How Big Is Big Enough?
In today's market there is no question that there are
several decisions to be made when it comes to buying a trailer. And since
"we" know our horses best, who better to make those decisions than "us",
right? We'd like to think so, but how well do we really know our
horses? Can you answer these simple questions immediately? How tall is
your horse? What size is your horse's blanket? You
probably got those two pretty quickly, now try these. How long is he from
his chest to his nose when at rest? How wide is your horse (not girth
size)? Did you get those? Tell the truth, no guessing or estimating allowed.
The point of these questions is that most of us really do not know how big
our horses actually are. Even though blanket size may give us an idea
of the length of our horse and the stall size he may require, blankets are
measured differently than horse trailer stalls. We challenge that if a
horse wears an 84" blanket and it fits properly he does not need an 84"
trailer stall, in fact we'd bet that a 72-74 inch (actual measurement) stall
is more than adequate.
So you're saying what is the point of all of this? If you are about to
buy a trailer maybe you should be armed with this information before you set
out. It just might help take the guess work out of the question,
"Will he fit?"
You know your horse better than we do, and some horses may not tolerate the
taking of such measurements. In all cases common & horse sense must
prevail, nothing is worth getting injured over.
Also this is just a guideline, since we cannot control the actual conditions
of the measurement taking methods we cannot guarantee the
The simplest way we could think of is to use a wall in the horses stall or
along a fence, to emulate a trailer wall, and a piece of chalk.
Body Length: Place your horse against a fence
or wall in his stall, place his hind quarters against the adjoining wall or
if using a fence maybe line his hind quarters up with a fence post, we are
trying to emulate the position of a butt bar. Place a chalk mark in
front of his chest, move your horse away then measure.
Neck Length: Place a chalk mark in front
of his chest on the fence or wall, and try to get your horse to relax and
place one in front of his nose, again move your horse away
Width: Place your horse against the
wall/fence as before take a string with a weight on it, even if its just a
small rock, go to the widest part of your horse let it hang down right above
the ground until it stops swinging then set it on the ground, like a
plumb-bob. Move your horse away, careful no to step on the stone or
rock, and measure the distance from the wall to the rock.
Happy Trailering... See you Next Month.
If you have any comments, suggestions
or topics for a "Trailering 101" article we'd be happy to take them.
Trailering education is our goal.