There are thousands of miles of trails, horse clubs, rodeos and events across the country for you and your horse to enjoy. If you don’t want to limit yourself to riding solely in your backyard, then at some point you will have to buy a horse trailer to transport your horse.
As exciting as shopping for a new horse trailer is, new horse owners seldom know how much a fully outfitted horse trailer actually costs. Let alone, the numerous options to choose from. Hitch style, capacity, material, accessories and new vs. used all contribute to a high price tag. So, how much does a horse trailer cost?
On average, a new bumper pull horse trailer will cost between $15,000 and $30,000. Gooseneck hitch styles and living quarters raise the price up to $150,000. Greater hauling capacity also increases the price. Additional expenses like insurance, licensing and maintenance also add up to $50-$100 a month for the life of the trailer. A used trailer costs considerably less.
But don’t let the price tag of a new horse trailer discourage you! Remember, you can get as practical or fancy as you want. And you don’t even have to buy new. Used trailers are just as plentiful and usually cost at least half as much as a new one.
I will spend the rest of this article going over the true cost of owning a horse trailer so you can determine the best trailer for your budget.
A horse trailer for every budget
There are so many options when it comes to horse trailers. I guarantee there is one that will suit your needs. It mostly comes down to how many horses you need to haul and how much you are willing to spend.
Let’s take a look at the most common horse trailer configurations and go over what you can expect to pay for those features. In each section, I’ve compiled several lists of the current pricing for each type of horse trailer. There are over 100 manufacturers so I’ve focused on the most popular brands to give you an idea of what new trailers costs.
Gooseneck or 5th wheel
Gooseneck horse trailers extend over a pickup truck tailgate and attach to a ball hitch that is imbedded in the bed of the truck. These horse trailers are some of the most expensive money can buy. Especially, if the front portion of the trailer is setup with living quarters. Expect to shell out some serious cash in the $60,000 – $150,000 range for a brand new one.
Luxury living accommodations including a bathroom, kitchen, sitting area, and bed with heating and air conditioning increases the price significantly.
If you anticipate staying several days at a horse event or like the idea of an overnight camping trip with your horse, then these trailers will save you the headache of finding lodging and may be worth it. All you have to do is worry about where you can park the trailer.
Price for 15 Gooseneck Trailers with Living Quarters (NEW)
|2 Horse Logan Coach (2022)||$148,382||Slant|
|3 Horse Sundowner (2020)||$109,997||Slant|
|4 Horse Bison (2021)||$47,564||Slant|
|4 Horse Cimarron (2021)||$92,720||Slant|
|4 Horse Logan Coach (2022)||$148,382||Slant|
|2 Horse Double D (2021)||$58,637||Slant|
|3-6 Horse Double D (2021)||$88,787||Slant|
|2 Horse Exiss (2021)||$49,350||Slant|
|3 Horse Merhow (2021)||$63,850||Slant|
|4 Horse Lakota (2022)||$112,599||Slant|
|4 Horse Lakota (2021)||$94,295||Slant|
|5 Horse Twister (2021)||$136,950||Slant|
|4 Horse Bison (2021)||$72,500||Slant|
|4 Horse Twister (2022)||$104,950||Slant|
|4 Horse SMC (2021)||$61,119||Slant|
If the front section of a gooseneck trailer is open space or has a basic tack room, the price will be significantly less. Take a look at the following chart to see what I mean. New gooseneck trailers without living quarters typically cost $20,000 – $80,000.
Price for 15 Gooseneck Trailers without Living Quarters (NEW)
|3 Horse Sundowner (2020)||$29,997||Slant|
|3 Horse Logan Coach (2022)||$20,997||Slant|
|3 Horse Sundowner (2022)||$28,417||Slant|
|2 Horse Logan Coach (2021)||$33,261||Straight|
|6 Horse Logan Coach (2021)||$86,852||Slant|
|6 Horse Cimarron (2021)||$86,504||Slant|
|4 Horse Cimarron (2022)||$69,149||Slant|
|6 Horse Sundowner (2022)||$55,685||Slant|
|3 Horse Logan Coach (2021)||$50,300||Slant|
|3 Horse Cimarron (2021)||$47,793||Slant|
|4 Horse Logan Coach (2022)||$28,256||Slant|
|2 Horse Double D (2021)||$27,611||Slant|
|3 Horse Double D (2021)||$31,135||Slant|
|4 Horse Double D (2021)||$36,953||Slant|
|2 Horse Double D (2021)||$24,664||Straight|
|2+1 Double D (2021)||$38,672||Straight|
Gooseneck trailer capacities come in 2 horse all the way up to 12 horses. If you are an average horse owner, you will most likely only need a 2, 3 or 4 horse size trailer. However, there are options available if you do have more horses that you need to haul at the same time.
Gooseneck trailers are more stable than bumper pull trailers, especially when it comes to hauling heavier loads or more horses. The weight of a gooseneck trailer is distributed over the axle of the tow vehicle. Whereas, bumper pulls place all the weight on hitch at the back of the vehicle. Because of hitch placement, goosenecks also sway less at faster speeds and can turn tighter corners.
Bumper pull horse trailers are the most common and don’t require a pickup truck to pull. Any properly sized vehicle with the correct towing capacity and hitch on the back bumper can pull these trailers. Consider these hitch style trailers when when you don’t want to buy a new pickup just to pull it.
Just like with gooseneck trailers, bumper pull trailers come in multiple sizes. You can get a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 horse trailer with a bumper pull style hitch. Six horses is the maximum size and is an extremely heavy load when full. You should consider heavy duty towing packages and dually pickup trucks when hauling 5 or 6 horses in a bumper pull trailer.
Bumper pull trailers are usually shorter than their counterpart gooseneck trailers. However, most still have tack storage in the front portion of the trailer.
Generally speaking, bumper pull trailers are going to cost less than gooseneck trailers because their hitch configuration is simpler to manufacturer and there are no living quarters. You can buy new bumper pull horse trailers on average for $10,000 – $32,000. Of course, there is always the exception that pushes the price significantly higher or lower than the average.
Price for 15 Bumper Pull Trailers (NEW)
|2 Horse Double D (2021)||$19,076||Straight|
|3 Horse Sundowner (2022)||$31,312||Slant|
|3 Horse Logan Coach (2021)||$31,858||Slant|
|2 Horse Logan Coach (2021)||$28,596||Slant|
|1 Horse Double D (2021)||$21,187||Slant|
|2 Horse Double D (2021)||$23,229||Slant|
|3 Horse Double D (2021)||$27,907||Slant|
|3 Horse Titan (2020)||$8,130||Slant|
|2 Horse Shadow (2020)||$11,950||Slant|
|3 Horse Sundowner (2022)||$27,141||Slant|
|2 Horse Trails West (2021)||$14,940||Slant|
|4 Horse Logan Coach (2021)||$60,823||Slant|
|4 Horse Sundowner (2021)||$52,265||Slant|
|3 Horse Shadow (2020)||$14,450||Slant|
|2 Horse Circle D (2020)||$8,995||Slant|
After you decide on how many horses you want to haul and which hitch type the trailer should be, it’s time to look at how your horse loads and rides in the trailer. There are four setups: slant load, straight load, head to head (or center load) and reverse load.
Let’s talk briefly about each to help you decide which style is best for you. Again, the more features and accessories included, like multiple doors and ramps, the more you will pay. Branding popularity and trust also drives higher prices.
Slant load trailers are more named for the way a horse rides in the trailer than how they enter. You approach and load most slant load trailers straight on through the wide open back door. Once inside, you tie your horse’s head to the left (driver’s) side of the trailer. Most trailers have dividers that close between each horse. Some horses ride better without the dividers. Either way, your horses will naturally stand at about a 45 degree slant as the trailer goes down the road since their heads are tied to the side wall.
Most of these trailers are quite spacious and allow plenty of room for a horse to back out or turn around and walk out frontward. However, others have the tack room built into the back and require your horse to load through a smaller entry like a straight load trailer.
You can haul more horses with a gooseneck (2-12) than a bumper pull (2-6) in a slant load style due to weight and towing restrictions.
Look for a single back door that hinges on one side and locks on the other. If 2 doors make up the back, make sure they secure to the trailer frame without the need of a center bar. Decrease loading issues by giving your horse a wide open entry point without a center bar in the way.
Straight load trailers are exactly as they sound. Your horse walks straight into the back of the trailer and remains parallel to the trailer while inside. There is a middle divider that separates the horses and a butt bar to keep them from backing out.
Straight load trailers come in 1, 2 and 4 horse options regardless of hitch type. The 4 horse straight load will be discussed in the next section.
Many straight load trailers only have one rear loading door and ramp. Your horse will have to back out the same way he came in. Some models have a side door and ramp in front of the horses so you can lead them out going forward instead of having them back out.
Please note that these trailers work best for smaller horses. Also, if your horse has any issues with loading into tight spaces this is not the trailer for you. The center divider utilizes a pole in the center of the loading door and requires your horse to squeeze into one side.
My large quarter horse refused to load into a 2 horse straight load trailer until I removed the center divider and made it a roomy, one horse trailer. He still had to squeeze past the door pole but tolerated it since he had more room inside.
If you have to make this adjustment for your horse, make sure to always tie his head on the driver’s side of the trailer. This essentially turns a straight load trailer into a slant load because your horse will naturally shift their body to stand at an angle when given the space.
Head to head or Center load
A 4 horse straight load trailer is known as a head to head or center load configuration. The front two horses face backwards and the two horses in the rear face forward. The pairs look at each other with an aisle between.
To load this type of trailer, the front horses are led through a side door and then backed into their spaces. The rear horses walk straight in through the back door. All four horses can exit the trailer head first through the side door. Keep in mind that the extra maneuvering can be an issue with finicky loaders.
This configuration was designed to create more trailer space for larger breeds. It also allows you to load/unload each horse individually. Each animal is contained in its own stall and cannot get out while you are working with the others. However, most head to head trailers do not have head dividers and only simple chest and butts bars. Any behavioral issues that arise between horses can quickly lead to dangerous situations if biting and kicking gets out of hand.
These are the least popular style of horse trailers and the last type you should consider.
The reverse load is a relatively new design which combines the separate access of a head to head trailer with the ride of a slant load. You can load and unload each horse individually. They can enter and exit from either the back or side door. And unique to these Double D Trailers, your horse can stand in a backward or forward slant position.
Research shows that horses stress less and can balance better in a moving trailer when standing backwards. If given free rein inside a trailer, you will likely find your horse facing this way once you go to unload him.
These unique trailers give you more options for hauling your horse but a new, 2 horse, gooseneck, Double D Trailer will cost you a pretty penny at $27,000 while the 4 horse option is $37,000. You might get lucky and find a good quality used one for cheaper.
What about stock trailers
Horse trailers are fancy and provide all the bells and whistles when it comes to hauling your spoiled equine. However, horses can ride just fine in stock trailers and since they contain no fancy accessories, the same size trailer will be thousands of dollars less.
Stock trailers have a single loading door on the back and you load your horse just like you would a slant load trailer. Sometimes there is a divider gate that cuts the stock trailer directly in half but usually it is completely open. You can tie your horse at a forward or backward slant. Pick whichever is most comfortable for them.
Stock trailers have permanently open side windows and some have tack storage at the front of the trailer while others do not. You can find these in both gooseneck and bumper pull hitches plus 2 to 12 horse capacities.
Stock trailers are a great option based on price alone but if you ever need to haul cattle or other live stock, you will have the perfect trailer to do so. You can expect new stock trailers to range in price from $10,000 – $30,000. Used stock trailers drop the price range down to $5,000 – $15,000.
Other costs to consider
There are other costs to consider besides the purchase price of the horse trailer. Let’s quickly go over what those are so they don’t catch you off guard.
- Trailer Registration – Depending on where you live, you may or may not have to register your horse trailer. Some states don’t require you to register trailers if they weigh below a certain cutoff and you don’t take them out of the state. Other states require registration which comes with a fee. Expect to pay a one time fee between $50-$200.
- License Tabs – Again, each state has specific license tab rules for horse trailers. Some collect fees for a life time plate while other states require yearly tabs. Plan to pay $10 – $80 annually. Check your local department of licensing for specifics.
- Insurance – Do not assume that your auto insurance covers horse trailers. Insurance on towing vehicles does extend to the trailer you are towing but usually in the form of liability only. That means it will pay for damage done to other people but it will not cover your trailer itself. To protect your trailer, comprehensive and collision coverage can be added to most policies for a relatively low cost. On average, horse owners pay $350 a year or $29 a month for that coverage.
- The contents inside your horse trailer, like your tack and gear, is most likely protected through your homeowner’s insurance. Make sure to clarify with your agent to be sure.
- Equine insurance is also available which covers your horse. If you are traveling frequently and for long distances or have an extremely valuable horse, equine insurance might be worth looking into.
- Maintenance – Horse trailers require maintenance in the form of new tires, bearings, and other parts that might wear out and need replacing. Budget for a flat tire and always carry a spare!
- Vehicle maintenance – It goes without saying that you first have to own a vehicle capable of towing a horse trailer. Pulling a heavy trailer is also going to put normal wear and tear on your vehicle. Budget for routine maintenance and extra gas. You don’t want your truck dying on the side of the road with your horse in the trailer. That makes for an extremely stressful and dangerous situation.
Finding the best deal on a horse trailer
New vs. Used
It is sure nice to buy a brand new horse trailer. There are no scuff marks, dents, manure stains or weird smells. You get to be the first to use and abuse it. However, buying a used horse trailer will save you thousands of dollars and your horse won’t care either way.
As long as the trailer is structurally sound and safe, cosmetic issues can be overlooked when the price is right. You can find new and used horse trailers online through Craigslist and other classifieds designed specifically for horse trailer sales. There is likely a local trailer lot where you can peruse horse trailers in person as well.
Make sure to do a thorough inspection when buying used. Check in and under the trailer for rotten flooring, a rusty undercarriage, water stains, and anything that looks like it hasn’t been taken care of. You will be pulling your horse down the road at high speeds in this trailer. Make sure it is a good one.
You can find good quality used gooseneck horse trailers with nice living quarters for at least 50% off. The older the model, the lower the asking price should be as well.
Price for 15 Gooseneck Trailers with Living Quarters (USED)
|2 Horse 4Star (1993)||$16,995||Straight|
|3 Horse Sundowner (2018)||$119,995||Slant|
|4 Horse Dream Coach (2004)||$19,995||Slant|
|4 Horse American Spirit (2005)||$29,995||Slant|
|3 Horse Blue Ribbon (2013)||$69,995||Slant|
|3 Horse Elite (2020)||$78,996||Slant|
|4 Horse Shadow (2020)||$69,995||Slant|
|4 Horse Silverlite (2007)||$65,000||Slant|
|3 Horse Sundowner (2015)||$29,500||Slant|
|2 Horse Silverlite (2008)||$34,500||Slant|
|3 Horse Bison (2014)||$21,995||Slant|
|4 Horse Featherlite (2007)||$35,500||Slant|
|3 Horse C and C (2005)||$37,500||Slant|
|3 Horse Dream Coach (2004)||$48,995||Slant|
|4 Horse Lakota (2017)||$63,995||Slant|
Used gooseneck horse trailers without living quarters consistently go for $8,000 – $30,000. Again, the quality, brand and year contribute to the asking price.
Price for 15 Gooseneck Trailers without Living Quarters (USED)
|2 Horse Prolite (1992)||$7,495||Straight|
|2 Horse Sundowner (2013)||$19,995||Straight|
|3 Horse Logan Coach (2020)||$35,995||Slant|
|6 Horse Merhow (1997)||$13,995||Slant|
|3 Horse Adam (2004)||$13,495||Slant|
|2 Horse Merhow (2001)||$8,995||Slant|
|2 Horse 4 Star (2015)||$32,000||Slant|
|4 Horse Logan Coach (1998)||$7,900||Slant|
|2 Horse Circle J (2003)||$9,800||Slant|
|4 Horse Kiefer Built (2007)||$19,500||Slant|
|3 Horse Exiss (2001)||$16,500||Slant|
|4 Horse Sundowner (2017)||$25,900||Slant|
|3 Horse S and H (2000)||$7,495||Slant|
|3 Horse Circle J (2009)||$8,999||Slant|
|6 Horse Featherlite (2005)||$19,900||Slant|
On average, you can expect to pay less than $15,000 for a good quality, used bumper pull 2 horse trailer. Dip back into the 1990s and those trailers will cost you even less. You can find great deals on perfectly good trailers if you are patient. Sometimes people just need to get rid of one and will sell it for really cheap. Don’t be afraid to haggle!
Price for 15 Bumper Pull Trailers (USED)
|2 Horse Featherlite (2000)||$15,500||Straight|
|2 Horse Featherlite (1999)||$9,000||Straight|
|2 Horse CM (2001)||$5,495||Straight|
|2 Horse Shadow (2019)||$14,000||Straight|
|2 Horse Eclipse (2012)||$19,999||Straight|
|2 Horse Adam (2014)||$13,500||Straight|
|2 Horse Sundowner (2020)||$15,995||Slant|
|2 Horse Featherlite (2019)||$14,300||Slant|
|2 Horse Sooner (1995)||$6,995||Slant|
|4 Horse Liberty Softtouch (1997)||$14,000||Slant|
|2 Horse R & A Custom (2001)||$10,900||Slant|
|3 Horse Trails West (2014)||$12,995||Slant|
|3 Horse Sundowner (2003)||$13,995||Slant|
|2 Horse Shadow (2019)||$14,000||Slant|
|2 Horse Circle D (2018)||$8,000||Slant|
Why are horse trailers so expensive
Horse trailers are expensive because they have so many accessories built in. They are not built as a simple frame like stock trailers. Horse trailers can have multiple doors, several ramps, rubber flooring, padded walls, dividers, closable windows, air vents, lighting, tack rooms, saddle racks, gear hooks, and hay storage. Throw in human living quarters and you have a very fancy, and very expensive, horse hauling setup. The more amenities a trailer has and the newer it is, the more it will cost you.
A horse trailer lets you take your horse to new places and provides quick transportation if your horse needs immediate veterinary or farrier work done.
Whether you buy new or used, make sure to get a quality trailer that you can safely pull with your vehicle and has adequate space for your tack and gear. And most importantly, make sure you feel 100% comfortable loading and unloading your horse in it. Take your time going over all the features and space restrictions and don’t settle.
If you are having trouble loading your horse into any trailer in general, make sure to read my recent article on trailer loading tips for stubborn horses. I share all my essential secrets that safely fix loading issues so you won’t dread driving your horse around in a new horse trailer!