If you're ordering a custom two-horse trailer, you may be excited about the opportunity to design it to your exact specifications. While you're in the process of creating your perfect rig, here are some things to think about that might make transport easier for both you and your horses.
The first thing you need to decide when you purchase a trailer is whether it will be a bumper pull model or a gooseneck. While more than two horses are usually pulled with a gooseneck, two-horse rigs are more frequently ball-hitch configurations.
While bumper pull trailers are smaller and easier to store when you're not using them, they tend to sway more in motion and offer you less control while towing. Also, gooseneck models usually allow you to fit a sleeping or extra storage compartment above the hitch, which is a nice addition of space.
Most horses prefer to walk up a ramp to load in a trailer, rather than step up into it. If you must use a step-up rear, make sure to add a rubber bumper along the edge to prevent injury to the horse's legs if it slips.
A side unload ramp (caravan door) is a good feature for horses that don't like backing out of the trailer. You can walk the horse into the trailer and keep going in the same direction to exit, and this feature makes training horses to load easier too.
One of the most important considerations you need to make is how you want your horses to face. While horses prefer to face backward, owners rarely load them that way, although it's certainly possible. The next best direction to face from your horse's point of view is forward and at an angle, while straight on is the least preferred direction of travel.
Floor and Wall Surfaces
The floors of your trailer should be easily cleaned and some type of rubbery surface that grips well even when wet to protect both you and your animals. You may want to consider running a well in the floor in between the horses and your gear stowage in the front to keep any urine from running forward in the trailer.
Many horse owners find lining the inside metal walls of the trailer with a heavy-duty, easy-to-clean fabric helps reduce rattling noise and makes horses less nervous inside. All handles, rings, and hooks should lie flush with the walls when not in use.
Multiple horses in one trailer can generate a lot of body heat. Make sure to provide adequate ventilation with windows on both sides of the trailer, as well as pop-up ventilation on the roof. Rooftop vents should face in both directions for maximum air flow.
Most people stow their gear in the very front of the trailer. Make sure everything latches properly, and consider using self-closing doors and drawers. A wet/dirty gear bin will come in handy after messy rides, and you'll want to be sure to have a cabinet for emergency first aid supplies (equine and human), as well as for a fire extinguisher and roadside flares.
Having tack bins you can open from the exterior will be helpful. Think about making your exterior access compartments hold your saddles on built-in trees and other tack, like bridles and lead ropes.
If you give some careful thought to the layout of your trailer before you order it, you'll have fewer issues once you hit the road. You can put a security camera in the back to watch your horses from the driver's seat, and if you've done your job right, they should be riding happily to your next show or trail.
If you'd like more information about custom trailer options, you may want to check out the site for Mustang Trailers.