Ever transport minis in pickup/canopy

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Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2007
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Pacific NW
Was thinking of seeing how the horses load up for short trips such as running a horse or two to the vet, etc.....inside the canopy of the F350. Canopy's inside height is about 48". I'd put down some lighter rubber mats, and tie the horses up short so they couldn't move around in there too much. Or I also thought of building a simple stall frame that confines them and keeps them away from the windows.

Has anyone done this? Did you have any tricks or trouble getting the horses to load? Mine will do just about anything for food, so that would be my first strategy.

The only issue I can see right off the bat is that the tailgate sits waist high on me, and even if I can find a hill to back up to, I think we'd need to figure out some kind of loading ramp, especially for unloading at the other end.

Anyone have any ramp ideas or tips?
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I have hauled several minis in the back of my truck which has a shell on it. I put a rubber mat and sawdust down. they were small enough that we could lift them in and out. there are two windows, one on each side and passing cars would always get a thrill out of seeing them. the shell isn't very tall, so I could not do this with anything over 28".

THe height inside my minivan is 48" and mine ride just fine, my 40" is a bit tal and he has to hold his head down but he doesn't go anywhere much. When I take my driving mare out to the local driving club functions every one has a fit over her in the van. I have a small utility trailer in which the cart etc ride and she's up in the van and happy as can be. If she's hot she sticks her face up in the air condistioner vents. It does get loud when she whinnies in the van though. I have a mat to put down and I only use shavings if we are going on a trip more than an hour.

We have used a canopy on our Ford 1ton to haul minis. We hauled 2 geldings on a full days haul and it was excellent. I loved that all I had to do was turn in my seat to see how they were and they rode like they were in a box stall. They ate, laid down to sleep and groomed each other on the trip. We did customize the windows tho so they were safer. We purchased metal grills to cover them so we can leave them open without fear and get good air flow if it is hot. I would also like to put a vent in the top but it has worked well so far. We have used hills and loading ramps made for cattle since we have yet to come up with an acceptable ramp idea. The truck is quite high and a ramp would either be long or steep. we're still working on it.
Be very cautious of how hot it can get inside those canopies...they can really cook on a warm day. A friend transports this way, but she won't even consider it in warm weather. Also, make certain that tailgate latches securely.

On the other hand, it is vital that anyone who owns a horse have emergency transportation, even if it is less than ideal, and you should do a trial run to make certain it works. We began transporting in our van as an emergency option, then found that it works very well for us.
if you make a faux raised floor you can make a longer ramp that will slide up under the "raised floor" for storage.

I haven't done this yet but i have hauled horses on the back of trucks and in mini vans.
Cool, thanks for all the ideas. Of course I was overthinking this as usual :DOH! and I think the ramp is all I am going to need to add to try this out.

Now you've got me thinking about putting one in my Tahoe if I pull the back seats out. Of course, that's our "nice" car and that's taking a chance that it won't smell too nice even after cleanup. At least then I could make the short trip by myself or with one of the kids riding shotgun to supervise the horse. The big truck is a 6-speed I think, plus a dually, and I need a refresher on driving a stick cause it's been at least 20 years.
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yep the ramp was the hardest thing for me to come up with. You will need rubber matts though no matter what type floor you have because it's going to be slick (i mean wood or metal truck bed). make sure your truck cap is securely attached and as someone else said that your tail gait closes securely. We ended up bringing 4 horses home from PA in the back of a truck when we had major horse trailer issues (litterally the torsion bar on the axle broke and lost a wheel off the horse trailer). It was an emergency pinch but we drove around and found a cheap old truck cap and threw the mini' son the back to get them home. we used the horse trailer ramp ....it was steep but they went right up it. worked well.

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