Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Cowgirl and Her Horse Trailer

My little trailer left today for its new home today.  I’m thrilled to see it go to someone who treasures it as much as I did. The new owner is looking forward to a summer of being able to hook up and haul her horse on a moment’s notice.  Still I couldn’t help but feel a bit empty when looking at the vacant parking spot this evening.  It was after all my first trailer which represented the stage in my life when I learned how to cowgirl up, hitch it to my truck and never look back.
I first saw the trailer on a drive down a back country road. It was sitting at the end of an arena facing the road, for sale sign hung front and center. It had been replaced by a fancy slant load goose neck and was no longer needed. The Circle J was blue in color at the time; the wiring was a do it yourself job and the doors were creaky and rusted. It was exactly what I was looking for.  A few days and 700 dollars later it was in parked outside my kitchen window. My friend Jeanni encouraged me to get out there and practice hauling it. I believe there is still a blue streak of paint on a cedar tree next door from one of my first backing attempts. The first time I hauled Grace I took her to a lesson at Sarah’s. The top back doors rattled going down the road and must have scared Grace. She would not get back in the trailer when it was time to come back home. We took the top doors of right then and I never hauled with them again. The next time I went to haul Grace she refused to load, I had an emotional break down an hour into it as I was convinced that she thought the trailer wasn’t good enough for her. Jeanni came to the rescue and had Grace loading and unloading in a matter of minutes.  I couldn’t believe that after trying every trick I knew with no success that she could just get the mare to walk right in. Jeanni let me know that she didn’t have any emotional attachment to the issue and that Grace very much had my number. Soon after I had Grace loading on her own just by throwing the lead rope over her back and pointing her to the open door.
The more I hauled the more I noticed that my trailer wasn’t as pretty as all the others. It was often the only straight load in a crowd and the oldest one in the group. I found someone to replace the doors in the manger and tack area with new sheet metal. After that Jeanni and her husband helped me to paint it white, we did the trim in grey and I even had Grace’s name painted on her manger door. Still, something was missing, that is when I found the spinners! They were $40 on eBay and were made of shiny ABS plastic. I loved coming to a stop light, looking in my review mirrors and seeing them spin. Even better was the reaction of people on the side walk. When we bought the truck I had Jeanni’s husband redo the wiring on the trailer and update it to a 7 plug. It also received another coat of white paint. Over the next few years the paint started to again peel away, at the same time I found myself yearning for bigger and better.
When the owner of the Sundowner upgraded to an LQ trailer, I knew he would be selling the Sundowner and I knew that I wanted it. I let the Universe know I was ready and started to imagine what the 3 horse would look like behind my truck. I was only a matter of days before the deal was sealed and the new trailer of my dreams was now sitting in front of my kitchen window. I have spent the last two months washing and waxing it, picking out every new pile of poop, and organizing every square inch of tack room (there are two!) I love getting to a show and having everything I need within reach and still having the space in the walk in tack to change into my show clothes. Knowing how much I appreciate the new trailer made it even more special when the new owner of the little trailer referred to it as “Bessie” when talking of the adventures she plans to have this summer. Whether it is a 2 horse, 3 horse, straight or slant, vintage or new, there is a great freedom when a cowgirl backs up her rig, drops the hitch, loads up her best friend and heads down the road.


1 comment:

  1. I totally understand that feeling of old leaving and excitement of new. I have upgraded 3 times in the last 16 years. I got tired of looking at rusted out, bad floor, major project trailers on the Oregon coast; so I announced to my husband I was off to the big city to find me a New trailer. He went with me to keep me in check. (I had saved every penny for about a year for a down) I got a bronco stock trailer I could fit 3 horses in if I had to and was off like gangbusters. It was new and shiny...After my mother moved to a new home I noticed a 2 horse slant parked down the street. I would walk around peek in the window of the tack room. Oh, the thought that my stuff wouldnt get wet....ohhh the envy. So I would march up the steps and knock.. They were NEVER home. The trailer never moved for a year. I finally caught someone at home... a month later, I upgraded by selling my little stock trailer and taking a loan out from Mom.. Loved my trailer...Fast forward to last year... Horse camping and no where for me to sleep. I then searched the internet and found a 3 horse slant at a good price...So I now have my tack converted to a sleeper/weekender and I plan on camping as many weekends as I can.. It only took me 17 years to get here... But I love being able to haul my gooseneck. I am still working on the backing part. Keri