Travelling anywhere with a horse requires careful planning and forethought. Although many horses take to it quite well after the initial stage of adjustment, travelling in a horse trailer is a stressful situation and the comfort of the horse should be considered at all times. Manufacturers of horse trailers keep this in mind when designing features and options that aim to make travel easier on both the horse and the owner. Deciding from amongst the many available horse trailers is a matter of personal preferences that should focus mainly on the comfort of the horse and the driver of the vehicle. Driving a vehicle that is towing a trailer is a skill that requires practice, and driving one that is towing a trailer carrying live occupants requires even more special care.
Horseback riding, shows, tournaments, and relocations are all reasons for trailering a horse. Travelling with the horse requires plenty of space, not only for the horse, but also for all the gear that goes with horseback riding. Room for that gear can be made available on the towing vehicle, but many horse trailer manufacturers have made accommodations for all of the horse and rider's needs by including a number of different storage solutions in the modern horse trailer design. When buying a 3.5 tonne horse trailer, consider the features that make towing it comfortable for the driver as well as those that make travelling in it comfortable for the horse. Also, consider construction design options and available storage solution.
Type of Hitch for a Horse Trailer
One of the main factors affecting the ease with which a vehicle tows a trailer is the type of hitch design used to attach the trailer to the vehicle. As with many modern trailers, horse trailers are available with two main hitch types, the gooseneck and the bumper-pull. Gooseneck describes a hitch that attaches inside the bed of the towing vehicle. Bumper-pull describes one that attaches to the towing vehicle's bumper. Choosing a trailer with either type has its advantages and disadvantages.
Provides extra usable space in the interior compartment; easier to handle, with less sway; connection to the truck is closer to its centre of gravity.
Reduces the amount of available storage space in the truck bed; adds weight to the trailer; an added expense that may be unnecessary.
Inexpensive compared to gooseneck hitch type trailers; lighter weight; can be pulled by a larger variety of vehicles; leaves the truck bed open for storing gear.
More difficult to handle for the driver; Less interior compartment space
While cost is a consideration when choosing a hitch type, the final decision should be based made based on the design that the driver is the most comfortable with.
Construction Material for Horse Trailers
A horse trailer is a large expense, but one that is necessary for many horse owners. With a large expense like this, it is wise to carefully consider the quality of construction and the materials used in the design. Choosing a trailer that is constructed with high standards that uses materials that are the most appropriate for the design makes it more likely that the owner is going to be happy with the purchase for years to come. Better constructed trailers are generally more comfortable for both the horse and the driver, and the durable construction mean they last longer.
Horse Trailer Construction
Durable components represent quality construction. Hitch components that securely attached the trailer to the towing vehicle ensure comfort for the driver. The frame of the trailer and its axle also affect this. Solid connections between components ensure the stability of the trailer during travel, making it less likely to cause the driver frustration due to the trailer's unstableness.
The interior of the trailer should remain as calm and quiet as possible during travel. Sturdy construction ensures a smooth, quiet ride for the horse. Other construction features also help with this, such as padding on the floor and walls as well as rubber coating on loose components that may otherwise clatter during travel.
Materials Used for Horse Trailers
Steel is a heavy material that is susceptible to corrosion unless precautions are taken to protect it. It is also a very strong, durable material that is appropriate for many parts of the horse trailer's construction. Particularly, it is well-suited for the frame and axle as well as any component that requires a strong stable construction.
Aluminium is a lightweight material that is not prone to corrosion. Because it is so lightweight and does not corrode, it is an ideal material for the walls and shell of the trailer as these parts receive rough treatment, and make up a large portion of the trailers bulk. Using aluminium here keeps the trailer light and looking nice for many years.
Fibreglass is also a very lightweight material, but it is much more fragile than aluminium. The interior compartment of the horse trailer, where the horse rides, can get very hot, which quickly makes a horse uncomfortable. When used on the roof of a trailer, fibreglass keeps the interior compartment much cooler than it can get if aluminium or steel are used. A fibreglass roof, however, may be too fragile to support foot traffic or an air-conditioning unit. If either of these are an important factor, and additional aluminium or steel frame on the roof may be necessary.
Extra Storage Options
Of the many important features that set a horse trailer apart from others types of trailers, one of the main ones is the possibility for extra storage. A horse requires a large amount of tack and gear just for casual rides. A horse that may be in a show or any kind of tournament requires even more. The rider also requires a amount of horseback riding specific clothing and gear.
All of this gear requires travel accommodations along with the horse. Much of it can be easily stowed away in the back of a pick-up bed but with hay in the pick-up bed there may be no room for other luggage and items that may be wanted for the trip. Also, a gooseneck trailer hitch leaves very little space in the truck bed for this use and, storing the gear this way makes it hard to get it organised and keep it that way. As far as safety and protection is concerned, storing gear in a truck bed leaves it open to the damage from the elements, accessible to thieves, and prone to further damage due to mishandling.
The best solution for these storage dilemmas is to keep the tack and gear stored in a neat and organised fashion somewhere else besides the pick-up bed. For this purpose, many horse trailers include options for storing everything from just the horse's saddle to all of the necessary tack as well as all of the gear the rider might require. These storage solutions commonly take the form of a simple tack locker that is easily accessible from outside of the trailer. A more complete solution is an entire dressing room where all the tack and gear can be easily organised and quickly accessible.
Larger, more deluxe horse trailers sometimes even include living quarters, which provide the rider with a place to sleep, cook, and all the other amenities typically found in a nice mobile home. A 3.5 tonne horse trailer is not generally large enough to include these kind of living quarters, so if such options are necessary it may be wise to look at purchasing a larger model. The 3.5 tonne horse trailer is, however, large enough to accommodate a tack locker and even a good-sized dressing room.
The tack locker can be as large as a small closet or as small as a large cupboard. It may be a substantial enough to provide room for one or more saddles and all of the necessary tack, or it may only accommodate the tack and not be large enough for the saddle. Some of them are even large enough to accommodate the saddle and tack for several horses.
The dressing room included on a horse trailer is large enough to allow the rider to easily change. As with the tack locker, the dressing room is often equipped with hooks and latches to keep the gear secure while in motion. These also help keep things organised and well cared for.
On the 3.5 tonne trailer, a dressing room cannot be too large. With a slant load style trailer, the dressing room is usually located toward the front. A common way to represent the size of the dressing room is to note the length of what is called the "short wall," which represents the shortest wall of the dressing room, usually opposite the door.
Buying a 3.5 Tonne Horse Trailer on eBay
A horse owner in need of the trailer may turn to a recreational vehicle dealership. A store that carries equestrian supplies may be a better place to get information that is customised for the horse owner's specific needs and for a way to contact the manufacturers directly. With all of the features and options in mind, a wise consumer may turn directly to the internet in search of a bargain at manufacturer websites and online internet auction sites such as eBay. Choosing to buy a horse trailer on eBay can save the consumer a large amount of money, and those savings can equate to a better quality trailer than the consumer could otherwise afford.
When buying a horse trailer on eBay, first make a list of the features that are most important to you. The list may start with the number of horses the trailer must carry, your preferred type of hitch, construction options, or desired storage solutions. The factors that are most important to an individual horse owner are a matter of personal preference.
Once you have a list in mind of your preferred features, locate all the listings that eBay sellers have posted by using the search box on eBay's main page. For instance, if a gooseneck trailer hitch is important for your needs, enter the word "gooseneck horse trailer" into the search field. This search should return a number of listings, and you can narrow them down by choosing from the available options. If the search did not return enough results, delete unnecessary keywords.
Purchasing a horse trailer is a necessary investment for many horse owners. For the wise consumer it is a long-term investment and care should be taken in choosing the right type of horse trailer. The comfort of the driver and the horse should be a prime concern when making this decision.
The hitch design, weight, and construction of the trailer each affect how easily the driver can handle it. The inclusion of padding on the walls, cushions on the floor of the stalls, and other features are designed to make the ride smooth and quiet for the horse.
Horseback riders who show horses, or who ride them in competitions, will be particularly concerned with where to store all the gear. After the comfort of both the horse and rider have been accounted for, other factors that affect the value of the trailer include the inclusion of storage solutions for both the rider and the horse, the type of materials used in the trailer's construction, and the number of horses that it can transport. All of these factors must be taken into consideration when making this important purchase.