By Neal Schaffer of DD Trailers
Can You Haul Horses and a Carriage in the Same Trailer?
When it comes to finding a horse trailer that will accommodate your horses as well as your carriage, wagon, or cart - things can get a little bit tricky. Most trailers that are on the market today are designed to either haul your carriage equipment OR haul your horses; not both at the same time. Unfortunately for horse owners, this means that you may end up having to have two different trailers. You’ll have to purchase one to transport your carriage, and another one to comfortably transport your horses.
Logistically, this is not an ideal solution for anyone. Not only can most people not afford two separate horse trailers, but this means that every time that you get ready to hit the road, you’ll have to travel with two different vehicles as well. What’s the solution?
Horse Trailer Carriage Add-Ons
Now, there are a lot of ways that you can ‘rig’ a carriage onto a horse trailer. Many horse owners choose to invest in a carriage platform that attaches to the exterior of the trailer. These solutions are NOT safe for a couple of main reasons:
1: You cannot quickly access your horses in the case of an emergency.
If one of your horses falls during travel, or if you happen to be involved in an incident, having a carriage attached to the exterior of the trailer can delay accessing your horses. In many carriage platform setups, particularly with straight load horse trailers, the carriage attachment directly blocks access to the horses.
While it’s a convenient alternative as long as everything goes smoothly, in the event of a tragedy occurring, it can result in the life or death of your horses.
Shown left: A straight load horse trailer with only a rear loading ramp that has the access point blocked off by a carriage platform.
2: Carriages, carts, and wagons are expensive.
Most horse owners invest a lot of money into their carriage equipment. To purchase a brand new carriage, you can expect to spend around $10,000. So, why would you attach an investment that cost you thousands of dollars to the exterior of your horse trailer? Not only will your equipment be exposed to the elements and debris, but in the event of an accident, your carriage will most likely end up ruined.
Safe Horse Trailer Carriage Solutions #1: Reverse Side Load Horse Trailers
If installing a carriage platform is your only option due to budget restrictions, the first safe solution is investing in a reverse side load horse trailer. Why are these trailers a safer solution than standard straight loads?
Horses travel with less stress in the reverse facing direction.
Research has shown time and time again that when most horses are given the option in a horse trailer, they will voluntarily face the rear of the trailer. A study conducted in 2012 revealed that horses that hauled facing the rear had lower heart rates, breathing rates, stress levels, and were able to maintain better balance while in transit.
There is more than one access point to your horses.
In a reverse side load horse trailer, there is a ramp on the side as well as one on the back of the trailer. The purpose of this design is to allow horse owners to walk their horses on the trailer and off the trailer without ever having to turn them around or make them walk backwards. However, for the sake of adding a carriage platform to the rear of the trailer, the side ramp access would allow you to quickly get to your horses in the case of an emergency - even if the back ramp is blocked by your carriage or wagon.
Shown left: A reverse side load horse trailer with a side ramp.
Safe Horse Trailer Carriage Solutions #2: Custom Horse Trailer for Carriage Accommodations
While investing in a reverse side load horse trailer is a solution, the most efficient as well as the safest way to get your horses and your carriage from point A to point B is to design a custom horse trailer that will allow you to accommodate both your horses as well as your equipment.
There are only a handful of custom horse trailer manufacturers that will provide this solution. The most popular and the most reliable brand is Double D Trailers. Their company has been producing custom horse trailers for over 20+ years, and hold several safety patents that are exclusive to their brand, including the popular SafeTack Reverse Slant Load horse trailer. Because their horse trailers are 100% customizable, it’s easy to design a trailer that is able to handle both your horses and your equipment properly.
How Do I Design a Trailer to Haul a Horse Cart or Carriage?
When it comes to designing a custom trailer to haul your horses and your carriage or cart, owner Brad Heath says that there are just a few quick things that he’ll need to know in the horse trailer design process.
How many horses are you hauling? The design team will need to know the maximum number of horses that will be hauled in the trailer without your carriage.
What sizes are your horses? The stall size on Double D Trailers are modified to accommodate the specific size of your horses, so they’ll need to know the size of both your smallest and largest horses.
What’s the size of the horse(s) that will be hauled with your equipment? It’s important for the design team to know all of the hauling scenarios that you may have and ensure that all of your horses could fit comfortably even with the carriage in-tow.
What size is your tow vehicle? Knowing what size vehicle that you plan on towing your horse trailer with is important to guarantee that you are able to safely handle the weight of your custom horse trailer.
What type of accommodations do you need in the front of your horse trailer? Will you need to use the front of your trailer only for storage or will you need to be able to sleep up front?
What are the specs of your equipment? How tall, wide, and long is it? In this step of the process, it’s helpful for horse owners to provide a photo of the carriage, wagon, or cart. This way, they’ll be able to see exactly what you’re needing to haul.
Once you have provided all of this information to Brad and his team, they’ll be able to provide you with a custom drawn floor plan of your horse trailer. Check out this example of a custom horse trailer with modifications for a carriage/cart.
Robert from PA’s Story
Robert reached out to Double D Trailers wanting to haul in 3 different scenarios.
In the first scenario, Robert wanted to haul his 3 warmblood horses without the carriage.
Shown left: Photo courtesy of Robert - loading his carriage into the horse trailer.
In the second scenario, Robert wanted to haul 1 of his draft horses in the rear stall with his large carriage secured near the front.
In the third scenario, Robert would haul 2 of his horses (one in the center stall and one in the back stall), with a smaller cart secured up-front.
With each of the scenarios, Robert would be able to secure his horses as well as his carriage or cart so that his animals and his equipment were safe during travel.
Shown above: Robert’s horse trailer floorplan.
Do I Really Need to Invest in a Custom Horse Trailer?
It goes without saying that choosing to invest in a custom horse trailer is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Custom horse trailers are expensive, and they should be life-long investments.
However, when it comes to making sure that your horses and your valuable equipment are able to be transported safely, there is no price that could be put on it. To transport your horses and your carriage, cart, or wagon in the most secure and safe manner, designing your own custom horse trailer is the best option.
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