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How much room does a mini need in a trailer? Trying to prevent "turnaround".

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Cupcake

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I just bought a 2 H bumper pull slant load with a tack room up front and a solid divider wall between tack area and back. It's brand new and I got it with the intent to load my mini in the tack area - keep reading before you throw your hands up in shock. I'm aware that most people would say this is not the safest option but as we all know many minis get transported in SUV's (mine did) and mini vans. I will make this way of travelling as safe as possible for her. My best option was this trailer as my big horse is very big, needed 7' in height at least and will require all the back space normally intended for 2 horses. Since one can't do without the other I needed a way to transport them both. So I am getting a custom jail bar steel window done with small spacing (safe for the mini) and will have it installed in the divider wall so they can both see each other and she can get more airflow. There is also a slider window in the tack room door and a solid window in the front so plenty of light.

Since there's a spare tire on the bottom inside the tack area as well as a bar with saddle racks (saddle holders can be removed but bar cannot), I had to come up with a solution to make it safe for her while keeping the tire in and accessible. Also the step up to the tack room is a bit too high. So I got a bunch of material today, built a custom ramp with a rubber mat and built a "box/wall" to attach where she's now got her own area to stand at the same angle as my big one(slant). I also got a stall guard to put inside the door opening to prevent her from unloading herself before I'm ready as i don't plan on tying her for safety reasons. We practiced the ramp in my arena first and then loaded which was a cakewalk. She backs off it like a pro, nice and slow and on command.

Now my question is - How much room would she need (31" tall) from one side to the other? I'm afraid the room she has now (I'm not done converting and can still make changes) would not allow her to turn around (which I'm trying to prevent) but would give her too much room to not at least try to if you know what I mean? Should I make the space tighter to make sure she wouldn't try to turn around and if so what width would you recommend? Does anyone have a mini trailer and what are your dimensions for the space of each horse? Any input is appreciated!
 

Rhondaalaska

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My husband just made me my trailer.

I have 23 inches for my 36 inch mare.

And she has several inches on each side so she doesn't feel confined.

We measured my mare at her widest point then gave a few inches.

It didn't seem big enough untill I got her in to it.

My mare is one who will turn around if she can.
 

Cupcake

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Because the space is too small for her to freely turn around unless I take the tire out - but then there would be a horizontal metal bar sticking out that holds the tire normally. I don't want her to get thrown around in the trailer and would rather have her stand at an angle like a big horse in a slant, I think that's safer than having her get thrown against the front wall if she was "head forward" if you know what I mean? I'm trying to think through all the possibilities of what could and might happen and how to prevent it as we all know horses get into the weirdest of troubles... I'm still having nightmares of seeing her after she ran full speed into the shovel last year.

I think right now I have a 36" space and I figured that as too much - 23"? Wow! Looks like I need to make some modifications tomorrow lol!
 

Rhondaalaska

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My husband made my trailer a slant load. It works well.

Measure you may need less room depending on how big your girl is.
 

Cupcake

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So I measured here and at her widest point - the belly of course
- she's 16" and I was thinking no more than 23" width then? Seems awfully small but I think anything wider and shell try to turn. Does anyone have an actual mini trailer and could give me those measurements for the width?
 

Minimor

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I can tell you that a 36" mini can turn around in a 30" stall--I've had them do it. Can't say how much smaller they could have got turned around in.
 

Rhondaalaska

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I would go with 20 or 21 inches diva is 18 inches wide. You only want 4 or 5 inches extra.

Diva can turn her head but not turn around. I also tie her because she rears up an the tie keeps her from rearing to much.

So far she hasn't with the new trailer. I will try to post pics.
 

Rhondaalaska

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here are some pictures of the inside of the trailer my husband built for me

IMG_0278.JPG

the gate open up compleatly so i can load and un load easily or haul hay in the trailer when i need to

IMG_0280.JPG

the gate is closed in this picture

IMG_0279.JPG

here is a closer look at the trailer with the gate closed
 

Cupcake

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Ok now I'm really confused, talked this over with my trainer she would prefer her being able to turn around but would also be for tying her up. Not sure what to do now. Should I leave the 36" width and leave her untied? Or tie her high and short since she does tend to rear (not when tied but when "playing" with people (a whole different topic lol). I can't make the space wider than 36" but I can make it as tight as I want. I believe the wider space would give her less anxiety but how do you all feel about tying while trailering?

I will post pics later of what the space will look like. Need to finish this ASAP so any advice is appreciated.
 

Cupcake

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Here's the temporary "after"



The boards are 4' high. Hay bag will be hung on the saddle rack behind the front wall and there will be a jail bar steel window (custom made with small spacing) installed in the divider wall to the left at a lower height that will allow the horses to see each other.

The tack room door has a sliding window and I will add a stall guard to prevent her from rushing out when opening the door.
 

Carolyn R

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Is it possible to just make a wall where the spare tire is? Then you could leave the rest as a small stall for her and allow her to be untied. If You build a stall, that is built to her size, then tie her, short and with a mini strength break away halter, at a normal mini head height without a lot of slack. Typically a horse will concentrate on finding its happy place as you begin to move. If it is a lager space, let her loose, being able to lower their heads is a good thing on long trips.
 

Minimor

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With the walls going right to the floor I would not make the stall any narrower--a horse likes to have some leg room to brace itself. Put her in a narrower stall with walls to the floor and she will scrable and 'climb the wall' any time she feels off balance.
 

Rhondaalaska

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I had the same question at first. To tie or not tie. A lot of people said not to tie, then others said to tie.

For me I tie because my girl will rear if not tied so this keeps that from happening because I have the tie low enough and short enough

That she can touch the floor with her nose but nor rear completely . Others have said that horses have been hurt when left untied so I guess it is what you think is safer for your girl. I didnt want my girl to have so much room because when she did in the old trailer I would ride in there with her and would see how hard it was for her to brace her self with so much room. So we built the new trailer with how she liked to stand in the old trailer in mind. She liked sideways. Now she can brace against the sides of her stall and the back.

We gave her plenty of room and so far she likes it. She hasn't reared in the new trailer yet. Fingers crossed. We are still training.

I think it is realy your and your horses preference. If your girl can not turn safely in the trailer than I would make it smaller so she wouldn't try. We put a low window in for my girl and she can see the sky out the back so she doesn't feel as confined. She did not like front loading. But slant loading works fine for her. She is learning to load on a command .

I hope you find a way that will work for you.

Good luck and keep us posted on how you are doing.
 
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Rhondaalaska

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I would tie her, I saw your pics, I agree with Carolyn about the full walls. It was one of the things we changed on my trailer.

With how you have her set up tie her , can she brace against the walls with out turning around.
 

Cupcake

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Thank you! I had to make a wall in the front (it's only a few inches from the trailer wall) because of the bar from the saddle rack. There are sharp edges that the saddle holders get hooked into that I wanted covered and the bar is a couple of inches from the trailer wall - didn't want her to get her hoof stuck in between. I feel like I'm trying to childproof a house lol!

I think I will load her in there today, put her hay bag in and tie her up and see what she does. Of course I won't really know until the window is in, both are loaded and we're on the road. And even then - who knows...

The first trip will be in 2 weeks - equine dentist appointment about 30 min drive from my house.

When she was a yearling we put her in the trunk space of the SUV, with my son holding the lead rope from the backseat and she did great. But she's more grown, confident (=full of herself) and if she's in there without people by her side I can't predict how she will act. My no. 1 concern was and is safety. No.2 is for the two lovers (they're inseparable) to see each other. Hopefully it'll all work out as planned, I can always make modifications if needed.
 

MindyLee

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I have a 4x6 mini trailer. I can cram a 36" gelding and he can turn around in it just fine. I dont tie as its a small area and just leave any horse loose in it and they always do fine.

Here it its!

LOL

and thats my barn kitty, modeling it for everyone!

ttttt.JPG
 

HGFarm

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One easy way to prevent them from turning around is to tie them. I had a friend with a full sized horse in a slim one horse trailer.... the horse was not tied. It was able to turn around in there (this was a pretty heft QH, so dont ask me how) and jumped out the back- through the small area of space above the door- right onto the freeway. So if they are determined to turn around, they will. I dont see what it will hurt if she is enclosed in the tack room part, to turn around.

I have ALWAYS tied my horses while trailering for 40 years now and will never change my opinion on that.
 

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