USRider.org - Full Article
A few simple measures can help you head off trouble and give you peace of mind.
By Hope Ellis-Ashburn | 4/1/2019
For years, I’ve enjoyed attending trail rides, horse shows and clinics with a group of like-minded friends. We’ve developed a “mobile buddy system,” helping each other out, cheering each other on and just being there to offer support when needed. I long ago became accustomed to having a friend assist me with parking my trailer, loading and unloading my horse, settling in at horse shows and generally lending a hand by sharing supplies and providing moral support when I have show-ring jitters.
Then a day I dreaded finally arrived: A show I had looked forward to for several months was on the calendar and no one in my group of friends would be able to go.
I briefly considered calling the whole thing off and waiting until the next event when at least one member of our group could go with me. But I had worked hard to prepare for this show, and I wasn’t ready to simply scratch it from my schedule. As I considered my options, I realized that I knew plenty of riders who routinely trailered their horses to shows, trail outings and other destinations on their own. Why couldn’t I? After all, I wasn’t a complete novice at shipping or showing, and I knew I could put to use the collective wisdom I had accumulated over the years of traveling with my friends. So, after careful consideration, I decided that I was ready to go it alone.
I signed up for the show, trailered my mare there and had a wonderful time. In fact, the next time I’m faced with the need to go it alone, I won’t hesitate. Still, even for veteran travelers, the prospect of trailering your horse on your own can sometimes be daunting, and it’s easy to lose track of basic trip-planning imperatives, amid all the usual horse show preparations. So, I’ve compiled a list of a few measures that gave me peace of mind on my first solo outing and that I still mentally review each time I’m traveling with my horse alone...
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