October 24, 2017

Real Talk Time: Things I Don't Like About the Shadow

I promise I'll be off this trailer post kick, like, tomorrow.  When you'll get lots of gorgeous pony baby photos.  But that day is not today!

Now that I've hauled with the Shadow, I am learning what I like and what I don't like about it.  Truly, there's very little I don't like about it, but I thought I'd be honest about its shortcomings online since I've been getting a lot of questions about it from people who never thought they'd like a one horse trailer.

First, it doesn't have running lights on the fenders like the KB did.  These aren't totally essential, but it was really nice to be able to see where the edge of the trailer was at night.

No fender lights, although the fenders are so shiny the reflection of the truck's running lights off them showed me where the trailer was.

Second, and most perplexingly, Shadow mounted the horse area light over the horse's butt.

WTF, mate?

So I turned it on to load him in the dark, and then had to leave it on to travel, because I couldn't reach it over him and I sure as hell wasn't getting behind him.  Why they wouldn't have mounted that on the opposite side of the trailer, where there is a ton of open space for humans to safely stand, is beyond me.

Look at all that real estate where they could've safely mounted a light...

Third, there's no fixing this, but I am also not a fan of how the big swinging door latches open on the outside of the trailer.  So if I was loading him alone on a windy day, I'd have to put him in, tie him, and walk alllllll the way around that big door to undo the latch and close it.  Or not latch it and pray the wind doesn't blow it into us.  No good solution here, besides loading with people or having a well-trained horse. 

No good pictures of that one, but this is the "latched open" position for the door.

Onto the minor annoyances; the wheel on the tongue jack, which I think I'm just uneducated about since so many trailers have one, so educate me.  What is this for?  Is that wheel really designed to roll, ever?  Under what circumstances?  Why not have a flat bottomed jack? 

It's super annoying to have to take it off and put it on every time I hitch and unhitch - you have to wheel the jack up high enough to get the wheel off the pipe, but not all the way up, or else the pin won't come out. 

And of course there's the fact that I need to keep track of a critical trailer component that is not always attached to my trailer.  Have you SEEN my tack room or truck backseat during a show weekend?  Good lord, do not entrust me with that kind of responsibility, people!  Leave the trailer in one piece, please!

Don't worry, it's chocked.

The second minor annoyance is the fact that the divider swings and allows dust and sawdust into the tack area.  I would have been thrilled if the divider didn't swing, but on the plus side, it will definitely make it easier to clean out.  I have a plan for this, just haven't put it in place yet.

You can just see the bottom of the divider in this sneak peek of my half-finished tack room organization that I really didn't intend to show off yet but hey!

Anyone else's trailer manufacturers make some genuinely head scratching decisions?


  1. Fwiw you and I may have different thresholds and requirements for what we consider safe in hauling, but both my trailers have had the wheel on the jack and I have literally never even considered taking it off to haul. And it has never caused an issue. And should it come into contact with the ground? Well.... It's a wheel so it should just roll with it. I also leave my interior lights on in the trailer when I haul, including the lights back above the hind ends of my horses. The shadow looks great tho, happy hauling!

    1. I've never removed my wheel to trailer, either. In fact, I don't know that the wheel on my trailer is even removable.

  2. Haha yeah every once in a while using my trailer I'm like "why TF is it set up like this??" but mostly they're minor annoyances that I learned to live with/work around.

    I cannot WAIT to see the results of your tack room organization -- I uh... may have a shopping cart going on the website you mentioned 😂

  3. My trailer had a wheel and I pulled it off and never put it back on. That was seven years ago and I’ve never had a problem with the bottom of the post.

  4. I've never removed the wheel when trailering with a tag-a-long. I just make sure it's rolled up so it'll clear any bumps along the way and don't worry about it. I didn't even know the wheel was removable!

    My trailer has a few annoyances that I've just gotten used to and don't think about them to much too. I could fix the problems but it would cost more money than it's worth so I just deal with it and admire other people's trailers that don't have the same problems :)

  5. The only very minor annoyance I have with my trailer is that the tie rings are practically on the ceiling! I don't tie the horses, but I tie up their hay bags, and I practically have to climb up onto the chest bars to loop them through the rings. And I'm 5'9!

  6. I also had a wheel on my jack and I never removed it to haul. But do what works best for you!

  7. Keep the wheel on (mine swivels parallel to the ground and locks) and use one of these handy wheel docks. No worries about sinking, chunks of lumner or chocking necessary. :D

  8. Pool noodle under the divider wall will help with dust. I think the wheel is supposed to help make hitching up easier as long as you have a 300lb weight lifter to move the trailer. I much prefer the foot on mine.

  9. I hate almost every feature of my trailer and could do an entire post on that subject. Anyway, our trailer came with a flat jack foot in addition to the wheel. We swapped the flat foot on during the first use and have never used the wheel since. My understanding is that you should never tow with the wheel on bc it can get bumped (put holes, speed bumps, etc) but I'm not an expert. The flat foot can retract all the way up with the pipe so it can stay on all the time. You can buy a flat foot to replace the wheel.

  10. I never even knew that trailers came with a wheel like that on the jack. I've loved your trailer posts, you obviously did a lot more research than I did when looking for a trailer (I was offered such a great deal I stopped looking quickly).

    It's good to know what sort of things to look for (or look for the lack of them) if I ever were to get a new trailer in the future.

  11. My wheel is off the trailer (and in the tack room) and replaced with a flat foot.

  12. My trailer came with a wheel on the jack too. I took it off and have never put it back on.