There’s nothing quite as breathtaking as a gorgeous Warmblood horse performing at the top of his game. This athletic group of animals is very popular for disciplines like show jumping, dressage, combined driving and eventing.
Since Warmbloods often exceed 17 hands, it’s important to find a horse trailer that is both functional and comfortable. Traditionally, owners of Warmblood horses have been hesitant to buy slant load trailers. People worry the trailers will be too small for their larger breed horses.
Here at Double D Trailers, we’re flipping that outdated notion on its head. Not only can our slant load trailers work well for Warmbloods, they can actually serve as the perfect trailer for you to take to your next sporting event.
In this article, we’re going to outline some of the top features you should look for when shopping for your next Warmblood horse trailer. We’ll also share several stories of our happy customers who had a trailer custom designed specifically for their large breeds including Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, and even draft horses.
A great Warmblood horse trailer needs to have all of the same great safety features we’d expect to find in a non-Warmblood trailer. You’ll want a design that is durable and strong to protect your animal while on the road.
The biggest factor that affects the safety of your animals is the material you choose to surround your horse with. In general, aluminum horse trailers – while popular and attractive – are not strong or durable enough to provide ample protection.
All-aluminum floors can corrode and weaken resulting in floor failure. Plus, trailers with all aluminum walls and roofs tend to be weak and create a very hot interior which causes the horse to dehydrate from over sweating.
A much better (and safer) option for horse trailer material would be something doesn’t rust yet has the strength of good old-fashioned steel. When in your automobile, you are surrounded by a steel safety cage to protect the driver in an accident. You want the same type of protection for your horse. Z-Frame technology used in the frame offers superior strength but weighs about the same as an aluminum frame trailer. It’s made with a 99.99% pure zinc alloy so it lasts up to three times longer in salt spray tests than something like a stop sign post or boat trailer.
Warmblood horses also need a l that is both strong and insulated. If they rear up, a Safebump roof made of single piece fiber composite material is designed to flex and protect their heads. Plus, this leak-proof material does not allow the interior of the trailer to overheat like a mill-finished aluminum roof would.
Check out this video that goes into more depth on aluminum.
Size is certainly an important consideration for all Warmblood horse trailers. These animals are often over 17 hands high so they need enough space from floor to ceiling to stand comfortably. They also need enough space in their stall from front to back so they don’t feel cramped.
A cramped horse is an unhappy horse… and an unhappy horse doesn’t want to reload when it comes time to get on the trailer. So the more you can do to give your horse a comfy open space, the more likely they will want to load onto your trailer over and over again.
We mention all of these horse features without even getting into the exciting range of human focused features you’d want.
Often, Warmblood owners want enough space to safely store their expensive tack. They’ll need a spacious dressing room to get ready for events and possibly a full living quarters so they can hang out in their trailer over the course of a multiple-day show.
But we’ll leave details of human features for another article…
Since size is such an important feature to consider in a Warmblood horse trailer, let’s take a closer look…
Typically, a slant load horse trailer from another manufacturer wouldn’t work well for your larger breed horse. That’s because most brands follow a ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy. This mantra only really works for horses that fall in the 15.2-15.3 hand range and weigh around 1,100 lbs.
Horses (or ponies) that don’t fall within that range would be better fitted in a custom horse trailer stall available from a builder like Double D Trailers.
Easy! This just means that 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.
Often, this means we’ll increase the width or height of the overall trailer to achieve slant load stalls that work for different size animals.
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.”
Once you have a trailer stall that fits your Warmblood horse’s size, he’ll be more comfortable and more likely to want to load onto the trailer when the time comes. Speaking of safe loading…
A traditional slant load horse trailer has a narrow doorway in the back through which both the horse and handler must pass. By nature, horses are claustrophobic animals, so the idea of passing through this narrow doorway is not an attractive idea. If anything unexpected happens, there is a high risk for the handler to get pinned against the door way of the trailer resulting in injury.
Get Rid of the Narrow Doorway!
Here at Double D Trailers, we got rid of the narrow rear doorway altogether. Instead, we have a Safetack storage compartment at the rear of the trailer that swings out like a second door. This allows for a wide open entry way for loading and unloading. This feature allows the handler more room to safely maneuver around their animal with less chance of being pinned against a wall.
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.
The Safetack slant load horse trailers also 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.
Side Loading Door and Ramp
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 less 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. Some of our customer choose to install a camera system in their trailer so they can watch their animals while on the road.
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.”
She shared the story of a time 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.”
Rear Facing Trailers Are Better For Horses
Scientific studies have shown that horses traveling in the rear facing direction are less likely to experience stress and fatigue. This orientation allows them to balance more naturally while the trailer is in motion.
They can brace with their strong rear legs when the rig is decelerating. In fact, horse owners with open stock trailers often observe their horses naturally standing in the rear-facing direction when left to move about freely.
Many reverse load horse trailers on the market have awkward designs making it difficult to load and unload the animals. Our patented Safetack Reverse trailer design makes it easy to load your horses from the side ramp and door into a rear facing stall.
Then, the dividers are designed to open from both sides, so you can simply open the dividers and lead your animals straight off the rear door of the trailer without ever having to back up.
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. 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.
The walls and roofs on the trailers are insulated to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. This means the horses will not become overheated in the summer time and dehydrated from too much sweating.
Overall, 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!”
Often, hearing a story straight from the mouth of another horse owner is the best way to get a feel for a product. That’s why we’re excited to share four stories of happy Warmblood horse trailer owners. Each case illustrates how the safety and convenience features on our horse trailers can make all the difference.
Hungarian Warmblood/TB Cross (Becky from Vancouver, WA)
Becky from Vancouver, WA wanted a horse trailer that gave both her and her horses plenty of room to move in. She started her trailer search by doing a lot of research and getting advice from the people around her.
“This is my first trailer that I purchased,” she shared. “Probably it'll be my last. So I paid a lot of attention to other people's trailers. I asked my vet and asked other people about trailers. I read some articles that said horses like to ride backwards. So I went out looking to buy a reverse haul trailer.”
When asked about the buying process, Becky replied, “It was easy!”
Her interest in Double D Trailers began after viewing some of the videos that Brad had posted online. Luckily, there were several happy Double D Trailer customers in her region of the country, so she was even able to view a trailer in person and talk to its owner.
“Brad got me in contact with her. She let me come up on look at her trailer. Hers is a bumper pull but it was a three horse reverse with the Safetack. She’s had horses forever and was happy with her trailer. She told me some things she liked about it.”
This conversation let Becky decide what features she really liked and wanted and what features she could do without. Since we only build custom horse trailers, each purchase can be customized to fit the buyer’s exact needs.
“Then I got in contact with Brad and started the process online. I think it probably took maybe a couple of weeks. That was more just me deciding what I wanted to add to it from what I could afford. Then we finalized it and they started building!”
As with our other stories, Becky has some very large horses that she hauls with her Double D Trailer. She explained, “I have a Hungarian Warmblood / Thoroughbred cross who’s 16.2H. I have a quarter horse who is 16.2H, and I have a paint. He’s about 15.3H. Then, I haul my neighbor’s Friesian…everybody’s been fairly large!”
With Brad design help, Becky designed her trailer to have dimensions that will match her specific horses. “My stalls I believe are 50” wide, 50” wide, and 40” wide. And I went with the extra wide trailer. So I think I'm 90" wide and I’m 7’8” tall.”
She wasn’t just thinking about the horses when designing her trailer. She also wanted some extra head room over the sleeping mattress in the gooseneck dressing room.
“I'm big inside compared to most trailers. Being new to horses, I wanted something that I felt safe, where I felt I had room to move in, and then the horses had room to move in.”
One of Becky’s favorite features about her 3 horse gooseneck trailer is the fact that she never needs to back her horses out again. The Safetack design allows her horses to walk on and walk forwards off the trailer without ever needing to back up.
“That’s another reason I went with the reverse. In theory, my horse was never have to back out. And that just seemed safer to me. I do have two horses who have loading issue where they would bail out the back at a thousand miles an hour. So I didn't want to have to take them out backwards. Everybody gets to go forward and I like that.”
Becky is very happy with how her large horses fit in the trailer. “My horses have plenty of room the trailer. They can move around. They're not sandwiched in at all. The Friesian in the 40” stall fit like he does on a normal 3 horse trailer forward slant.”
Two Warmbloods and a Mule (Janet from Elbert, CO)
Janet from Elbert, CO loves to go trail riding with her friend on a regular basis. They alternate who drives each week and Janet wanted to be able to accommodate her friend’s large 17.0H Warmbloods.
She was already a fan of slant load horse trailers and was intrigued by the benefits of reverse load trailers when she began researching to see who could build her dream trailer.
“That’s when I found Double D Trailers,” Janet shared. “One of the things I really liked about configuring my trailer with Double D was that I could start with a basic model and then go through the ‘a la carte’ options to see what I wanted.”
To her, the online buying process from Double D Trailers was much better than going down to the local dealer’s sales lot.
“It was really nice to be able to pick the options. I could go through and figure out, ‘Okay, that’s a little out of my budget,’ or to rethink what I really wanted vs what I really needed.”
With the help of Double D Trailers owner Brad Heath, Janet was able to narrow down the options to a design that fit her budget and her needs.
During the design process, Janet thought a lot about how her new trailer was going to work for her friend’s larger breed horses.
“She’s got a little quarter horse, a mule, and two Warmbloods that are 17H. I’ve got a medium sized Quarter Horse.”
With Brad’s help, Janet settled on a trailer with three feet of overall length that allowed each individual stall to be around one foot wider in dimension. She is pleased with how her friend’s horses now fit into the trailer.
“It's big enough for her Warmbloods. It's definitely more than big enough. They would fit in there without a problem if I ever needed to have a bigger horse in there.”
Janet has some practical advice for people with large breeds who question if their horses would do well in a slant load trailer from Double D Trailers.
“I would ask what size stalls do they normally travel in…what are their horses comfortable in? Just compare the size of the stall in a trailer the horse rides in today versus the exact dimensions that they would be in for a Double D trailer. If it's comparable, then there's nothing to be worried about!”
2 Big Warmbloods (Amanda from from San Diego, CA)
Amanda from CA has 2 warmblood horses, ranging from 16.1 to 17 hands. She was in the market for purchasing her last horse trailer. Amanda spent a lot of time researching online and was drawn to Double D Trailers.
"I liked being able to see how the trailers were built, the materials used and how that affects the horse during the ride. I also got my trailer for a steal compared to other brands and what they could give me. I was looking for my last horse trailer and hopefully, this is it."
"I was looking at the 2+1 trailer and different manufacturers of horse trailers. I came across the video of why the Safetack Reverse is better than a 2+1 trailer. From there, I watched other videos about trailer construction with Double D Trailers."
Check out this quick video of a horse loading onto a Safetack Reverse Trailer.
With some help from Brad during the consultation process, Amanda was able to decide on purchasing a Safetack Reverse 3 Horse Gooseneck Trailer.
"Brad was an absolute joy to deal with. There was no pressure at all, and he took the time to explain everything thoroughly. I asked him many questions and he was extremely responsive. It was a simple and straightforward process, payment, scheduling, and delivery all went really well."
Before purchasing her Safetack Reverse horse trailer, Amanda had previous experience with two other trailers from 2 different manufacturers. Amanda says that her Double D Trailer is above and beyond her expectations.
Amanda had some information to share to other warmblood horse owners about what they should know before considering a Double D Trailer.
"The only thing I wish I had known was that the horses would have almost too much space in the trailer to move around. My big warmbloods look small in the trailer!"
Sounds like a good "problem" to have!
Warmblood/TB and Irish Sport Horse/TB (Amy from Sacramento, CA)
Our last story is about Amy from Sacramento, CA. Amy’s main concern when purchasing a new horse trailer was finding a design that didn’t feel claustrophobic. She was dealing with a traumatized horse and needed a trailer with a bright and open interior that would help him feel comfortable loading and traveling.
After two years of on-and-off trailer shopping, Amy finally had to get serious about her search when she had a sick horse who needed frequent trips to the vet.
"I kinda got pushed into it. I had a time period where I had a sick horse and I needed to be able to get my horse to the vet yet I didn't own a trailer. I don't like feeling hopeless…that’s not me. So I thought I need a trailer!”
Amy plans to use her trailer to haul “big fellas” since she has several large breed and Warmblood horses. In fact, on her very first trip, she hauled a friend’s large Warmblood and thought, “He fit in there beautifully and had no issue whatsoever!”
The many safety options on Double D Trailers first attracted Amy during her shopping phase. She especially liked how the Rumber flooring option can reduce heat and vibration on horses’ legs. The less stressful reverse slant option also seemed like a good idea to her.
“I wanted to make sure I’m safe and my horses are safe. I got this horse trailer because one of my horses has PTSD from the last time he got into a trailer. He’s the reason I got this particular trailer because I thought it might actually help him.”
Her horse is an off-the-track Thoroughbred who is very emotional and high strung. Amy thought that the bright white interior, large windows and overhead ceiling vents created a very open and inviting interior space for her nervous horse.
“Natural light is coming in from everywhere!”
The other horses that Amy plans to haul with her trailer are all quite large animals. First, there is a 17.1H Thoroughbred / Warmblood cross. Then, she has a 3 yr old Irish Sport / Thoroughbred cross who is expected to mature to 17.0H. Finally, she has one more large horse…
“He’s a Warmblood and a big bulky fellow and he fit in there beautifully!”
Amy spoke kindly of the buying experience from Double D Trailers. She shared, “Brad was exceedingly helpful and was always available. One time we spoke I think he was actually not at work. He was with his family on a trip or something like that. He always made himself available to me whenever I had any questions he was very quick to respond. If I had any questions he would immediately look into it and get back to me. So I just felt like I was his only customer at the moment, which I’m sure that wasn’t the case.”
Top Considerations for Warmblood Horse Trailers
As you can see, there are certainly options for you if you’re looking for a great custom built Warmblood horse trailer. (Click here to see a PDF drawing of our most popular warmblood trailer layout.)
Contact Brad Heath, owner of Double D Trailers if you have any specific questions about designing your own custom Warmblood horse trailer.
Below, you’ll see a few of the top models you may want to check out. Remember, any of our horse trailers can be customized in width, height, or stall size to comfortably fit your Warmblood or other large breed horses.
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