Buying a horse trailer is one of the toughest choices for any horse owner. With all the different options and combinations available, it is no wonder the decision can be pondered upon for many weeks. One of the greatest decisions to be made is whether you want an angle load float or a straight load float. Petplan will take you through the positives and negatives on both of the options.
Your choice of trailer will normally depend on preference and practicality. This means that you need to know what you’re using the trailer for, how many horses and if you’re thinking of purchasing another horse. An angle loaded float allows a more economical haul when loading 3 horses as their stalls are angled, whereas a straight load trailer will normally only allow 2 horses due to the conventional loading from the back facing forward.
Angle Load Horse Float
Due to their loading method, the angle floats allow for more horses to be carried without adding on to the overall width and length of the float. They also allow for the option of wheel placement which means you can have a trailer with stalls that are uninterrupted by the wheel wells or a wide trailer with wheel wells in the stalls.
Horses tend to naturally favour an angled stance during travel as it increases balance, therefore the angled stalls will allow them to do this for the entire trip. In saying this, some trailers can be angled too much and leave the horse straining to get their right posture and balance.
Although not many, there are some negatives for angle load trailers. Many of them will have a small tack area in the back corner, meaning that the last horse will have to back out as there is not enough room to turn around. There are also some trailers that are designed where it is impossible to unload the second and last horse without unloading the horse before it. If there is an emergency this can be extremely dangerous and may need to be looked at when making your decision.
Straight Load Horse Float
Straight load horse floats allows for easy access out of the trailer once loaded the horses through the escape door at the front – in some cases they are big enough for the horses in case of an emergency. As they are only for 2 horses there is ample room via the loading gate at the back of the trailer with wheel wells located on the outside, not invading the ground space of the stall.
These are especially perfect for larger horses as they provide a lot more space compared to the angle load trailers. However, if you’re hauling more than 2 horses the trailers increase in size and volume meaning a larger strain on your vehicle when towing.
It is important to consider all the factors when deciding on a trailer – how many horses, the horse’s size and how calm they are when loading and unloading. As mentioned above, straight load floats are normally a better option for bigger horses, however you can purchase an angle load trailer for 3 horses if you only have 2 and remove a barrier to create more space for your horses to move and breathe.
No matter your original preference of trailer, you must consider all of its features and see if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks before making your final decision. The horse trailer you choose should be both comfortable and practical for you and your horses over the years.