A trailer ramp for your horse is easy to make at home yourself. With some basic materials, an outline, and some patience, you can save yourself quite a bit of money by handcrafting your own ramp rather than purchasing a pre-made one.
Step 1: The Right Metal
When you choose the sheet metal for your horse ramp, it’s important to remember that it needs to withstand the weight of your horses as you load and unload them from the trailer. It’s best to find a heavy construction quality sheet metal, and purchase at least two sheets that can be welded together for a sturdier floor to the ramp.
Step 2: Measure
Measure the opening to the trailer door. Your ramp can be no wider than this, and should actually be about 1/2-inch smaller in width than the door itself. This will allow you room to attach the ramp to the trailer and carry it with you. You should also measure the height from the ground to the trailer opening. For every inch it is high it should be at least a foot long to get the proper rise. If the slope of the ramp is too high, it will difficult to get a horse in the trailer. If you want a ramp that can be easily folded, divide the length by two. Then purchase 2 sets of sheet metal. This way hinges can be added later so the ramp will easily fold.
Step 3: Traction
Since you are working with metal, it’s important to realize that this material can become very slick when it’s wet. To prevent an injury for yourself and your horse, add a few traction strips. You can also add traction by passing a welding torch across the metal. The metal should bend slightly without curling. You can use a crisscross pattern with the torch for maximum traction.
Step 4: Add Hinges
Attach the ramp to the trailer with heavy-duty hinges. There are hinges made specifically for ramps, and these hinges are strong enough to withstand quite a bit of pressure. The hinges need to line up perfectly when you are placing them. This way the ramp will fold correctly.
Step 5: Chains
Adding chains to the ramp will help keep the ramp secure while the trailer is moving. There are other ways of attaching the ramp, such as a latch, but this is more complicated than basic chains. Fold the ramp at the hinges, and place it up against the door. Have a friend hold the ramp in place for you. Take measurements from the very top of the trailer to where the ramp hits the door of the trailer. Add 1/2-inch to this measurement. Mark the center of the ramp while it’s folded and on the door, and mark the same point on the top of the trailer. You will need to weld heavy handles or O-rings at both points. With the measurement in hand, have your heavy chains cut to this length. The chain will need to be welded to the O-ring or handle at the top of the trailer. On the ramp itself, install a latch that will attach to the chain when the ramp is not in use. Test the stability of this by driving a few blocks to ensure the ramp stays put while in motion.