BY JESS CLAWSON
For a lot of people, horse trailers are intimidating to purchase. So much depends on the vehicle you have or can afford to buy, how many horses you need to haul, safety features that matter to you, and of course don’t forget budget. Owning a trailer isn’t always easy either, as often they have to be taken to specialty shops for repairs, which becomes very expensive very quickly.
Bockmann Texas Trailers simplifies the process for those of us who own just a few horses and can’t afford or don’t want a big diesel truck and the hassle of a gooseneck. Bockmann is a third-generation family business that has been making trailers in Lastrup, Germany for over 60 years. They have more than 400 employees and have produced over 750,000 trailers, selling trailers worldwide in over 30 countries. Bockmann leads the industry, continuing to win innovation awards including nominations in four categories at the 2019 Equitana festival.
Bockmann Texas Trailers is the sole mono-line distributor of Bockmann Trailers in the United States. “We started as a customer a couple years ago and haven’t looked back,” said owner Jane Mears. “We were looking to get rid of our big Texas truck and gooseneck and use our SUVs to easily move our horses around to the vet, trainer, horse clinics, shows and other horse events. It just made sense for us, as it will for many who either don’t otherwise need a big truck and a gooseneck or don’t have a trailer and depend on their trainer or a friend to haul their horse.”
Jane noted that the terrible California wildfires in 2018 made a lot of horse owners realize that owning their own trailer that they could pull with their existing vehicle was a matter of safety. “People realized that Bockmann Texas Trailers provides them the option of a smaller trailer that they could have in case of emergency, whether that’s a natural disaster or a horse who needs to go to the vet right away.”
Bockmann Texas Trailers is based out of Jane’s farm outside of Austin, Texas, which allows her to be very flexible in scheduling appointments with clients even outside of regular business hours. “Our customers are delighted when they call, text, or email us and we get back to them very quickly, even on nights and weekends,” she said.
Bockmann Texas Trailers keeps a variety of popular basic colors and well-equipped models on hand starting at $13,000, but those stock models sell very quickly. Customized trailers with a wide variety of options are available with a deposit and usually take eight to twelve weeks to arrive. Options include, but are not limited to extra lights, decor options suitable to different breeds or disciplines, exterior tie bars, a rear mounted step/seat, alloy wheels, custom colors, additional doors and vents, and more.
For those who aren’t in Austin, Jane takes her trailers on the road. “We make it a point to go to shows, clinics, trail rides, and other equestrian events so people can have a chance to see our trailers in person and do a walk-through, ask questions, and take home brochures. We are also always happy to field phone and email inquiries.”
Bockmann trailers are well made and hold their value. They have safety features like the Mutli-Safe System (MSS) that allows the chest and butt bars to be safely released from outside the trailer in the event that a horse gets stuck under or over them. All hinges and bolt heads are rounded so there are no sharp edges—something those of us with accident prone horses certainly appreciate.
They’re also good for cautious loaders, as there is a lot of head space and padded walls. The ramp is long and shallow, and the interiors are white, so the trailer is bright and inviting to horses. Well-placed vents produce good air flow to keep horses comfortable on the ride. For horses who prefer a step-up load, some models offer a rear door entry that changes from a ramp with no tools required so you can make the transformation on the fly. The aluminum floors are covered with glued in sealed matting, which means they’re comfortable for the horses to stand on, easy to clean, and won’t rot.
Bockmann Trailers are also appealing to humans to use. They’re easy to move around and hitch up safely, without climbing in and out of a truck bed to secure a gooseneck. There are several locations to tie horses to safely, and the indoor lighting has easy access at the entry door. The tack closets have a separate light as well as two extendable saddle racks as well as hooks for bridles, clothing, rakes, and more. Plus all three keys provided fit all doors, tack closet, and hitch locks so you don’t have to juggle keys if you’re in a hurry.
Finally, they are easy to pull, with a comfortable lowered suspension and wheel shock absorbers. Horses arrive fresh from their trip with world-class chassis
galvanized independent wheel suspension, coil spring, and wheel shock absorbers. Bockmann Trailers are well balanced and have mechanical brakes (as opposed to grippy electric ones) so they don’t push the tow vehicle, but instead slow down the trailer.
Jane loves that they’re able to be pulled with SUVs. “You only need a tow capacity of 3500 pounds or more. Towing packages and V-6 are a plus,” she said. “Americans are buying a lot of SUVs, and with a Bockmann Trailer they can eliminate the need to purchase and maintain a truck they will only need occasionally and haul their horses easily and comfortably with the family station wagon or SUV. Most vehicle manufacturers, including Subaru, Nissan, Volvo, Lexus, Infinity, Ford, Chevy, GMC, Chrysler, Mercedes, and more offer models that are easily capable of hauling a Bockmann with two horses.”
Bockmann stands behind their trailers. They include a two year warranty with all of their trailers and stock parts for previous years’ models so people buying new trailers can be assured they will have a go-to place for parts they’ll need through the years, which brings peace of mind. “People buying the few available used trailers can get parts too,” Jane emphasized. “We recently got parts for a 2003 Bockmann in California with no problem.”
And the trailers are easy to work on. The operators manual suggests service items, and a competent mechanic can do whatever maintenance is needed—so you won’t get gouged at the specialty horse trailer repair shops anymore.
With their many models, variety of customizable options, ease of use, and affordable price tag, Bockmann Texas Trailers is the place to go when you need a horse trailer. Check out their current inventory and photos at www.bockmanntexastrailers.com, call or text 512-718-1007, or email Boeckmanntx@gmail.com
About the Author: Jess is a professional historian and educator who lives in northwestern Virginia. They completed their undergraduate degree in English at William & Mary, and did their masters and doctoral work at the University of Florida. Jess is an event rider with a passion for thoroughbreds, and has extensive experience in community organizing around queer identities, racial marginalization, and labor.
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