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2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited, with custom-added always-on auxillary power for an inverter, 3x DC jacks, and a radio transciever.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there anyone here that's towing a horse trailer?

I have a friend who is looking for something (vehicle+trailer) that will tow one horse (uncertain the horses weight off hand, it's a Quarterhorse that's all I know). They were asking me about the towing capacity of the Subaru Outback, I have the 3.6R and it says it's rated 3000 lbs in 2012.

Does anyone know of horse trailers that, when combined with the weight of a horse would be under the towing limit of a 3.6R Outback?

If not, do you have any recommendations of another vehicle that could tow, but also gets good gas mileage and not be too huge for the "daily commute" (we're both software engineers for our day-jobs) when a big truck would be un-neccesary (and 2 cars is impractical in an apartment, then you have to store a car AND trailer vs just finding somewhere to store the trailer)?
 

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Miller I grew up with Quarter horses my horse as a kid weighed more than my moms car at the time. The trailer was extra wide because Quarter horses are typically extra wide too. Sorry but anything short of a full sized truck would be unsafe to tow a live animal like a horse. At 13yrs old my horse was 17.5 hands tall his tack all had to be hand made none of the off the shelf stuff would fit him. I recall he was over 1000lbs in his full cattle ranch fit and ready to work condition. He was a "Britches" family line all of them were BIG! We called him Big Britches

With our tack + trailer and even one horse our old dodge 250 was feeling the weight.

My subaru towing lots of years doing it I packed ultra light with my 1800lb boat trailer and avoided hot days and climbs. My current set up is a 900lb empty trailer and at times dump runs across town I may be around 2400lbs max no I would not haul a horse trailer especially a Quarter Horse with a subaru! My 2007 Sequoia rated for 6800lbs yes but even that truck I wouldn't be doing any big hauls up steep climbs to trail heads with it. The subaru towing rating is 1500lbs and under for any sort of climbs and hot summer temps and 3000lb max in ideal perfect conditions flat, slower speeds and cooler temps. To suggest towing a horse trailer and Quarter horse would work with the subaru would be very wrong, miss leading not to mention unsafe for the horse.

If you use a horse trailer a bunch you need a tow machine fully capable and probably rated for 6000 at least and more like 7000lbs to be really on the safe side.

Have them take a look at the new GMC Canyon its rated for 7000lbs the 4dr has a good interior and decent seating room and its built with heavy cooling capacity and heavier suspension to handle towing loads like this. Yet its still a smaller foot print than the full sized truck. The toyota Tacoma new isn't worth the money if your going to get a Tacoma find a clean used one at a steep price discount but those are very light trucks and have light springs and suspension issues with rated load weights unless you modify them with beefier aftermarket suspension. The new Canyon would be my top suggestion if they want to avoid the full size truck due to size. Years towing with my Landcrusier I would even say I'd probably not want to tow with the landcrusier due to the short wheel base it did get a little unhappy stability wise with the shorter wheel base towing trailers near its 5000lb rating. The Sequoia with the longer wheel base is more stable by nature and tows much nicer due to that.

The challenge I have had with both my subarus is that anything over about 1800lbs you run out of cooling capacity long before you have a power issue. Meaning you over heat the car on any type of climb in warm summer temps once your in the 1800lbs and up range. This is exactly why my camping trailer is 900lbs empty so we can easily go anywhere with zero cooling systems issues with the subaru.
 

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Also just as a side note the horse folks never own a single - they are way to narrow especially for Quarter Horses and having 1000+LBS of animal 5-6 feet in the air requires a very wide and stable trailer to keep them safe and right side up.

I have many fond memories hauling my horse to some great trails and events. A good horse is like a dog they get excited when they know they are getting to go some place new. It only takes one scary ride to ruin a great horse and make it impossible to get them into a trailer again. I had a few interesting slow motion slides through greasy wet intersections with all 8 tires locked up while holding the horn down while holding my breath that everyone avoids hitting us. Horses are heavy the proper trailers are heavy the stuff you pack along with you is heavy, you need a vehicle with far more capacity than anything Subaru makes. Sorry
 

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I would think a 3.6 outback is only good for moving a horse so small that it can fit inside.

probably easiest to pay some horse person to move said horse for you to start out with then going wild with a used V8 / V6 pickup and a matching trailer

right out of the gate,...as it were.


the only real thing any subaru has going for it with the horse crowd is the ability of a BRAT or a Baja to haul some tack/ feed / hay / straw / manure cheaper then a regular pickup truck. (without stinking or dirtying up a wagon). Edit: although I guess you could get a tiny trailer / or a hitch platform (good for only 200lbs on the hitch)



and here is a article about the most famous horse related BRAT:

How Ronald Reagan Became A Secret Subaru Test Driver

 

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I grew up doing this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfvFeJajdJc

Couple of things all our horses responded to foot position against their shoulders. When your on a working ranch many times you have your hands full and the reigns are just left laying on the horses neck. It doesn't look like this guy is using his feet but uses lots of verbal commands his use of the reigns is very suttle.

First time I did any team roping I learned real fast the value of a well trained horse. Our horses would back into the chute on their own, and wait till the buzzer and take chase on their own. I actually would leave the reigns on my horse laying on his neck and focus on not looping my own stirrup with my rope. However my horse also like to sprint like someone just fired his ass out of a cannon which almost always resulted in him having to slow down to let the steer catch up to us ha ha. One of my first header successes I basically just hung the rope down and let the steer run right into it. LOL I never won any pot money but my dad kept winning the pot with pick me up solo guys looking for a team mate. My dad never really talked much about growing up but after about the third time we went home with $1200 cash winning the pot I started pressing him. I never knew this till I was like 16yrs old my dad was the JR west coast team roping champ in HS! Funny enough the owner of the ranch told us the next time we came over that the guys were pissed we kept taking their money and told my dad he couldn't compete any more. HA HA
At that time I would ride about 3 miles over to the ranch doing the team roping and my dad would show up in the 1980 VW diesel Dasher and change out of his tennis shoes to his boots walk over and I'd pass off Big Britches too him. It was pretty funny watching all these hard core guys with their fancy rigs and trucks just about flip watching old Britches do his thing practically handing my dad the steer nearly gift wrapped. LOL

That horse grew up on a huge cattle ranch. He would chase anything! People, dogs, dirt bikes!, Bicycles even Deer! It was all fun and games to him. One of my school friends rode a dirt bike and we would often go riding together he'd ride his dirt bike and I'd ride Britches. He didn't want to ride any more after Britches got a little wound up chasing him and knocked him off his bike! HA HA
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very good, thanks everyone for your replies! Sounds like the best solution for now is telling them to keep their small car and pay a friend to borrow their truck/trailer or come move the horse for them.

Not sure it's the answer they hoped but right now I don't think multiple cars (car + truck) in an apartment is a very effective solution either.

Thanks!
 

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Very good, thanks everyone for your replies! Sounds like the best solution for now is telling them to keep their small car and pay a friend to borrow their truck/trailer or come move the horse for them.

Not sure it's the answer they hoped but right now I don't think multiple cars (car + truck) in an apartment is a very effective solution either.

Thanks!
Its one of those hidden costs of horse ownership that is not talked about.

a subaru or any midsized SUV is only really good at towing very light trailers,...like a ultralight camper, a very small boat.

the AWD may make it great to tow little trailers, but the 200 tongue weight really limits it to the lightest.....so maybe they need to get a "miniature horse" like was linked in the pics already.

we really beat the subject good on this thread from last year:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/109-gen-3-2005-2009/119097-new-3-0-2005-outback-owner-towing-concern.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature_horse

 
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