We Love our Big Rigs: Horse Trailer Talk from the Experts
Are you currently shopping for your next trailer and struggling to make a decision? Which brand do you choose? How many stalls should it be? Do you need living quarters or not? These are the questions most people decipher when shopping for that perfect trailer.
GoHorseShow decided to ask the professionals. We talked with top trainers in the industry on the details of their current trailers, what brands they preferred, must have advice when trailer shopping and more.
We received feedback on the phenomenal trucks and trailers used by Masterson Farms LLC, Capital Quarter Horses LLC, Zuidema Pleasure Horses and Duit Performance Horses.
Blair Townsend is the assistant trainer at Masterson Farms, LLC. They purchased their trailer in early 2016 from RG Trailer Sales in Pilot Point, Texas. After buying it, the trailer was sent to Kyle Zanetti Trailers for extras.
“It’s a 43-foot-long eight-horse Elite trailer,” Townsend said (pictured below). “We had them put a four-foot closet for clothes. It has a split tack and dressing room also. Kyle Zanetti Trailers in Weatherford, Texas put bigger axles on it and his air ride system under it. We designed it with everything we needed in a trailer in mind. We love this trailer. We also have a 1995 4-Star six-horse here at the farm that has been a great trailer, and we use it all the time.”
Capital Quarter Horses, LLC, also purchased their trailer from RG Trailer Sales. Hillary Roberts said they bought it through Kristin Rose.
“It’s an Elite seven-horse (pictured below) that we had custom built,” Roberts said. “There is a front tack room that’s about twice the size of a standard front tack. The nose stores hats, saddle blankets and anything that we want to keep the cleanest. The front tack holds all our show and work saddles, bridles and toolbox of supplies. There is an additional side tack, which stores all of our show clothes. The slots for the horses are nice and wide, with plenty of room for our biggest horses. It is our dream trailer. It was designed by our trainer, Andy, with help from my dad. It’s got everything we want, but it is workable and not over the top.”
Katy Jo Zuidema of Zuidema Pleasure Horses put a lot of work into their hauling equipment that includes a matching truck and trailer. They bought the truck from a gun dealer with the back axle removed. They got the trailer from Gary Rack, and it turned out to be Rusty Green’s previous trailer.
“The trailer is a 2001 sidekick,” Zuidema said (pictured below). “It’s an eight-foot-wide 10-horse with three axles. It hauls amazing. We will never again have a trailer without three axles. The truck is a 2008 Volvo tractor. His name is Big Gator. It has two bunks in the sleeper and a kickin’ stereo. It pulls that trailer like it isn’t even there. What we love about the trailer is how the slots and doors are set up. The first slot has a full door on the driver’s side. The third slot has a full door on the passenger side, and that partition is solid from the ground to ceiling. We can use that for storage or feed, and we can get to it from either side. It makes it great for packing and unpacking. We store our wire stuff in that area too. That way you aren’t wrestling in the mangers, and it doesn’t scratch our paint.”
The equine industry knows the name Rita Crundwell when they hear it. The massive sale of all her belongings was a huge deal. Travis Duit purchased her main trailer from someone at the sale. He said it’s been great for his business, Duit Performance Horses. (pictured below)
“It was an amazing deal,” Duit said. “It’s a 51-foot-long Featherlite with a triple axle. It has full living quarters and a huge midtack with 12 saddle racks and plenty of hooks. The trailer hauls six horses, and the stalls are great because they were made extra wide. I think it looks pretty all shined up because of all the stainless steel. I still have the hay rack on it with all the names of the stallions Rita owned like Good I Will Be. I chose this trailer because I wanted a six-horse living quarter with lots of storage for tack. It’s hard to find those and this trailer was just a great deal. I pull it with a 1999 Freightliner. It’s a continued 12.7 Detroit.”
Picking a Brand
Choosing the brand of the trailer can be difficult. There are so many options out there with benefits to each one. These four each had a preference for the brand they used for their business. Masterson Farms, LLC, Capital Quarter Horses, LLC and Duit Performance Horses like the well-known Elites.
“Elite is known for good trailers, and we designed it with everything we needed in a trailer in mind,” Townsend said. “We like the Elite trailers. We have two of them here at the farm.”
“I think the Elite trailers are the best made, but I also like my Featherlite,” Duit said.
The Zuidema’s like their Sidekick trailer. They wouldn’t want to use anything else in the future.
“The Sidekicks are good trailers,” Zuidema said. “They don’t use rivets; they use screws. I don’t pretend to be a trailer expert, but Tim knows the equipment, and he is a huge fan of Sidekick.”
These professionals each had some advice for people within the industry who are currently shopping for their next trailer.
“When shopping for a trailer, pay close attention to the size of the slots for the horses,” Roberts said. “There’s a standard size, but even a few inches make a difference in comfort for bigger horses.”
“Everyone is different,” Zuidema said. “We have big horses, and we go long distances, so I say always go at least eight-foot-wide and three axles if you can help it. That’s a lot of weight for four tires, and nothing is worse than a blown tire on the side of the road.”
“Look at as many trailers and designs before you purchase so you know exactly what you want,” Townsend said.
“Make sure the tires are wearing evenly on the trailers you are considered buying,” Duit said. “Be patient. There are lots of trailers for sale. Waiting for the right one will save you money.”
About the Author: GoHorseShow writer, Courtney Hall is a graduate student at Missouri State University. She is obtaining a Master of Science in Agriculture degree with research in agricultural communications. She started showing the APHA & AQHA all-around circuit as a youth and continues today as an amateur.