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Trailering, or lack thereof, problem

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    Trailering, or lack thereof, problem

    I am having a problem. I have a 4 year old OTTB that is coming along very nicely, but I have no way to get him off the farm. I keep him in Nottingham, PA, so I am really close to a bunch of things, but have no way to get there! I don't even know how well he ships (although he has handled everything else like its no big deal, so I assume he wouldn't be bad once on). I don't have a trailer, and probably won't be able to get one, due to the darn economy. I really want to get him out (XC schooling especially, then if that goes well, lower level events, jumper shows, really anything). No one at the barn I am at events, or even goes to many shows or such, besides the big expensive shows, which I don't want to do, because, well, its super expensive and I really want to get back into eventing. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what to do about this? I have considered moving to a barn that does like "farm trailering" to shows and such, but I really like my trainer and barn that I am at, so this isn't ideal. Going through a company that "trailers to shows" isn't ideal, because it is expensive with just one horse, and then I'd be stuck there all day without a "base trailer" (somewhere for the horse to hang out while I am doing stuff like getting ready, etc). I'm quite stuck here as I don't have any idea what to do! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, cause I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place!

    Does your trainer have any suggestions? This is not a rare dilemma--I didn't own a trailer until I was almost 30 and until then I was at the mercy of barn schedules, friends with trailers, etc. Maybe you could ask your trainer about scheduling a schooling day somewhere, and advertise for a ride-share in local tack/feed stores, or use your trainer's connections to clients that have trailers. That's what we do at my trainer's barn--schooling days are scheduled well in advance and we all take turns trailering each other's horses.
    Click here before you buy.


      Volunteer and some of the local events....and make friends with some eventers in the area who have trailers! I can do. Otherwise, I'd be starting to save for an affordable truck and trailer.
      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


        Original Poster

        I am trying to save up, but the other problem with that is its been a while since I have driven a truck/trailer. Any hints of how to "get back in shape" with driving one?


          If you really are close to things, put ads up at the local tack shop. Want to attend local events and schooling days. Barn on x road. Will pay gas and reasonable fee for shipping.


            I have been competing for years trailerless. Sometimes you just have to be really creative and resourceful. Since I'm a farrier, I've been able to do lots of barter over the years. I've traded work for used trucks, for horses to resell, for trailering, once for an older trailer that was small and didn't last very long. Starting a young horse that I've traded for farrier work, and sold for enough has been one of my main means of buying used pickups, but fuel got too expensive to run older 3/4 tons pickups with the miles I need to put on. I have a friend with a diesel truck, but his trailer got too rusted out, and had to come off the road, so now we have a really nice training level packer to sell, with the objective of using the funds to buy another trailer. It's a constant, ongoing struggle. Somehow we are taking 4 horses to Island 22 in september.



              I don't know how well it works, but it is also worth a try.

              Also check with some of the local event trainers and see if they have clients that are looking to offset some of their expenses by hauling someone.

              Good luck


                When I lived in the Pittsburgh PA area the barn I was at did not have it's own trailer, and neither did most of the clientele. When we wanted to show there were 2 or 3 different local professional haulers we could call. It wasn't horribly expensive, and they'd either drop the trailer at the show for the day, if it was a one day local thing & they didn't want to hang around, or take us to the show Fri and come back for us on Sun. We also scheduled schooling trips that way as well.

                Ask around at tack shops and vets and such, or even trailer sales/repair places if there are any near you. Surely someone still does that sort of thing.

                ETA these weren't the big national companies, just local folks who traveled around in the region, mostly. One guy did do long distance hauling for a local breeder to big shows and sales and such, and would haul for us on his free time, the others it was a sideline thing.


                  I bummed rides with friends or paid people locally to take me to shows for about a year. I got to some of the shows I wanted to go to. I missed a fair share too for lack of a ride. Dealing with the long waits, expensive costs per show and being at the "whim" of someone else, eventually caused me to save my money and buy a truck and trailer.

                  I didn't buy anything new - I got an older truck and was looking at older trailers but I found a REALLY good deal on craigs list. I spent about 12k and got a truck and trailer. The truck had 140,000 miles on it but I don't drive it regularly -- I just drive it for shows/clinics/etc. You have to decide how flexible you are willing to be if you want to continue depending on other people.

                  Check on horsetopia for local trailers for rent and people who are willing to haul you. If you have a decent truck, you may be able to rent a trailer for the day. If you have a trailer, you can rent a truck from Enterprise Truck Rentals to pull it (but have to provide your own ball for the hitch).
                  Last edited by JWB; Aug. 12, 2009, 10:58 AM.
                  The rebel in the grey shirt


                    Been there, done that!

                    All good suggestions here. My Area (1) has a bulletin board on their website and part of that BB is a trailer pool area. You may want to see if your Area has something similar.


                      Call around- there may be commercial haulers in your area. I had Niki shipped by a guy who specialized in local hauling for horses. Nice trailer, nice truck, and he was a pro at loading. Easy and he did charge less than the BO.


                        I'm in a similar boat and rely a lot on friends for rides! Are there any youngsters at your barn who have a trailer? A friend of mine is in college, so she has free time and is always happy to make some extra money trailering.

                        I'm in Philadelphia, and I noticed this ad on Craigslist: I haven't contacted the person myself, but it might be another option.
                        "A canter is a cure for every evil." -Benjamin Disraeli


                          I had my own farm with 4-5 horses for four years before I got my own truck and trailer. I got very good at begging, borrowing, bartering etc people for trailer rides. The key is to network. A lot. The internet is a great resource. Look for people here on COTH who are from your area and get to know them. I have met a number of people that way, some of whom trailered my horse, and some who I now trailer. facebook is another good way to find people in your area. Good luck!


                            yep, network - and prepare to be really flexible. When I was hitching rides, I left when my rides wanted to leave, from home and from shows, went to the competitions they wanted to go to, paid more than my fair share and packed a spectacular picnic for both of us. I've been known to braid. The absolute best thing for me was to move to a barn where the owner liked shipping people and there were a couple of other eventers, even though I liked the barn I left. I had good luck getting rides, but I do think the bottom line is that if you're hitching a ride, the driver's doing you a favor (unless it's a professional), even if you're paying for some or even all of the gas. When you get your own rig, you'll appreciate it all the more! The freedom!


                              If you are in Nottingham, PA you might check with other local trainers and their students, since there are a lot of them around. I've never had a trailer, but have always been at barns where trailering was offered as a service.
                              OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!