Easing On Down The Road
In reading the archives for ‘Fraidy Cat Eventing, I noticed that she used to haul often. I suggested a possible post on maintaining one’s motivation for shipping. She responded with stress-free horse hauling.
“In the spring of 2014 I started hauling out for weekly lessons, a routine that persisted until Charlie moved to his current barn in the summer of 2017. During the winters with Isabel, we often shipped out 2+ times a week to local indoors, since our own outdoor arena would freeze solid for a couple months each year. Plus, obviously, we ship out to almost all our shows.”
She goes on explain her set-up and give pointers on making the process go a little more smoothly. Let’s see how I did.
1. Getting Comfortable with the Rig
Been driving a truck for years. This is my third one. So I speak truck, probably better than car.
2. But Will the Horse Load?
Yes. All of my horses load. I have been know to show off by tossing the leadrope over Milton’s neck & letting him auto-load.
3. General Strategies to De-Stress
Take your time. So true. We get to lessons and shows way early.
Have an equine buddy. No. The only option would be to bring both horses. Shudder. Right now both of them require two people. Plus, Milton has separation anxiety if I ride Rodney in the field and leave Milton in his own stall. I don’t want to think what Milton would do left alone in a strange place if Rodney came along. Shudder again. Probably some day, but not now.
Have a human buddy. Yes. So much easier when ground crew comes with. But then, everything is easier when he comes with.
All the necessities in reach. Yes. In 2017, we did many, many eight-hours-in-one-day drives for lessons with Coach Kate. Although we weren’t trailering, we learned how to keep the people healthy & happy for long trips. We got the in-cab system tuned.
4. Equipment to Make Life Easier
Yes. Spare halters. Dedicated manure bucket and fork. Bucket hooks. And so on. And so on. The only things we have to load are the horse’s personal brush box, lunging/riding/driving equipment, and people gear.
So did I learn?
I’ve got the process as trimmed down as it’s going to get. The only thing left is to load up and go.
I find myself much more motivated when I am shipping in order to do something I can’t do at home: take a lesson, use a covered ring/nice footing, leap over pretty jumps either stadium or cross-country, attend a show. I will always want to go places and do things with my horse.
I get frustrated when I am traveling to do things that I should be able to do at home: borrow a ring because my horse doesn’t want to canter “out in the open” of his own pasture, or jump tiny crossrails that look no different than the ones at home.
Trailering always takes time. The time has to be worth the trade-off. The ideal would be to have a sustainable, regular program at home, and then trailering for additional adventures.
Thank you for reading, and thank you to FCE for her sharing her trailering experiences.