So a couple weeks ago my husband decided he wanted to run his first 5k (yay Jason…though that’s not what you’re here to read about) so we drove the 45 minutes from home to the neighboring college town the race was to be held in. We were talking casually and I mentioned the 4 Star trailer that I shared on the blog the other day, and that, if it was still available when we got back from the beach, I wanted to make the four hour drive to go look at it. He nodded, and gave non-committal grunts as I talked about the pros and cons of the trailer.
Then, about ten minutes later when the topic had turned away from horse trailers, I spotted one off the side of the road in the back lot of a tractor dealership. We were stupid early for the race, but I knew better than to ask to look at the trailer first because I know when I’m nervous pre-horse show (the closest thing I’ve experienced to an athletic event…lolz) the last thing I want to do is to look/talk/show interest in anything else (even food!) until the stressful thing is over. I have no idea if it works that way for my husband and running, but I knew better than to poke the bear.
So naturally I mentally planned to look at the horse trailer after the race (and lunch…). Jason was agreeable and happily drove me over to look at it. I recommend all big purchases be discussed during post-race running highs by the way.
I knew it was a two horse from what I could see from the highway, but I was interested to see the condition it was in and determine if it was a slant/straight. Earlier in the search I was leaning toward a straight load because Copper has a mile long neck and is a moose, so I didn’t feel great about shoving him into a tiny slant slot, but since his navicular diagnosis I decided that I’m not planning the trailer hunt around him. Should he need to go anywhere, it likely won’t be for hours and if he’s the only horse going I just won’t shut the divider. Slants also seem to be shorter, which makes the trailer hauling noob in me feel slightly better about the learning process.
Everything I could see about the outside of the trailer looked pristine. The decal stripes are starting to peel some from age, but otherwise it looked brand new. Of course, the owner is the most thorough individual ever and had every window and door locked tightly so I could only barely see through the windows in the horse box to determine that it was a slant load with a rear tack.
I did call and ask all the questions when we got home. He told me they had it custom made by Cherokee in 2001 and he had a door added between the horse box and dressing room, loading lights and interior lights added, and had requested the black/gray color scheme as well. So it was a one owner trailer and he confessed that they only hauled horses in it a handful of times and otherwise hauled band equipment and a boat in it. It had spent most of it’s time parked up on timbers in a building out of the weather. They’ve since sold their horses and decided to sell it instead of it just sitting around longer. I told him I’d let him know when we were in the area next to look inside and left it there. My mind was still trailing back to the 4 Star in WV, but alas it sold the next day.
Conveniently enough, we were driving to the area the following weekend because one of my favorite bands was playing at the college music festival. I called the owner in advance and asked to come look at the trailer that evening before the concert and he was already planning to be in the area, so it worked out well. I took Jason out to dinner (because one should feed their husband before looking at horse trailers and making them listen to music they aren’t a fan of…) then we met the owner at the tractor dealership. The owner was clearly very proud of the trailer, in more than a “get the most money out of it” sort of way. He had told me on the phone that the new carpet smell was still in the dressing room and I’ll admit that I kind of rolled my eyes, but when I got inside the trailer, the newness was apparent. They have taken immaculate care of this trailer. Despite it being 17 years old, it looks brand new. He showed me all the features and we closed the meeting with him telling me to think on it and make him an offer.
The two things that the trailer didn’t have that I wanted were heat/ac and an escape door in the first stall. Having a heat/ac unit added on the roof down the road is easy enough, but the escape door was an item I’d just have to let go of if I wanted this trailer. I liked that it wasn’t a finished dressing room because I like the idea of putting my own touch on it to design it how I’d like it to look.
So I came up with a number that I’d be willing to pay for a 17 year old (but like new…) trailer that didn’t have those two things and I called and made my offer. He countered at $250 higher and I said yes and we scheduled when I’d go and pick it up.
So now I’ve got it tucked in the hay barn at the other side of the farm. K is having her large animal vet assisting lab class at my barn on Saturday, so I didn’t want it up there in the way since she’ll have her trailer parked up there as well as all of her students’ cars.
I do want to start insulating the dressing room once I get back from the beach and I’d like to get it acid washed and have the wheel bearings checked then too. I will have to motivate myself to clean up the hay barn now as I want to be able to keep both my trailer and my round bales in it out of the weather throughout the year. I have plenty of space…but also plenty of stuff in the way.
Speaking of stuff…what do you guys keep in your trailers? Since my birthday is coming up, I’ve been putting together a list so if there’s anything I need for the trailer I can maybe ask for it. 😉 My list so far (including items I already have around the house/barn):
Step/black mounting block Spare halters/leads Trailer chock Spare lungeline Show buckets Muck tub Manure fork
Chairs Fan Joey’s tote for shows
- White board
Hammer (I swear I have 11 hammers at the barn but sometimes I can’t find any…there are currently three in my fencing bucket though…)
- Snaps- I had spares in Joey’s show tote but I used them to chain the run in gate shut and he murdered them scratching his ass on the gate…
- Zip ties
- Screw driver
- Flash lights
- Extension cord
- Outdoor rug
- Collapsible hamper
- Fire extinguisher
- Thermometer to try this
And yes, my Horse Trailer Remodel Pinterest Board is alive and well again…