Maiden voyage

Yesterday I finally hitched my truck up to my trailer, loaded my horse in it, and drove us to a lesson. That sentence might not seem special to most, but for me it’s a years-long dream finally coming to fruition.

It’s hard to explain just how I felt when I pulled out of the driveway at the barn. Elated? Triumphant? Exultant? Euphoric? Terrified? Maybe a little bit of all those things. I haven’t had my own rig for over a decade, and not being able to go wherever you want whenever you want is a very hard thing when you’re me. I greatly value independence.

As with any new thing there was a bit of trepidation on my part, hoping that Henry would like his new trailer and that it would perform as expected on the drive. Henry put his feet on the ramp, looked around, walked in, and pooped. I’m gonna call that his stamp of approval. The hour and 45 minute ride there was uneventful, as was the ride back. If anything, the rig performed admirably. My truck had no problem with the hills or the wind (as it should be, considering I’m only at about half of it’s towing capacity), and Henry seemed calm and happy.

When I posted last September about desperately wanting a rig, I really had no idea how or when it would possibly happen. But there’s something magical about putting things out there in the universe, because here we are now, only 4 months later, and it’s a reality. Thanks to Beth for passing Betty the trailer down to me and to everyone else who helped make Rue the truck possible… it means more to me than you’ll ever know. It’s not just a truck and trailer- it’s endless possibilities and so many open doors of opportunity.

Freedom is oh so very sweet. Here’s to many more happy journeys with Betty and Rue.

49 thoughts on “Maiden voyage

      1. ha at least it wasnt delayed due to snow like everything in my life right now (No lessons, paid for a clinic this upcoming weekend which i hope goes on if we dont get snow again! ARGHH) My barn got over 2 feet of snow.

        Can’t wait to see the unveiling of Betty White (doesnt that sound a bit dirty?)

        Quick question why is Henry on the right side of the trailer? Does he load better on that side? I was always told to load on the left side. Just curious. He looks pretty comfy in his new ride though! 🙂

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          1. You should always haul a single horse behind the driver. Two horses – the heaviest goes on the left. Because roads are crowned in the middle this balances the weight better. Single horse on the right gets thrown around more. I found this out the hard way. 😀

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            1. All of these are things I know. However, what you don’t know is – a) there was a bunch of crap (ie weight) already loaded on the left, and b) the left side isn’t completely finished on the inside and therefore isn’t suitable for a horse to go in yet, hence why the cargo was over there in the first place. There are still some exposed screws and sharp edges from metalwork that need to be finished and bondo’d by the painter on the left side, so I chose a lack of puncture wounds/cuts over a possibly more balanced ride. It was a conscious decision, not a willy-nilly one.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. i figure you had a reason 🙂 Makes sense. I just figured Bobby was with you in spirit and his ego takes up all the room on the left side 🙂

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              2. I appreciate you thinking of me Martidoll!
                Calm, Forward, Straight – you said you found out the hard way – what happened? I was always taught to load on the right side as it puts the horse further away from oncoming traffic/passing traffic etc so if someone hits you, it lessens the likelihood of the horse getting injured.

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              3. (knew the word “should” was iffy hence the emoticon – wouldn’t accuse you of being willy-nilly) Just a cautionary tale of how much stress and work I made for myself after only one ride. Val went from self-loading to almost un-loadable, due to hauler inexperience + riding on the right. I wish someone had shared that with me before the fact and explained why.

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                1. Weird, wonder what happened to your guy. Mine seemed super happy and chill. I watched him through the window and he just ate his hay, and every time I stopped he was like “Oh hey there, cookie?”. Actually loaded and unloaded better on the return trip than he did the first time – he self loaded for the trip home! lol

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              4. I’ve only heard that it’s safer for them to be towards the center of the road – could be left or right depending on where you live (i.e. England vs US) – something to do with balance around turns? Idk really, kinda doubt it makes a huge difference for short trips in good conditions anyway lol. Regardless – you must be so stoked to have the trailer operational!!!!!

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              5. Sorry – Bobby, didn’t see your reply. Here’s the story:

                When I went to pick Val up after purchasing him, I brought my brand new trailer that I had driven exactly once (without a horse), and thoughtlessly loaded him on the right. We had a several hour ride with tons of terrain + stop and go traffic and I’m sure it was the worst trailer ride his pampered ass had ever had. All the motion from my bad trailer driving was magnified by him being on the right and unbalancing the trailer that much more. Big princess pony, light trailer.

                We were heading up to MD for a clinic the next day, (the correct side this time) and the seven hour ride on I-95 did him in. Took two embarrassing hours to load him for the ride back from the clinic, and he pretty much refused to load after that until I proved I was competent. I basically took a horse that self-loaded, ruined him on trailering, and then retrained him to self-load… good lesson for me but could have easily been avoided.

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                1. Honestly this sounds more to me like newbie trailer driver combined with horse spending 10+ hours on a trailer over a 2 day period that led to a loading issue, not which side he was or wasn’t on. The fact that he got in the trailer on day 2 for his ride to the clinic (and that his loading problem started after a really long ride on the “correct” side) suggests that he must not have objected much to day 1, but certainly objected quite a bit to day 2. I think the real key things that you’ve touched on here are 1 – Driving skills. That makes all the difference in the world, obviously. 2 – Caring for the horse properly while hauling. I can’t imagine that spending 7 straight hours on the highway in a straight load with an inexperienced hauler is particularly pleasant. I probably wouldn’t want to get back on the trailer either!

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              6. Val very reluctantly loaded the second time, and my driving wasn’t all that bad lol. He objects strenuously to discomfort. In a heavier trailer with sway bars / stabilization, which side probably makes less difference – but it comes down to physics in the end.

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                1. I think a lot of it depends on your horse too. Some people have the same story as you but with the opposite side of the trailer, and then there are the vast majority that really don’t care which side they’re on. You know how it is with horses… no matter how strong we are in our convictions, there’s always one out there waiting to prove us wrong. As long as we figure out what works best for them and us, we’re all happy.

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  1. Congrats! Reminds me of all those same feelings when I bought my first car – many years ago. In a family of four kids and one car, I felt suddenly free and all the same emotions you mentioned. Wish you many happy years together!

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  2. Let me get this straight: you “consciously” put your horse in the wrong side of your trailer because the left side of your trailer is too dangerous?

    You’re an excellent horse owner.

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    1. There’s no “wrong side”. I’ve hauled horses on either side. Some people only haul on the driver’s side, some only haul on the passenger side. I’d prefer the driver’s side personally but considering that there is a sharp edge on the left side that still needs to be fixed, yes I chose the right. Horse rode great, trailer hauled great, and we had a perfectly uneventful trip. Yep, you caught me… I’m a terrible horse owner! LOL

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      1. Your terrible care and lack of dedication for safety is probably the reason for every person ever’s issue with trailers… You are a total danger to society (read sarcasm)

        Different strokes for different folks… Ask 5 horse people the same question and you’ll get 10 different answers…

        If more people learned how to drive there wouldn’t be as many crazy ideas about what we all “have:” to do to be safe. Yes I was taught to haul on the drivers side but some horses won’t ride on that side… Generally speaking I am not sure it matters all that much…

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    2. “Tina D”… Way to use your full name when throwing insults, anonymity makes us brave doesn’t it? I ONLY put Halo on the right side of the trailer because I feel having my horse on the side of traffic is MUCH more dangerous. Unless you’re taking curves and turns at unsafe speeds and the roads you’re driving on aren’t angled 80 degrees, it really doesn’t matter IMO. But of course “Tina D” you know best, please teach us morons who so violently abuse our horses by loading them on the right side how to become ‘excellent horse owners’ just like YOU.

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  3. Ahhh trolls will be trolls. You do you Amanda.

    BTW super jealous of your new setup. Seems like all my friends are getting rigs and I’m just over here like, “Hey I’ll pay gas for a ride.” Me and Libby feel so stranded!

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  4. Awesome ride!!
    How did you pull it off! !? It’s my biggest wish, too. But just even the truck alone simply cannot happen.

    Can’t believe the comments above. Seriously people – way to make public your utter insanity!

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    1. A blog reader made the trailer available to me for very cheap (I’ve put $ into fixing it up, but still it was quite cheap) and kinda lucked into a very good deal on the truck when my car died. It definitely helps to make our wishes known, sometimes there’s that one person out there who can help!

      And yes, someone’s crazy fell out. 😉

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      1. Oh that is really amazing! Perhaps there’s hope then 🙂 It looks like it is painted (?) but then you write about having it painted. If so, I’d love to hear an update how you did it and what it cost.
        Dreaming of my own little porta-potty turned pumkin ride one day! And for that to happen I’ll probably have to be able to pull off a REALLY good paint job on whichever thing on wheels that comes my way.

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        1. It’s just got a “home job” coat of matte black tractor paint on it right now. Dropped it off at the painter this morning for a power wash, some bondo on the delicate areas, and then he’ll prime it and paint it white! Can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s done.

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          1. Oh, awesome! We want details when it’s done. I want to know how it worked out with hardware that moves, you know, the door etc. If I did this on my own I swear they’d be “sticky” or never really shut right ever again.

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  5. The feeling of my first time driving my own trailer was almost more of a “pinch me, I must be dreaming” moment than when I got my first horse. Glad the first trip went so well!

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