How to Measure a Horse Trailer [Step-by-Step Guide & Tips]

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How to measure a horse trailer?

It is one of the most important questions to ask when you are shopping for a new one, so that you can check if it will suit your needs.

I’ll include a step-by-step process for measuring plus other important info you need to know that I learned from research and speaking to experts.

Let’s get started!

Check: Best Electric Trailer Jack

Horse Trailer Measurement (Step By Step)

There are several areas you need to look at when answering the question ‘how to measure a horse trailer’

You want to be thorough, so you don’t get any surprises when you get your expensive investment home.

Your measurements need to include the height, storage spaces, length, interior space, and outside dimensions.

With that in mind, get your pen and paper ready and get started. Oh, and don’t forget a measuring tape!

repossessed horse trailer

Step 1 – Measure The Height

Let’s start with one of the easier measurements, the height. For this, you will need a straight ladder or a step ladder.

Before placing your ladder, ensure your empty trailer is parked on level ground. It is a good idea to have a helper for this and the rest of the steps.

Climb up your ladder and measure from the top to the ground and note down the height.

Step 2 – Measure The Horse Trailer Length

Ask your helper to hold one end of the measuring tape at the front corner. Don’t include the tongue in this measurement.

Walk the tape measure to the rear corner, ensuring it is straight and runs as close to the horse trailer side as possible.

Right down the measurement and move on to step 3.

Step 3 – Measure The Horse Trailer Width

Again, using your assistant, go to the back of the horse trailer and place the end of the tape on one corner. Move the tape across the back flat and straight and take note of the exterior width.

Step 4 – Measure Trailer Interior Length, Height, and Width

Next, take the measurements of your horse trailer’s interior. Use the same process as above, going from corner to corner at the back door and ceiling to floor.

Step 5 – Measure The Horse Trailer Volume

To get the volume of your trailer’s interior take the two measurements you got in step 4 and also measure from one side to the other. This will give you 3 figures.

Multiply the 3 figures together and you will get the cubic volume.

Before moving on to other important information, if you haven’t seen it already, check out horse trailers manufacturers to see some of the best options available.

Step 6 – Measure Your Storage Areas

Using the same methods as above, measure your storage areas. This might include your tack room or any storage compartments.

add the process as well as embed the video – I couldn’t find a video, surprisingly!

How to Measure a Horse Trailer Axle?

Another part of your horse trailer to measure is the axle. It is good to know this in case you need to replace this part.

The main measure you need to take is the axle track measurement. Place one end of your tape measure on the face of the hub and put the other on the face of the opposite hub. [1]

The face is the part of the axle that touches the rim.

Next, you need to get the spring center measurement. Measure the distance between the center of each spring.

In order words, spring center to spring center. Or as shown in this expert video, measure from the outside of one spring to the inside of the other.

Does Trailer Length Include Tongue?

Yes, and no. It depends on the manufacturer if they include the tongue in the trailer length and how individuals measure it.

To be certain, measure the tongue yourself or if you’re buying from a horse trailer truck manufacturer ask them to clarify.

What Are the Different Sizes of Horse Trailers?

A horse trailer carrying horses

Trailers come in several sizes from single straight loads to large multi-horse goosenecks. Bigger horses, such as those 16.3 to 17 hands will need a larger trailer, while ponies and small horses should be comfortable in a shorter trailer.

Here I’ll give you an overview of the main sizes you’ll find and their measurements. Check out how much does a horse trailer weigh to learn more about trailer weights.

Standard Horse Trailer

A standard straight load trailer will be the smallest size and a straight load. It is most likely a 2 horse bumper pull trailer. Most horses will fit comfortably in these trailers with the exception of very tall or draft horses.

The size of these trailers can vary depending on the brand. But most are 10 to 11 feet long in the horse area, 6 feet wide, and the standard height averages 7 ¾  feet tall. [2]

Slant Load Horse Trailer

In a slant load, the horse walks up the rear like a straight load but there turn so they are standing on the diagonal. This means that they are diagonal stalls, not straight.

This means that the horse has less space length wise. The average slant load trailer stall length is 8 feet 6 inches. Because of this medium to large size horses will not fit comfortably.

Some say that these trailers are not comfortable for horses over 15.3 hands tall. You will need to see it in person and get the measurements to see if a taller horse fits comfortably or if a different horse trailer type is a better option.

However, that standard height is similar to other types of trailer.

Custom Trailer

It is possible to order a custom trailer to your preferred measurements, so long as it conforms to the rules of the road. This can be anything from a custom two-horse trailer to a gooseneck.

Custom-built horse trailers give you lots of freedom to include your personal touch or special features that don’t come as standard.

For example, you can build a taller and longer trailer that will suit larger horses. If you have the budget, you can create your dream trailer! I’d love to be able to do this!

Gooseneck Horse Trailers

Gooseneck trailers are usually bigger than those that attach to the hitch behind your vehicle bumper. Many of these trailers include a tack room or dressing room.

The height is on average 7 feet and the width is similar to most other trailers due to road limitations.

The one big difference is the length. These trailers range in length from 15 feet to 33 feet. When you think about ‘how to measure trailer length’ for these styles, most of the process is the same.

To learn more about the different types of horse trailers, such as 4 stall horse trailers, click the link.

 FAQs

What size trailer do I need for 17 hand horse?

For a 17-hand horse, you will need a horse trailer with extra height. That is, a taller trailer. You can find extra large bumper pulls that give your horse more headroom and a little more length.
Slant loads, in most cases, will not have a long enough stall. However, depending on their configuration, gooseneck trailers can be an option.

What is the length of a horse trailer?

man fixing the repo horse trailer

The average stall length of a standard horse trailer is 10 to 11 feet. While the exterior body length of a gooseneck can be as long as 33 feet.

How many horses can fit in a trailer?

The majority of large horse trailers can take up to 6 horses. However, artics can take more.

How tall is a draft horse trailer?

The minimum height for a draft horse trailer is 8 feet.

Conclusion

I hope this guide helps you see ‘how to measure a horse trailer’. As you can see it is pretty easy. My only advice is to get someone to help you do it. 

Due to the lengths you need to measure, it would be very hard to do on your own.

Regardless of what size horse trailer you want, make sure that it has quality construction. If you plan to buy used, it is a good idea to get a horse trailer expert to inspect it before you purchase.

I’m sure, like me, you would never want to put your horse at risk if you can avoid it. Another thing to keep in mind is your towing vehicle.

Make sure it is capable of safely hauling your horse trailer. The ideal horse trailer is well made, in a safe condition, and comfortable for your horse.

long metal trailer

Do you have any questions about horse trailers? I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments.

Resources

1. Measuring Trailer Axles – The easiest way to measure your trailer axle [Internet]. Champion Trailer Parts Supply. [cited 2022 Sep 13]. Available from: https://championtrailers.com/blog/measuring-trailer-axles-the-easiest-way-to-measure-your-trailer-axle/

2. Horse Trailer Sizes and Guidlines – MeasuringKnowHow [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 13]. Available from: https://www.measuringknowhow.com/horse-trailer-sizes/

Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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