Everything You Need to Know About Renting Horse Trailers

The question on your mind must be: how to rent a horse trailer? Is it a complicated process?

Worry not: I’ll tell you all about it!

Let’s get started!

When Do You Need to Rent a Horse Trailer?

My friend’s horse Tucker died last year because they could not get it to the vet in time.

Such incidents are heartbreaking but they can happen to any horse owner who does not own a horse trailer nor has the good fortune of having a vet make home visits.

Not all horse owners can afford to buy a horse trailer. Depending on its size, a trailer could cost anywhere between $4000 and $60000. A middle-class horse owner simply cannot afford such rates.

repossessed horse trailer

This is where a horse trailer rental can help. Renting horse trailers when you need one can ensure peace of mind without the burden of paying for it.

Here are some scenarios when you’d need a horse trailer rental:

#1. To Take Your horse/s to the Shows

If you have to transport your horse to events like rodeos, show jumping, dressage, etc. from time to time, but do not want to pay for a used or new horse trailer, then renting is a good idea.

Some trailers even have living quarters which are great if you need an overnight stay at these events.

Many equestrian events allow participants to camp on-site so you can comfortably wake up in the trailer just before the event. You and your horses get a private place to unwind and recharge.

two repo horse trailers parked on the road

#2. If You Like to Go on Annual Camping Trips

You can also use a rented horse trailer with living quarters for camping with your family instead of paying hotel bills. Renting a horse trailer lets you enjoy nature without having to leave your horses behind.

#3. If You Have Old, Injured, or Sick Horses that Need Medical Help

Not all horse owners have veterinary hospitals nearby and nor do all vets make home visits to check sick or old horses.

Should your horse need medical help, a rental horse trailer can quickly help you transport your horse to the vet.

Many horse trailer rental companies or dealers provide their trailers as a horse ambulance at a moment’s notice to transport sick or injured horses to a veterinary hospital.

#4. When You Only Need the Horse Trailer Once in a While

If you only need to occasionally transport your horse/s then renting a trailer definitely makes more sense than buying one.

#5. When You Do Not Have Adequate Space to Park the Trailer

Storing the trailer in a clean and safe area is a must. If you do not have adequate space to park your horse trailer then it is better to rent one instead of buying one.

horse getting ready to ride one of the types of horse trailers

#6. When You Do Not Have the Budget for a New Trailer

As mentioned earlier, a horse trailer, new or used, can set you back by thousands of dollars. If you do not have that kind of money to spend, then renting one makes more sense.

The cost of renting a horse trailer is between $60-$200 per day depending on its make, size, etc. [1] This can end up being so much cheaper than spending thousands on buying a new or used one. [2]

Related: Things to Know About Repossessed Horse Trailers

Horse Trailer Renting Vs. Buying

Sometimes, it makes more sense to rent while others it’s smarter to buy. Let’s find out how to decide.

Benefits of Renting a Horse Trailer

BenefitsDisadvantages
Lets you test the waters Hassles of arranging the rental process
Helps you save money Nitty-gritty of rental contracts
No headache of maintenance

#1. Lets you test the waters

If you’re unsure about the make, size, brand, and model of a horse trailer you need, then renting one can be very useful.

You certainly do not want to spend $60,000 on a horse trailer with living quarters only to discover that it does not meet the needs of your horses or is difficult to park, maneuver, or manage.

Renting lets you get a feel of different types of horse trailers and can familiarize you with the one that best suits the needs of your horses.

#2. Helps you save money

As explained earlier, if you want to save money and only use the trailer occasionally, then renting will be much better. You can easily rent a large horse trailer for about 5 days for as little as $800!

#3. No headache of maintenance

Good rental companies maintain their horse trailers very well. You need not worry about them breaking down or spending money on timely service and maintenance.

Even if a mechanical failure occurs while you are renting it, the company can arrange to get it fixed.

Also, as winter approaches, you won’t have to spend time and energy on back-breaking work like covering the vents, washing exteriors, insect proofing, checking for floor rot, etc.

Disadvantages of Renting a Horse Trailer

#1. Hassles of arranging the rental process

There is a chance that you have to deal with different rental companies when your regular rental company does not have the size/model you want.

Also, arranging a rental horse trailer at a short notice during an emergency can be risky: the trailer may not be available. Delays like this could be a matter of life and death for sick or injured horses.

#2. Nitty-gritty of rental contracts

Horse rental companies often have lengthy contracts drawn to protect them legally. You will be left to read these fine prints and understand the legal clauses in the case of accidents or irresponsible use of the trailer.

Benefits of Buying a Horse Trailer

BenefitsDisadvantages
Free to use it when you want and how you want Major investment
Could save your horse’s life Storage hassles
You can rent out your horse trailer and make some money

#1. Free to use it when you want and how you want

With trailer ownership, you get many benefits like the freedom to use the trailer the way you desire. You can even make modifications to it as you like to meet your horses’ needs.

Owning a horse trailer means that you can hit the road with it when you want and when your horses need it. You certainly won’t have to call the rental company ahead of time and book one.

Nor would you have to deal with the hassle of dropping off and returning the trailer by a certain date and time.

#2. Could save your horse’s life

In an emergency, you could rush your horse to the vet in the trailer and might even save its life. This is the biggest advantage of having a horse trailer on your premises.

#3. You can rent out your horse trailer and make some money

When you own a horse trailer, you can rent it out when you aren’t using it. This will help you make some extra money in the process.

You can always use third-party rental sites that offer a level of protection to owners.

If you want to buy a horse trailer, check this buying guide:

Disadvantages of Buying a Horse Trailer

#1. Major investment

Be prepared to spend a lot of money on buying your trailer and maintaining it. Luxury horse trailers with living quarters can cost almost $100,000.

Even a modest-sized trailer can set you back by $4000 to $50,000. In addition to the buying costs, you’d also spend on its annual maintenance.

#2. Storage hassles

Storing the horse trailer is a major hassle. When your trailer is not in use, you’d need to keep it in a clean place free from pests. You’d also need to cover it to prevent damage to its interiors and exteriors.

How to Rent a Horse Trailer – Things to Consider

Renting a horse trailer needs a lot more research than it does when renting a car. To get you started, here are some factors to keep in mind before opting for a horse trailer rental:

#1. Consider the Type, Size, and Make

If you are a first-timer renting a horse trailer, then it is best to opt for the gooseneck trailer since it is easier to handle than a bumper pull. The latter is known to sway a lot and is also difficult to back up.

man fixing the repo horse trailer

Next, consider the height and width of the trailer. Your horse/s should be able to comfortably stand in it.  These days, you can choose trailers from pony to draft sizes.

If you take your horse/s on shows, then you might be better off with trailers having living quarters. These often provide you with the same comforts as RVs.

Always consider your horse’s nature when renting or buying a trailer. If your horse spooks easily or isn’t used to riding in trailers, then you could consider renting a stock trailer.

Stock trailers are brighter and have a more ‘open design’ which can make horses feel more comfortable.

To load and unload your horses to and from the horse trailer, consider the type of access it has. You can choose from ramps or steps. Some horses are scared of walking on ramps so steps might be a better option.

#2. Consider Your Towing Vehicle

Do make sure that your towing vehicle is compatible with the trailer. It should have the right size and towing capacity.

Never overload a towing vehicle as it could cause tire or brake failure or other damage. Some trailer dealers and companies even lease out towing vehicles and loaner hitches.

#3. Choosing the Horse Trailer Rental Company/Private Owner

It may be best to rent your rental from a horse owner. There are commercial dealers too, but many hesitate to rent out used/new trailers to individuals or might charge you higher insurance rates.

To find private owners, you can join equine forums or equine facilities that teach dressage, etc. You can even post your requirements for a rental horse trailer on social media. These have a broader reach.

You can contact some of the rental dealers locally like this one in Ohio or this one in Oregon. An Internet search can easily show you these dealers.

Whichever option you choose, do put some effort into finding a good rental company.

#4. Check the Trailer’s Condition and Do the Paperwork Properly

Inspect the trailer thoroughly before leaving the rental company/owner’s premises. Make the agent or owner document any damage you notice before leaving.

Also, read the fine print on the contract thoroughly and understand the company’s policies regarding damage or accident.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Horse Trailer?

Here are the factors that influence the cost of renting:

Type and Size

single horse trailer

The cost to rent a horse trailer is about $60 per day for a small trailer to around $150 per day for trailers with living quarters.

Rental costs also depend on the make and model of the trailer.

Your Area

The area where you are renting the horse trailer can also make a huge difference in rental prices. In general, it will be costlier renting one in the big cities and metros than in rural areas.

The Time and Day of Renting

Weekday rentals are often cheaper than weekend ones. Rental rates also depend upon the season. During horse shows and equestrian events, rates tend to increase.

The Duration of Renting

Some companies charge lower rental rates if you rent for a longer duration such as on a weekly or monthly basis. Costs of daily rentals tend to be higher.

Individual Rental Policies

Some dealers charge extra fees for cleaning while others tend to refund these deposits if the trailer is returned in a clean condition.

FAQs

Can you use a horse trailer to haul cows?

You could use a horse trailer for hauling cows but only over a short distance. Cows need a well-ventilated, bright, and open cattle trailer or livestock trailer.
Livestock trailer is different from horse trailers in terms of size and design. Stock trailers have a rear swing gate without a ramp and they also feature a front door for humans to escape.

Do horses need to be tied inside the trailer?

two horses inside a trailer

Yes, tying horses prevents them from getting injured in case of sudden braking. It can also prevent them from turning back, biting, or hurting themselves and other horses. It is especially necessary to tie horses that have never ridden in a trailer before and ones that spook easily.

Conclusion

A horse trailer rental could be a better option over buying as it can help you save money. It is a  great choice for owners who only need to haul their horses once in a while to shows or to the vet.

When searching for a horse trailer rental, do your research well. Find out the kind of trailer you and your horses need. Also, do your homework about the rental dealers in your area.

We hope this guide helps you safely haul your horses in your rental horse trailer.

References

  • 1. Renting A Horse Trailer – What’s It Going To Cost [Internet]. Horse Soup. 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 24]. Available from: https://horsesoup.com/rent-a-horse-trailer-cost/
  • 2. Horse Trailer Cost-A guide with example prices [Internet]. Horse Racing Sense. 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 24]. Available from: https://horseracingsense.com/horse-trailer-cost-prices/#:~:text=The%20costs%20of%20basic%20horse%20trailers%20vary%20greatly.,have%20a%20gooseneck%20hitch%20or%20add%20living%20quarters.
horse on a trailer

Have you tried renting a horse trailer? Please share your experiences with us below!

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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