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Trailer Stories: How a SafeTack Trailer Helped a Horse Who was “Tough to Load” & “Impossible to Tie”

double d trailers logoEven the best loading horses can have their attitudes soured by just one really bad trailering experience.

That is what happened to the horses owned by Tina of Vandergrift, PA.  One of her horses had “multiple trailer accidents” that made him tough to load and impossible to tie into a trailer.  She used an onboard camera system to watch her horse as he gazed out the back door of her old trailer during every trip.

“I had to haul him loose and found that he preferred to ride backwards,” she explained to us during a recent interview.

Tina’s other horse also became nervous with her old trailer.  “He seemed to hate the solid divider and would rear up in his stall so that he could see over it.”

In hopes of teaching her horses to ride calmly and comfortably in a tied configuration, Tina contacted Double D Trailers for a new trailer.  She was initially attracted to the patented reverse load configuration that is unique to Double D Trailers.  This type of trailer is not available from any other manufacturer in the United States.

Meet Tina: New Owner of a SafeTack Reverse 2 Horse Gooseneck Trailer

Tina and her horses do a variety of equine activities together.  They enjoy going on day trips to clinics and lessons.  So far, they have even gone on one “cold” camping trip where she slept in the gooseneck hang out quarters of her new trailer.  

“I have a Paint, an Arab, and just bought a Quarter Horse.  My new Quarter Horse is a sorter.  My Paint is a pasture pony as he has a navicular.  The Arab is an all-around."

How Did the Custom Trailer Design Process Work for Tina?

2 horse gooseneck horse trailer

As with all potential Double D Trailers customer, Tina was able to research information about our trailers using our website customization tools.  She was initially attracted to the Rumber flooring and open concept designs.

SafeTack trailers are slant load horse trailers where the rear tack storage compartment swings out like a second door.  The major appeal for this patented design is that it lets a loading horse and handler enter the trailer through a wide open rear door.

This feature is much safer than a typical slant load horse trailer with a stationary rear tack and very narrow rear loading door.  Since each trailer is custom built-to-order, other features can be added like a side loading door, reverse load stalls, and Rumber flooring.

Tina chose a 2 horse gooseneck trailer with a side loading door and ramp with a forward or reverse load configuration.  This means, she can load her horses from the side door and walk them into their rear-facing stall. 

Tubular dividers with 2-inch handmade padding surround each horse while they travel in the trailer.  When it is time to offload the animals, the dividers can unlatch and swing open.  Then, horse and handler can walk straight off the rear of the trailer.

Since it's a forward or reverse facing combination trailer, she could also choose to load her horses from the rear door, walk into a forward facing stall, and then exit from a side door.  The direction of travel depends on each horse's preferences.

Tina told us that the design process with Brad, “Went pretty quickly.  Maybe a few weeks before we had a final sketch.”

Their conversation went back and forth a few times so that Tina could clarify exactly what details she wanted in her new trailer.

Thoughts on the Reverse Load Trailer Design

As we mentioned, Tina’s horse preferred to ride in the rear facing orientation when left loose in his old trailer.  She hoped that the SafeTack Reverse orientation would suit his natural tendencies and also allow her to retrain him to safely tie while in the trailer. 

Rear facing horse trailers are becoming more popular as people learn about the benefits of this type of trailer.  Still, our particular SafeTack Reverse trailer is a patented design with technology not available from other trailer manufacturers.

“My horse showed a preference to ride backwards.  I also had both my horses panic as things were being closed up behind them, but if facing me as I closed the doors, they were calm.”

reverse load horse trailer

Now that Tina and her horses have had a few chances to try their new trailer, she has this to say:

“My serious problem hauler has only been walked on and off the trailer with everything open.  He was pretty good and only seemed nervous that I was taking him away from his herd.”  This type of calm loading is a far cry from her experiences with her old horse trailer.

“There were days where I spent an hour trying to get him on the trailer with my old trailer.  He has been walking straight on with the Double D.  He seems more calm facing backwards.”

Next, she shared, “My Arab can walk on and spin around then ride reverse.  Both times I have hauled him he has [ridden] this way.” 

(Pictured Right:  Tina's Arabian horse named Comet facing backwards after a short winter camping trip.)

Her Arab is the horse that used to rear up to see over the solid divider in her old trailer.  Since the SafeTack Reverse comes with tubular Z-Frame dividers, horses are better able to see their surroundings without that feeling of confinement.

It turns out that Tina’s new Quarter Horse also seems to like his new trailer.  “I just bought a new horse and I rode him front.  I have ditch side configuration so he did seem a little confused that he was on the wrong side, but he is a better hauler and was fine.”

Quality and Construction on Double D Trailers

Now that Tina has her new trailer, she is able to compare her expectations to the actual quality and construction on her finished design. 

She shared, “[There are] many things I love.  The Rumber floor is awesome, the ramps are soooo light.  The partial living quarters looks way nicer than I thought it would considering that I did not go for fully finished living quarters.”

Tina chose a gooseneck horse trailer without fully installed typical living quarters features like a kitchenette, bathroom, shower, or sofa seating area.  Still, she did decide to upgrade the basic dressing room with some “hang out features” that includes a sink, space for a mini-fridge, and some wooden cabinets. 

This is a great in-between solution for customers that want a bit more than the basic gooseneck, but who are not interested in the cost and size increase of a full living quarters horse trailer.

During the design process, Brad was able to recommend several features to Tina that helped improve the trailer’s design.  She explained, “Brad recommended things that I am glad he did like the blinds on the windows.”

Overall, Tina feels that the hangout quarters “Worked out great,” and are “Perfect for my needs.”  She said it is probably small for others, but it suits her needs and works well for short camping trips.

“I have no desire to spend time in the trailer.  I sleep in there and maybe hide from severe weather.  Otherwise, I am outside, so it provides the storage I need and adequate space.”

She remarked on a few custom features, “The extra head room is nice and [I] love that plugs are available in convenient places.  Brad set it up so I could put my own refrigerator in it and it worked out great.”

Now that she has a finished trailer, there are a few small details that Tina would have requested differently.  “I wish the back divider was collapsible so that I had the option to not open both doors for a well-trained horse.  Or, the option to remove the back divider and use a butt bar instead.  My horse tie rings could have been placed further up the trailer.”

She is also having a bit of a problem with the front divider fitting into place.  As with all Double D Trailers, customers who are having any issues with their trailer should reach out to Brad for help with repairs

If the item is covered under warranty, we can often help you connect with a quality trailer service provider in your area.  Or, if necessary, we’ve even sent our own technicians out to make repairs.

Tina’s trailer also has a separate mid-tack storage area in addition to the SafeTack storage area.  Organizational features can be added to this small room to help you keep all of your equipment, grooming supplies, and tools well organized.

“I love the mid tack,” said Tina  “I ordered bins and I am still organizing but [it’s] so much nicer than bins stacked in a corner.”

For her, the SafeTack storage compartment in the rear of the trailer has pros and cons.  Although it is an option, Tina not opted not to include the rain gutter cover on her SafeTack compartment. 

She remarked, “I like that I can lock it, but I had hoped to be able to leave the door open, but since there is an opening in the top I have to close it when at events because my tack can get wet from rain.” 

She continued, “But I am sure I will appreciate it if I ever have a horse down in the trailer or some similar situation.  The full open set up has been beneficial in loading my horses that were worried.”

Delivery of a Double D Trailer

As with all Double D Trailers, Tina was able to take advantage of our flat rate Nationwide Delivery program where her trailer was delivered to Vandergrift, PA for a flat fee of $395.  Typically, a driver will contact the customer at least two days in advance to provide delivery notification.  Customers are free to tell us if this date and time doesn’t work so that alternate arrangements can be made.

When a trailer is paid in full up front, we are able to send along an owner’s manual, Certificate of Origin, and an invoice.  The customer can inspect and approve a trailer before taking ownership. 

If, for any reason, a customer is not satisfied with the trailer, they are allowed to refuse delivery as part of our Money Back Guarantee.  Once the customer takes ownership, they can pay sales tax at a local motor vehicle department for registration and plates.2 horse gooseneck horse trailer

The process is a little different with a financed trailer deal since the trailer cannot be registered until after the owner receives delivery.  The metal license plate will arrive to the customer within around two weeks (depending in the state.) 

During that period of time, the customer can still use their trailer as long as they carry a copy of their invoice and evidence that sales tax has been collected.

Tina’s experience with the delivery of her trailer had a few “bumps in the road” that were mostly due to some miscommunication.  She explained, “Once Brad understood my situation he jumped through hoops to help me.”

Tina’s Overall Impression of Buying from Double D Trailers

Now that Tina has her trailer, she is happy with the way her horses are loading more safely with this new reverse load orientation.  She is also very happy with the hang out quarters on her trailer since it works well for her particular lifestyle.

Some advice that she shared was this, “Maybe developing a video on how to use all the components of the living quarters pieces.  I had AC in my old trailer but this is my first time owning a trailer with water hookups.  Of course I can read the manual, just an idea to help us first timers.”

She continued, “Everything else went very well.  The design part was easy but not rushed.  Brad worked with me and adjusted as I requested.”

If you would like to see some photos of Tina’s 2 horse gooseneck horse trailer, click on the Facebook photos link here.  

We are going to be sharing more of these Trailer Stories in the coming months so you can read about real customers and their experiences with Double D Trailers.  Additional testimonials and comments can be found here.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Brad Heath here.


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