How tall is a horse trailer, and is it tall enough for the comfort and safety of your horses?
According to the University of Maryland, “for the average horse, a trailer that is seven to eight feet tall and six to eight feet wide (internal dimensions) is sufficient.” (1)
You will need a spacious trailer for the tallest animals and a tow vehicle with enough towing capacity for heavy horses.
That’s why I’m here to help you discover the height of a trailer:
- Standard trailers fall between 7’6″ – 7’8″
- Straight load trailers also go up to 7’8″
- The size of the trailer depends on its features and cost.
- A good trailer with the correct measurements will offer a comfortable ride for you and your horses.
What is the Standard Height of a Horse Trailer?
A standard trailer that includes living quarters will range from 7’6″ – 7’8″ in height.
However, you have to consider if the trailer has air conditioning units installed, which are usually found on the roof, the hitching category of the trailer, and roof vents.
Also, take the type of trailer into consideration and how your choice might differ if you have smaller or larger horses, who will need a comfortable stall length and trailer height.
I decided to compile a list of the numerous options for trailers you might want to think about purchasing, depending on the features they offer for the horses you keep:
- Slant load trailer
- Bumper pull trailer
- Draft horse trailer
- Gooseneck horse trailer
- Warmblood horse trailer
- Quarter horse trailer
- Aluminum horse trailer
Some of the best trailers you can get your hands on can be purchased through Featherlite trailers, which are the top manufacturers of trailers in the States.
Related: Largest Horse Trailers
How To Know The Best Trailer Size For My Horse?
Before I can help you decide the best trailer size according to your horse’s size, let’s learn how to measure your trailer.
Here’s how to measure trailer length:
1. Make sure your vehicle is still attached to your trailer.
2. Ensure the ground is level for an accurate measurement.
3. Start measuring from the highest spot on the trailer all the way down to the tires.
4. Make sure to include all the attachments that increase the height of your trailer, for instance, the air conditioning unit(s).
Now that I’ve shown you how to measure the height of your trailer, there are a couple of things you need to remember about the occupants’ experience when! (2) And I don’t mean you!
Don’t just stick to the official, standard measurements. Your horses are living creatures and need their space. So when answering the question ‘how tall is a horse trailer’, you need to look for one that suits your individual horse.
Make sure they aren’t completely pressed to the walls and have enough room to breathe and move around.
Think about whether or not your horses can retain their balance. You don’t want them to get tired and irritated because they keep having to shift back and forth.
I know the government imposes restrictions on how wide a trailer can be.
However, instead of squeezing horses into a trailer that is too small, you will have to invest more in a taller trailer or one that has stall configurations to accommodate them.
When I say horses need room to breathe, I mean it in the most literal sense. Make sure your trailer is well-ventilated and does not suffocate your animals.
You can add fans, especially for the hot and humid days of summer. Drop down windows will also help ventilate and cool down the horses during travel.
There should be windows on the head side if possible. However, if traveling with open windows, ensure there is protection to prevent debris from entering the interior, which can cause serious injuries to your horses.
Lastly, measure your horses! Here’s a video to help you do just that:
Experts recommend the horse maintain a natural neck and head position, so make sure there is enough head space. (3)
Trailer Height Needed For a 16 Hand Horse
A 16-hand horse will easily fit into a 7′ trailer, which is a trailer of average height. The ceiling height should add about 6 inches to the trailer’s general height.
This is for the comfort of your horses in addition to an easy loading and unloading process.
Trailer Height Needed For a 17 Hand Horse
For a 17 hand horse, the trailer should ideally go up to 8′, although some suggest a 7’8′ trailer can do the trick too.
According to Equispirit, there’s an easy formula to calculate the required length.
All you need to do is add 2″ to the ceiling height of a trailer meant for 16 hands horses, and measure two more things.
These would be the “butt to breast,” measurement and the head area measurements.
Add 6″ when measuring from the butt to the breast and either 6″ or 1′ for the head area, as per the butt-to-breast measurement of the horse.
It is unlikely that stock trailers will suit horses of this size as they tend to have less height and width. For bigger horses, you will need to invest in larger trailers.
Ensure your horse travels safely and comfortably with our comprehensive guide to the different options for horse trailer flooring.
Heights of Popular Horse Trailers
Here are the heights of some popular trailers you should consider purchasing if you haven’t already.
You can find trailers varying in height between 7′ to 7′.6″.
You can choose between 2-3 horse trailers like the Featherlite bumper pull trailers or their gooseneck trailer that can include 3-4 horses.
You can find a full directory here. (4)
Check out their Legend Horse Trailers!
Equispirit has two, three, and four-horse trailer options available.
You can get the four-horse one for an inside height of 7’8″.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is 16hh tall for a horse?
No, 16 hands is the average height for a horse, not taking ponies into consideration. Over 16.2 hands is considered tall.
2. How tall is a Warmblood horse trailer?
A warmblood horse trailer will most likely be 7’6″ tall. Its purpose is to accommodate larger stalls and extra space for your horses, and it lets you have additional features. However, the cost matches the offer.
It’s a comfortable trailer for horses that are between 16 to 18 hands tall.
3. How much headroom does a horse need?
A horse needs enough headroom so it can keep its natural head and neck position without being squished against the wall. They also should be able to move their head to a reasonable degree.
If you were scratching your head wondering, how tall is a horse trailer, I hope to have answered your question.
However, if you have any doubts, head to the nearest manufacturer and ask for direct help!
Let me know how your horses are doing in the comments below!
1. Selecting a Horse Trailer (FS-948) | University of Maryland Extension [Internet]. extension.umd.edu. Available from: https://extension.umd.edu/resource/selecting-horse-trailer-fs-948
2. How do I know what size trailer will best fit my horse? [Internet]. Equispirit.com. 2021 [cited 2022 Nov 14]. Available from: https://www.equispirit.com/info/articles/trailersize.htm
3. Print. Towing And Trailer Safety, Part 3: Choosing The Right Trailer [Internet]. www.chronofhorse.com. [cited 2022 Nov 14]. Available from: https://www.chronofhorse.com/article/towing-and-trailer-safety-part-3-choosing-right-trailer
4. THE FULL LINE OF FEATHERLITES FOR ANYTHING YOU WANT TO HAUL [Internet]. Available from: https://www.fthr.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Featherlite-Full-Line-Brochure-20A.pdf
Emily is a native of Colorado, currently living in Glasgow, Scotland, working as a freelance writer. She is a long-time horsewoman, having started riding at the age of 6, then competing in dressage around Colorado and Massachusetts, where she finished her undergraduate degree in psychology.
Following a move to the UK and a PhD, she worked for a few years as a freelance horse trainer in Central Scotland. She’s interested in holistic horsemanship, fostering better communication and understanding between horses and humans, riding with lightness and softness, and she’s forever seeking out the newest research into equine behavior and psychology. When not writing, she can be found at the barn with her two equine partners, Foinavon, an ex-feral Highland pony, and Hermosa, a young Andalusian.
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