Trailer Terrors and Other Trying Times
(posted for the A to Z Challenge)
T is for Trailer … and Terror … and Thoroughbred … and Trying Times … and Thankful.
Still unpacking from a weekend in Madison at the Midwest Horse Fair, we are thankful.
The weekend was terrific and tremendous in too many ways. Guinness, our bay Thoroughbred, did fabulously in both the Wind Rider Challenge and the Liberty Exhibition. Folks were surprised to learn he is a 20-year-old retired racehorse.
In fact, Guinness was right on track for the entire weekend.
But the poor old boy endured terror in the trailer … on both trips.
Loading up for the weekend, he trotted into our barn mate’s three-horse slant trailer like a champ. Of course he did. This trusty horse has a track record. He raced at Arlington, Calder, Gulfstream and other spots across North America. He showed in the hunter-jumper circuit.
Guinness has seen the inside of a trailer plenty of times. Even the narrower back entry of our friend’s gooseneck rig was OK with him. (The door is smaller, because she has a tack room on the back of the trailer.)
But something was different this time.
Guinness stood inside the trailer for the trip to Madison. Then it was time for our friend to load her horse. But the youngster would have none of it.
That made our old boy a little nervous. He ducked his head and bumped it on the way back up, leaving a sore bald spot under his forelock.
Finally, the horses were tucked in and ready for transport.
The second trip was even more eventful.
At the end of the weekend, we packed all our tack and totes and prepared to load the horses. I walked Guinness up the ramp and into the first stall. He calmly munched on hay in the manger, as I shut the gate to his slot.
Then the terror started.
The younger horse refused to load. A couple of true Texas cowboys stepped in to help, but the half-Arabian chestnut would not climb the ramp into his owner’s trailer. The sweet young gelding has hauled several times, and he is one of the calmest horses on the farm, but he simply couldn’t do it.
Inside the trailer, as rigs rumbled by to depart from the huge equine exposition, Guinness became agitated and started to stomp and kick. Standing by his window, my daughter and I saw our worst fears realized.
Our quiet Thoroughbred, who has pleasantly packed diapered youngsters in our home arena, tried to jump through the barred trailer window. Both front hooves became stuck in the feed manger inside the trailer stall.
Petrified, my young adult daughter offered a fairly blue vocabulary lesson to passers by (putting our private Christian school tuition dollars to work … or not), as her beloved horse thrashed inside the trailer.
The Priefert Texas Thunder crew jumped into the trailer to dislodge and unhook our trapped horse. The on-site veterinarian appeared on the spot to unwrap and examine the horse outside the trailer of terror. (Thank God my daughter pillow-wrapped her horse’s front legs!)
We all survived.
Finally, after several moments of wits-gathering and a couple of veterinary injections, we were on the road with both horses in tow.
Guinness is still aching, and we are still shaking. But we are thankful that it wasn’t worse.
Next time, we’re taking an open stock trailer, even if we have to beg or borrow.
Thoroughbred and Trailer
Photo copyrighted by Linda Ann Nickerson
Nickers and Ink Creative Communications