About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Friday, November 11, 2011

Window Shopping and Researching Horse Trailers (again)!

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Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have been reading many, many websites looking at horse trailers (and trucks). I am researching with the goal to purchase a 3-horse gooseneck aluminum trailer with full living quarters (not weekenders) and a new truck. Today, I will talk primarily about the trailer. As it stands, I have a nice horse trailer and truck and both work quite well for me. They are not new and shiny but, totally functional and safe. My plan is to do my homework in preparation for the new, future investment.

My current truck is a 1993 Chevy 2500 2-wheel drive (I wish it was a 4-wheel drive) with heavy duty rear-end differential, heavy duty brakes, heavy duty cooling system, rear suspension air bag support, a big block 454 engine, and much more. Although it is an older vehicle, it works fantastic. It easily pulls my 2002 Moritz 3-horse slant-load bumper-pull horse/stock combo trailer with a tack/dressing room (it can be converted to a 4-horse if I remove the tack). I used to pull it with my 1984 Chevy K-10 4-wheel drive pickup but it is just not up to the task anymore and now is the resident farm truck. So, if I have a truck and trailer, you may wonder why I am looking...especially because I am so busy...who has time to travel!? :)

Well, firstly, I'd like to say that I have no intention of selling my current horse trailer. It is used for much more than hauling horses and is invaluable to us. We also use it to haul lumber, hay and other items, have used it as temporary housing for a variety of critters, and has simply paid for itself years ago. My hope is that my current truck will be okay for a while with a new trailer. My concern is that the one 4-wheel drive truck on the property, although having very low mileage, its body is rotting away (gotta love the north and the salty roads) and I will need a new (used) 4-wheel drive truck sooner rather than later...only time will tell. In any event, I think, new trailer will come first (but reserve the right to change my mind, lol).

The reason I am looking at a new trailer is that we have talked for years about a camper. It occurs to me that since I have a horse lifestyle, having a camper where the horses could come with us would be ideal and about the same cost as a traditional camper. We used to camp with the horses and a tent when we lived in Virginia (if you search you'll find old posts about that). And, should we take the new trailer without horses,the dogs could enjoy the additional space as if we were at home. To me, it all makes sense and Rick seems to be on board (thankfully). I am not sure what we plan to do in the future as the types of horse camping activities are not as nice here as in Virginia (unfortunately) but I do know I want the flexibility to load and go. I have camped with tents for years and I am so busy now, that seems just too overwhelming and like work now (very sad). I never thought I'd feel that way but I do, it isn't fun any longer, I am tired and want an easy escape without too much effort. I also like the idea of having living quarters when we travel to visit family out of town, particularly because we travel with our dogs.

I have looked at new, used, and even dealer repossessed models from a variety of sources. I have discovered companies I never heard of...it can almost be overwhelming but to me, it is a challenge and I love that! Each day I look, I find out about something new as each trailer company has something unique to offer and since there are so many companies out there, I have a lot more work to do.

I am not certain if I will purchase used or new but from what I've seen, many used trailers have not been used all that much and may be a better investment. It seems that every few months I start looking and dreaming again,I cannot help myself but the cost to purchase one is amazing and therefore, I am cautiously investigating all factors, there is no rush necessary. There are many issues including but not limited to weight of the trailer, horse quarters, slide-outs, living quarter layouts and so many other features. Part of this process is understanding what I truly need without allowing the gorgeous pictures and non-essential features to lure me. (Of course, what kind of truck I need to pull it is a factor too.)

As part of this process, I'd like to take a few day (or overnight) trips to larger dealer lots. My thought is that I need to go inside several models to see what things are in real-life, not just on websites. So far, I've visited two places fairly local to my region and I believe that one with a slide-out is highly desired--especially because I travel with the dogs. I also know I want a slant load with mangers. I am up in the air about the mid-tack. I'd of course love one of those mega-models with a fireplace, couch, dinette, etc. but, those are way out of my price range and probably out of what I truly need. I have to weight wants and needs, carefully, which is not always easy.

I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject. What have you seen? What do you have? What are your likes and dislikes? Are there any trailers or options I should avoid? Any must-haves? I don't know when I'll take the plunge but, I thank you in advance for any ideas and insights.


Lisa said...

If you don't have it already, get the book "The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer" by Neva Kittrell Scheve. It's the bible of horse trailers and an excellent resource.

If considering used, I'd be sure to have it checked out just to make sure it wasn't in an accident and has structural/frame damage. Maybe not a big thing but better safe than sorry. I don't mind a ding in the side but I don't want frame damage that might compromise my horse's safety.

Happy shopping! Sounds fun.

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Thanks, Lisa, I just bought the book! I never heard of it before and am looking forward to the read. You are very right about the accident issue...and that was not on my radar. :/ I always think of the accident issue with vehicles but hadn't on the trailer. This is precisely why I love blogging, so many people have so much to offer (especially you) and your information is always great. -M

Lisa said...

I don't know enough about trailers to know if accidents affect them the same as vehicles. I do know of a woman who's trailer was hit and she was selling it without disclosing the accident. Maybe nothing was wrong but what if something was? I think a used trailer is a very viable option but I'd want some assurance that the frame had not been compromised.

Shannon South said...

Yes - for sure take the time to go visit dealerships that have the models you are interested in. Seeing floorplans and photos online is not the same as physically being in a prospective trailer. Take your husband and if both of you are planning to camp in it - then BOTH of you need to move around in one to get a feel for living in a particular trailer with two people. I too am shopping for a living quarter trailer. We currently have a 4 horse aluminum that works well for me and we have a 29' fifth wheel RV that works for the family. Problem is that when I take the horses - we need to make two trips to bring both trailers!!! Yikes!! So I think selling both and getting one trailer to do double duty will make the most sense. I have been really impressed with Bison trailers - I am sure you have looked at them already. They seem to offer the best quality living quarter for the $$. We have a big horse education type show in London Ontario every March and at least 4 trailer dealers have displays set up so I think I will wait and do further research at that time. Keep us posted as you progress - would love to hear your findings and what you eventually purchase. Have you travelled in an RV before??

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Shannon--I've never traveled in an RV but have exposure to those who have. I am going to try to look at as many models and makes that I can and not jump into anything. I have to be sure there is enough room not only for Rick and I but, for the dogs... Morgan (Great Dane), Annie (Min Pin), Daisy (Min Pin), Sahlen (Mini Dachshund, and Sid (Italian Greyhound) too. (Oh, and the horses of course.)

Anonymous said...

Turnbow trailers!!! Custom trailer built from scratch for you. They are all built with a roll cage so God forbid the trailer rolls the structure remains intact. Awesome trailers.