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Thursday, December 12, 2013

On Hauling Horses

Ask and you shall receive!

Not 14 hours after my prediction that 2014 would be another stellar year full of conundrums and quandaries (I know, it’s still 2013, but you see where this is headed...), I found myself sliding backward down an icy hill in my truck, trailer attached, horse inside.  Yes.  That was my morning.  

It’s not because I do stupid things.  I am actually very careful; an over-preparer to the Nth degree.  However, even I was not prepared to drive my truck up a luge first thing this morning.  I had a meeting scheduled with the local CWD Saddles representative to fit me for a new saddle so that I can be better at - you guessed it - jumping horses over sticks for fun!  My ring is under 4” of snow and ice, so I stuck Johnny in the trailer and headed over to an indoor arena down the road.  My driveway was in good shape, as were the roads, so I foresaw no issues.  When I turned off the road to head up the hill to the indoor, I started to recognize the potential problem and threw my trusty truck into 4-Lo.  That oughtta do it.  

When I got halfway up the hill and my tires started slipping, I realized I might not make it up.  When I touched my brakes and felt myself start sliding backwards, I became fairly certain.  I tried to angle my truck to slide straight, but apparently backing skills only come into play when one has traction.  No traction means the trailer does whatever the hell it wants, and my trailer wanted to jackknife and skid into a paddock fence.  Not to worry though, because inside that paddock was none other than the stallion that my husband is currently leasing.  Loose stallion?  No big deal.

Thankfully my trailer tire hit a large rock before it contacted the fence, and the whole show was momentarily halted.  It gave me enough time to take Johnny off the trailer, run through the barn screaming for help, and formulate a plan...which worked...thank god.  It would be a shame to break my trailer and my relationship with the friendly folks down the road when they’re both brand new!

Still, this morning’s snafu got me to reminiscing about some of the other trailer debacles I’ve experienced this year.  I’m going to gloss over the malfunctioning electric jack that always seems to get my trailer halfway off of/on to my truck before breaking, and that time that I blew a bunch of fuses at a horse show and had no light or heat, and the time my truck overheated itself and broke down in the middle of a main road by spastically downshifting for no reason, and skip right to the good stuff.  

There was the 4th of July, when I went to hook up my 36’ gooseneck trailer with living quarters to my truck to head to a Greg Best clinic and realized the coupler had rusted and was broken.  My husband and I spent the entire day in the July sun running around trying to replace it.  The following day, shiny new coupler in tow, I pulled into a campground with “pull-through” spaces, which turned out out to mean, “pull your tent out of your tiny car and put it up somewhere between all these trees that you’re going to have to cut down to get your trailer in (or out of) here.  And HURRY!  You’ll want to be done before the pot-luck pig roast!!”  It took me 3 hours to park that time, but we only had to dismantle a few signs and fire-pits.  

Then there was the second time my friend, Alia, and I decided to camp in our trailers in order to attend a clinic.  Insert same story here, only add an audience of men that don’t believe it’s physically possible for a woman to back a horse trailer into AT&T Stadium, let alone a small camper spot.  We brought our A-game that time and it only took us one try each.  I may have demolished some garden gnomes along the way, but no one minded because the show was worth it.  The lesson of the day is this: when someone on the phone at a campground tells you the camper space is big enough for your trailer, know that it is not, and when the grounds-keeper on the golf cart takes one look at you and your rig and says, “You’re never going to get that trailer in there.  I don’t even know how you’re going to get it out of where it is now,” accept it as a personal challenge and know that, yes, you will get it in there, and if you can’t get it out you won’t care because you hate it and you just want it to disappear.

And then I bought a new trailer.  All my problems were solved.  Small trailer, giant hotel room, unprecedented bliss.  

Off Alia and I went to yet another clinic!  This time I wasn’t worried about low bridges or tight turns, because I had my handy little bumper-pull trailer that I love more than life!  I zipped around the back roads of Pennsylvania with Alia in tow, until I came to a stop light at the base of a bridge.  The bridge was under repair, and was closed off except for one lane that was open to traffic, and the stop light was supposed (SUPPOSED) to dictate which direction was crossing and which was stopped.  I started to cross the bridge on green, got halfway up, and saw a line of 20 cars coming right at me.  Alia and I (and our 2 trailers and 4 horses) soon found ourselves backing off the bridge to the soundtrack of honking horns and cops yelling on their loudspeakers (which the horses LOVED!).  I maintain that it wasn’t my fault.  That damn light was green, and the people who were standing around taking pictures of us as we backed off the bridge vouched for us.  THE LIGHT WAS GREEN!!

The point is this: I am not meant to haul stuff.  My very presence can turn traffic lights haywire and make full-grown trees appear in spots that were previously barren.  The mere idea that I might take my horses somewhere can change the weather on the entire eastern seaboard.  

Maybe the universe is telling me that I shouldn’t travel around the country pretending to be Beezie Madden.  Maybe I should get a bike.  Or start Pinteresting.  Is that a thing, Pinteresting?  What do other girls do?  Most of my friends are busy having babies.  

On second thought, I think I’ll take my chances on the open road.  I can only imagine the trouble I could get into with a carseat.  

1 comment:

  1. I thought that I was the only one who had issues when trailering! Very Funny!