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Choosing the Right Trailer: Bumper Pull vs Gooseneck for Hauling Horses

Choosing the Right Trailer: Bumper Pull or Gooseneck?

Trailer type is an important consideration when you’re looking to haul your horses. There are two primary types of trailers: the bumper pull and the gooseneck. Each type has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Bumper Pull Trailers

Bumper pull trailers are popular for many reasons. They’re cheaper, space-saving, and fuel-efficient. When you’re looking for a trailer to tow, it’s essential to consider the size of the vehicle you’ll be using. A smaller vehicle may not have the towing capacity necessary to haul a larger gooseneck trailer.

In addition, bumper pull trailers are easier to tow, handle, and offer more vehicle options for your towing vehicle. If you’re planning to transport only one or two horses, then a bumper pull trailer is a good choice, and you’ll save money the most.

Bumper pull trailers are perfect for beginners or first-time trailer buyers because it’s easier to manage a lighter trailer in the beginning and the smaller size will be the most practical if you intend to store it on your property, or transport it around.

Trailer Weight and GVW

When you’re looking for a bumper pull trailer, two critical factors to consider are the trailer weight and the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight). Trailer weight refers to the actual weight of the trailer, whereas the GVW is the maximum weight your trailer can legally weigh with everything loaded into it.

You don’t want to overload your trailer when you’re hauling it; doing so can lead to damage or even an accident. Your tow vehicle should be able to handle both the weight of the trailer and the weight of the horses/ equipment inside.

Towing a Two Horse Bumper Pull Trailer

Before you make your final decision on a trailer, you should figure out whether you currently have a vehicle with the towing capacity necessary to pull a two-horse trailer. Towing capacity refers to the amount of weight your vehicle can pull without putting too much strain on the engine.

SUVs and trucks are generally the best options for towing a trailer. You should consider purchasing a weight-distributing hitch as well, as it can help to distribute the load evenly and help to stabilize the trailer when you’re driving. However, even if you have a suitable towing vehicle, you need to know and adhere to the posted speed limits to avoid any potential accidents.

Safety and Maintenance

When you’re towing a trailer, there are several essential factors to keep in mind to ensure everyone’s safety. You should always keep to the posted speed limit, perform a pre-trip check of the trailer and your towing vehicle before each use, and always keep in mind that tire pressure is essential to keep in check on trailers. The proper tire pressure can help to prevent rollover accidents and other potential issues on the road.

Two-Horse Bumper Pull Trailers

Two-horse bumper pull trailers are among the most widely used and affordable of all trailer types. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned horse person, these trailers offer convenience and affordability. When it comes to choosing between bumper pull and gooseneck trailer types for two horses, both types have their benefits, but the bumper pull is more affordable and practical.

Two-Horse Bumper Pull Trailers Features

A two-horse bumper pull trailer, as the name suggests, can haul two horses easily and safely. These trailers are lightweight and easy to handle, making them an excellent choice for people who are new to hauling trailers. Additionally, these trailers take up minimal storage space making them ideal for those who own only one or two horses.

Weight and Capacity

Two-horse bumper pull trailers, like all trailers, have weight and capacity limits. Both the trailer weight and the GVW need to be taken into consideration when choosing which trailer model to purchase.

Towing a Two-Horse Bumper Pull Trailer

Again, consider your towing vehicle before making your final purchase. A truck or SUV with a suitable towing capacity should be sufficient for pulling a two-horse trailer. A weight-distributing hitch is also an excellent investment to prevent sway and promote safe handling on the road.

Safety and Maintenance

As with all trailers, safety is a top priority. Keeping your tires inflated to the correct levels, performing a pre-trip check every time you tow, and adhering to the posted speed limit is essential. If you are unsure how to perform your pre-trip check, consult your trailer’s user manual or contact a mechanic for assistance.


When it comes to choosing between a bumper pull and a gooseneck trailer, it’s essential to consider which trailer type can provide the most benefits for the money. If you’re hauling only one or two horses, a two-horse bumper pull trailer is an affordable and practical option. Keep in mind that proper upkeep and safety measures are crucial for any type of trailer use. Choose the right trailer and towing vehicle, perform regular maintenance, follow safety measures, and enjoy your horse-hauling experience.

Towing a Two Horse Trailer with Various Vehicles

When it comes to towing a two-horse trailer, various vehicles can get the job done. However, there are specific things to consider before attaching a trailer to your vehicle. Towing capacity, weight distribution, and safety are important factors to keep in mind.

Full-Sized Trucks

Full-sized trucks are often the go-to option for towing horse trailers. These vehicles often have high towing capacities, allowing them to haul heavier loads. When considering a truck, it’s essential to pay attention to the vehicle’s Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR), which refers to the total weight of the loaded vehicle and trailer combined. The GCWR must be high enough to handle the weight of the trailer, horses, and all other equipment.

Another factor to consider is that the larger the truck engine, the more fuel it consumes. So, if you frequently tow trailers, expect to spend more on the fuel bill.


SUVs can also be a practical option for towing a two-horse trailer. When choosing an SUV for towing, it’s important to consider the vehicle’s towing capacity. The SUV must have a towing capacity that can handle the weight of the trailer, horses, and equipment. Like trucks, SUVs can benefit from a weight-distributing hitch. This hitch helps to distribute the weight evenly between the vehicle and the trailer, promoting stability and safety during towing.


In Europe, cars are often used to tow small horse trailers. If you intend to use a car for towing in the United States, research vehicles that offer higher towing capacity than smaller cars. Always follow your car’s manufacturer guidelines for towing capacity.

Weight-Distributing Hitches

Weight-distributing hitches promote safety and stability when towing. They help to distribute the tongue weight of the trailer evenly between the vehicle’s rear axle and the trailer’s axles. When using a weight-distributing hitch, you can level the vehicle and trailer to help prevent swaying and ensure they are balanced. Proper installation is critical for correct weight distribution, and read the hitch manufacturer instructions thoroughly. Always remember, installing your hitch wrong or using the incorrect hitch weight rating can result in damage to your vehicle or trailer, or worse, cause an accident.

Safety Tips for Hauling with Various Vehicles

Safety should always come first when hauling a trailer, no matter what vehicle you use. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Speed Limits – Always follow posted speed limits.
  • Towing a heavy load can affect your car’s stopping time and overall handling. Trailer Tires – Trailer tires wear out quickly, especially when overloading or underinflated, and can cause significant issues if they are not in good condition.
  • Check tire pressure and inspect the tires for damage before hitting the road.
  • Pre-Trip Check – Perform a pre-trip check before each use, including inspecting the trailer’s brakes, coupler, and safety chains. Double-check that all lights are working correctly.

CDL Requirements

A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) may be required to legally haul a trailer for commercial purposes. According to FMCSA regulations, any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight of over 26,000 pounds requires a commercial driver’s license.

Trailer Weight

The average weight of a two-horse trailer is 2,000 to 3,500 pounds, depending on the materials used in the trailer’s construction. Keep this weight in mind when considering the towing capacity of your vehicle.

Tongue Weight and Hitch Weight

Tongue weight refers to the portion of the trailer’s weight that rests on the hitch ball of the towing vehicle. It shouldn’t be too heavy to put too much strain on the vehicle’s rear axle or decrease its handling abilities. When calculating your total towing vehicle weight also include the hitch tongue weight, which means the amount of force exerted on your vehicle’s hitch when it’s attached to the trailer. Your vehicle and trailer’s combined weight must never exceed the maximum weight rating. Instruct yourself on the max weight your car or truck can handle.

Cost and Safety of Weight-Distributing Hitches

Weight-distributing hitches vary in price, but it’s important to keep in mind that a quality hitch can help prevent accidents and costly damages to your vehicle and trailer. Also, it’s essential to make sure you’re installing it properly to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Final Considerations

Hauling a trailer with one or more horses is a serious responsibility. Ensuring that you have the appropriate vehicle and equipment and following safety guidelines is essential for your safety and the well-being of the horses. Plan and research your purchases to make the safest decision for your unique situation.

In conclusion, selecting the right vehicle for towing a two-horse trailer is crucial, and several factors must be considered, such as towing capacity, weight distribution, and safety measures like pre-trip checks, adhering to speed limits, and inspecting trailer tires regularly.

Full-size trucks and SUVs have the necessary capacity to haul two-horse trailers, while cars have limited towing capacity. Weight-distributing hitches can help to distribute the weight evenly, promoting stability and safety during towing. Always consult with your vehicle’s user-manual for the recommended weight limitations, augment your vehicle with gadgets such as weight-distributing hitches, and be aware of the speed limit when driving.


1. What is GCWR, and why is it essential?

A: Gross Combination Weight Rating is the total weight of the loaded vehicle and trailer combined, and it’s crucial to ensure that your towing vehicle can handle the weight of the trailer, horses, and all other equipment.

2. How do I check if my SUV has enough towing capacity to haul a two-horse trailer?

A: SUV’s towing capacity must be considered, and you should research vehicles that have a higher towing capacity if unsure. Always check the manufacturer guidelines for the towing capacity of your vehicle.

3. Are weight-distributing hitches worth the investment?

A: Yes, weight-distributing hitches promote safety and stability when towing and help to distribute tongue weight evenly between the vehicle’s rear axle and the trailer’s axles.

4. When is a CDL required for hauling a trailer?

A: Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight of over 26,000 pounds requires a commercial driver’s license, according to FMCSA regulations.

5. How important is pre-trip checking, speed limits, and trailer tire checks?

A: Regular pre-trip checks, adherence to speed limits, and inspecting trailer tires reduce the risk of accidents and minimize costly damages to your vehicle and trailer.

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