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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've heard a lot about slant loads not being as good for horses.. But has anyone out there really experienced a problem with one?

I've had a straight load bumper pull for 5 years, and I'm getting the chance to get pick out brand new trailer and upgrade. I'm super excited and grateful for the opportunity but I've never known anyone with a slant. Or a gooseneck. Anyone got any thoughts on them? I just want to hear people thoughts before we get anything..
 

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I like slants a lot better. I had a 2 horse straight load and it was a pain. I'd definately go with the slant if you have a choice. I like goosenecks better too, but either is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I figure maybe with a slant I don't have to back them out like I do with a straight load.. Is it easier to hook up a gooseneck?
 

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We have two slant load goosenecks. I think they are easier to hook up because you can look out the back window and actually see the hitch and pretty much where it is. Our truck is also just as wide as the trailer so if you have the sides of the truck lined up with the sides of the trailer you can pretty much get it in line. You don't have to back them out of a slant, it is very easy for them to turn around and walk right out. I also like them because they tend to be a little more open than a straight load and the horses usually load easier because it looks more like a big stall than a small, cramped area. The gooseneck is also handy for camping because you can put a mattress up in the nose and can sleep up there. If you get one with a front tack it is almost like having living quarters.
 

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I've heard a lot about slant loads not being as good for horses.. But has anyone out there really experienced a problem with one? ..
Hmm. I have never heard a single person ever say that. Horses load better in a slant load trailer. Period. Gooseneck trailers are good. I have a hard time backing them, but it's probably just a matter of practice. If your truck has a bumper pull hitch, but not a 5th wheel hitch, you should probably look into how much it's going to cost to install one.
 

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I like straight load better, they are easier for the horse (or other animal) to brace themselves with turns, and stopping and going a lot, in my experiance, and others that I know. And I don't have a problem backing them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This was a few years ago at a driving clinic, that a few of the instructors agreed the didn't like them because the horse couldn't balance correctly when placed side ways.. Idk I kind of took it with a grain of salt but still wondered about it.

And as for my truck, I'm actually selling my old one because it's a 1500 and it wouldn't be worth it to pay to have another hitch put on and then have to buy an aluminum trailer. And even then I think I would be pushing my trucks limits!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I like straight load better, they are easier for the horse (or other animal) to brace themselves with turns, and stopping and going a lot, in my experiance, and others that I know. And I don't have a problem backing them out.
That's what I thought too when they were talking straight vs. slant. I've never had a problem backing mine out either, but I have a ramp and that's helped a lot. My mare like to almost slide down it though on her way out. :p
 

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Well there are pros and cons to both styles. I love my slant load but I use to have a straight load for many years. If you haul alone a lot then the slant is a lot easier to load and unload alone. If the horses are in the front couple of slants then you can turn them around if you like to unload. Well at least in mine. I have a single ramp door entry with a rear tack that does not fold out so the last horse must back out. When I had to haul alone with my straight load it was a pain to get everyone loaded but the slant is a dream. With that being said a long time ago I was hauling back from a show that I was doing demos at with my blind rescue horse. I had to stop suddenly when a drunk driver pulled out to cross the road but stopped sideways in the road because there was not a way to cross over the dividing wall. I had no choice but to stop suddenly but my horse was safe/unharmed but a little nervous. I truly feel that if the same had happened while using the slant load that I would not have had such a great outcome.

I still love my slant load and couldn't live without it. I really wished I had one with a removable rear tack or at least one that would swing out so I could have the whole back open. Also I wanted the ramp style but would have preferred one that had a full door and separate ramp. Instead mine has a ramp that folds up for the bottom of the rear door and a side closing top door. I got this one used and the springs were a little stiff, so it is not the easiest thing to life up in a hurry.

I do prefer goosenecks over bumper pull but some times bumper pulls can come in handy.
 

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Before we got our trailer we used my trainers slant-load to haul my mare to a couple of shows. Both times we ended up having to pull over (once on the side of the freeway!) because halfway to our destination my horse absolutely FREAKED OUT. We could hear her screaming and she was moving around in there so much that the truck was shaking violently as we were driving. We don't know what happened, she was in with another horse both times and he was fine, even with her making all that commotion. We thought the first time was probably a fluke, tried again a few weeks later and same thing, completely flipped out on the road and ended up slicing up her rear legs pretty bad. We thought maybe she just wasn't a good hauler and we didn't take her anywhere for a while. We called the woman we purchased her from and she told us that she has heard similar problems from other horse owners that had slant-loads, their horses went crazy in there for seemingly no reason while on the road, and suggested we try a straight load. Tried out a friends and haven't had ANY problems since. I don't know what it was, maybe she lost her balance and couldn't right herself or something, but I won't use slant loads anymore even with other horses.
 

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Most bad haulers are better if you leave them loose in the trailer with the partitions pulled out. They usually stand facing the back when they get to decide for themselves. Some people load horses in a slant load butt first. For as many of you that think a horse can't balance as well at an angle, there are many more horse people that insist they balance better that way. I don't really mind a straight load IF the center divider can be swung over and is not fixed in the middle and it's big for a straight load. Not one of those dinky things. Unless it's a dog gentle riding horse, horses are very reluctant to load in them.
 

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I've heard a lot about slant loads not being as good for horses.. But has anyone out there really experienced a problem with one?

I've had a straight load bumper pull for 5 years, and I'm getting the chance to get pick out brand new trailer and upgrade. I'm super excited and grateful for the opportunity but I've never known anyone with a slant. Or a gooseneck. Anyone got any thoughts on them? I just want to hear people thoughts before we get anything..
Slant trailers are better than a regular trailer because it's easier for the horse to keep his/her balance during the ride and they provide more head room than a regular stock trailer. I've used a goose neck and I've used a bumper pull and, personally, I would take a goose neck trailer over a bumper pull any day of the week! Easier to hook up, easier to back-up, easier to pull, easier to load the horses, easier to unload, easier to deal with all the way around in my honest opinion.
 

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Slant loads are very hard on the horse, I have had horses come off slants stiff and lame from ride on one back hip for the entire trip. There is actually very little room in slant load stalls, so any horse that has issues with space will flip out, as there is very little head room in slant stalls. A horse's natural first preference for hauling is standing straight with their rear end to the front of the trailer, second is standing straight with their head to the front. There is research out there on slant versus straight load and the pros and cons, I would recommend looking it up, because there are other issues with slants that I can't remember right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Alyssa that is crazy what happened to your horse! But, I knew a horse with a similar problem and it seemed to come from a bad experience with trailer. The owners dad was hauling it once and just wasn't driving like you should with a horse.. Ever since then she gets upset trailering.

Thanks for the input everyone! The trailer I'm looking at getting doesn't have a ramp. I wish I could get one but all I've seen with one are ones with side ramps and they're 24 grand. Too high for our blood! Lol anyway I've really liked my bumper pull, but I decided if I wanted to upgrade I didn't want another bumper pull I wanted to really step up and get a gooseneck. Plus I can't imagine trying to back up a 3 horse bumper pull with a dressing room!
 

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If you get a 5th wheel hitch installed, look into the flip over style. They are so handy for when you need that bed space in your truck, just flip it over and there is nothing sticking up in your bed. We had one truck with the hitch that was bolted on the top, it worked but was a pain in the butt when you wanted to use the truck to haul stuff in the bed. You had to stack everything around in the hitch, otherwise it wasn't laying flat. Also, with a greasy hitch sticking up you always had to take a plastic bag and cover it. We now have one truck with a hitch that flips down sideways, it is on a plate and you do have to cut a pretty big hole in the bed for this style, but when flipped down it isn't in the road. Our other truck has a flat bed so the hitch gets covered with a plate and is completely out of the way. A friend has one of those B & W Hitches, just has a little hole in the bed the size of the ball and a pin under the fender that you pull to release the ball, then you just take it out, flip it over and drop it back in the hole and let the pin go back in to hold it in place.

Of course the best thing, if you are getting a new/bigger truck, is to get one with the hitch already installed. Also a good idea to make sure the truck has the trailer brake control in it already and the correct plug in for your trailer. We just got a "new" big truck. It's a 95 Ford 350 dually with the 7.3L engine. The bed was pretty beat up so we had a Bradford flat bed put on it. It's really nice, it can pull just about anything and is very stable. Just as a warning, if you like Ford's do not buy one with the 6.0L engine in it. Those were made from 2004-2006ish. That engine is really good when it works, but we had one and had nothing but trouble with it. Every time you pulled the trailer you could count on putting the truck in the shop. Some people have had good luck with the engine, but most people have ended up with the lemons.
 

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Hidden hitches are great! I love my hidden hitch. When I need it its there and when I need to haul shavings/dust or anything else you can't even tell it has one.

Now some horses will be great in one style and horrible in another. I hauled horses to a show for a few girls that had ex-race horses. One had a bad experience riding in a ramp load slant. This horse feared and was nervous loading and riding to the show. Needless to say after a couple of shows in my trailer this horse realized that they would not have the same bad experience as before. I also had to haul a horse for a girl that refused to haul for another person because the horse did not like how they hauled (drove). The horse turned into a great hauling horse and we ended up teaching the owner how to safely pull their own trailer after we helped them get set up. I have also seen horses freak out when loading into bumper pulls. One time I was helping a friend move her horse. They had a trailer but no truck. I went to haul and as I loaded the horse they put up the butt bar and the horses chest touched the front chest rest area (it was a feed area type and not a front chest bar). It ended up being hot to touch. The horse started backing out and got it's butt under the butt bar and kept going. I put all my weight into getting the horses head lowered so it missed hitting the bar. Needless to say I asked the woman to wait a couple of days to move. I took her trailer home and made a leather chest piece for her trailer moved it to her new place and came back with my gooseneck and the horse did fine from there on out.

There are a lot of things that come into play. Some people feel more comfortable hauling a bumper pull and some a gooseneck. It really just depends on what you are looking for and what you have to pull it. No matter what you get I would recommend getting one of those brake break away boxes so if your trailer comes unhooked it will apply the breaks and stop the trailer. Also always check the trailers you look at for quality. I looked at many goosenecks before I got mine. Look at the welds, flooring and even the brand. I love featherlites, but there are a lot of other good brands. I like my aluminum floor verses wood. If you get a wood floor one be sure to check the wood and the direction the wood has been ran for supports. I had to refloor a trailer for a local horse rescue many years ago because I noticed the bad floor after picking it up for them. They had delivered a horse and done a fair amount of hauling after receiving it as a donation but never checked the floor. Some boards were rotten and some did not reach far enough to touch the supports. So just check them well as even trailer dealerships get used ones in on trade. If you get wood put stall mats in it to haul but pull them out when not in use to keep moisture off of the wood etc.

Ok that was probably more info then you wanted but I hope it is helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ptgoats45: That's a good idea with the hitch! I'm going to see if I can find truck with that hitch or get it installed on whatever I get. And, thanks for the advice on the trucks! I have a 2003 Chevy Silverado 1500 now, that I really like so I think I want to get another Chevy but I've got to see what's out there for sale. I don't think I'll be buying anything new, but I haven't priced out new vs. used yet soo anything possible.

DDFN: Thanks for the advice on the trailer buying! The trailer have now is a 1994 Cotner and I really feel like we've spent more money than it's been worth to keep it safe and up to date. We bought our current one for 5,000 and we've got 7,000 maybe 8 in it! To make matters even worse the dealership I bought it from offered me 1,500 for it. So this time I'm looking at getting a never been used 2010 Gooseneck from my local dealership. I've gone through every trailer we've looked at with a fine tooth comb because I just don't want to end up with what I have again. I want a trailer I'll be happy with for more than a couple years.

And Little-Bits-N-Pieces I totally agree about ramps! They're handy when it comes to backing out, but they can be heavy and annoying. I just replaced, the plywood in my old trailers ramp because it was just barely shutting and had gotten too heavy. It took two people to shut it then and now that its fixed I can shut it on my own. I wouldn't want to have that last experience again though, or have to pay to get it fixed.
 

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You're welcome. I hope you find the one that you can fall in love with and have safe hauling trips. If you have the time I would think you could get more out of your cotner trailer by selling it your self instead of the trade in value, but it is what ever works into your time frame and budget. Best wishes!
 
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