ingallsra asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

Are escape doors on a horse trailer dangerous?

I've always wondered why some people use the escape doors on straight load horse trailers when loading their horses. They lead the horse in the trailer and then step out the escape door. Isn't this an accident waiting to happen if the horse isn't tied in time and decides to try to get out that small door? Has anyone witnessed an accident related to this?

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've not only seen horses attempt to go out thru an escape door, I've seen one that did. Scraped himself all up. I never get in a trailer with a horse unless it's on the opposite stall side. It's too dangerous. I've seen too many injuries to both horses and people. I've trained all my horses to walk in on their own. It's worth taking the time to do this. Otherwise, I park the trailer next to a wall, and coax the horse in with a butt rope and tap on the butt. The wall on one side keeps them from heading out that way and the butt rope and tapping tends to get them to go in. I never physically get in the trailer myself. Safer for everyone!

    Source(s): Owner/trainer/riding instructor for 30 years
  • emily
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    When we use a trailer where we have to go out the escape door we unlatch it so it can be opened from inside but leave it shut so the horse doesn't think he's walking through. Or have someone outside the door in control of it so it doesn't swing open by accident. Our horses all walk straight in but didn't always.

    I have seen another horse who thought he could fit out the tiny feeder door in the manger, only one leg and his nose fit. He would just do it out of the blue with any trailer that had a manger in it. I also saw our mare (before we bought her) blow apart in the trailer and get both front legs and her head out the escape door while going down the express way. Her hoof was inches from the wheel. She slammed the door hard enough the pop the latch.

    Every thing around horses is an accident waiting to happen. All we can do is our best to expose them to situations and teach them the proper behavior and use our own good sense (which plenty of people do lack) to reduce the chances of accidents occuring to a minimum.

  • D
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I have not seen any problem with the escape door- most have a bar across so the horses can't get out anyways, you jsut duck underneath. Plus, most horses can only get their head and neck out- the shoulders are too wide.

    I have seen, however, a lot of dangerous situations with no escape door- people trampled and hurt badly because the horse freaked out with the person still in there. There is a slight chance the horse could freak out and go through it, but your personal safety should always be above the horses (though there isn't that great of chance of an injury).

    Plus, it makes loading horses easier. By opening that door, the trailer looks less claustrophobic, and hesistant horses tend to go in the trailer a lot easier.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have seen horses try to leave through the escape doors- it isn't pretty.

    However, depending on the horse, it might be more dangerous for the handler to attempt to squeeze past the loaded horse when it's on the straight load trailer. The escape door is for handler safety - giving them a place to exit that doesn't involve going around the back of the horse in a tiny straight load stall.

    However, the escape door should be closed immediately upon exiting, and the horse should be properly tied, with a chest bar in front of him, so as to help limit this type of problem.

    Personally, I view having a horse try to escape through the escape door nothing other than handler negligence, and not a problem with having the door itself.

    I've seen it many times where people will be at shows, vets, or whatever, with their horse in the trailer and the escape door right next to them open so the horse can "get some air"...... then, before you know it, they get the chest bar down and have their feet out the trailer while their head is still tied. *That* creates the danger - ignorance like that.

    Personally, I have 4 easy to load horses, but one of them tries to back out upon getting loaded, so I need a 2nd person to shut the back gate immediately when she gets in - I would have no other way out of the trailer if it wasn't for the escape door.... now, she's a sweet horse, and wouldn't harm me, but if a horse like that were to panic, I wouldn't want to be trying to sneak past them to get out the back.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No matter how you trailer, there is always risk involved. I personally like escape doors. I've seen one accident happen with them, not caused by them and there was no injury to anybody, but they are a lot safer for people (the horse involved somehow got himself over the chest bar and went out the escape door). My two horse trailer has chest and butt bars, so one person leads the horse up, somebody else closes the butt bar, and they are good to go. I don't usually tie them either because they don't need to be. I have one pony who tried to duck under a couple of times to get some hay that had fallen out of the hay bag, so I tie him, but it's a lot safer to duck under the front bar and not have to worry about being smashed into the wall or kicked in the head by going out the back. Plus, if you have a huge horse and a narrow trailer, it might be almost impossible to fit along side him to go out the back anyway.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have a Brenderup 2 horse straight load with 'escape' doors on both sides. I always lead my horse in and then exit through the side door after attaching the trailer tie to his halter. There is a padded chest bar to help prevent him from getting any ideas....but he's also an easy loader and pretty mellow so I dont' have to worry. Someone else mentioned they wouldn't have a straight load trailer w/o escape doors and I totally agree!

  • 1 decade ago

    I know what you mean about the horses coming through. my paint mare tried to climb out the feed window of a horse trailer just this past June. Howveer I am a little confused by all these people saying they walk in with the horse and squeeze between the horse to come out the back or walk out the escape door.... My horses and most all my friends horse we just drape the lead over their neck and point them in the trialer, they load syand still while we shut the butt bar/chain and trailer door and then we walk to the escape door open the hatch and connect the tie. they have never tried to coe out either way. My paint mare tried to actually come out the feed area while we were driving. No it wasn't open , she just crammed herself up in there...ugh that sucked. But anyway I'm jsut wonderign why people are saying they walk out behind the horse...... the only time I do this is in a slant load trailer b/c you lead the horse in, tie them , shut the partition and walk otu for the enxt one.....

  • 1 decade ago

    I would never have a trailer without one!! I have had to get a green horse into a trailer & it didn't have a escape door. It was very dangerous. The horse started to freak out & to get out you have to walk past the horse to the back of the trailer to get out. Well I got pined against the wall. Thank god I got out safely. But if there was a escape door I would not have had to try to get to the back of the trailer. I think they are a very good idea to have one just in case.


    I had to walk the horse in because it was green & had to trailering befor this. That was the only way to get her to go in. Then there was no side door, or escape door. So the only way out was the way we came in. Which meant I had to go beside the horse.

    Source(s): Riding for 30yrs. Training for 19yrs.
  • 1 decade ago

    if they lead the horse in the trailer they should tie the horse up and then open the escape door... I really don't know what your saying!?!? most of the people i know walk out the back but they don't have dividers... a lot of people with dividers have a the door that the horse walks up in... most people with dividers let their horse walk in by themselves and then go to the escape door and tie them up, but if the horse would try to get out the person would be in the way and wouldn't have the door wide enough for the horse to get out and most horses are cautious about how small the space is they are trying to get through.

  • smyers
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Nope, in accordance to the internet website the towing potential of that automobile is fullyyt 1500 pounds... it truly is only a tad more desirable than what the conventional horse weighs! No way you may haul an total trailer with one among those. I easily recommend a pickup truck for hauling a trailer, there are some that are computerized. Ask the broking what the towing potential is. Get an idea of what form of trailer you should purchase and ascertain that the truck's max towing potential is a minimum of that + 3000 pounds (so that you'll haul 2 horses in case you ever favor to, and also you've were given some leeway purely in case).

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