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Designing a Custom Horse Trailer vs. Buying Horse Trailer Inventory off the Lot

Last updated October 14, 2023 by Brad Heath

There are a million ways to be a good steward of your horses, but if you travel with them beyond trips to the vet, a custom horse trailer is an amazing way to tend to each horse’s specific needs. Of course, you can also add some comfort features for yourself -- when you’re building custom, the sky’s the limit.

Unlike other trailer manufacturers, Double D Trailers specializes in custom horse trailer designs from the ground up, so you can have the trailer of your dreams with absolutely no limitations.

A Double D Trailer being built inside of the factory.

Take a look at the advantages of choosing to design your own custom horse trailer rather than choosing any ol’ horse trailer off the dealer lot.

First Things First: Custom Horse Trailer Safety Features

Hauling calm horses in thin metal boxes at 60 plus miles an hour is nerve-wracking enough for the driver, it gets even worse when there’s a spooky horse inside that trailer.  Luckily, when you’re calling all the shots and building your very own custom horse trailer, you can add plenty of safety features to ensure that your less than perfect traveler doesn’t hurt himself while on the go. Double D Trailers offers exclusive standard features on all of our custom horse trailer designs for clients including Z-Frame technology, Rumber flooring, SafeKick Wall System, and the SafeBump Roofing System.

SafeTack Reverse Trailer Design

Our patented SafeTack Reverse Horse Trailer design is one of the most attractive benefits of choosing to invest in a custom horse trailer from Double D Trailers. This trailer design is only available on Double D Trailers. Research has shown that horses travel with less stress when they are in a reverse facing position during transit. Our SafeTack Reverse trailer design allows horse owners to load their horses in a walk-on walk-off manner, so that your horse never has to turn around or back up when loading on the trailer. In addition, the rear tack SafeTack compartment swings out like a second door to provide a wide open and inviting environment to make horses more comfortable - and makes loading/unloading safer.

We’ve heard from many clients over the years in our Double D Trailers horse trailer reviews that the SafeTack Reverse trailer design has been a game changer for both them and their horses; turning difficult loaders into easy loaders and taking the burden out of horse trailer travel. This design will not be available on any other horse trailer outside of the horse trailer models available from Double D Trailers.

You know how your horse travels best and with a custom horse trailer, you can be confident that he’ll be as happy as you are with the decisions you’ve made.  Whether he’s better in a straight load or slant load, facing forward or reverse, you get to make that call for your new trailer.  You can even choose slant loads with gates that can swing from both directions, allowing you to convert from reverse loading to forward loading in no time flat.

The SafeTack trailer design promotes easier and safer loading for horses and handlers.

Tack Configuration Options

Even if the swing-out SafeTack compartment isn’t your cup of tea, leaving home without your tack isn’t an option. Sometimes the built-in tack areas are poorly thought out or completely inaccessible when your trailer is loaded with horses.  Custom horse trailer designs allow you to move the tack to a location that best suits you, be it in a tack room, in a fold-out rear tack or under the managers. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to reach your tack before you unload your horse, especially when you’re choosing where to put it.

Double D Trailers patented SafeTack tack compartment swings out like a second rear door.

Escape Doors

A lot of off the lot horse trailers have a fatal safety flaw -- they lack a front escape door.  It could have been a cost-cutting measure or simply a lack of understanding of how many things can go wrong while loading a horse, but regardless, these trailers are accidents waiting to happen.  With a custom horse trailer model, you choose where to put your escape doors, how large to make them and how many you want.  Some horse owners swap the simple escape door for a side loading door, allowing both handlers and horses to make a quick departure when necessary.

Multiple escape doors in horse trailers are a necessary safety feature.

Ramps and Step-Ups

The horse world is hotly divided between ramps and step-ups at loading doors. No matter what side you’re on in this debate, you don’t have to pass on a trailer that’s almost perfect, except for the ramp or step-up. A custom horse trailer will allow you to add whichever option is best for your horse, or both options if you decide to go with a side load door as well as a rear load door -- use one as a ramp and the other as a step-up to keep all your horses loading calmly.

Read More: Ramps vs. Step-Ups on Horse Trailers

A Double D Trailer with a rear loading ramp.

Height and Width

Older trailers are notorious for being too short for horse owners and horses to comfortably move around, and are often restrictively narrow. Although there are limitations on just how wide and how tall your trailer can be, you’d be surprised at how much more height and width you can safely add on a custom horse trailer model. These bigger trailers accommodate taller horse owners and taller horses such as Warmblood horses, who are much more prone to hesitating to enter a short trailer.

A warmblood horse trailer custom horse trailer drawing from Double D Trailers.

Windows and Vents

Ventilation is key to a happy traveling horse. Without good airflow, your horse may feel overly confined and misbehave in a number of dangerous ways. When you can pick the locations of windows and vents, as well as their size and ability to open fully, you decide just how much ventilation it takes to make your horse a happy traveler. For many horses, there’s no such thing as too many windows or too much air, but for others, especially those who spend most of their time in extreme environments, limiting the number of places the outside can come in may be your best bet.

Double D Trailers easy drop down windows.

Haul More Than Just Horses in a Custom Horse Trailer

Horse owners that want to haul a carriage, wagon, or cart in their horse trailer will find that horse trailer shopping is extremely difficult. If you are wanting to travel with both your horses and your gear; a custom horse trailer is your best option. At Double D Trailers, we have designed several horse trailers with carriage modifications.

Double D Trailers custom horse trailers can be designed to fit horse carriages and carts.

Build Your Own Custom Horse Trailer and SAVE Money

It’s no secret that purchasing a horse trailer is expensive. The goal for any horse owner is to purchase a horse trailer that will be a life-long investment. However, when you settle for a regular inventory trailer, that’s not always what ends up happening. In a lot of cases, when horse owners are shopping on a horse trailer dealer lot, they wind up choosing a trailer that will work for them; not a horse trailer that they really love. So, in 5 years from now, horse owners have to begin the search again for a new horse trailer. Why? Because they chose a horse trailer that didn’t have everything that they absolutely wanted and needed; and now they’re wanting to change or upgrade.

Particularly with horse trailers with living quarters, designing your own custom horse trailer is key.  Unlike with pre-built horse trailers or used trailers designed for somebody else, a custom horse trailer allows you to incorporate the features you need in living quarters horse trailers without spending an arm and a leg for a shower and a bunk. Plus, our design team at Double D Trailers will help you every step of the way in your horse trailer design process. We’ll get to know you and your horses, what your priorities are, what you like/don’t like, and help you get the most bang for your buck - without paying for features that you don’t really need.

Still Not Convinced? Check Out Happy Customers with a Double D Trailers Custom Horse Trailer!

“I contacted Brad to ask if he was willing to help me design the trailer I needed.  And for the next several months, he patiently put up with my whims, demands, concerns, and needy-ness.  While I am sure there were times Brad did not welcome my telephone calls and e-mails, he was always polite, professional and as helpful as possible.  With my input, and a few pictures of my friend's trailers, Brad created the perfect trailer for me and my horses.”

 Joan P. from Kentucky 

“We camp for weeks at a time and our Double D Trailer has made the trips much more enjoyable. I love my sink and shower and my husband loves the ac. It pulls like a dream and the horses never hesitate to jump right in. Thanks Brad for helping us come up with the design for our trailer.”

– Terry and Julie C. from North Carolina

“After I "built" the trailer on the estimate page and submitted my info, I checked out the Facebook page and discovered post after post of trailers ordered by others, showing over 100 pictures per post of all the details of each trailer. Brad emailed me by the next day and I could tell he was very knowledgeable, not just a salesman. He won't sell you on something that you don't need/want, and he'll also be honest if what you want isn't feasible for you (such as a trailer being more than your vehicle can haul). There is so much checking and double checking chosen options before you ever send a dime, and they make sure your trailer is built 100% to your specs before they ship it out.”

– Kim from Oklahoma

Read more of Kim’s story here.

“It is just so horse and human friendly. Not to leave out the top notch customer service. I know my trailer was expensive, but every inch is what I wanted and I'm so grateful for Brad and his team creating such a fantastic line of trailers. I don't regret a penny!”

– Adriane M. from Washington 

Read more of Adriane’s story here.

An interior view of a custom horse trailer with living quarters from Double D Trailers.

Get Started on Building Your Own Custom Horse Trailer

Throughout the years, we’ve built some pretty outrageous custom horse trailer designs.

If you’re ready to take control of your horse trailer design and take the leap to get started, designing your very own custom horse trailer with Double D Trailers is as easy as 1 - 2 - 3.

Step #1: Choose the Model Trailer That You’d Like

Are you interested in a gooseneck horse trailer or a bumper pull horse trailer? Do you need a living quarters horse trailer? If you’re not sure, don’t worry. This quick article on gooseneck vs. bumper pull horse trailers might help you to make your decision. If you’re still unsure, just reach out to us. We’ll be more than happy to help you determine what horse trailer model will be most appropriate for the wants and needs that you have.

Use our horse trailer finder tool to help! 

Step #2: Select Your Custom Horse Trailer Features

Once you have narrowed down the horse trailer model that you’d like, you can navigate to that page on our website. For easy reference:

>>> Click Here for All Gooseneck Models

>>> Click Here for All Bumper Pull Models

>>> Click Here for All Living Quarters Models 

From the horse trailer model page, you’ll see an easy customization form. You’ll be able to choose options like your horse hauling direction, tell us the size of your horses, the number of horses you’ll be hauling, select your flooring type, convenience features for your horses, comfort features for you, trailer color, vinyl/graphic details, and more. Truly, the customization options are endless!

Step #3: Work With a Double D Trailers Custom Horse Trailer Designer

After you submit your custom horse trailer build-out form on the Double D Trailers website, your trailer summary will be sent to our team of expert horse trailer designers. Once we receive your trailer summary, we’ll take a look at each item on your summary and work closely with you to determine if all the horse trailer features are exactly what you are wanting and needing. And, if we see a feature or an add-on option that you don’t necessarily need, we’ll be honest with you.

Since we custom build our horse trailers, we don’t work off of a commission like a lot of horse trailer manufacturers with dealer lots. It’s not beneficial to us to sell you a horse trailer with added features that you don’t need. You can trust that our design team will be forthcoming with you to give you the custom horse trailer of your dreams - without spending any unnecessary money.

Contact us to start designing your custom horse trailer today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a custom horse trailer?

The price of a custom horse trailer varies greatly depending on whether you choose a bumper pull, gooseneck, or living quarters horse trailer. The base bumper pull horse trailer model from Double D Trailers starts at $25,000, while the most extensive living quarters model starts at $120,000.

Can you build a horse trailer?

It’s not recommended to build your own horse trailer as there are many design and construction concerns that would arise in order to have a safe horse trailer for both handlers and horses. Double D Trailers specializes in building safe and innovative custom horse trailers with top of the line construction materials.

Who builds living quarters for horse trailers?

There are many horse trailer manufacturers, but Double D Trailers offers custom built to order living quarters horse trailers. Their customization process allows customers to build an a-la-carte living quarters horse trailer, picking and choosing exactly what features that you want.

What is the best wood for a horse trailer?

For traditional use in horse trailers, pine or oak is the best wood choice to use. However, there is a much safer and more durable option available. Rumber flooring used on Double D Trailers is made of recycled rubber and gives horses more traction, and allows for easier cleaning.

Are steel or aluminum horse trailers better?

Neither steel or aluminum is beneficial when it comes to horse trailer construction. The safest horse trailer material available is Z-Frame technology on Double D Trailers. Z-Frame is stronger and doesn’t corrode.

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