer owners all over the country. From the sunny stables of California all the way to the snowy slopes of upper New York, people just like you have found that traveling with a Double D Trailer is safer, more comfortable, and more enjoyable for both the horses and the horse owners.
We recently reached out to a few customers to see how travel with their new Double D Trailers has improved. Brad was thrilled to hear that his patented design is still making a huge difference in the lives of horses and their owners.
Here are a few of their stories…
Even just one really horrible trailering experience can scar your horse and make him never want to set foot in a trailer again. That’s what happened to one of Tina’s horses. Her horse had a few really bad trailer accidents that made him, in Tina’s own words, “impossible to tie into a trailer.”
Tina’s troublesome horse was always nervous in her old trailer, and he felt trapped and anxious because of her trailer’s solid dividers. He would even rear up in his stall so he could see over them. Tina’s horse was so tough to load and tie that she had to transport him loose in the trailer.
She installed an onboard camera system to watch her horse as he traveled untied in the back of the trailer. And, she found that during every trip, he would face towards the back door and just stare out the openings of the back door.
So, when Tina heard about Double D Trailers and their reverse load configuration, she though that would be perfect for her “tough to load” horse who already liked traveling in the rear-facing position. She hoped that a new trailer would help him ride more calmly and comfortably – ideally, while tied.
After researching all the different trailer customization options on the Double D Trailers website, she decided to go with a 2 horse gooseneck trailer. She liked the open concept and especially the Rumber flooring that makes travel even safer. On her new trailer, Tina has a side loading door that allows her to easily load her horses from a side ramp, and then walk them to their stalls. With all Double D Trailer gooseneck trailers, you have the option to trailer your horses either forward or rear facing, whatever your horses prefer.
Tina said that with her old trailer, her horses would panic as the bars, dividers and doors closed behind them. Unable to see what was going on, the strange noises and uncertainty would make them stressed and anxious. But, in her new Double D Trailer, that doesn’t happen. She said, “now that my horses are facing me as I close the doors, they are totally calm.”
The loading process has become much easier for even her “tough to load” horse. She said that before, there were days when she would spend more than an hour trying to get her “serious problem hauler” onto the trailer. It was a frustrating process for both of them. But now, she says that her horse “has been walking straight on with the Double D Trailer. And he seems calmer facing backwards.”
Tina’s horse that used to rear up to see over the solid dividers in her old trailer enjoys the increased visibility in the new Double D Trailer as well. The SafeTack Reverse trailer comes with tubular Z-Frame dividers that allow the horses to see their surroundings, making them feel more comfortable and less trapped in the trailer.
Overall, Tina is happy with her new trailer, and delighted that her horses are loading and traveling in a new, safer way. Brad worked with Tina to help her create a custom-designed trailer that would work great for her horses and their needs. It makes loading easier and traveling much more enjoyable for even Tina’s hardest to load horses.
For Karen from Newnan, Georgia, loading her horse into her old trailer was an absolute nightmare. Her horse was terrified to get into her 4-Star brand trailer. Her old trailer had a traditional slant load design with a very dark, narrow doorway that frightened her horse, Rhett.
Rhett is a rescued gelding, and in the past, he had some very bad loading experiences. He was absolutely terrified to step into any type of trailer, especially Karen’s old trailer. She even said, “it took him two and a half days to get him into the trailer!”
Karen hoped that a new trailer with a more open design would help Rhett be less scared of trailering. That’s why she decided to get a Double D Reverse SafeTack 2 horse slant trailer. She was impressed with the design that allows you to transport your horses both forward facing and reverse facing. And she loved the “walk-on, walk-off” loading and unloading process. Her Double D Trailer has an open and spacy design that would give her horse Rhett more space to move around and feel safe and comfortable.
When her trailer was delivered to her ranch, Karen was excited to try it out with Rhett and her other horses. She worked on training them to feel comfortable around the new trailer and used the side door and ramp to load them in the trailer so she could easily walk them out the back doors.
The change in how her horse’s loaded and unloaded was dramatic – she said that all four of her horses loaded so much easier than on her previous trailer. They all really liked the Double D Trailer, even Rhett, who in the past would rear up at the mere sight of a trailer.
Karen shared that with her new Double D Trailer, she feels very safe and confident while helping her horses learn to enjoy the loading process and traveling. It’s so much easier than before to maneuver her horses, the loading and unloading doors, and the inside dividers.
She was really impressed with the design, build, and safety features of her Double D Trailer. Karen said, “this is an incredible trailer design. I feel safe, the horses feel safe, and it’s a dream to pull.” Karen’s Double D Trailer was the perfect match for her horse Rhett, who was finally able to overcome his fears and successfully load into a trailer.
Nancy from Cedar City, Utah found that unloading is so much easier because of the final divider in her 2 horse slant load trailer from Double D Trailers. She says that even though it sounds simple, the second divider is one of her favorite features on her trailer.
Normally, a typical 2 horse slant load trailer only has a paddled butt chain or a single solid divider that separates the last horse in the trailer from the rear doors. When you open the rear doors, this lack of protection can make unloading not just stressful but also unsafe.
With a final divider like Nancy has in her Double D Trailer, it all becomes so much easier. She explained that during unloading, “when I open the back trailer doors, my second horse is still securely in the trailer while I prepare to unload him.” This prevents horses from dangerously bolting out of the trailer and injuring themselves or their owners.
This unique feature is so important to Nancy because Nancy wanted a trailer that was going to be safe, durable, and reliable for her and her horses. She needed a dependable trailer that would protect her horses and her equipment.
When she first saw a video of Brad and a Double D Trailer on the website, she was immediately impressed. All the details and different options that were available for a standard SafeTack trailer impressed Nancy and made her want to custom design her own. When she got online and started customizing her own trailer, she realized how easy it was to choose her own options and features.
Nancy said shopping for her Double D Trailer all online was a unique experience that she enjoyed. Instead of being hassled or pressured by a salesman, she could sift through all her options in the peace and quiet of her living room. When she had questions, she said, “Brad gave me his immediate attention” and helped her finalize her trailer design.
With the online buying process, Nancy ordered what she wanted, when she wanted – and got everything she wanted. She said her new trailer makes her feel safer loading and unloading. She ordered her trailer to be made extra wide and extra tall since two of her horses are large and tend to lift up their heads while loading. That way, her horses are able to safely load without any risk of hitting their heads on the roof of the trailer.
In Nancy’s new trailer, unloading is so much easier as well. She said, “the dividers are a dream to open and close compared to my friends’ trailers.” All she has to do to unload is reach in and untie her horses, then release the divider. She commented, “I have a lot more control unloading.”
When you build your very own customizable Double D Trailer, the first step is to choose what horse trailer model will work best for you and your horses. You can choose between Gooseneck horse trailers, bumper pull horse trailers, and horse trailers with living quarters. All these trailer models use the SafeTack Trailer design to keep you and your horses safe.
After you choose the model you’d like, you can make it your own by choosing what color you want your trailer to be, and if you want a vinyl stipe or design on the side of your trailer. But the customization doesn’t just stop there – you can add optional comfort features like an air conditioner, a patio awning, a clothes bar, a porch light, extra saddle racks, and a wall organizer grid.
You can make your trailer truly unique and comfortable for you and your horse. Does your horse feel more comfortable when he can see outside the trailer? Well, you can add a window at your horse’s head level. Do you want to be able to monitor your horse while he’s in the trailer? You can add a camera system to your trailer.
You can customize your trailer all you want, and during the design process, Brad can help answer any and all questions you might have. Brad has custom designed thousands of trailers, so he also offers great suggestions that you might not have thought about.
When Tina from Vandergrift, Pennsylvania custom designed her trailer, she knew she wanted to add a mid-tack storage area in addition to the SafeTack storage area in the back of the trailer. The mid-tack storage area is a small room that you can make your own by adding special organization features that will keep your equipment, tools, and grooming supplies neat and clean. Tina says, “it’s so much nicer than just bins stacked in a corner.”
Brad helped Tina create a special space in her living quarters horse trailer just for her. She loves her hangout quarters because they are just what she wanted. She usually goes on short camping trips and doesn’t spend too much time in the trailer, so her living quarters were designed just the way she wanted. She said that “Brad even set it up so I could put in my own refrigerator, and it worked out great!”
All Double D Trailers are delivered to their new owners, no matter where they live in the United States, for a flat fee of just $395. You don’t have to worry about picking up your trailer or driving across the county to go find the perfect trailer. We deliver it right to your door.
Usually, a driver will contact you a few days before your trailer is delivered to tell you the date and time that they will arrive with your new trailer. When your trailer arrives, it comes with an owner’s manual, a Certificate of Origin, and an invoice. Before you decide to take ownership of your trailer, you can always inspect it and approve it first.
If you are not satisfied with your trailer for any reason, you can refuse delivery as part of our Money Back Guarantee. If you have any questions about the customization process or our Nationwide Delivery, feel free to contact Brad Heath here.
If you are tired of dealing with dangerous loading and unloading process, switch to a safer, stress-free experience with a SafeTack Double D Trailer. You can design a custom trailer that meets you and your horse’s needs and fits within your budget. Visit the Double D Trailers website to start custom designing your trailer today or reach out to Brad Heath with any questions you might have.
You can feel confident that your Double D Trailer is the safest trailer for you and your horse. One satisfied Double D Trailers customer, DeeDee from Livingston, Montana, shared this: “after lots of research, I’m convinced that Double D Trailers is building the best and safest-built trailers on the market. They put a lot of thought and attention to detail into each of their trailers. And, Brad offers the best customer service by far compared to folks I talked to both at Sundowner and Featherlite trailers.”
If you are looking for a trailer that is durable, reliable, and safer than other trailers on the market, check out the SafeTack trailer designs from Double D Trailers. The revolutionary SafeTack technology has changed horse transportation and the lives of hundreds of happy customers. For a safer and more comfortable trailering experience, SafeTack is the only way to go.
With a Double D Trailer, you’ll eliminate the tight squeeze during loading. You’ll keep yourself and your horse safe and calm during travel. The “walk-on, walk-off” loading and unloading process will eliminate your horse’s loading problems. You’ll feel safer and more in control, because your Double D Trailer is the safest trailer for successfully loading and unloading your horses.
Check out our different SafeTack trailer models and the different ways you can customize your trailer today. If you have any questions at all about the delivery process, customization options, or our Money Back Guarantee, don’t hesitate to contact Brad Heath. He’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.
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