Types of Trailers
The average horse trail that you own, most likely falls between the 3,500-pound and 4,000-pound range, depending on the type of trailer you purchased.
An average horse trailer typically has a 3000 to 4,500-pound capacity, but it really depends on the manufacturer, the type of trailer, and the size of the trailer. Trailers are often categorized based on the number of horses and/or the type of load they can haul.
Standard trailers are typically designed for the transportation of two horses. If you have a pair, then this is the type of trailer you have. However, you can also convert a single horse trailer into a two horse trailer.
A three horse trailer is designed to haul three horses or less. You can transport up to three horses, but if your horses are larger, you should not exceed the maximum weight limit of the trailer.
If you plan on hauling four or more horses, then you should equip yourself with a four horse or larger trailer. In the four horse trailers, the horses are usually separated for safety reasons.
The total weight of a standard bumper pull horse trailer ranges between 4,000 lbs. and 5,200. Are you picturing something larger like a large U-Haul? Well, the weight listed here is for a standard trailer, not including the weight of your horse, tack and rider and most importantly a water supply and food.
The build of a bumper pull horse trailer also includes the following: the body is usually aluminum with an "A" frame and consists of a horse compartment, double rear doors, tack compartment, head and tail lights, entry door, rubber fenders and a trailer hitch.
Bumper pulls also have a number of options that could increase the weight. Trailer stabilization devices and security systems, such as a surge brake, may add weight as well as a tongue jack for added safety.
The trailer may also be customized and upgraded to include such things as aluminum wheels or larger tires, trailer brakes, hydraulic landing gear, winches and outlets, all which can increase the weight.
Without customization, the average weight of a standard bumper pull horse trailer is 3,000 lbs.
Gooseneck trailers allow the horse to stand and lie down without being able to move his legs. They also seat a horse more comfortably than double-deck trailers.
However, because horses are accustomed to being able to move their legs about, when they are confined in a gooseneck trailer, they do not want to be loaded. They feel like they are caught, like prey, so they make an instinctive attempt to get away. Sometimes this is done with force. This resistance to being confined can make loading a horse in a gooseneck one of the most difficult parts of round penning or trailering.
Double-deck trailers, on the other hand, allow many horses to load easily since they are accustomed to being "pack mules", packed in tightly with other horses. Even if they have never been in a trailer before, since they are packed in with other horses, they feel like they are "mixed in with the crowd."
Trailers with Living Quarters
If you want to haul your horse short distances, you can opt for a horse trailer with living quarters. These provide your horse with a place to sleep and stay comfortable while traveling. There's a wooden floor and tie rails and safety stanchions are attached for proper horses tack and pony. Most trailers of this kind can last up to 50,000 miles depending on the condition of the trailer and the way it has been driven.
These trailers are great for people who want to bring their horse along on trips, but don't want it to travel in the back of a pick up truck. This is also very useful for transporting injured horses (with their accompanying veterinarian) from one specialist to another.
People also use them for outings, trail riding, and showing off their livestock. You can get some with hay racks for the trailer or you can install them in your trailer. There are also portable sand communities for your horse to stay in during breaks, but these can be purchased separately as well.
Stock trailers are essentially a utility vehicle. They are intended to pull heavy equipment or a large number of animals and their purpose is usually not designed for comfort or extra space. When purchasing a stock trailer, you can expect it to be very small and uncomfortable. For transporting just a few horses, the average length for a stock trailer is about 12 feet.
Stock trailers typically have the 4'6"wide design with a smaller body and a short nose. The shorter nose provides the better vision for the driver to inspect the horses and adjust the equipment on the fly. This design also makes it easier for the driver and horses to climb in and out of the trailer. Most stock trailers do not have a ramp door, but instead have a slide-in door on the 4'6" side of the trailer.
The design of stock trailers is mainly influenced by weight, safety, and price. Safety is closely monitored in these trailers to make sure that the horses do not have accidents or injuries when they are being transported. The safety features required in stock trailers are nearly the same as those found in standard trailers. The wheels are almost always metal tires that do not go flat easily, and may have both large and small valves. The welds are almost always x-rayed before the trailer is sold so that you can see if there are any defects in the structure.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
Every trailer has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This is the total weight (trailer and everything in it) that the trailer is capable of safely bearing. If you're hauling cargo, you'll want to keep the GVW below the trailer's GVWR. This is typically listed on the side of the trailer. A general guideline for horse trailers is that they list the GVW at 8000 lbs, unless of course, you have a high-end, larger trailer.
To find out what the cargo (aka horse) weight capacity is for your trailer, you'll need to consult its weight chart. You can usually find weight charts on the inside of trailer doors or in the user manual.
However, as a general guideline, you'll want to stay within the following weights based on trailer load capacity. If you're carrying between 0 and 500 pounds of cargo, multiply your cargo load by the ratio given. If you're carrying between 501 and 2000 pounds of cargo, multiply your cargo load by the ratio given, plus the given multiplier. For example, if you're hauling a 500 pound cargo, you would multiply that by the ratio given. If you're hauling a 1000 pound cargo, you would multiply the weight by the ratio given and then multiply that again by the multiplier.
Vehicle’s Towing Capacity
While you should always use a safety cable to connect your horse trailer to your towing vehicle, towing capacity remains a vital point of consideration.
A horse's top weight should not exceed 20% of the gross weight of the trailer or the towing vehicle. In other words, a 1600-lb. horse can safely be carried in an 880-lb. trailer.
To calculate your vehicle's load capacity, check the vehicle manual. Usually the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) can be found there, which is the combined weight of all the passengers and equipment in a vehicle.
For example, if the GVWR of your vehicle is 7,500 lbs, putting ten 100-lb passengers inside would equal to a total of 7,500 lbs but if you put an 800 lb trailer, combined weight of the vehicle and trailer would not exceed 8,300 lbs.
Average Weight of a Two Horse Trailer
The average weight of a two-horse trailer is approximately 2,000 pounds. This is the dry weight of the trailer with the horses and everything else in it. You should also include the weight of two horses, tack, and other equipment within the weight of the trailer.
If you travel far to trail ride and show your horse, you’ll probably need a trailer rated for more than two horses. The average weight of a three-horse trailer is approximately 2,500 pounds, four-horse trailer weight is an extra 300 pounds, and a five-horse trailer weights an extra 1,300 pounds.
You need to take the trailer weight into consideration when choosing the type of vehicle to tow it. The average weight of an SUV is 3,000 pounds and can probably safely tow a two-horse trailer. You’ll need to make sure your trailer hitch is rated for the weight.
If you use a car or light truck to tow your trailer, you need to consider the extra weight of the trailer and you’ll need a hitch rated for 3,500 pounds or more.
Average Weight of a Four Horse Trailer
Four horse trailers weigh approximately between 3,500 and 5,500 pounds.
The weight of trailer space is a key factor because a larger horse trailer can generally hold a larger load. These weights of horse trailers are only an estimate.
Other factors that influence the weight of a trailer include:
- The draft of the trailer hitch
- The condition of the trailer
- Whether or not the trailer has been in any accidents
- Space taken up by the tow vehicle
- Any other boat or car trailers that are towing
- Vehicle or trailer modifications
Finding the Right Horse Trailer for You
There are many horses trailers you can find. In our online store we offer horse trailers ranging in size from four to ten horse drawn trailers. Whatever your needs are, we are sure that you will find a horse trailer that suits it.
When choosing a horse trailer your first question may be, what size is going to fit my needs?
What size do I need?
The size of the horse trailer that you need depends on the type and number of horses you will be hauling. Trailers can range in size from 4-10 horse haulers.
The very basic guideline is this: the horses should be able to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably in the trailer. If you're pulling a 4 horse trailer you need room for 4 horses to comfortably move around. Try to avoid overloading a trailer, doing so will hinder your ability to steer your horses and that can be dangerous.