Livestock Trailers: How to Choose

Find the right livestock trailers for all your pulling needs.

| September/October 2014

I remember the first trailer we bought for transporting our farm animals. We scouted out the classifieds and found what sounded like a very good deal. After finishing the chores and getting gussied up for another farm venture (aka a date), we made the two-hour trek to the trailer owner’s place. When we arrived, our first reaction was hesitation, as we had “never seen a trailer like this one.” Truth be told, we really had not seen many trailers at all.

This was an old metal stock trailer. It did have the promised four stalls, but they were very narrow. The stalls were situated so that you loaded two animals side by side with a metal bar separating the two, and then shut the doors behind each “stall.” Behind those two brave soldiers, you loaded two more side by side, and look out because the back two could easily back right off before you got the door closed — there were no butt bars that went across the stall.

Having driven so far — and since the trailer was so affordable — we handed over our cash. Horses, by nature, are claustrophobic, so loading Spirit, my Arabian/Thoroughbred, was almost an impossible task. I remember many times my husband would patiently work for more than two hours to convince Spirit to load up. Sometimes, when we unloaded, Spirit would throw his head up in a panic to exit and hit his head — the old trailers were shorter than today’s models.

That brings up the second problem with this trailer, as well as most old horse trailers: The very old trailers were not only made narrower, but shorter as well. Not as much of an issue for cows, sheep and ponies, but for horses, it can be a problem.

We ended up keeping that trailer for several years. Eventually, we figured out that when we took out all the dividers and gates, we could tie the horses on a slant and they loaded comparatively like a dream in the open box stall. This worked for our horses that knew one another, but not always for horses that were not pasture mates. It also worked quite well for our smaller animals.

The sequel to this story is that we finally sold that trailer and upgraded to an almost new one. Wanting to be sure that Spirit did not ever again hit his head, we found an extra tall stock trailer.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on modern homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, real food and more!


Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265