The Trailer Conundrum

For this post I’m venturing into the realm of First World problems. If I’m totally honest, just about any equestrian ventures permanently reside there. Anyway, after we initially purchased the GHLHF and I was finally in a position to own horses again on my terms, meaning no boarding, no barn drama, no barn managers, no helmet Nazi’s, and dealing with trainers only when I specifically request their assistance, we needed a trailer. At the time we weren’t in a position to be overly picky or spend much on equine transportation. In addition to purchasing said property we were also giving it a major overhaul while expecting Offspring. We totally gutted the house floor to ceiling, had outbuilding repairs to make, fencing to install, and everything an infant needs in the first few months of life to purchase. Essentially we were hemorrhaging money. Luckily, we found a used stock/combo gooseneck trailer in excellent condition for the right price, meaning we could pay cash for it.

Fast forward five years…We’re in a better financial situation. The trusty stock/combo has hauled horses to shows and livestock thousands of miles, all over Texas and many of the adjoining states. It is still in good condition and a perfectly safe way to transport, but as our equine activity has increased not to mention Darling Husband and I involved in completely separate farm activities simultaneously, the realization that we needed another trailer hit. There had already been more than one occasion when we both needed the trailer at the same time for completely different purposes. With Darling Husband hauling livestock on a contract basis, for the farm, increasing his involvement in mustang organization activities, and me dragging horses/ponies to every show and parade within a three hour radius, one trailer wasn’t cutting it any longer. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if we really needed two Ram 3500 Cummins diesel trucks, I’d at least have enough to purchase harness sets to outfit a team of eight. I also respond to that question with a laugh.

The problem with purchasing a trailer is the exact same problem we experienced purchasing Black Beauty, our second truck. Darling Husband is extremely picky and spends months doing research before even entertaining the idea of a purchase. In the case of Black Beauty we spent almost two years searching before he located the truck with all of the specs he required. Apparently there were only 5 within the entire U.S. Our trailer search wasn’t much shorter. I hopped on Facebook market place and started messaging him ads for every trailer I liked. He shot me down on almost all of them with a list of reasons. DH told me there were only four brands on the market he would even consider. That narrowed down options considerably because he just so happened to pick the four most expensive brands with the highest resell value as well. Our search was taking place during one of the biggest trailer market booms in decades. Everyone was sitting home or quarantined for Covid, so they had plenty of time to engage in livestock activities or rodeo. Ten year old used trailers of DH’s chosen brands were literally selling for the same price they did brand new within a few days of being posted.

We were a year and a half into the search when I finally put my foot down. I gave DH a list of my non-negotiable, the trailer must have items, and asked him what he really needed and would actually use more than once a year. Many of the options he wanted were things, I would rarely use, if ever, and I would be the person primarily towing the new trailer. Being generous, he would only use those “wish list” features once or twice a year. If we stuck to my non-negotiable list, that put us in a price range that we could purchase a brand new Platinum (our 2nd top 4 choice brand) trailer with a warranty. It only took a few days for him to see the merits of the idea. Even with this concession, it still took a few months to locate our new trailer because the U.S. was in the middle of a manufacturing backlog and dealerships couldn’t keep trailers on the lot. Close to two years after the search began, I luckily found my trailer sitting on a lot not far from us. It was already spoken for, but if the financing fell through for the person ahead of us, the trailer would be ours!

A week before my birthday, I gave myself an early birthday gift of a brand new Platinum stock combo trailer with tack room that would comfortably double as sleeping space. I was ecstatic. This was the single biggest, frivolous purchase I had ever made, but I consoled myself with the fact that if I suffered buyers remorse I could easily sell it for what I had paid under current market conditions. I had custom decals made for it, and immediately purchased bedding. It actually has a better mattress/sheets/pillows than any of the beds in my house currently. I couldn’t wait for the next show. Dressage Queen and I definitely had an upgraded ride!

While my trailer purchase had been a painful two year ordeal, Dressage Queen just so happens to stop by a local trailer lot minutes after they receive a used, meets all DQ’s requirements for the right price unit when she really hadn’t even been on the market for a trailer. So literally within a month, my show partner in crime and I both have upgraded trailer situations. This would seem ideal, but usually we car (horse) pool to shows. So now which trailer to take? The first show out of the gate was a no brainer, because the kids were coming, meaning we needed both trailers to accommodate everyone. The next show was more difficult. The venue is a longer haul, and this show will be adults only. Car (Horse) pooling would make sense to save on fuel, except both of us are excited about our new trailers. Each of us is in love with features of our own trailer that the other’s does not have. We start the negotiations on which trailer to take. I have the best truck to tow with. DQ’s trailer has a rear tack that leaves slightly more space in the sleeping area. My trailer is aluminum/lightweight with more neck clearance for my higher truck bed. DQ’s trailer is a slant load. I have an actual mattress, not an air mattress.

Female friendships are difficult. Female equestrian friendships infinitely more so. If you don’t believe me check out a competition barn with bunch of little barn rats running around. Equestrians aren’t logical. We convince 1200 pound free thinking animals that can be terrified of small plastic bags to run fast and jump high while we’re sitting on their back and spend crazy amounts of money to do it. I could feel DQ’s frustration during our last conversation and I knew we needed to resolve the issue. Neither of us wanted to offend the other. Even though horse pooling has been “our thing” up until this point, we’re also both travelling with more horses, more tack, and sometimes more people than our early shows. It will only increase as more of her pony clubbers begin to compete, so now seemed like a good time to make the split. I suggested we both just travel separately with two trailers, convoy style in case of any roadside emergency. Crisis averted. Everyone’s happy. Neither one of us has to transfer items back and forth between tack rooms which simplifies packing exponentially. DQ isn’t embarrassed to unload her horse from a trailer with the “F word” in the custom decal on the back. Like I said at the beginning…Total First World problems that we are very blessed to have.

2 Comments

  1. Oh yes, nothing to make you realize how freaking expensive and weird this hobby is than trailer hunting. I just old a little stock trailer and am still waiting for delivery for my next 30 years trailer. Usually I never hesitate to toss my horse and tack in my friend’s trailers, they’ve always had much nicer ones, but now I’m gonna want to tow all the time! Hope you both enjoy your new ones!

    Liked by 1 person

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