From the boss lady: Most of us have been somewhere with our horse, whether its camping, a trail ride, a horse show or just moving them to another barn. Like most things with horses, sometimes success is just a measure of trial and error. What is your best tip for traveling with horses?
Here's where I'm coming from with my travel tips:
- I bought my trailer for $275...and that's really all it's worth.
- I travel an average of 2 hours one direction for each show, an average of once a month.
- Lately I've been hauling alone for the first time in my life.
So what deep insight on safety/ease of travel can I bring to you? Well, probably nothing. But here's how I get ready for an outing.
First of all, gas up your truck without your trailer attached, and obviously do this more than ten minutes before you're supposed to be leaving the barn. It can be a serious bitch trying to maneuver a truck and trailer into a gas station, especially if you live in a "quaint, rural village" like my own bumble fuck town where the streets are barely as wide as your arms spread apart and turning into parking lots without scaling the three foot high curb is difficult enough in a car.
Now it's time to hitch up your trailer! The best tip for this: Find someone else to do it. Preferably someone male because when you silently slink away and leave them to do it on their own after you fail to align the truck to the hitch properly for the fifteenth time, they think they're being manly by "fixing the problem for you." No, they don't have to know it didn't bother you any to randomly drive forward and back three inches while texting, blasting the air conditioner, and not paying attention to them in the first place.
Before you grab your noble steed, make sure all your
shit important things are in the trailer. No doubt your noble steed will throw a shit fit having to stand on the trailer for more than the thirty seconds it takes you to get to the driver's seat, so don't give him a reason to stand even longer. Oh, wait. Is that just my noble steed? Asshole.
Anything imperative that you should be bringing along for your trip besides the essential show gear, water (always bring a bucket of water with you should you find yourself stranded on the side of the road for hours), hay, and first aid (both human and horse) kits? I have a Very Important Box that lives in my trailer filled with Very Important Things.
With it I can change a tire, rewire all the lights, duct tape Bobby's fucking legs together in a hobble so he stops pawing, replace the hook on the trailer chains (Um, surprisingly handy as I found out last weekend when I pulled into the barn and one of the hooks had come off and disappeared down the road somewhere. Awesome. My new one has fancy latches.), start a fire in a survival situation, light up the sky with flares, map out a dressage arena with orange safety cones, eat mint Tums for a week straight, ride a rodeo bronc with great big spurs, rebuild the truck's engine on the side of the road, and various other things I have yet to discover.
Yeah. VERY Important Things.
Put on your seat belt, tell your batshit crazy dogs to sit the fuck down so you can see out the windows while backing up and not hitting your BO's valuable property, and Roll Tide!
When you get back from your adventure, I've found that it helps to have the things that must go back into the barn with your horse right away in arm's reach. This includes his lead rope and cookies. Everything else stays in the truck and trailer. That shit can get taken care of tomorrow.