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Re: [RC] Trailer ramps - Bonnie Davis

Boy, am I out voted!!!  Oh, well.  I'll still go with a ramp trailer and so far have NOT had any other problems you guys mentioned.  It's interesting to note that 40 years ago ramps WERE the trailers to own.  Then we went to step-ups.  Then trailer manufacturers had to have us rebuy trailers so they went to slant loads and all the horseowners rushed out and bought 'em because Madison Avenue said we should and the the top trainers endorsed 'em.  Couldn't find a straight load then.  Had to have 'em built.  Now trailer manufacturers are building straight loads again and they're becoming the 'trailer to own'.  Next it will be back to ramps.  What goes around, comes around.  And it's also interesting to note that if you let a horse ride in a stock trailer untied -- he'll turn around and ride backwards in a straight load position.     
Regardless of what kind of trailer you do buy -- train the horse to load in anything.  Mine will.  And I wouldn't let a horse JUMP over a ramp.  It's know as manners!!  I want my horses to stop at end of trailer, wait till I put leadrope on withers and then they walk in when I say 'load'.  They come out when I pull the tail -- even if the ramp and butt chains are down or the step up doors are open and butt chains down.
But as I've said a couple hundred of times -- I don't endurance ride.  I trail ride and horsecamp.  Two years ago my horses were hauled about 9,500 miles and unloaded many times on every type of surface -- no problems with them or my trailer.
So regardless of what you decide on -- make sure YOUR horses load safely.  Letting 'em jump over a ramp or race out of a trailer or 'wander' off the edge of a ramp is just asking for trouble....
Bonnie Davis
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2003 3:55 PM
Subject: RE: [RC] Trailer ramps

I started with a ramp, as I had seen too many legs stuck under the backs of trailers as horses slid under while backing out.  After 4 years of a ramp, I gratefully switched to a step up.  I had the same experience as Jim - one of my Arabs leaped OVER the ramp to get in almost every time.  If it wasn't dead even on the ground (and when is it ever at a ridecamp?) he jumped in rather than walk up the ramp.  I have seen just as many legs slid under ramps as under the stepup.  Since I have a slant load they can turn around and walk off of, I see that problem rarely.  My step up is fairly high and the 14 hand arabs have no trouble.  Its no higher than many of the trail guard stepovers they have to go over to get on the trail. 
My vote is definitely for a step up

Alison A. Farrin
Innovative Pension
Innovative Retirement Services
858-748-6500 x 107


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RE: [RC] Trailer ramps, Alison Farrin