We Ask The Industry: What is Your Favorite Horse Trailer and Why?
There’s a lot to think about when looking for a trailer, but you should definitely consider what is most important to you. Whether that would be the brand, how well-built the trailer is, or the safety, you should make sure that you’re choosing a trailer that will check off all the must have’s on your list.
What is the most important thing to look for in a trailer? Of course, it is simply a matter of opinion, but here are some of the leading industry trainers’ and exhibitors’ thoughts.
Lauren Stanley – We are just about to get a Sundowner living quarters. I really like the width of it, so that way the horses can have comfortable travels. The biggest thing for me is the comfort and safety of the horses, and the living quarters should be nice for us to have a nice little home away from home. We also have air ride on this trailer which I really like too. I’d say that longevity and durability are most important for you to consider before purchasing a trailer. So that way, it can go for a long time, to and from anywhere safely, because there’s nothing worse than having flat tires, having the balls break, and all that stuff. Since we spend a lot of time on the road, picking the right trailer is worth doing your research for.
Margaux Tucker – 4-Star. Every review is awesome. They hold value. Sturdy and reliable. And usually, they offer a lot of custom features for a trainer trailer. Extra-wide tack room doors. Options for hay pods. Door latch options, and over the years, they have gotten better. Divider options too. I do not currently own one. I wish I did.
Kristy Starnes – We’ve had a Jamco twelve horse since 2013. I like that it has great storage in it, it can hold twelve horses, and it’s very safe. Make sure that your truck can pull the trailer you’re purchasing. A lot of people don’t have a big enough truck for their trailer.
Bruce Vickery – We have Elite horse trailers. I have several trailers, and my oldest is a 2011. I like the fact that it’s built really well and it’s really low maintenance. When I do need anything fixed, the Elite dealership is really easy to work with. First, people need to do a lot of research and figure out what kind of trailer they really want to have. Then, they need to purchase a trailer that they have easy access to a dealership to get a repair when they need to. There are many great brands of trailers out there, but I chose mine because I have a good reputation with that brand.
Katy Jo Zuidema – We have a ten-horse sidekick with three axels. We bought it from Rusty Green in 2015. I like that it has three axels. We’ve had it for six years, and it’s never had a flat tire. We dropped an axle once, but that’s it. The best part about it is the door at the nose of the first slot and the butt of the third slot. So we can use the first three slots in many different ways for storage if we don’t put horses in there, which we rarely do. Make sure to put budget before image. This business is a lot of smoke and mirrors, so buy something reliable that is made great and safe. Also, make sure it’s wide enough, especially if you have hunt seat horses.
Alyssa Casa – Elite – hands down. Their welds, durability, design, reliability..all of it is very well made. These trailers are truly made for horse showing. We own a 7 and a 3 horse, both made by Elite.
Lynne Puthoff – I have not owned a Bloomer, but I really like what I have seen of those. But we have had our Elite 6 horse since 1997. It’s a ’96. And so if I could order what I want, I would go with Elite. Just a really well-made trailer. Ours has been to many, many places over the years. We get it serviced, repairs when needed, and go again. Very sturdy.
Lana Markway – Cimarron is what we currently have and plan to get next. They are of great quality, and it just worked out with the last one. The living quarters part, even though it’s not custom, really works. I like the design and colors in it too.
Ceralena Gray – One that doesn’t break down. We currently have a 6-horse Sundowner training trailer that I love the features of. For me, the features are more important than the brand. I want a dressing room and oversized separate mid-tack mangers. Super important that’s it’s 8 ft wide and insulated for the horses’ comfort and space. I love mangers and dropdowns front and rear. I want a tri-axle – pulls straighter, and if you blow a tire, you aren’t just stuck.
Chase Barnes – I have an eight-horse Cimarron trainer’s trailer. I’ve had it for two years. I love all the storage space. It has a dressing room in the front and a large mid-tack. It also has a rear tack and mangers under all eight stalls. The mangers have large doors under all eight slots. It also has a ton of room on top of the roof. All the windows on both sides drop-down, and there’s an escape door on the backside of the first slot. It has pour-in rubber flooring, so I don’t have to worry about mats lifting. The entire trailer is insulated and lined. I designed it with them from the ground up, so it really is set up perfectly for what I do. I bought it from Bob Kennedy at Nelson’s Trailer Sales and recommend him to anyone looking for a new or used trailer.
Dodie Howard – I’ve had 2 custom Shadow trailers built for me. The first was a 6-horse LQ, which didn’t have heavy enough axles. Last year, I went back to Shadow, and they built me a custom 6- horse trainer with a big double-door tack room in the front. They are now building them with different axles and suspensions, making them much sturdier. I’ve gone with Shadow as they are close to NY, as I buy them from Ed Ramsey st Coughlins. Plus, affordability-wise, they are very reasonable. They have had great customer service as well, in fixing everything we needed on that first trailer.
Robin Frid – I have an Elite trailer that I’ve had for fourteen years, and I actually have another trailer coming in a few days. I have only owned two trailers myself, and this one is going to be my third. I love the way that it’s built. It’s solid. I like Elite because the customer service is so outstanding. I’m not a big fan of living quarters trailers because they tend to break all the time. Before you buy a trailer, make sure that you know that just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it’s better. This trailer that I’m about to buy was supposed to be ready in February, but I was willing to wait because I know I’m getting a good product.
Vanessa Froman – A horse trailer is not the place to take shortcuts and skimp on quality. I’ve seen too many trailer accidents. I love Exiss and 4-Star because of that. My parents bought an Exiss living quarters back in 2005. I believe that we still haul with it. Mom has had the living quarters redone by LSR Conversions nearby in Elkhart, IN, but other than that, the old Exiss has been phenomenal. We also haul with a 4-Star, just a high-quality trailer built to protect our most precious cargo. I just saw another trainer’s 4-Star after being rear-ended. It was crunched a bit, but the horses were safe. It reminded us of why we have one to make these long hauls with. I don’t need bells and whistles in a trailer. I need it to pull and protect my babies.
Beckie Peskin – I don’t anymore now that I’m closer to Robin, but as a brand loyal gal (since I was still schlepping around in my Congress Queen trailer), I will say Exiss. Other than some surface issues, that trailer held up really well over the years. I hauled a TON in it from 1999 through, say, 2007. After that, it only was used sparingly by me, but lots of friends borrowed it over the years.
What is your favorite horse trailer, and what are some of its features? Let us know in the comments.