Monday, September 21, 2015

The Reality of Owning a Horse Trailer

There have been a few blog posts floating around lately about people buying, selling, trading up, or wanting to do any of the above with horse trailers. My own horse trailer, the one we bought in March to replace my first trailer, is still beautiful, and perfect, and all that I could want.

However, during my last show way back in June, the lights started getting squirrely on me (while it was pouring out of course). I asked Hubby if he could work on them. He killed them. All of them. I had nothing.

My horse ended up going lame anyway so the trailer has been sitting in the barn's parking lot waiting to be needed again and therefore fixed. Well now it's needed, and last Wednesday we took it in to get fixed.

Here's is why owning a horse trailer is not always fun and games.

Two weeks ago, we called a trailer distributor in Ontario that my BM recommended based solely on the fact that it was the only one within an hour's drive. The company mostly sells work trailers and trailers you would stick your riding lawn mower on. There have, on occasion, been horse trailers spotted there sometimes, too.

We got an appointment in a week's time for inspection (so slow about getting vehicles switched over to NY, and I don't even care), to fix the lights, and to see why the trailer brakes make you press the switch in the truck to engage them every time instead of just popping on automatically like they're supposed to--probably also something going on with the electric.

The appointment was made for a Thursday. The plan was to drop it off Wednesday afternoon so that Hubby could follow along behind me (no lights on a major highway is not the best thing) and not have to take any time off work.

I get to the barn, hook up the trailer in approximately two seconds flat because I am legit as shit when it comes to hitching this fucker and away we go.

Only we get to the company, and....

No one is there and gates are closed across the driveway with padlocks.

Now I'm pulled over on the side of a very busy road with no lights wondering what the fuck to do.

Hubby calls Dude. No answer.

Back to the barn we go where I slot the trailer back into its home in approximately two seconds flat because I have very recently become legit as shit when it comes to throwing this fucker in reverse and navigating obstacles.

First thing Thursday morning, the day we're supposed to have an appointment, Hubby calls Dude again. "Hey, Dude. Remember my trailer? Remember how you were going to fix it? Are we still on?"

"Hmm.... who is this again? Oh, here you are. I have you written down for Friday."

So now Hubby does take some time off work to follow me back up first thing Thursday morning to drop off the trailer so we don't run the chance of getting locked out again.

Friday rolls around. The company closes at five. At three, I call Hubby to see if he's heard anything.

Nope. He calls Dude. No one answers. He calls again. No one.

At four thirty, Dude calls back.

"I'd like to put a new set of brakes on. They look like they've been sitting for awhile. That will be $500."

"Some random fucking part needs to be replaced in the controller box. That will be $50."

"I have no earthly idea what is wrong with your electric. I'm going to just have to explore until I find something. That will be $75 an hour."

"Oh, and also you should think about getting two of these tires changed out eventually. We can do that here, too."

(just put new tires on my car. byeeeee, money!)

We have the money for these repairs--all of them. Our savings account is currently well stocked. But right now we're trying to accomplish a really big grown up thing, and the poor old horse trailer cannot be the priority.

Giant Mansion (might not actually be a giant mansion) versus Horse Trailer. Only one can win.

We were driving past the track the other day, and I told Hubby we should swing in and grab another Thoroughbred (providing we had a working trailer, LOL). Hubby said, "You horse people. The value you put on things is absurd. $500 to fix your trailer is outlandish. $500 to buy a horse is bottom of the barrel."

Yes, Hubby. But you can pet and squish and get daily instant gratification from the horse.


  1. Seriously, I can feel that my trailer brakes need to be done and I'm just braking early and slowly right now because I like to live dangerously (actually I'm just broke). It's probably not the safest or best idea I've ever had. But taking the trailer in for service always goes exactly like this and it BLOWS.

  2. Seriously, I can feel that my trailer brakes need to be done and I'm just braking early and slowly right now because I like to live dangerously (actually I'm just broke). It's probably not the safest or best idea I've ever had. But taking the trailer in for service always goes exactly like this and it BLOWS.

  3. Stories like yours make me so glad my husband is a handy dandy mr fix it. When I bought my trailer, it was a little bit of a fixer upper. He pulled all of the electric out and rewired the whole thing, new lights, homemade camera system, outlets for charging cell phone or plugging anything in, etc. He painted the inside (it was black), removed rust, changed the head divider, put in a new floor in the tack room, and spiffed everything up for around $1000. I am eternally grateful and I wish you were closer because he is an electric whiz and I'd have him look at it for you!

  4. Ugh, yeah, I am not a fan of car or trailer maintenance. (I typically spend two days ranting about how much the dealer charged for scheduled maintenance every time I take my car in.)

    I have been letting my big horse trailer sit in a field because I am avoiding getting the lights fixed on it before I sell it. Should probably just sell it as is and let someone else deal with it.

  5. Boo! Trailer drama is not the shit. It is like hell: Kardashian reality show. I hope it gets fixed soon and doesn't mess up with your adulting. Good luck!

  6. Boo! Trailer drama is not the shit. It is like hell: Kardashian reality show. I hope it gets fixed soon and doesn't mess up with your adulting. Good luck!

  7. ugh soooooo frustrating!! except for the hitching and backing badassery - that's solid awesome.

  8. I hate it when companies try to milk everything they can... grrrr.

  9. I would throw a rock at that guy's crotch. Just sayin.

  10. I have had m trailer for about 9 months. It has been to that shop at least that many times and it's basically new. To be fair, some of those times were for adding on things like a full kick barrier and HiTies. But most of the visits were for fixing shit. And it need to go back, but I just haven't been able to make myself do it.

  11. Meh... We are in the process of buying and this makes me go blah about it. But mostly it doesn't change my mind about wanting wheels.

    You need to write a post about how to get bad ass at backing a trailer. Hitching up I'm golden. Backing up is a work in progress.

  12. Bobby needs a chariot at all times. My friend just went through the same thing. They estimated a fix to be $300+, the issue was, they were suppose to fix it LAST time it was there which was at the beginning of the season. LIKE WHAT?! It took her boyfriend walking in to complain and b*tch where they finally did it for free. It's all about $$$

  13. Bah! I feel for you. I am lucky that my husband is quite handy about many things. Electric isn't something he likes, but at least he can do the general trailer shenanigans.

    But I recently sold the original trailer, so here's to waving the magic money wand hoping that the horses will stop costing so much money so I can get a trailer that's almost closer to my age. LOL :)

    Good luck with yours :( Is there no other trailer companies around that are an option? RV places are usually good too and often better than car trailer places, since they deal with living things + large vehicles.

  14. Oh no!! That sucks!

    Hopefully you can find another place to help you out.. so much money!!

  15. Yeesh, what a GIANT pain in the ass. Hope the Dude can get everything fixed for you, without putting you and hubby in the poor house.

    The good news, though, is that you win at the GIF and meme game. WIN.

  16. I just made an appointment yesterday to bring my trailer in for electric issues (the running lights come on when you put the truck in reverse, but not in drive. huh).

    First thing the guy says is "Oh yeah, those older trailers. I don't know about the frame..." HAS NOT EVEN SEEN THE TRAILER YET. IT'S IN MY BARN PARKING LOT.

    Umm NO, DUDE. The frame is fine. I'm bringing it to you to fix the lights. I do not want one of the brand new fancy trailers you happen to sell.

    I'm considering cancelling my appointment (which I still don't have yet) already!

  17. OMG. I would be FREAKING OUT at that trailer repair guy! You should move back to PA and use my trailer guy who is super nice and only makes me fix things that may be fatal to ponies riding in my trailer. Also he forgot to charge me for a replacement electric cable once, and I pointed it out, but then he didn't make me pay for it anyway. Good dude. But trailers are SO much more expensive than they seem when you first buy them!

  18. Horse trailer repair is the most expensive thing ever. We have a decent place that's about 30 mins away, but they take for fucking ever and charge a lot. I feel your pain.

  19. You need to find someone that is a jack of all trades to do your trailer work. Our neighbor has worked on ours and we've never paid him over $50 to do anything. And my person fixed my squirrely trailer lights. would you like me to let you borrow him?

  20. LOL I'm finding out that the house is the same gig......

  21. Uggghhhhhh, been there, done that. When I got the e-brake installed on my trailer, it was so complicated that it actually blew out the electrical system in the truck of the poor trailer guy who was trying to install it. He was a really earnest guy and did not charge me for that and I felt awful but at the same time...not in the budget!

    Tracy is unfortunately right, houses do the same thing only with 10000000x more anxiety. :(

  22. This would... irritate me greatly. There would be screaming and throwing of things, I suspect.


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