Buyer’s Guide: Bumper Pull vs Gooseneck Horse Trailer

You are ready to buy a horse trailer, but not sure which style you need.  Here are some helpful points that can help you decide.  Our staff will be glad to help!


First Things First–Bumper Pull or Gooseneck Horse Trailer?

Let’s begin at the beginning. Do you need a bumper pull or gooseneck horse trailer? This is one of the first questions I ask when customers call. If they are new to hauling horses, they may not know. Here are some things our sales staff reviews with them in order to help them make their decision.

Bumper Pull Trailers are hitched to back of the towing vehicle. Gooseneck Trailers are hitched in the bed of a pickup truck*. Both require hitches to be installed on or in the vehicle, but many towing vehicles have bumper hitches installed from the factory. This means almost anyone can use a bumper pull trailer. If you have an SUV-type towing vehicle, you must use a bumper pull. If you have a pickup, you may be able to pull either, depending on the length of your bed and cab and towing capacity.  Bumper pulls may be less expensive, and bumper pull hitches are less expensive to have installed.  Other reasons people buy bumper pull trailers is that they may feel more comfortable pulling them, or they may have a small spot to store the trailer.  And yet we sell many, many more goosenecks than bumper pulls!


So why would you want to pull a Gooseneck Trailer if a Bumper Pull will do?

Bumper Pulls usually haul a maximum of 4 regular size horses, while Gooseneck Trailers can haul up to 12 or more horses. Why is this? Gooseneck Trailers, with proper hitch placement, position the combined weight of horse and trailer between the front and rear axles of the truck. Bumper pulls position the weight on the rear of the towing vehicle, putting the load on the rear axle, and causing a slight lift to the front of the vehicle. This lift** is increased as the load in the trailer increases, and, if overloaded, will negatively affect steering ability. So, if you need to haul more than 4 horses or a heavier load, you will need a Gooseneck trailer.


If you have any other questions about Bumper Pull or Gooseneck Horse Trailers and which will work best for you, call, chat, or email Dixie Horse & Mule Co.  We have more than 50 years of experience with trailers, horses, and hauling – we’re here to help you!


*Pickup refers to full size pickups intended by the manufacturer for use in towing.

**NOTE: The manufacturers of vehicles intended for use in towing bumper pull trailers take into account the weight on the rear axle and will list the maximum towing capacity. On some vehicles, the bumper hitch may also be labeled with this weight.