Saturday, April 17, 2010


Oh! Yall aren't all my Facebook friends (why not?!), so you might not know that I am going to get a trailer. For reals! My awesome husband is getting some inheritance money - we're going to pay bills with most of it, but I stamped my little foot and told him I want a trailer. In the interest of being a grownup, I am going to get a 70s 2h straight load BP (under $1500) and save up for what I really want, a used 2h slant with tack room ($3000-4000). Both Dixie and I will be happier with a slant, but we can make it through a year with a straight. And I do not want any new debt.

Fortunately, almost all the 2h straight loads on the market are painted original vibrant colors. Red! Yellow! Black and white art deco! I am going to have a pimpin' trailer.

I think I'll get to make my trailer purchase next weekend - the week after at the latest. I need a safe trailer for the horse and some kind of shelter for me. I think I will get a truck tent, a twin air mattress, and a piece of plywood. Maybe an eggcrate or a pad, to help block the cold air? I've heard that standard air mattresses suck all the heat out of your body.

Dixie can stand tied to the trailer til I find some lightweight panels for cheap - I think I want solid portable panels, not a hi-tie or a portable electric fence. Thoughts?

I've signed up for Washoe Valley, and even worse, ~C has talked me into both 25 mile days. It sure seems like a good idea now, but I think I will cuss her on Saturday morning when I have to get back on my horse.


  1. I can say from experience, the color of the trailer will affect how hot it gets for your horse. I have a black top on my trailer and that sucker cooooooks! Not good. so if possible get one light.

    I sleep on an air mattress and have never noticed it sucking the warmth. I have one with that fleecey type fabric on the top. Wonder if that helps.

    As for pens, I think it depends on your horse. Some will respect the hotwire, some won't. Some will put their legs through the panels, other's won't. It's a crap shoot if you ask me. But good luck on your rides. Hope you have a great time.

  2. My parents fashioned their portable panels out of PVC pipe. The put the horses in it a time or two with a hot wire running around the inside so that they new it really was a fence. After the horses learned that the white PVC, though light, will bite, they quit challenging it and now my parents just strap the panels to the outside of the trailer with bungy cords and go - the horses respect it as a fence and it doesn't add a lot of weight to the trailer to haul it.

  3. Oh, so much advice I could give you...argh. Maybe I'll do a blog post about corral panels.

    Trailer: see if you can find a stock-type trailer instead of a straight-load. It will give you more flexibility (can rig it so your horse can ride slanted in the open box) and stock-types maintain value a bit better. If you end up with a straight-load, try to get one with a "swinging" wall in the middle that can be secured to one corner or the other to create a faux slant. Lytha did that with her little trailer and it worked great.

    BE SURE when you're trailer shopping to check
    * tires (not just tread--check the inside for dry rot!),
    * wiring (plug it in and test running lights, turn signals, brake lights)
    * floor (crawl underneath with a flashlight and a penknife and test the floor boards for sogginess and/or dry rot. If wood feels cool to the touch on a warm day, there's rot).

    If the trailer has an independent braking system, get the brakes checked ASAP.

    So much I have learned the hard way, argh. I'm sure there's more...!

  4. Oh, hey, truck-camping:
    sometimes it's more comfy to camp in the horse trailer, especially if it has close-able windows (if not, hang a tarp for protection from sun or rain. Set up a cot and a little campstove on a camp table. Lots more room than the back of the truck.

    If you prefer to sleep in the truck bed, consider getting a permanent canopy for your truck (I found mine cheaply on Craigslist), which will keep the bed cleaner and dryer. I used a plastic-covered foam mattress in the bed of my truck and lived there for a month (uh, long story). A metal or fiberglass canopy is sturdier and quieter in wind and rain, and makes a better sun-shade than a tent.

  5. I'm guessing at this point that two back to back days would definitely set me into a whole new level pain (yes, you will cuss). I rolled out of bed at midnight last night in agony....if anyone would have told me it was time to climb on my horse, well, I couldn't have been held accountable.

    I second Rising Rainbow's comment on get a light colored trailer. Mine is a slate grey and sucks in heat. It about dehydrates me before I even start the ride trying to set up camp, and get my stuff organized back there.


  6. Okay, you asked for it you got it. Check my blog for more info than you ever wanted to know about what I've learned about horse containments in camp! Whew.

  7. Congrats on the exciting purchase! I can't wait til the day I am trailer shopping. =) Have fun and keep us posted.

  8. Check out AareneX blog for my comments on horse containment.

    As far as sleeping....IMO the truck tents are more expensive than they are worth AND you can't move your truck around once they are up. I like either being in my trailer, or on the ground in a tent. I've slept in the back of my trailer a couple of times and it was COLD. The only time it was "OK" was when I had a walmart easy up over the top and 45 different blankets, sleeping bags, and pads in their with me (oh, and my Mr. Buddy Heater).

    I'm looking into a "soft top" (like a soft camper shell), but I think they are going to be a bit pricey. And really, I LIKE tent camping :).

    Regarding the trailer. If the tires are more than 5 years old, you HAVE to replace them. I bought a 2000 trailer in 2007 and the tires had maybe 70 miles on them. Looked brand new. Had been protected from sun and weather.

    And - After 2 weeks I had a blow out.

    Tires have a shelf life of 5-6 yuears. I ended up replacing all of them. My parents had a 5th wheel RV trailer and same deal, except they just replaced them one at a time. All of them blew in about 3 months - including the spare on the back the trailer, inside of the cover. Just sitting in the drive way one day and BAM! me on the subject of tires and ask about the AGE of the tires.

  9. Thanks so much for all the good advice! I never would've thought about color = hot, RR. Aarene, I will look for a movable divider. I'm planning on upgrading next year and only doing close rides this year, so we'll both have to suck up and deal with a lil trailer. NO NEW DEBT, dammit.

    Mel, stupid question - why would I move my truck after tent is up? For an away vet check?

    I do think I want a truck tent - off ground if horses get loose, no need to pound stakes in NV rocky sandy hardpan, nice flat surface for bed and Stuff. The last time I camped in a tent I was 12 and it didnt go so well - I am a novice camper.

  10. There's no such thing as a stupid question! (actually I disagree - I think a lot of questions people ask are stupid, but not yours. I'm digressing).

    I've never actually had to move my truck at a ride, but I can think of a million reasons why I *might* (althought it will probably never happen).

    *ice run to the store
    *if parking is tight - park my trailer and then repark my truck so it fits into my campsite better
    *if I had a crew that car pooled with me and I wanted them at the out checks.
    *If I was really lazy and had to haul water from really far away.

  11. Good luck with finding the new trailer and containment system!

    Over the years I've seen tons of wrecks in camp from various horse confinement systems. I think I've seen more horse deaths caused from that than any other reason.

    The tie-arms or tying directly to the trailer is the safest way. When other peoples' horse or horses get running lose in camp they will run through whatever containment system you are using. I've had that happen to me a few times - one time horses ran through their electric fence and past my trailer. When I went out I found MY horse wrapped in white electric tape, still on his hi-tie, and the other horses were missing.

  12. haha! yes, you'll be cussing her out but a few days later you'll be whooping with joy! congrats on the trailer! and darn, i mighta coulda woulda went to Washoe, but... I'm back in Idaho. I'll see you on a ride somewhere!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond


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