Owning a horse has its ups and downs. On one hand, you can enjoy the pleasures of horseback riding, on the other; you will have to prepare yourself for some serious maintenance costs. Besides horse tack, grooming kits and stable equipment, there are several extra costs to consider. One of most problematic ones is the horse trailer. As expensive as they may be, trailers are a fact of life for horse owners: you will have to travel with your four-legged companion from time to time.
When it comes to transporting a horse it doesn’t really matter if you have appealing living quarters or a fancy paint job. The most important thing is ensuring that the horse is comfortable. The good news is that horse trailers don’t necessarily need to burn a whole through your pocket. That is, if you can make the educated shopping decision. For this purpose we have created a list of horse trailers sale tips.
The first thing you need to decide on is what exactly you are searching for in your horse trailer. With so many types and trailer models the obvious choice can suddenly become unclear. There is no trailer that can fit everything, so you will have to prioritize your needs. For example, are you traveling with a pony, an oversized warm-blood or several horses at a time? Another thing you should consider is the type of journeys you will be undertaking. If you are traveling to and from shows or competitions, you will probably not need many features, but if you are planning on camping or trail riding, you should think about essential amenities.
Horse trailers were called horse floats in the past. At first, modified “motor-trucks” seemed efficient for horse transportation; but owners soon realized that safety couldn’t be guaranteed. Modifications were made and this also elevated the cost of trailers. Companies like EquiSpirit have perfected horse trailer construction and set a new standard in terms of comfort, costs, effectiveness and safety.
- Slant-load trailers: it is the safest type of horse trailer, which performs well even during emergencies. This type of trailer has a saddle storage area with swings out to enable the partition to flatten. Ultimately, the horse can turn around and walk out.
- Walk-through trailers: this is the basic type of trailer which allows the horse to walk out through the trailer door. The handler can use a separate door to access the compartment. The benefits of walk-through trailers include more freedom of movement for the horse, comfortable handling and increased safety.
- Manger trailer: While this is not the ideal type of horse trailer, it does provide with much needed storage space underneath the inbuilt hay hanger. It isn’t the best choice for long journeys because the horse might not have enough leg room in front. Also, you must ensure that the hay that you put in the hay hanger is dry to avoid making the horse breath in dust and debris.
What to Look for in a Horse Trailer
It’s not difficult to find a decent horse trailer for sale. The problem is that most shoppers don’t know what they actually need. In most situations, the type of trailer purchased is dictated by the size and needs of the animal. In this regard, there are three major criteria to keep in mind: size, safety in design and ventilation.
1. What the Horse Needs:
- Ventilation & Enclosures: Although most trailers are designed with clever artificial and natural ventilation systems, there are also some with inadequate ones. A proper ventilation system should regulate temperature and control air quality. According to an expert from the Equine Athletic Performance Laboratory from the University of California, horses are highly likely to get very hot while being transported. That’s because the temperature inside the trailer is hotter than the one outside. There have actually been cases of horses dying from carbon monoxide poisoning because of poor ventilation systems. Another problem, that we already mentioned while enumerating trailer types, is dust and mold that results from hay. Lastly, urine and manure must be properly dispatched off. Keep these things in mind while shopping and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Size: Needless to say, your horse requires enough room to spread his legs and move his neck and head. In addition to this, horse trailers can be designed to fit 1, 2, 3, 4 and even 5 horses at the same time. According to a product manager from Featherlite, a leading horse trailer company which holds various educational events in states such as TX, MN, OH, WV, NM, AZ, MO, CA MD, WI, NJ, VA, TN, SC, GA and KY, owners should measure their largest horse in height, width and length to determine a correct trailer size. If the largest horse fits, all the others should be comfortable in the trailer as well. There are other aspects to take into account as well: a large horse is also heavier and stronger. Is your trailer sturdy enough to hold him? Even if you decide to search for cheap horse trailers for sale you should make sure that they have a strong structure.
- Safety: Horses always seem to find a way to hurt themselves. That’s why you have to take precautionary methods to ensure that nothing bad happens. This means double-checking handles, parts functionality, frame durability and stability of ramps. Safety also concerns the vehicle itself: tire condition, brakes, lights etc. These are only some of the basic items you should have on your checklist. Additional features should also be considered: bar guards on windows, living quarters, air-ride suspension, mats, insulation, water tanks and so on.
“A trailer need not be expensive to be safe, but the wrong trailer is not a good buy at any price.”
2. What the Rider Needs:
Now that we have covered the needs of the horse, we should also take a closer look at your own. Purchasing a new horse trailer is a serious undertaking, so budget can be a problem. If you are looking for cheaper horse trailers for sale, you should invest less in design and more in functionality. As a matter of fact, the priority order should be horse needs & fit > quality > price. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few things that you will need:
- Storage Space: equestrians have to travel around with a lot of equipment for competitions. Others simply enjoy idly traveling all the way to Colorado, Florida or Ohio. Either way, storage space is required. This can come under the form of additional space in the trailer or under it.
- Pull Type: There are a few options available, but for each of them the hitch is the most important. Do you want a gooseneck pull or a bumper pull? You will require more power in order to move the gooseneck trailer. While this might not be a problem for riders with large trucks, a bumper pull might be the better choice for smaller vehicles.
- Living Quarters: Premium horse trailers are equipped with fitting rooms, extra storage space and even living quarters. You will find plenty of living quarters horse trailers for sale online. They provide more comfort for the rider but they will also result in a significantly higher cost. Nevertheless, when you travel long distances, the idea of having a place of your own to crash sounds very appealing – not to mention cheap. Some of the best living quarter horse trailers can be found on livingquarterhorsetrailers.com.
- Floor: owners should also consider a floor that is structurally sound. When making a purchase one should check beneath mats to ensure that there is no rusting. In general, rubber floor mats are the preferred choice because they offer greater traction.
Used Horse Trailers for Sale
There are many aspects that must be taken into account when purchasing a used horse trailer. Despite the obvious elements, which we have already discussed, you should also think about the trailer’s condition. Some trailers are extremely cheap but they will need some fixing up. This could be a great project for you. While it is OK to repaint the trailer and fix some small details, it’s definitely not OK to invest more than you paid for it. To ensure that the quality of the trailer is satisfactory you should request as many photos as possible from the owner.
There are plenty of ranches in places like Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Illinois, Idaho, Utah, Kingston, Virginia, Georgia, Lakota, Maine, Wyoming, Nebraska, Cimarron, Maine, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma, California etc. So if you live close to the seller’s location you can check out the trailer in person. Ask the owner about tires, partitions, materials used (such as aluminum or platinum), additional items (trailer cover, rubber mats, equipment, ropes etc.), brakes and lights. If you are shopping online you should also look at the seller’s reviews.
It is also vital that you check the towing capacity of your car before making a purchase. According to federal laws, only individuals who have passed the driving test before January 1997 are allowed to use horse trailers without having to take any additional tests. There are also stolen horse trailers circulating online, so you must ensure that the seller isn’t trying to pull a fast one on you. Although horse trailers don’t have unique registration documents, they have security market serial numbers. In addition to this, you can also ask for proof of ownership and chassis code to confirm the identity of the vehicle.
Horse Trailer Sale in Different States
There are plenty of manufacturers and merchants that specialize in horse trailer sale. All you have to do is choose the right one. There is the obvious choice of checking trailers in person, but the internet offers many more opportunities that you can take advantage of. We recommend that you search for trailers according to specific states. This will make it easier for you to check the vehicle in person. For example, PandPsales has horse trailers for sale in Texas. The company carries models and companies such as Cimarron, Sundowner, Bloomer and Bison. Each listing includes a short description of the vehicle, photos, city and price. The best part is that most of the featured trailers also come at discounted prices.
If you’re looking for horse trailers for sale in Ohio you can go for the models provided by CoughlinAuto, because it offers excellent ones with premium amenities at good prices, or you could do a search on Equine.com’s nationwide page for used horse trailers. Another example would be horse trailers for sale in NC. North Carolina is a popular destination for equine lovers, therefore it has plenty of ranches and merchants who specialize in horse trailer manufacturing. You could start your search on Shadow of Carolina, a regional online market which includes details on prices, features and size, or you could opt for a search on EquineNow. Hawk Trailers is another company that offers roughly 26 standard models and custom-built trailers in the United States.
These are only a few examples of providers that you can try, but there are even more providers for specific areas like Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, Alabama, Montana, Illinois, Kansas etc. or who provide services nationwide. One premium provider and manufacturer that can also create custom-made and livestock trailers is Exiss. Another manufacturer that has over 45 years of experience in horse trailers sale and creation is Hard Trailers. This company also collaborates with other dealers and provides repairs for its clients.
Our last example of manufacturer is Logan Coach. This particular company, which originated in Utah, has a long tradition with horse trailers, which dates back to 1985. It offers elite features such as sure-grip rubber flooring, vortex rubber coating, 3M adhesive, Galva-strong frames and larger stalls. Ultimately, you can even do a search on Craigslist on Ebay and you will most probably find some promising trailer models.
All in all, traveling with horses can be a great experience, but it must be done responsibly to ensure that the horse is comfortable and secure. As long as you remember and apply the tips discussed above you should have no problems finding cheap horse trailers for sale.
Considering the options and the competitiveness of the market, identifying the perfect trailer shouldn’t be much of a hassle. Ultimately, there are manufacturers in the East, West and Southern areas of America. This means that states like TX, MD, WI, CA, MS, NM, MA, MO. LQ and CM are covered by some of the best horse trailer companies.
Article Sources: Extension, WikiHow, EquiSpirit, Amazon, PegasusFinance
Image Sources: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5
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