Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Trailers! (Round 2) (and more video)

As I continue to stretch my (still) sore muscles (seriously), it's time to move on to more entertaining topics, such as TRAILERS.

As you may (or may not) remember, I had a rather impulsive purchase of our current trailer a couple years ago which ended up serving us well.
 It's a great little Silver-Lite Freedom, 3 horse slant, all aluminum, 7' high, 7' wide, blah blah blah.  P is a bit squished in (ergo she earned the right to take up two of the slots), but she could squish if necessary, and it was easy to haul a second horse.

Enter Prairie - while not "stocky" she is rather "long lined" (read: MASSIVE).  She fills out an 84" blanket without trying and her giraffe/llama/loch ness monster neck means that there's no way I'm shoving her into a 7' wide slant unless she also gets two spots.

This is where good 'ol arithmetic never fails:

2 spots + 2 spots = 4 spots needed for mares and only 3 available.

Frankly, this is more of an excuse to go trailer shopping than I've ever had, so I'm TAKING IT.  I'm taking it all the way to the dealerships and I'm bringing my checkbook with me!

While the boy is ooh-ing and aaah-ing over having a big fancy gooseneck with living quarters, I think it might be prudent to find a good bumperpull that's our little daily driver if you will, while we keep an eye out for the perfect used option for the "big beast."

The Boy has found his "dream rig" and let me assure you, it is - in fact just that.  a total dream.  Unless he wins the lotto, I don't think he'll ever have the pleasure of hauling my mares down the road in this much style.  But it is drool worthy (until I consider the diesel bill to haul such a thing..).
Meet Featherlite's "Country Estate Villa."  It's a 53' three horse slant.  Yes, you read that correctly, this thing only hauls 3 horses.  BUT it does it with a full basement, several tack compartments, and potentially more square footage of living quarters than my house.

The horse had everything you'd expect, drop downs, pads, good matting...

But more importantly, the living quarters have more than everything I would expect...

Hello living room... with fireplace.  Naturally
And the Bedroom
Complete with home office?
and the bathroom... (because I really like lovely bathrooms)

This thing also has a full "storage basement" under the horses, and just about every other actual feature that would be useful (not that a fireplace isn't...)

If you feel like oogling the rest of the pics and specs, I highly suggest that you do at Featherlite's full page.  There is also a "ranch" version that hauls more horses and has a "simple" bunk room up front that makes more sense to me from a sales perspective.  However, the notion of the Country Estate Villa is just dreamy.

We thought about the CEV, but ultimately I think a two horse straight load is more our style..

And right now we're considering two primary models.

Sundowner's Charter SE and The Exiss 720 ST

Both have nearly identical stats in terms of size (and a 7'6" height), both have two escape doors in the manger area, and a full sized dressing room up front.  The differences are really in the styling and details.

The Sundowner:

And the Exiss
The boy likes the simplicity of the Exiss (and their additional LED running lights on the fenders) and I tend toward the Sundowner.  Just cause I really like Sundowners.

Thoughts? There are some really good deals on 2012 models of both of these near me right now, although I would LOVE to find a used 2005 version somewhere.  Realistically, selling my current trailer means I have a bit of cash to play with for our upgrade, but I'd still like to find the best deal possible.

I was thinking I'd have more time to expound on my current musings back and forth between the two, but now I'm late to a meeting, so I'll leave that for another day.

What say you readers? thoughts? opinions? love? hate? Think I should just sell the house and go for the Country Estate Villa? (I kinda do..)

Also, For those who never saw the sale video.. this is how Prairie is supposed to move when I'm not clenching/clamping/shutting her down completely.  (oops).  You'll notice her withers are elevated and she's much, much more fluid.  Even though this is a 3 month old video now and she's much, much stronger now, she still looks much more balanced and relaxed in this clip.  (the biggest change has been that her canter has strengthened and she jumps 'through' more these days...).  Enjoy!


  1. I just don't like how the Exiss trailers look. They're probably fine, but they look like you would keep motorcycles or lawnmowers or other gas-run machines in them, not horses.

    Plus, the Sundowner is totally my dream trailer.

  2. I looked an an Exiss when I was trailer shopping. I did like them, although they do look a little different. To me, the inside of most decent horse trailers look the same to me (for two horse straight loads anyway). I never got to look at any Sundowners up close (ended up buying an Adams trailer), but I have heard good things. One thing I will suggest to you - if you have the option, get a rumber floor. you will NOT regret it.

    1. I've heard really good things about the rubber floors... But they are sort of hard to find!

  3. I am not an Exiss fan however I like the V-nose better and the LED's on the fenders are fantastic (speaking from experience, my Lakota has them and they rock). However it looks like there are LED's on the bottom of the Sundowner's fender, no? Ah, jealousy from afar.

  4. That trot is to DIE for. So expressive!
    Good choice on a straight load, although I've never heard of those brands (being in Australia) they both look nice.
    I've never been a fan of the V nose. It makes it seem smaller at the front- although I'm sure it's just my brain playing tricks.

  5. You know, Denali and I can come over and "test out" the new trailer for you. You know, make sure it is easy to clean up blood and such...

    1. You know, I thought about that... "how would we pull Denali's Mom out from under Denali is *this* trailer." It's a legitimate question, and you two are welcome to test the kickplate out anytime :) lol.

  6. I'd say Exxis, but that's because I'm not that familiar with the Sundowners. Then again, my trailer of choice would be a used 4* over a new Exxis, but that's just me. I know in my area the price difference between the two brands isn't that big, but it also tends to vary from place to place.

    1. I do love 4*... harder to find around here, but I've never heard a bad word..

  7. Personally I'd go with the Sundowner. We've had several (a two horse bumperpull and a four horse gooseneck with living quarters) and I loved them both. I like the look of the Sundowner better as well, I don't like the V nose. As for the Country Estate Villa, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has thought about selling the house to purchase it. I've been drooling over that for a while... Someday

  8. A good friend has that Sundowner and I LOVE it. Nice big tack room, and the trailer compartment is bright and airy and has plenty of room. It's also very light, and I really fill a difference driving that vs. my Jackson two-horse, which is steel. I will probably buy it off of her one of these days, and sell mine, once she is ready for something new.

  9. I have a 1999 Kiefer Built two horse straight and I LOVE IT. My BFF just bought a two horse EquiSpirit straight and she loves it too. Most straights are pretty much the same in terms of features, but there are a few things that we've found really make all the difference in usability:

    1. I live where it's 100+ in the summer. Both trailers have a TON of sliding windows and vents. Maybe not as important for you, but something to think about.
    2. The ramp. I won't buy a trailer that doesn't have one, but I know some folks love step-ups. If you're going with the ramp option, see how hard it is to lift. My BFF can lift her ramp with two fingers (I am not joking). My trailer is older so my ramp is much heavier.
    3. Adjustable chest and butt bars. I have a short horse and a tall horse. You have a tall horse and a really tall horse. Can you adjust the butt and chest bars for both of them?
    4. Step-up into the tackroom. On my trailer, it's a big step. My BFF's trailer has a little dropped lip on the tackroom entrance so it's a very comfortable step. The difference is really quite noticeable. Yes, I can get a step-stool for mine, but the built-in comfort is just really nice.
    5. Door latches. It's annoying when your tackroom door blows shut when you want it open. Both trailers have a little latch that auto-engages to keep the doors open (also for the doors into the horse area). These are handier than I would have thought.
    6. Tie points. You can never have enough. One for the horse, one for bucket, one for hay... etc.
    7. Places to hang stuff in the tackroom. You can also never have enough of these.
    8. Water storage. I wish I had one of those storage tanks that goes in the nose of the trailer. Unfortunately there aren't any made that fit my rig. Some trailers have tanks AND a little spigot on the outside for filling buckets. That is the handiest thing EVER. Use it once and you'll know why.

    Trailer shopping is so much fun... can't wait to see what you come home with!

    1. I borrowed an Equispirit for P once and loved it. But out only option would be ordering direct form the plant and shipping it.. which isn't tragic, but it makes it harder to go touch and feel :) which I like doing, I haven't seen the smaller tack room step and a few of the other features you mentioned but they sound DREAMY!

  10. We have a 2005 Sundowner - looks just like the one you pictured. Nope - not selling it! We bought it gently used and love it. Hauls my wide load WB Mare and who ever else comes along just fine - plenty of height and width.

    I love the escape doors on both side, the ramp, hanging hay mangers, very light and bright inside with lots of vents and sliding windows - plus the tack area/dressing room is well done with lots of hooks and saddle racks.

    1. Bah! good thing I don't know where you keep it, or I would come snatch it... but i love to hear that you're still feeling like it's a great buy :)

  11. Oh my! I would definitely sell my house for that trailer! I hate my house so it's an easy decision lol. Only I don't think it would cover the cost hehe.

    I'm enjoying reading your comments. Learning a lot. :)


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