Our patented SafeTack horse trailer design is unlike anything else you’ll see on the market. Its unique layout and safety features have helped horses all across the country load better and travel with less stress. Read on to learn for yourself what makes our SafeTack systems different from the competition.
In a conventional slant load horse trailer, you will have a narrow loading door beside a tack storage compartment at the rear of the trailer. This tack area is usually built into the trailer and cannot be moved. In some cases, the rear tack area may be “collapsible” but only when it is completely empty of equipment.
The problem with this conventional design all comes down to this tack area. Since it is blocking much of the trailer’s rear entrance, the horse and handler are forced to enter the trailer through a very narrow doorway (see photo below for conventional slant load trailer).
Some horse owners will try to walk through the doorway with their horses when leading them onto the trailer. This scenario puts the handler at great risk if the horse were to spook or move suddenly. The handler could easily get pinned against the sides of the trailer and injured.
Plus, many horses get very nervous loading through such a dark and narrow opening. They are naturally claustrophobic animals, so they view a trailer as a scary metal box that is going to trap them -- preventing them from their instinctual “fight of flight” response.
Other times, horse owners will teach their animals to load onto the trailer with a lead line simply looped over their back. In this situation, the horse owner then needs to find a way to safely secure their horse in the trailer’s stall. This puts them in danger of being kicked while approaching from behind, or being injured if they choose to put their arm through the side slats or window of the trailer.
We saw this exact situation back in 1999. A horse owner tried to reach in from the outside of the trailer to secure her horse’s halter clip. With a simple toss of his head, he caught his owner’s arm in the slats of the trailer and broke her arm.
Here at Double D Trailers, we quietly observed all of these safety concerns and then headed to the drawing boards. In 1999, we developed the “Tack-around” trailer which was eventually rebranded as the “SafeTack” trailer in 2011 (see drawing below).
Our revolutionary design was (and still is) the most unique and effective way to solve the problems described above. Just like a conventional slant load trailer, our trailer has a tack storage area in the rear corner of the trailer.
But – unlike those other trailers – our tack storage compartment is mounted on hinges so it can easily swing out like a second door. Once the SafeTack compartment has been swung open, horse and handler are left with a full-width opening for loading and unloading.
Brad Heath, owner and chief design of Double D Trailers, says “The safety benefit to the horse and handler during loading and unloading make this a ‘must-have’ in the industry.”
Here are some more of the top benefits you’ll find on our SafeTack design:
Rather than walking through a scary narrow doorway, horse and handler will have a wide opening for loading and unloading. This gives the handler more space to safely handle their animal – a must when the horse outweighs the human by several hundred pounds!
Brad shared, “It’s just too dangerous for a 150 lb human to try and load a 1,200 lb horse in an entry way only three feet wide (or less.)”
The inside configuration of a SafeTack trailer also makes it reasonable to completely turn your horse around for unloading. Some horse owners find they can walk their horse on, turn them completely around and then walk them off the back again. This eliminates the need to ever back your horse again – something many nervous horses will greatly appreciate.
(Photo right - Before and after photo for horse with loading problems.)
Another option for the SafeTack trailer is the installation of a side ramp and door. This makes the true “walk-on-walk-off” design even easier. Load your horse from a side doorway and walk them into a rear-facing stall. When you are ready to unload, simply move the interior dividers, open the back of the trailer fully, and walk the horse straight off the back.
This designs cuts down on the amount of stress your horse feels allowing him to arrive at your event fresh and calm. Plus, studies show that the rear-facing orientation cuts down even more on horse’s stress and allows them to balance more naturally while the trailer is in motion.
If your horse prefers to travel in the forward position, then load from the back and unload your horse off the side ramp and doorway. Many of our trailers are designed for both forward and rear-facing travel giving you flexibility.
Here's a video showing what it's like to load into a SafeTack Reverse horse trailer:
Oftentimes, a conventional slant load horse trailer will have a basic butt strap behind the rear-most horse. This strap can be dangerous because the handler needs to clip and unclip its hook while standing in the horse’s “kick zone.” Plus, it’s possible for a horse to hook a leg over butt bars and straps resulting in injury.
To solve this problem, our attention was drawn to the much sturdier divider that separates horses from stall to stall. Why not put one of these full dividers behind the rear most horse? This way the horse is surrounded on both sides by a sturdy divider. The handler can easily walk on one side of the divider up to the horse’s halter to secure a lead line. Then, after moving the divider, the handler can calmly walk their animal off the trailer.
Our rear telescoping divider is built from Z-Frame zinc-impregnated metal so it is much stronger and durable than other metal dividers. Many of our customers feel much safer unloading their animals with this divider in place rather than the traditional butt strap or butt bar.
Let’s take a moment and give a little more attention to the star of the show – the SafeTack storage compartment.
The SafeTack compartment is fully enclosed and lockable, so you can store your saddles, bridles, pads, and grooming supplies all in one convenient and ventilated space. Many of our customers use the floor of the compartment to place their grooming bins and buckets.
You never have to worry about valuable equipment rolling away or becoming lost. It is all kept safe and secure within the SafeTack compartment. The SafeTack compartment is also expertly balanced on its hinges, so it can easily be opened with just one hand.
Brad has taken the SafeTack design to various horse shows and conventions around the country. He shared, “It’s always fun working events and trade shows where we get to showcase the SafeTack in front of an audience.”
He said that reactions from the public range from the positive to the shocked. Some people will say, “What a great idea!” or “OMG, I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do that – it makes so much sense!”
Other people will say, “I don’t like it.” When we ask why, they respond, “I don’t know, it’s just different and I’ve never seen it before!”
We have to chuckle a bit at these last comments, because this design really is something you won’t find anywhere else in the horse trailer industry.
In fact, we earned a U.S. patent on the SafeTack design in 2015. This design is exclusive to Double D Trailers through Brad’s lifetime and then for another 70-years after his death. Several other horse trailer manufacturers have approached us asking for a license so they can install the SafeTack on their trailers, but we’ve always turned them down.
Over the years, we’ve had many happy customers share their experiences with the SafeTack design.
Barb Pedoto of Oxford, Ohio says, “We love our new Double D Trailer! We get compliments everywhere we go and people are amazed at the SafeTack compartment. … The center divider takes a little getting used to but now my horses can face the rear and travel more happily! I was drawn to Double D because of the SafeTack but there are many more reasons to recommend it. So happy we bought it!”
Karen Jones of Newnan, Georgia says, “I love my new Double D Trailer... I got their reverse/forward facing SafeTack 2H Slant Gooseneck. Brad designed a hay/feed room for it and I enlarged the dressing room. I can't wait to haul my horses in it; it is so much roomier than any of my previous 3 trailers! I have one problem loader that loves being able to walk forward in and OUT! I highly recommend Brad and Double D for a great trailer designing experience, extraordinary customer service and a fabulous product!”
If you’d like to learn more about the SafeTack design, check out our articles page here. You can also read more testimonials and learn how this design has helped horse owners safely load their animals.
If you’d like to ask us any questions, feel free to contact Brad here. He’s always happy to help!
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