Friday, September 12, 2014

Haulin' A

We picked up our new-to-us used trailer today.  Purchasing any kind of vehicle is always a process, and it's one of my least favorite activities.  When we bought it last weekend, the owner of the trailer dealership wrote up our purchase, and as he passed an "As Is" contract across the counter to us, alarm bells went off in my head.  I asked if anyone had taken the trailer for a test drive to make sure that it doesn't pull to the right or something.  My gut instinct was telling me that something was wrong with it.

The owner acted insulted and said, "The guy who traded it in just used it for hauling his quads."

I was thinking, "What does that have to do with anything?"  So, I pressed a little further to get a straight answer out of him.  He said in an angry, disgusted tone that he wouldn't buy a trailer from someone if there was a problem with it.  Still, not the answer I was looking for, so I pressed further, and he said rather hesitantly that they inspect all the used trailers they buy.  I'm really good at reading people, and his behavior told me loud and clear that the trailer had never been inspected.

The other information we kept trying to get out of the guy was whether we needed to buy any additional parts to make it compatible with our truck.  We talked to him in person and my husband questioned him over the phone, and the man kept insisting that we were all set and could just haul it away.  So, when we went to pick it up, I left my mobile phone at home, thinking I'd be back in a few minutes.

The first snag we hit was that the owner did not listen to us when we told him we would pick it up on Friday.  He thought we said Wednesday, so he had it sitting out in the parking lot on Wednesday ready to go, and when we didn't show up, they hauled it out back.  He also told us he would call us when it is ready, but never did.  We had to call him, and we had to wait for them to bring it out with a tractor even though we told them we were on our way.  The next snag was that we didn't have the right sized ball, so we had to pay another $40 for a ball and arm.

The final snag was a doozy.  The man told me that the running lights wouldn't work at night if I had my lights on AUTO.  I had to set them to ON.  So, I started up my truck, set the lights to ON, and we ran through a lights test.  We found that nothing was working on the right side of the trailer.  No right turn signal, no right brake light.

The man said he probably just needed to change a bulb, but that didn't fix it.  Then he said it was probably a fuse under my hood in my truck.  I doubted that, because my truck is fairly new and I hardly ever drive it.  While he was fiddling under my hood, my husband told me to turn the lights back to AUTO, and suddenly the right turn signal and brake lights worked.  What that meant was that I couldn't haul the trailer at night without possibly getting a ticket.

The guy wasn't sure how to fix it, so he brought out another mechanic, and eventually the owner came out.  I was happy that they were making the effort to correct the situation and not throwing the "As Is" clause at us.  My husband studied electronics when he served in the military, so he probably could have figured it out, but he doesn't need one more thing to do.  We sat out in that parking lot for a while, everyone dripping sweat, until they replaced some wires and got the electric components working again.

So, here is what we are going to be using to haul manure out and hay in....

Sometimes people get annoyed with me when I insist that something is wrong, but have no proof, or when I tell people to be extra-cautious because I sense something bad is going to happen, but I'm always right.  My instincts are excellent.  Sometimes I'm more in tune than other times, and right now my sensitivity seems to be far reaching.  Last night the phone rang, and I thought, "It's my father-in-law.  He's calling to tell us that a relative died."  It was no surprise to me when my husband listened to the message and confirmed what I was feeling.  It was a relative I had never met, and who my husband hadn't seen in years, so we don't have to get too involved other than to send our sympathies.  I have two relatives left in my blood line who are older than me, and in the case of one of them, I will be responsible for planning the funeral and settling his affairs.  All the rest of my relatives have already passed away.  My husband has a lot more living relatives than I do, and he seems to be losing them at a rate of about one per year now.

This is what my round pen looks like at the moment...

The darker dirt is where I have raked up rocks so far.  I haven't been able to lay down much manure yet.  I'm hoping to get this project done before anyone needs to use the round pen.  I don't want a horse to be kicking rocks from the unraked side over into the side I already raked, giving me more work to do.  Then when I'm done with the round pen, I will start shoveling manure into the trailer.

In other news, I bought myself a slightly early birthday present, besides the trailer.  (This is a big birthday for me.  I'll be half a century old.)  I bought an equestrian protective vest.  I've been hearing a lot of stories about cracked and broken ribs, punctured lungs, and back injuries from falls off horses.  Given that I've fallen off twice this year, and knowing the chances are high that next time I will land on a rock or cactus, I wanted to cover my body as well as my head.  I've always worn a helmet and I feel naked without one.  I'm hoping this protective vest will become second nature too.  It has cooling gel inside of it, so hopefully it won't be too hot to wear in Arizona.

My husband wants one now too.  He's been stuffing towels down the back of his jeans to try to protect his tail bone, and the vest I got has a flap to cushion the tail bone.  I'll let everyone know how it works out when I start using it.

I had a double compound fracture of my left arm falling off Bombay when he was a green horse eleven years ago, and I'm still suffering from pain in that arm.  I have nerve damage and have had to have physical therapy in the past to help with the pain.  It makes me prone to tennis elbow.  The pain has been coming back with all the shoveling and rock picking that I've been doing lately.  Apparently, I sleep on the arm in a bad way and wake up feeling like it is broken again.  I can't sleep without taking pain killers.  So, there's nothing like the lingering effects of an old injury to make you extra cautious about getting future injuries.

In other news, I got one of those hanging Himalayan rock salt licks for the horses.  I had to lead our horse Rock over to it and pretend like I was licking it, because none of the horses knew what to do with it.  I give them salt blocks that sit on the ground all the time, but this is the first they've seen that hangs from a rope and is pink and white.  Rock caught on and started licking it.  Then Gabbrielle joined him while Bombay and Lostine watched.  I didn't actually expect that me modeling licking it would work, but those horses are smart.  Now I've just got to make sure they don't get a hold of the rope and try to eat it.  I'm planning on taking it down at night or when I'm not home until I know I can trust them to leave the rope alone.


Laura Lee said...

Nice trailer, we desperately need one of those too for hay hauling. Hanging the salt chunk reminds me of how I recently hung those stall snack things in the stalls that look like red apples with apple filling in them, know the kind I am talking about? Anyway, they quickly figured out how to take bites out of them instead of licking and they only last a day. Silly horses :)

Water Girl said...

One of my favorite quotes of all time is, "I love being a pessimist I am never disappointed and often pleasantly surprised." I wish more people followed their instincts, even if it means being labeled as a pessimist.

Cut-N-Jump said...

I had to buy one of those vests for the marathon portion of the CDE's. I may have worn it twice now.... They are comfortable enough when you get used to wearing them. Dena and I were discussing last night that we don't 'bounce' anymore. At least not like we once did. This aging thing is for the birds.

achieve1dream said...

It's not just an aging thing. I want a vest too, but I can't afford it right now. Those stories about back injuries and punctured lungs make me want to quit riding....

I'm glad everything worked out with the trailer. That's a really nice one that will have all sorts of uses.

Happy birthday. Sorry I missed it!