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How Big Is Big Enough?

In today's market there is no question that there are several decisions to be made when it comes to buying a trailer. And since "we" know our horses best, who better to make those decisions than "us", right?  We'd like to think so, but how well do we really know our horses?  Can you answer these simple questions immediately? How tall is your horse? What size is your horse's blanket?    You probably got those two pretty quickly, now try these. How long is he from his chest to his nose when at rest?  How wide is your horse (not girth size)? Did you get those? Tell the truth, no guessing or estimating allowed.
The point of these questions is that most of us really do not know how big our horses actually are.  Even though blanket size may give us an idea of the length of our horse and the stall size he may require, blankets are measured differently than horse trailer stalls.  We challenge that if a horse wears an 84" blanket and it fits properly he does not need an 84" trailer stall, in fact we'd bet that a 72-74 inch (actual measurement) stall is more than adequate. 
So you're saying what is the point of all of this?  If you are about to buy a trailer maybe you should be armed with this information before you set out. It just might help take the guess work out of the question, "Will he fit?"
Disclaimer:  You know your horse better than we do, and some horses may not tolerate the taking of such measurements.  In all cases common & horse sense must prevail, nothing is worth getting injured over. Also this is just a guideline, since we cannot control the actual conditions of the measurement taking methods   we cannot guarantee the results.
Taking Measurements. The simplest way we could think of is to use a wall in the horses stall or along a fence, to emulate a trailer wall, and a piece of chalk.
Body Length: Place your horse against a fence or wall in his stall, place his hind quarters against the adjoining wall or if using a fence maybe line his hind quarters up with a fence post, we are trying to emulate the position of a butt bar.  Place a chalk mark in front of his chest, move your horse away then measure.
Neck Length:  Place a chalk mark in front of his chest on the fence or wall, and try to get your horse to relax and place one in front of his nose
, again move your horse away and measure.
Width: Place your horse against the wall/fence as before take a string with a weight on it, even if its just a small rock, go to the widest part of your horse let it hang down right above the ground until it stops swinging then set it on the ground, like a plumb-bob.  Move your horse away, careful no to step on the stone or rock,  and measure the distance from the wall to the rock.

Happy Trailering... See you Next Month. (Or whenever we feel like something needs to be said.)

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If you have any comments, suggestions or topics for a "Trailering 101" article we'd be happy to take them.  Trailering education is our goal.

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