How tall is a trailer for a 17 hand horse?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How tall is a trailer for a 17 hand horse? We will explain how to measure your horse, how big is really a 17 hand horse. We will also discuss how to choose the best trailer and whether a van would be more appropriate for a 17 hand horse. 

Finally, we will give you some valuable tips for choosing the right size trailer and safely transport your horse(s). 

How tall is a trailer for a 17 hand horse?

A trailer for a 17 hand horse should be at least 7’8″ tall, and 11′ total stall. The law states that a horse trailer must have:

  • A minimum length of 9 ft
  • A width between: 6.5 to 8.8 ft
  • And the height varies between: 6.5 ft and 8 ft depending on the size of your horse and the number of animals that are being transported. 

What size of a horse trailer do I need?

To help you decide which size is best for your horse, we created the below table. 

Size of the horseType of trailerTrailer dimensions
14 to 16-3 handsStandart10’ stalls
7’6’’ tall6’ wide
16-3 to 17-2 handsXL11’ stalls7’8’’ tall6’ wide
18 hands+XXL11’ stalls
7’8’’ tall
6’8’’ wide
19 hands+Custom buildBuild to accommodate the horse(s)

How do I find the weight and height of my horse?

To find the weight and height of your horse, there is a simple rule. The Egyptians created the forms of measurement hundreds of years ago. One of the measures is still used today: the hand. 

Each hand represents 4 inches (10 cm) and is the primary way to measure horses. You can determine the height of a horse by taking measurements and converting the numbers into hands.

Here’s how to find how many hands your horse measures:

  1. Buy a horse measuring stick marked with hand measurements; if you can’t get one, you can also use a regular measuring tape. You can find horse measuring sticks at sequestration supply stores, farm supply stores, and various other online vendors.
  1. Make sure the horse is on a firm, level surface, with the front legs as even as possible.
  1. Place the measuring stick or tape next to the base of one of the front legs and stretch it up to the withers of the horse.
  • The cross of the horse is located above the men, between the neck and the back and is considered the highest point of a horse. The highest point is actually the top of the head, but because horses move their heads up and down frequently, it is difficult to measure this point.
  • Stretch the measuring device to the highest point of the horse’s withers. For a more accurate measurement, stretch the device up to the spiny ridge between the shoulder blades of the horse’s shoulders.
  1. Record the measurement.
  • If you are going to use a stick to measure the horse, then you can record the height in hands. If you are using a tape measure, you should convert the measurement to inches by hands.
  • One hand equals 4 inches (10 cm), so divide the measurement by 4. For example, if a horse is 71 inches, divide 71 by 4. The result is 17 hands with 3 inches to spare. The final height should be expressed like this: 17.3 hands.
  • If the measurement of the height of a horse ends in half hand, express it with “.2”, not with “.5”
  • The average height of a horse is around 16 hands.
  • Using a stick to measure a horse’s height is the easiest, most accurate, and fastest way to do it.
  • Using the hand is the most common way to measure a horse in the United States, Canada, and England, however, in other locations around the world, the metric system is used to measure the horse’s height.
  • A horse that is less than 14.3, measured with hands up, is a pony regardless of breed.

How to choose the right trailer for your horse

When you buy or rent a trailer you must take into account the vehicle that will tow it, which must be stable and powerful. It must also have a number of features to prevent the horse from getting hurt during transport:

  1. It must not have any edges, hooks, screws or other types of protrusions inside.
  2. It must have a sturdy and non-slippery bottom, ideal are trailers with rubber flooring, very easy to clean.
  3. Openings that allow good air circulation.
  4. Fixed grips that allow the horse to move (even if tied) and to which it is possible to tie a net to put the hay.
  5. Easily removable cross beams and internal dividers that block the animal in front of the chest and in the back during the journey.
  6. The access ramp must be coated with non-slip material and the side edges must not be sharp.

Precautions for safe horse transport

During the journey the horse can lose balance, so we must use padded leg bands and a bandage for the tail. But before that, we must remember that a trip in a trailer could be particularly nerve-wracking for our pet, so it is good to take a series of precautions:

Travelling in the cool of summer and in the hottest hours of winter. During transport, the horse should not sweat and drink water at room temperature frequently. A good hearty meal before the trip and some hay in the trailer (in the special network) are excellent for distracting the horse.

Keep the trailer clean of the horse’s physiological needs. 

You need to know the weight of the horse, the weight of the vehicle and the gross weight of the towed load. If it does not exceed 35 q, a B license is sufficient. Otherwise, the driver must have a B-E or C license. Check the approval of your vehicle to see how much weight it can tow. Generally, a medium-sized car can pull at most one trailer with one horse.

Is a van or horse trailer better for a 17 hand horse?

For a 17 hand horse, we prefer the trailer, because the van is a real motorized vehicle, so you have to calculate the costs of the workshop, insurance, tire management etc …

The horse trailer, on the other hand, is a practical and interesting solution, because when you arrive at your destination you can detach it and you have the car at your disposal, it also requires negligible maintenance costs, remaining robust over time.

When transporting the horse it is important to consider what the Highway Code says regarding driving licenses, because for trailers of important weights, the B license may not be enough, that is:

  • If you have a B license you can drive vehicles with trailers with a total mass (weight) therefore the matrix plus the trailer, fully loaded with no more than 35 quintals.
  • The mass of the loaded trailer must not exceed the unladen mass found in the vehicle registration document.
  • If the tractor exceeds 35 quintals, the B E license is required, while if the mass of the tractor or the total mass (matrix + trailer) exceeds 35 quintals, the C license is required.

Final tips 

Before transporting a horse, you should reduce its training and reduce any stress on the animal. It is also best to reduce the amount of concentrated feed consumed per day. In addition, a horse on the road must have a supply of hay; it is also important not to forget to make stops while driving.

Points to consider when transporting horses:

  • first of all, the horse must be taught to get in and out of the vehicle;
  • in extreme cases, sedatives can be used;
  • in no case can you save on transportation;
  • a horse can only be entrusted to a reliable carrier;
  • it is imperative to check the vehicle for transporting the animal.

The driver is primarily responsible for this process. If the transportation is planned for a long distance, then in this case it is necessary to carefully plan the trip. It is best to leave in the evening when there are fewer cars on the roads. In addition, time will need to be planned with a margin, since horses, in addition to rest, need to systematically drink water.

And so, first of all, you need to properly install the trailer. Then check the documents on the horse, its medical record. In order to avoid trouble, it is better to try to make the place of transportation of the animal cozy and create a cozy atmosphere inside.

After that, it is necessary to carefully and according to all the rules prepare the animal for the trip, load it into a trailer and secure this place of stay during the trip.

Please let us know if you have any questions about choosing the right trailer for your horse, the transporting of a horse or how to tow a horse trailer. 

FAQ on How tall is a trailer for a 17 hand horse?

How many horses can fit in a trailer?

Up to six horses can fit in a trailer, depending on the size and model of the trailer. When transporting more than one horse, the minimum height inside the compartments must exceed the height at the withers of the tallest animal by at least 30 inches (almost 75 cm).

What license is needed to drive a horse trailer?

To transport horses in a van you will need special authorization, since the weight that the vehicle pulls increases considerably with the load of the horses. 

What travel equipment do I need to transport a horse?

As for travel equipment, the horse must wear the halter for the duration of the trip. Most experts suggest a leather halter (not nylon or rope). In an emergency, the leather is easy to cut. Depending on the weather during your trip, you may or may not need a blanket. Bumpers and leg guards can be very important. 

How tall is a draft horse trailer?

A draft horse trailer should be at least 8’ tall. A draft horse weighs on average 1,400 to 2,000 lb and has a height of 16 to 19 hands (64 to 76 inches)  As these are heavy horses, you will need a spacious trailer to transport the horse in safety and comfort.


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