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Re: Trailer opinons wanted

In a message dated 98-10-25 10:28:38 EST, writes:

<< O.K.  So here are my questions:>>

These are questions that can only be answered by evaluating how YOU will be
using the trailer.  If there was one best answer for all, there would only be
one kind of trailer.  Will give you a few thoughts:
 <<1)  Aluminum vs. Steel:  The steel Trails West ran about $3,000 cheaper 
 and had more storage.  I'm sure my 3/4 ton Chevy 4x4 diesel could pull 
 just about anything, so I don't think weight is an issue. I've heard pros 
 & cons re: aluminum.  One credible source has told me that the wood floor 
 in the steel trailer absorbs more shock for the horses.  My boyfriend 
 says he can weld in various amenities.  But, the steel trailer will take 
 more care in the long run, and, I am told, the aluminum would hold its 
 value. What do you think?>>

What is important to you?  Long-term investment, or immediate cash flow?
Resale value or do you intend to keep this trailer for a long time?  You have
already addressed the weight issue--for some it is more of an issue than it
seems to be for you.  Shock absorption depends a lot on what you put on the
floor in EITHER trailer--I like wood flooring with rubber mats on top of it.
 <<2) Mangers vs. no mangers:  Would you prefer mangers for feed, etc., (and 
 the wonderful benefit of storage underneath), or no mangers?  What are 
 the pros & cons of this?>>

Are you primarily planning to haul your own horses?  Or at least plan to haul
primarily broke horses?  Do you only have a few horses?  Mangers are sure a
lot handier for feeding on the road than are hay bags, although you also have
to make sure that they are clean and not accumulating dust and "fines" from
hay.  The flip side is if you haul a lot of strange horses, or youngsters, or
whatever, a horse that has a fit in the trailer can get hung up in the manger
and have a real wreck.  The sorts of horses that haul regularly to rides
aren't particularly at risk because they ARE used to being handled, hauled,
etc., so the mangers are nice if that is all you haul.  If, like me, you haul
a lot for other people, or haul a large variety of your own horses (I haul
foals, weanlings, etc.) then you might not want mangers for safety's sake, but
you trade off with the hassle of always having to deal with hay bags with your
"good" horses on longer hauls.
 <<3)  Double doors in the back vs. a large single door (if you had no rear 
 tack).  What do you think would be best?>>

Again, for my needs, I prefer the large single swing door with a plain open
interior, simply because I DO haul a variety of horses in terms of age and
stage of education, and it is much easier to be able to use a large swing door
as a wall that can move behind a horse that is reluctant to load.  This is not
an issue if you haul the same horses all the time, or at least haul broke
horses that are relatively easy to load.
 <<4)  Is it OK to go without an escape door in the first stall?>>
Same as above.  Know your needs and your horses.  I would think that an escape
door might also be an issue in resale value.  I have one--I almost never use
it for "escape" but I sure use it a lot for getting into the trailer with the
horses on long hauls.

<< 5)  And, last but not least, how tall should the trailer be?  Besides 
 considering the horses, do you folks with goosenecks actually sit up in 
 the beds and read, etc.?>>
I lie down in bed and read.  I guess the bottom line is how tall are your
horses and what is their normal head carriage?  You likely don't have to go to
an overly tall trailer unless you plan to haul Saddlebreds or some such.  (I
don't think they make too many of the shorter-than-normal "Quarter Horse"
trailers any more.)

Heidi Smith, DVM--Sagehill Arabians (Oregon)
(Just about to drive to Texas--again....  Sigh...)

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