In addition to grooming, boarding and feeding, horses must be occasionally transported, either locally or long distance. Knowing the proper size two-horse trailer for your needs will ensure that your animals ride in comfort and arrive safely at their destination. Horse trailers come in slant or straight load designs, with or without options, and vary in height, width and weight.
A standard design straight-load trailer is a side-by-side rear door entry trailer, where the horse's heads face the front of the trailer. The standard size comprises the smallest two-horse trailer, typically having an inside stall width of approximately six feet. These trailers usually have a square roof, with a stall floor-to-ceiling height of seven feet and total trailer length of 10 feet. The standard trailer fits horse sizes from 14 to 16 hands. The roof should extend to 7 feet, 6 inches for horses up to 16-3 hands, and an additional two inches for horses at 16-3 to 17 hands. Horses measuring 16-3 to 17 hands should have an additional one foot in trailer length, as well.
Extra Large Straight-Load
Extra large straight-load trailers have 11-foot stall lengths. They are six feet wide, but the roofs are extended to a height of 7 feet, 8 inches. Extra large straight-load trailers have axles with 96-inch widths, accounting for a heavier load for larger horses, which range from 16-3 to 17-2 hands in height.
Double Extra Large Straight-Load
Double extra large straight-load trailers have the same 11-foot stall length as the extra large, and the width remains 6 feet 8 inches. The height measures 7 feet, 8 inches. The axles are extended to 102 inches in width. The double extra large model typically houses horses that range between 18 and 19 hands.
Custom Built Straight-Load
Custom built straight-load trailers accommodate horses which measure 19 hands and taller. Draft horses with weights approaching 2,000 pounds would fall into this category. The trailer should be at least 8 feet tall with a stall length of 12 feet, plus. The tires and axles need to be upgraded to support the extra weight with the addition of extra floor supports and bracing.
Slant-load trailers differ in design from straight-load trailers in that the horses are loaded from left to right on a slant inside the stalls. Because of the diagonally shaped stalls, the overall trailer length remains shorter, measuring only 8 to 8 1/2 feet down the center line. Yet the diagonal length will approach 10 to 11 feet. Slant-load trailers, because of their smaller size, do not accommodate horses over 15-3 hands in height. The slant-load trailer has advantages with less hauling weight for the tow vehicle and more maneuverability.