Is a Stock Trailer Appropriate for Horses?

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Hunting for a new horse trailer can be exhausting -- after all, you want to find the right trailer that’s perfect for your horse, but sometimes your budget just doesn’t allow for the luxury model of your dreams.

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Trail riders and livestock owners may be looking for something more flexible when they’re checking out horse trailers for sale, since their trailer needs are much different than the typical show horse owner.

Whether you’ve got a small budget or you’d just rather have a trailer you can use for all your livestock, a stock trailer can be a good choice for horse transportation.  There are several things to watch out for when purchasing a stock trailer for horses, since they are not constructed the same as horse trailers.  If you’d rather invest in a stock trailer than a horse trailer, keep these items in mind:

Temperature Control. Stock trailers are open to the elements, which is fine if the weather’s nice or the trip is short.  When it’s cold, though, horses will need protection via blanketing or with plexiglass inserts over the windows.  Keep in mind that inserts interfere with ventilation, so it’s really better to not transport horses in a stock trailer in the cold if it can be avoided.

Constant Noise. Horses who are nervous travelers may get even worse in a stock trailer because of the lack of insulation from road noises.  Although they can see out, your horse may still be frightened by sounds he can’t understand and the constant rattles, bangs and roars coming from both your tow vehicle and trailer.

Horse Safety. Unlike cattle, goats and sheep, nervous horses may paw and kick at the trailer during transit.  Most stock trailers aren’t equipped with padded walls and bars to help protect your nervous traveler.  These options can be added, especially in a new stock trailer, but they don’t come standard.

Trailer Height. Be very careful when choosing a stock trailer for horses, since height matters a lot.  Modern horse trailers are sometimes designed with roofs over 7 feet tall, making them suitable for most size horses, but older trailers with 6 to 6 1/ 2 foot tall roofs will be questionable options for medium to large horses.

Dividers. It’s not a sin to travel with your horses loose in the trailer, but if you’re hauling more than one horse there’s always a risk they may try to fight in such close quarters.  Since many stock trailers are designed without dividers, this may pose a problem.  If you know your horses are great travel companions, an open stock trailer can allow them to move around comfortably.

Choosing a horse trailer can be a difficult process, but if you don’t travel far and have horses who have no problems with road noises, a stock trailer may be a great choice.  Many horses love the openness of these models and will eagerly load for a trip to a nearby trail or a quick jaunt to the vet or farrier.

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