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Review - Horse Trailers - 2005 Classic Westerner Deluxe
History and experience with horse trailers:
  • 1989 - started out using at 1970s 2 horse straight load. hauled it with an old F150 pickup. The setup worked just dandy, but the trailer was pretty rickety. I would never use it today.
  • Progressed on to using a late 1980s Logan Coach slant load. Dark green in color. This trailer was a big improvement, but it was dark and hot inside. The manger windows were small, could not let the horse put its head out for fear of it bonking its head. My mom sold that trailer, but I kind o think she should have kept it.
  • Mom bought another slant, this time much newer, white with the cattle slits on the sides. Very small for two horses, but fine for hauling one around. She found this trailer to be small for her large Tennessee Walker
  • Mom's latest trailer is a Thuro Built GT+. This trailer has drop down doors, plus the steel bars on the windows which are nice.. Kind of rinky dink divider(no padding), but it latches easily. No side wall guard on the tack side, but black matting front and back. The Tack room is not sealed, with a hard to manage door handle. The paint is chipping away after 4 years so it is developing little rust spots.
The Trailer purchase

This year after using all the above trailers it was finally my turn to make a purchase. Here's how it progressed. I had 5k to spend. I Looked at what I could get used for that price. It seemed they were very rare.

My requirements were: <2500 lbs, Swing out saddle rack(I have bad arthritis in my back and lifting the saddle in and out of the tack room kills me). Those seem easy right? NOT. My mom recommended shooting for aluminum since she is fighting rust problems with her trailer. I do not have any covered parking for mine. So add to that list Aluminum and my options plummeted.

I settled on 2 brands, Circle J or Classic. They each have an aluminum single wall trailer with similar options. Classic was much wider and had a beefier look to it. The divider was easy to manage(I didn't like the Circle J divider as much), the hooks in the tack were heavy duty welded round hooks.

I worked with Luft Trailers. They were very pleasant to negotiate with, and since I am a negotiator that was a plus. The one thing I read on the trailer forums was folks asking if you can negotiate the price of a new trailer. I can give an affirmative on that. Just make sure you have your research well documented when you go in to negotiate a price. The trailer didn't get delivered by my first horse show, it was two weeks late, but I had my mom's to fall back on so I was fine with that. I suppose had I been depending on it, I would have to ding Classic and Luft for not delivering on time. I did make it clear that I had a back up trailer to use and that delivery date was not an issue with me.

I got it in April and have used it many times. I have only two complaints. First, The wonderful wide sealed tack door does not stay open with the rubber stopper it comes with. If there is a heavy wind it will keep closing. I am working on a solution to that. And second, The drop down doors are small, so I cannot let Sweetie hang her head out. But I can drop the doors and keep the bars up for her to get some fresh air. I love the double doors in the back, the roof vents are handy. I got a camper vent in the tack room and it is so worth it when I am dressing in 90 degree weather.

The trailer pulls great behind my Truck (I have a 1/2 ton Dodge Ram) and the Motorhome(2000 Gulfstream Cavalier). The weight limitation of <2500 lbs came from the Motorhome which has a towing capacity of 3500 lbs. The trailer is only 2000 lbs which allows plenty of room for gear and feed for a 4 or 5 day horse show.

Dimension comparison:
7' Height and 6'11" Width - Classic versus 7'3" tall and 6'6" wide for the Lightning

Trailer Loading Hints - After acquiring the trailer, I learned that Sweetie was a pokey (slow) loader, here is how I fixed that problem.

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