Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Xmas gifts for the trailer owner


Have a horse person in your life who loves practical presents?  Well here's a great guide for the practical gift giver!!  As I'm a cheapskate, I'd like to remind you to shop around for the best price from your favorite store and be sure to report back those prices!

Since I just bought a trailer, these all appear to be trailer themed.

Save room in your trailer by combining your grooming tote with your mounting block, available from most online tack retailers but also Walmart as a "tool box" for much less!





This Trailer Aid is a great tool for the emergency side of the road flat.  Drive your trailer up on this and easily (HAHA) change your flat.


If your loved one likes to keep things organized they even make a special holder to secure it against the wall.


I'm currently using a bucket, as are most of the other thrifty people I know, but if you have someone who likes to store their trailer in style this handy trailer hitch cover can be just the solution


How about this handy tire inflator?  There are several versions of this tool that run off your cigarette socket and let you air up that flat when you're in the middle of the wilderness.

Another emergency device is this battery charger, if you left your lights on and there isn't anyone to give you a jump this can save the day.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Another saddle, another nope

Well, the Smith Worthington saddle my GPS almost got me murdered for has been sent packing.  I can't speak highly enough for the customer service at SW, even though I bought the saddle from a 3rd party. Their saddles are made to last, and they have an excellent fitting service where they can adjust flocking and the tree in the factory.

So many people online suggested them as a hidden gem for people looking at budget saddles and I was really excited to pick one up for a song.  Thankfully, I got it on trial as I had to send it right back.




It appeared to fit Stella well enough, although it did bridge a bit.  SW likes you to ride in their new saddles for a few weeks and then check the fit again before sending it in to be adjusted as new saddles settle a bit as they break in.



I actually felt that the balance was quite good.  My leg swung a bit, but I've been out of a jumping saddle for over a month and it didn't swing nearly as bad as the Stubben (which looked like it fit me).


However, a quick picture of me in the saddle showed that the fit just wasn't right.


It was clearly made for someone with a much longer leg who liked to ride with a shorter stirrup, and even after a break in period would never fit me.  Sniffle.  Back to the drawing board.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

How my GPS tried to get me murdered



You may know that I've been saddle shopping, and the other day I had a saddle scheduled to arrive in the mail and the seller had it marked as sign on receipt so while I tried to be home the entire day Fedex attempted to deliver in the 1 hour window I was gone.  Of course.

I managed to have the package held at their main hub or "Ground" facility after navigating a very frustrating menu  If you've never been to a Fedex facility you should know that it looks like a high security Russian base.  I had to park in a special area, enter a guard shack where the guards were frisking the employees as they left for the day and pick up the special white phone and wait for someone to answer it.  Like the guard literally said "pick up the white phone, wait for someone on the other end to answer, tell them who you want whacked."  I got my package, wasn't arrested for espionage, and was on my merry way.  

Or so I thought.

As I was pulling out I hit "home" on my GPS to allow it to navigate me out of the twisty streets of the manufacturing district.  

"GPS Signal Lost"

What do you mean lost, we're in the middle of the city and not the Hoosier National Forest.  I pull into the straight only lane.

"GPS signal found, turn right here!"

As I was cursing my GPS a couple men in a Corvette with 16 inch rims squealed around me and spit gravel at my truck, apparently the 1/4 second hesitation at the light pissed them off.

"Go straight and turn left on Euclid"

OK GPS, sound fine by me.  Vaguely noticed the Corvette also turned onto Euclid.  Also noticed the first four houses were boarded up.   Hey, the Obama economy hasn't helped everyone.  

Corvette stopped in the middle of the road when it met an older model Caprice with 22inch spinners and a color changing paint job and there was an exchange of items between the drivers.

I continued to follow my GPS instructions and drove through an intersection where two people were filming something with a camera in the middle of the street.

"Turn Left here"

I obediently turned left and bumped into the Corvette again, who had stopped at the street corner and was exchanging something between the driver and a man in a hoodie on the corner.  

I think my GPS is out to get me but decide that's just silly.  GPS don't hold grudges.  They can't hear you loudly swearing as they direct your trailer through 15 traffic circles then abandon you in the middle of nowhere.  Right?  Although I did mentally not that had I been towing the trailer it would have asked me to U turn.  Coincidence.  

"Turn right into this dark one way alley"

I turned right, although quite frankly the directions were a bit suspicious, and there was the Corvette, again stopped at the corner speaking to another pedestrian.  Exchange of something white and something green.  

Having now confirmed my GPS's murderous intent I promptly turned around in someone's driveway.

"GPS signal lost"  

I found my own damn way out of the neighborhood, back to the highway, and to the barn to try the saddle on Stella.  


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Blingy Half Chaps

Back in the spring my half chaps bit the dust, darn zippers never seem to last more than a few years.  I have tall boots but I don't like the hassle of changing out of my paddock boots, and I really want to make them last by only wearing them during shows and lessons.  I know, I'm cheap.

I ordered one pair from Horseloverz that I couldn't even zip up because the size chart was wrong  Half Chap Review.  Since I lost out on the money due to Horseloverz very difficult return policy, I bought a cheap pair off of Ebay from Army Plus who shipped them promptly.   For $27 I can't complain!  They've so far lasted in regular 5 day a week use since June.  I would like them to come an inch taller, sometimes I get pinched right below the knee.  They are a great option for lesson students or someone who wants something serviceable but not expensive.




These totally blinged out fringy half chaps on Ebay are available from Thoroughbred Express Tack Sales LLC.  I think the fringe would get in the way of the zippers, and they don't come in black!  I can't have mismatched paddock boots and half chaps.





I also like this slightly less blingy (HA!) half chaps from Millbrook Leathers for $79.  I like the spanish tops and the alligator print, bling without being BLINGY.  




How do you like your half chaps?  Bling?  No Bling?  Suede or smooth leather?  Spanish tops or easy wear?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Trailer Spiffing

Stella's had an abscess the last several weeks, thus no awesome riding posts from me!  It's given me plenty of time to organize my things for a tack sale (which immediately went to truck tires and a vet visit for Stella) and do more work on spiffing up my dressing room.  It was useable as is, but I wanted it to look, well, nice.

First, I had to finish waterproofing the dressing room.  I had originally used Silicone caulking to seal the gap between the new wood over the rusted out mangers but it started to decay and pull away, letting water in.

After much research I turned to marine caulking.  It was recommended by several people that put living quarters in horse trailers so good enough for me!


Next, I dealt with a roof leak in the horse area and in the dressing room by using Eternabond tape.  It's a great tape like thing that provides a permanent waterproof bond.  It's used on the roofs of RVs all over and works great on horse trailers.  It's very sticky and does not come off once down without difficulty, so use caution and apply straight!


I painted the inside of the dressing room with Rustoleum paint.  It's an oil based paint (you need mineral spirits to remove it), sticks to metal, and prevents rust from coming through the paint as well as stops rust from growing.


I installed a foam puzzle mat over the plywood floor.  It made the trailer look nicer, and provided cushion and some insulation


Here's the dressing room before, you can see the rotted wood in the corner.  I tried to remove this wood but it's bolted onto the outside of the trailer and a panel on the outside actually came loose.   I think I'd have to remove the floor and drop it out the bottom to get it out without damaging the walls so I chose to leave it in and just cover it up.



The other side of the dressing room.  You can see where rust from previous leaks came through.


Here's the puzzle floor going in.  It was simple to instal although I did struggle in the rounded areas cutting it to fit right.



After!!! I used beadboard and just covered up the old wood, and the paint covered up all the rust and made it really bright inside.


Another picture of the paint and floor.  Nice and clean and fresh.


Next, I'd like to cover up the bottom of the mangers and replace the roof vent which leaks.  For now I have a bucket over the vent when the trailer is sitting and that has stopped the water from coming in.

Thoughts?