Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What's Your Worst Trailering Nightmare?

Mine happened this morning taking Strider and the Mare to 4-H Horse Camp. We turned onto Schrock from Sage heading up the hill. I had coffee in one hand and was talking to Briar. We passed Heather and headed down the hill. As we got to the top of the next hill by Country Hills Road I was thinking about telling Briar about a trailering accident I read about on a blog. We went over a small bump and the trailer made a funny swerve. I was driving the three quarter ton flatbed and it got jerked from side to side. Then the trailer slammed into the back of the truck. The truck was shoved forward again. I pushed on the brake pedal very slowly and the trailer slammed into the back of the truck again. It took at least two more slams before I got the truck and trailer off the road and stopped. Briar and I both jumped out to check the horses.

Strider was loaded first since I like to keep The Mare over the axles. Even so it loads the trailer tongue heavy (which is where I like it). Both horses were standing there looking at me with no concern at all. They were fine! The hitch of the trailer was underneath the bumper of the truck. What saved the trailer was the foot on the bottom of the trailer jack. It slid along the road (you can see where it took the paint off the fog line right at the top of the hill) and was smoking when I looked at it. The trailer jack is tall and that is what saved the trailer from crashing into the back of the truck. However, I couldn't unload the horses because the trailer would have raised up in the front when I opened the door. I was afraid that it would roll backwards. So I called Fritz and he brought a really big floor jack from the shop. I pulled the truck ahead so the hitch was out from under the bumper. Fritz jacked the tongue up, reattached the hitch to the truck and I triple checked everything.

What happened was that the clamshell hitch opened because it wasn't safety pinned. Fritz had hooked the trailer up down below last night and pulled it up to the house so we could load all the saddles and stuff. I pulled it down to the horses this morning. I trusted that my sweety had hitched up properly.

Lesson learned? Check and double check.

Postscript: Strider was very very sore after the wreck. Apparently the Mare slammed into him and he slammed into the divider. I gave him a half dose of Banamine twice and he feels better. Tonight I picked him up from the Fairgrounds to come home. He willingly loaded into the same trailer and was tied in the same spot. I could tell that he was nervous. He rode well, just stomped his feet and wouldn't stand still. At home I made him wait for a few minutes before I took him out. Then, because I can't leave well enough alone, I loaded him back in the trailer. It took three tries but he did get in.


I will be gone for a while. I'm headed to Florida to look after my brother. I did get an awesome ride in on Sunday May 31 and even have pictures. It can keep till I get back.

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