The average price for a new horse trailer varies widely. At the low end, you might pay $4,000. That can go all the way up to $50,000 and beyond. That’s for the most common slant load horse trailer with either a gooseneck or bumper pull. They can handle two to four horses.
The obvious way to spend less on a horse trailer is to buy used. A quick internet search will reveal no shortage of available units. Of course, buying used means taking precautions to ensure you are purchasing quality and reliable product. After all, this is for the safety of your horses.
Some top things to consider when buying a used horse trailer:
Don’t forget to make extra sure the seller does not have an outstanding lien on the trailer. If you’re traveling a long distance to see the trailer, request that the seller email you a copy of a clean title before you head out.
Your gut feeling can tell you a lot when you take your first overall look at the trailer. Even before you probe into nitty-gritty details, what does the unit look like in a general sense? Does it look like something the owner took good care of – or maybe they considered it “only a horse trailer?” Listen to your intuition.
Details, Details, Details
If you’re happy with the overall, it’s time to look carefully at things like the condition of the floor, the axels, the tires, the roof, the hinges, and more. For example, if the floor is aluminum, does it have holes or pitting, or significant rusting? If there are mats on the floor, pull them up to look under them. You might want to crawl underneath and have a gander at the cross members while you’re at it.
A lot of this is common sense. The tires, for example. Are they worn and bald? How about the door hinges? Do they move freely, and are they solid? Make a checklist for yourself and patiently tick them off as you examine each feature.
A good thing to look for is a bow in the trailer. Look down the side of the unit to see if you can detect a bowing effect. If it’s not clean and straight, the trailer was probably involved in a wreck.
Finally, you might want to take the horse trailer for a test drive. Does it ride behind smoothly, or does it seem to pull to the side or show some other problem? You test-drive a car, so you should also test-drive a horse trailer before purchasing.