The horse van is a beloved method of towing your four-legged furry friends around in Europe and the U.K. But why don’t we ever see horse vans in the states? Why is the U.S. market for pulling a trailer behind a big pickup truck so overwhelmingly popular in comparison to a horsebox?
Cargo vans are designed to hold a lot of weight, so they can definitely stand up to the challenge of hauling horses. As #vanlife grows in popularity in America, innovative conversions are abounding. So why don’t more equestrians want a horse van? What’s not to like about a van you can camp in and will accommodate your horses.
Take them camping.
Hitting the trails takes on a whole new angle when you combine van life with horses. As a self-proclaimed horse person, I am pretty sure that if horse vans were more common in the U.S horse-hauling market, they’d be met with horse lovers eager to get their hands on one.
There are really awesome places to camp with your horses all over the country. Just imagine if your camper van had a spot for your equine trail buddies.
These vans aren’t just perfect for trails and camping, they are weight-bearing utility vehicles. Horsebox conversions are such a perfect way to repurpose vans like Ford Transits and Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. So why don’t we see more of them?
Sure, it may seem to someone on the outside of the equestrian industry that there wouldn’t be a market for them. The equine healthcare market is said to reach a valuation of $862.7 million this year. That said, if there is such high demand for horse healthcare surely the other commerce within the equine industry is worth noting as well.
Can you buy a horsebox in America?
Perhaps the horse van is more of a growing trend than some think. Who knows, maybe in the future we will see horse vans rise to the top of equine transport manufacture.
There are horse folks in forums discussing how old the truck and trailer combo is. There is a demand for some horse hauler innovation. The next step might be a horsebox concept.
They are for athletes, too.
The horse show world is a niche market full of deep pockets. It’s surprising that the horse van hasn’t completely overtaken the horse show scene by now. Equine transport with living quarters is popular amongst those who commonly stay weekends at equestrian events.
Horse lovers in the U.S. may have never even seen a horse van or horsebox. They don’t know what they’re missing. It’s a camper, it’s a trailer… wait, no, it’s a horsebox.
Take it camping, or run horses to the vet. A horse van will haul to the next Grand Prix showjumping event or to a weekend of dressage competition. They are designed to take both human and equine athletes to their next destination.
What about the rodeo?
The National Finals Rodeo is considered the “Superbowl of rodeos.” It pays $10 million in prize money each year. Additionally, it generates a nice revenue influx for the 10 days it comes to Paradise, Nevada.
I know, cowboys and cowgirls love their trucks. I am still surprised that more haven’t taken the leap and converted to a horsebox. Sure, we see people roll up to the rodeo in their behemoth horse-friendly luxury RV’s. But they can be a little on the extravagant side. They aren’t as practical as the more compact style horsebox or horse van.
Wishing there were more horse vans.
Either way, I wish there were more of them for riders in the U.S. to cart their horses around. Whether you are taking them to the trailhead for a camping adventure or shipping them to the races or other competition, a horse van is one of the best ways to transport equine cargo.
Though the equestrian industry is a niche market, I don’t think I am alone in wishing there were more horse vans in the U.S. Trucks are so well-loved in the horse world.
Don’t get me wrong, trucks are amazing and functional. I appreciate them for hauling hay and pulling livestock. I just think the horsebox is another method of hauling that deserves a little more attention.