Sunday, January 29, 2012


I got both of my horses for free.  I had to buy the trailer.  It was cheap, but the adventure I had with it is priceless.

I'd only trailered a horse once before.  I had to borrow a trailer when I lived in South Texas and took my Azteca stallion to a show about 10 miles away (we took second, only because first place went to a "ringer"--a national champion).  I tried to return the trailer to the owner, and the dang thing just refused to back where I wanted it to.  It didn't help that there was also an evergreen shelterbelt where I needed to pull up to get the right angle.  Well, after about half an hour and a lot of cussing, I finally got it situated in a tolerable spot.  "Phew" I thought.  "Glad THAT's over!"  and I managed to avoid trailers for the next 10 years.

Then I got ready to bring Aces and her trailer (the one I bought) home to Kansas from Colorado.  No Problem, right?  Heh.  Right.  Not only did we have to hook it up to my truck, we also had to load the 10 fence panels that came with her onto it.  If you've never seen a couple of women on a cold Colorado evening lifting fence panels and tying them onto the trailer with baling twine and ratchet straps, you've really missed something.  Then there's the sight of the trailer with all those panels on it.  Talk about redneck heaven.

Departure Day dawned bright and cold.  Of course, I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before since I was still apprehensive about trailering that kind of distance.  Everything that could go wrong ran through my head on a repeating loop.  We finally got my mare loaded (actually, I should say THEY did because my nervousness was upsetting her).  And there I rolled, down the road.

The Colorado leg of the journey was mainly uneventful until I saw my gas gauge drop before my eyes.  My mileage got cut in half, or less.  Then there were the stares of people wondering what the heck kind of contraption was rolling down the road towards them.  Still, all was going well and I was starting to feel pretty good about the whole thing.

Mysteriously, right at the Kansas border, the wind kicked up.  I'm not talking about a playful little breeze, or a whimsical whiff of air, I'm talking WIND.  It was gusting up to around 40 miles an hour, but still holding steady at about 30 MPH the rest of the time.  Up went my stress levels.  Through the ROOF.  I swear I could feel the trailer trying to rock the truck over.  Oddly enough, no matter which way the road turned, it seemed that the wind was determined to hit me broadside.

Then, in the most deserted part of Kansas, I realized that I was low on gas.  The Distance To Empty display was ticking down at a shocking rate.  I was driving on a Sunday, so even some of the gas stations I did find were closed.  I was seriously starting to look for farms beside the road that I might be able to stop at and buy a few gallons to get me to the next station (and hoping that they could tell me where it was, plus hoping the station would be open) . . .and madly searching my pockets for any available cash.  Have you ever tried to get into your pocket while you're driving?  Have you ever done it when the horse trailer behind you seems seriously determined to become a kite?  Take my word for it.  Don't try it.  Then there's the question of leaving MY horse in a trailer while I go trying to find gas.  Erm, not a comfortable idea.

Finally, as I was running on fumes, I saw it.  THE GAS STATION.  It was OPEN.  I swear that I almost kissed the man behind the counter.  I'm sure he thought that I was crazy, but hey, everyone else does too, so that's OK. 

Getting her onto the farm was rather an anticlimax.  Harry and Margie had agreed to let me keep her out here even before we closed on the property.  As a matter of fact, they had some friends over that night who generously helped to get those baling-twine-tied panels off the trailer and set up.  Aces was a good girl and stayed tied while we set up her pen.  So here she was . . .MY HORSE! 

Since I obviously stink at backing trailers, we figured out a way to pull the trailer around so it would sit out of the way.  It's still sitting there.  I can't see it without thinking of this particular adventure.  So, if you must trailer anything, make sure you can back it, make sure you know where the gas stations are, and hope and pray that it's not a windy day.  Good luck!

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