Enclosed or Stock Side Horse Trailer?

The next thing we need to know is if you have a preference for an enclosed trailer or open stock trailer.  These terms refer to whether the horse area is enclosed or open.  If you are not sure, here are some points to help you decide.

Enclosed Living Quarters Trailer

Let’s compare the differences between enclosed horse trailers and stock side, or open side, trailers, and true stock trailers.  We will discuss general, commonly-found features.

Fully enclosed trailers have full walls on both sides, with some type of window at head and rump of the horses. The windows may drop or slide.  Rear doors may be double doors, ramp with dutch doors or single gate, and may or may not have windows.

Enclosed Bumper Pull Trailer

Loading style may be slant, straight or box stalls. Ventilation is usually provided by overhead vents and by opening the windows. Fully enclosed horse trailers may have a variety of features, with rubber on the walls and floor mats being the most common.  Most of them have some type of dressing room, and usually have some type of tack storage in either the dressing room or a rear tack storage area, or both.  They are considered an upgrade from open side trailers and are priced a bit higher.  These trailers are built specifically for horses, but can be used for any type hauling suited to weight capacity and build.

Open/Stock Side Horse Trailer

Open side, stock side, or stock combo are all names for horse trailers that have slats or air spaces along both sides at about horse head height above a solid wall.  The slats may be covered with Plexiglas, but are usually open.  These trailers may have a variety of tailgate styles with single tailgate, or a swing/slide tailgate being the most common, and may be suitable for hauling livestock as well as horses. Ventilation is provided by the open slats.

Open/Stock Side Bumper Pull Trailer

They usually have dressing rooms and many times have tack racks/storage in the dressing room.  Rear tack compartments are very occasionally seen on this type of trailer since the area must be enclosed to keep the tack dry.  Stock side horse trailers may have a variety of other features.  They are priced a bit lower than the enclosed models.  Built specifically for horse use, but can be used for any type hauling suited to weight capacity and build. Living quarters are most commonly seen in enclosed horse trailers but are occasionally found in stock side models as well.

Stock Trailer Interior

Another option, true stock trailers have solid sides with slats above, or may be completely open.  They have no dressing room, and are built specifically to haul “rough stock”, or untamed livestock, but they may certainly be used for hauling horses as well.

Stock trailers are usually priced lower than stock side horse trailers, but due to lack of tack storage are not often used for horses.

Gooseneck Stock Trailer




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Enclosed horse trailer-refers to horse area with solid sides and some type of window at head and rump.

Dutch doors- refers to door split in half horizontally so that upper and lower sections swing independently of each other.  In horse trailers Dutch doors are usually found above ramps that are integrated into an opening.

Stock combo horse trailer- also referred to as Stock side horse trailer or Open side horse trailer- refers to horse area with air spaces or slats at about horse head level above solid sides, and usually having some type of tack storage or dressing area.

Stock trailer – refers to a trailer designed specifically to haul untamed livestock.

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