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Tactful way to say "No thank you" due to safety.

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  • Tactful way to say "No thank you" due to safety.

    Someone I know well encountered an interesting situation recently. She was invited on a ride with a couple of new horse acquaintances, one of whom was her BO. The BO offered to haul a couple of horses.

    When everyone arrived, there were a number of safety issues with the BO's trailer.

    Luckily, one of the other riders saw this as well and quickly swooped in and "accidentally" loaded the horse in question onto a different trailer so no harm done.

    But the situation is liable to pop up again very soon. If you were (kindly and generously) being offered a ride but felt that the rig was unsafe, what would you say to someone who also happened to be your BO and had no qualms putting her own horse in said trailer?

    I'm not talking about safety stuff like "Ohhh! She doesn't use quick release trailer ties!" or "Ohhh! She doesn't have padded butt bars!" I'm talking rotten floor, bad tires, electrical not working, etc. Something more major.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

  • #2
    I have had that happen, and said something along the lines of "I would hate to tax your trailer while the electrical is out, why don't I just ride with X/trailer us both instead" (not sure if your friend has her own rig, but offering to drive is easy).

    That said, now that she knows that the BO's trailer isn't safe, she can either pre-arrange to go with someone else, or if accepting the invitation means riding in a scary trailer, decline for any old reason (have to ride early that day b/c of appointment, etc.)

    Comment


    • #3
      I take it that you don't have trailer safety inspections in your state.

      I would either offer to haul myself or if that wasn't an option, catch a ride with someone else or simply pass on going. Why risk hauling in a bad trailer?

      And if the BO ever gives you an opening like "Gee, I think I am going to have to get new tires," then say something like "Yes, the lack of tread makes it look dangerous to haul horses with the trailer." Agree and reinforce.

      FWIW, I wouldn't worry about the trailer alone. I had a trainer who wanted to use her trailer for a show. The trailer was okay, but the hauling vehicle had on farm use tags. I am sure it would never have passed a safety inspection as the headlights were tied in place with baling twine, the windshield had a substantial crack, and duct tape was used liberally on the truck's body.
      Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
      http://www.ironwood-farm.com

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Wow, Ironwood, that sounds like what we call a "John truck" back home in Iowa. Floor rusted out under the driver's feet, no signals, etc etc. Super duper safe. LOL

        I can't imagine taking something like that on the road!
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...

        Comment


        • #5
          Ah, so this is what you were talking about. I see now. Just say thanks but no thanks. I would not point out the deficiencies in the trailer simply to avoid any flare-ups as people can be testy about how crappy their stuff is, especially horse people. What you describe is actually very common amongst BOs with trailers and I would even go so far as to say that many with trailers in this area do not properly maintain them and let them rot in pasture space based on what I've seen at nearby farms.
          Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

          Comment


          • #6
            I would have no qualms at all about telling someone that I preferred not to have them haul my horse if I didn't think it was safe. Trailering is dangerous enough when you've got all the i's dotted and t's crossed!

            I have too vivid an imagination about what can go wrong so I am very careful about tires, electrical connections, brakes, etc. I trailer occasionally with someone who never has clips to secure the ramp door and I'm sure I've embarrassed her by tying them shut with bailing twine . Luckily I have my own trailer and a husband who is a mechanical engineer so while my trailer might not always look immaculate, all the parts are up to spec.
            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
            EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

            Comment


            • #7
              If she often offers to haul, maybe consider having all of the people who who benefit offer to fix whatever the safety issue is...Say something like.." Hey, you've been so generous about offering to haul, and we noticed that it's put wear and tear on the "X", so we have all agreed to pay to get "X" replaced/repaired for you."

              Comment


              • #8
                you could do the "it's not you, it's me" routine, saying you know what, I'm really paranoid about this stuff. I'm sure it's ok but I'm one of those nervous nellies about trailering, and hate to inflict my OCD moments on you.
                The hauler will almost certainly see through it, but you can at least be confident you did nothing to offend. If they take offense, it's their prob. And maybe if enough ppl do that, she'll take the hint.
                (that said, if you have a decent relationship and enough trust/ goodwill already in place, I think you can be tactful but direct/honest and just let them know the trailer's not road worthy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If it was a bad flooring issue...sorry, I couldn't keep from making a polite referrence to the safety (lack of) the floor. Have you ever seen what happens to a horse who puts one or more legs through the floor??? Not a time to be polite...IMO!! Other minor issues - bald tires, lights out, I'd politely decline...but not when it comes to a floor!!!
                  www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                  Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Yeah, I've seen a floor accident. Gory. That's me putting it mildly.
                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd just laugh and say, "Oh girlfriend you are not hauling my horse in that." There's something to be said for frankness with a smile. It reminds me of once when a student of mine asked to ride my horse -who was in training at the time. I asked her whether she could ride and she said no. "Chile," I laughed, "it's like you're asking me to teach you to drive with my Porche". She laughed, I laughed.

                      Heh. Maybe it's a Black thing?

                      Paula
                      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a lovely friend who lives close by with a lighted ring who has very kindly invited me to trailer over to use it, but her footing is very deep. I am so grateful to her, but I'm terrified to lunge my horse there as he's just not fit, and I have horrified images of a tendon injury. The best I can come up with is to frankly say that I don't think he's fit enough to lunge in deep footing, yet it seems so ungrateful to say her footing is too deep to work my horse.

                        If he would behave well enough, I'd just get on and ride him around the rail, but he really does need to be longed to settle him down first. I'm going to keep taking him and just hand walk him on the rail, as he really does need to get off the farm, but how can I tactfully explain to her why I won't lunge him when she's gone out of her way to make space in the ring for it?

                        Or does anyone have a suggestion as to a type of wrap I can use to give him enough tendon support for really deep footing? I think her footing is great for jumping work, etc., but just too deep to lunge an unfit horse for more than a few minutes.
                        Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                        Witherun Farm
                        http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          T--that's the sitch with my mare. I had a lovely ring to ride in the last few years, but every time I did...2 times....she ended up injured at a walk. The footing was lovely but deep. Just not a good fit for our issues. Great for everyone else tho!

                          I just quit riding. Period. Not saying that's a solution for you. But it was mine. I quit riding til I found a better situation for miss mare. Which was roads/trails.
                          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                          Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Trevelyan96 View Post
                            Or does anyone have a suggestion as to a type of wrap I can use to give him enough tendon support for really deep footing? I think her footing is great for jumping work, etc., but just too deep to lunge an unfit horse for more than a few minutes.
                            No wraps/boots really give tendon support. They only protect against impact.
                            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                            EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had a very good friend who hauled horses for a living. She had a lovely trailer that was set up with nice box stalls for hauling youngsters to the TB sales. The day she arrived at our farm to haul some yearlings for us she brought another trailer. Box stalls were simply chest bars and butt bars seperating the horses! She had traveled over an hour to our farm, and there was no way my husband and I were going to let her haul our horses like that.

                              It took another hour to rig her trailer with heavy sheets of plywood seperating horses untill we felt comfortable enough to let her ship them. It still wasnt really ideal, but seemed safer than the original setup. Thank goodness horses shipped well, but in hindsight I knew better.

                              We have our own trailer that sets up into two nice box stalls, with stud gates seperating them. I was trying to save time using my friend and not having her totally getting upset with me. We ended up following her to the sale, which was 2 hours away from us. I was trying not to cause waves by letting her haul, but she ended up upset with me anyway.

                              Moral of the story is, it's your horse, always do whats safest for him (or her) no matter what.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Possibly something like: My horse finds your trailer too scary & I do not want to inconvenience you, so I will go with X.

                                Or just..."thanks, but I have already made other arrangements because I do not want inconvenience you."
                                "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                                "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                                  I'm talking rotten floor, bad tires, electrical not working, etc. Something more major.
                                  It is so awful when a horse's leg goes through the floor that I'd have to say something.

                                  I would probably say "oh my, I bet you didn't notice but your floor it rotted out, let's get your horses on another trailer" and then add something about the horrors of a horse's leg going through it. This at least gives her the option to pretend she didn't notice (and maybe she hasn't noticed it or given it enough thought).
                                  Last edited by Macimage; Nov. 19, 2012, 07:02 PM. Reason: spelling

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If the trailer is a wreck then simply decline the offer to go, no harm or fowl there.
                                    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                                    The Blog

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                                      Yeah, I've seen a floor accident. Gory. That's me putting it mildly.
                                      Me too. I didn't actually see the accident, but saw the horse after it happened. She was never sound again, and 3 years later was put down due to complications from the accident This same person bought a horse from me, and boarded him with me for 2 years. When she bought her own place and came to move him my SO (not much of a horse person) freaked out over her trailer (it was never at our place). He called me in a panic and said the tires were completely bald (They had a 2 hr. drive from my place). I told him to suck it up and tell her and her husband that he couldn't in good conscience let them haul that horse with tires like that. They didn't get upset, but just left and went to Discount Tires. All arrived at their new home safe and sound, and are living happily ever after
                                      "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Trevelyan96 View Post
                                        I have a lovely friend who lives close by with a lighted ring who has very kindly invited me to trailer over to use it, but her footing is very deep. I am so grateful to her, but I'm terrified to lunge my horse there as he's just not fit, and I have horrified images of a tendon injury. The best I can come up with is to frankly say that I don't think he's fit enough to lunge in deep footing, yet it seems so ungrateful to say her footing is too deep to work my horse.

                                        If he would behave well enough, I'd just get on and ride him around the rail, but he really does need to be longed to settle him down first. I'm going to keep taking him and just hand walk him on the rail, as he really does need to get off the farm, but how can I tactfully explain to her why I won't lunge him when she's gone out of her way to make space in the ring for it?

                                        Or does anyone have a suggestion as to a type of wrap I can use to give him enough tendon support for really deep footing? I think her footing is great for jumping work, etc., but just too deep to lunge an unfit horse for more than a few minutes.
                                        ****
                                        Maybe the owner just doesn't know it is dangerously deep. Polite information on that fact might be well appreciated. Otherwise she may just think you are ungrateful or weird. Speak up..."Suzy...Thanks so much, I really appreciate your generous offer, but my horse might hurt/strain herself in such deep footing." Not rude...just honest. She might not know she is endangering her own horses. If it's too deep to lunge IMO it is surely too deep to jump!!
                                        www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                                        Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

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