Monthly Archives: December 2012

The sage of my shiny new trailer

 My shiny brand new trailer that I was so happy to finally get ended up having some serious engineering mistakes. It was swaying pretty badly. I’ve never had that trouble with any trailer I’ve ever had before. Dangerously so with two horses in it. My salesman kept saying it was my truck and I damn well knew it was not my truck – it is plenty big enough to haul the weight. But I had heavy duty shocks put on it to help solve the problem on their recommendation and it didn’t  and put a different receiver hitch on the truck to bring the front of the trailer up a bit higher. From the get-go i thought the tongue of the trailer was freakishly long. Finally an engineer friend did some web searchign about trailer engineering and we decided the tongue was  too long. I had told them that from the first, but they pooh-poohed me. Finally we pulled the trailer with my husband’s 3/4 ton truck with the same two horses and it STILL swayed.  When I reported that to the dealership, finally they started taking me seriously. I also sent them some information on the mathematics of trailer balance, and the fact that the tongue was 57″ long, when, by my calculations, it should have been 42″ long. 

I used the word ‘dangerous’ in an email sent to my salesman and that was the magic word. They came and got my trailer last Monday (the dealership is almost 2 hours away from me) when I told them I did not have time to make another trip up there on the weekend (schooling shows and lessons) and I had no more vacation time to devote to it.  They kept it three days, put real live horses in it and hauled it (although i told them it was a math problem and I didn’t care if it swayed with them or not – I wanted them to have someone check the basic engineering) and finally called me Friday and guess what. Not only is the tongue too long, but the AXLES are in the wrong place!  They should be under where the majority of the weight will ride, and they were not.

Fortunately this dealership is the trailer mfg’s. largest dealership in the U.S. And we also know the owner from endurance riding. I had ordered a custom-built trailer – but there’s nothing real tricky about doing correct engineering on a trailer. For any trailer there’s a basic formula involving size of the trailer tires/length of tongue and placement of axle to be underneath where most of the weight will be riding.

So, they would not even bring my old trailer back to me (dangerous!) and brought me a brand new trailer as a “loaner” on Friday. They have put a rush on a BRAND NEW ONE just like the one I originally ordered for me (but I said, um, don’t be in too much of a hurry!) and it should be here in two weeks or so. (After waiting three months for the first one.)

Best news out of this entire SNAFU? i originally had wanted full length doors on each side by the horses’ heads. It’s called a ‘walk through’ design and there’s nothing exotic about it – they’ve been making them for years, although  they’ve recently fallen out of favor (too expensive).   After I had ordered the first one like that, the factory told my salesman they could not do that becaue the doors would be in the way of the the axles. I thought that was odd from the get go because it is not an uncommon design. But, oh well, they know what they are doing, right?  Now I get to have my walk through doors because when properly placed the axles are NOT in the way. 

They are SCRAPPING my $23,000 trailer. The dealership is also having to replicate all the custom work I had done on it once it was made and arrived at the dealership – about $400 worth of work.(hopefully they will be reimbursed by the mfg.) I asked them what the heck are we going to do about the title because the VIN #s won’t match and they said don’t worry aboutthat, they will figure it out. 

Tthe dealership really did everything to make it right and I am sure the dealership owner had an interesting chat with the honchos at manufacturer. If something had happened he also would have been liable.  

Sometimes the customer IS right, even when she is a middle aged woman – a middle aged woman who has been pulling trailers for close to 30 years! 
It is a very well built trailer, and I am sure after the screw up, my new trailer will be one of the best they have ever built! It will be delivered to the dealership next Thursday and I will pick it up next Saturday.

Faeryn’s Beach Ride and Clinic Report

To make a long story short, Mike and I went to Galveston Beach a few weeks ago with our horses. It was Faeryn’s maiden voyage there, and given her sometimes (but steadily decreasing as she gets more mature) fits of hysteria, I actually bridled her while she was still in the trailer — just in case!

I needn’t have worried. She handled the entire excursion like a seasoned pro. Her reaction to the waves was even less dramatic than Fling’s when she encountered them for the first time. As always, Faeryn is a magnet due to her very feminine, pretty face and luxurious tail and mane! LOL! She got petted by several admirers. We rode for about an hour and I had the MOST WONDERFUl balanced, uphill canter ever along the beach. It was effortless on both our parts.

So, this past weekend, Debbie Bowman came into town, and I actually rode each horse with her once. I figured it was way past time for a ‘check up’ and given that I’ve been having issues with Faeryn and Faxx, I figured it was money well spent. And it was. And of course, as usual, _I_ am the problem, not them.

Faeryn has had a persistent head tilt for at least a year now, only going to the left. I’ve gotten rid of it at the walk and the trot, but it doggedly persists at the canter. It’s become a huge mental ‘deal’ for me, and probably for her as well as I’ve tried and discarded various methods to diagnose and correct the cause. Leave it to Debbie to take about 5 minutes to see that Faeryn’s shoulders are falling to the inside when going to the left. The fix is to use my left leg at the girth actively and outside rein to keep her from falling out.. I’d say the problem is 90% fixed.

Faxx, on the other hand, just to be different, was being difficult to the right. Or at least I blamed it on him. Guess whose fault it really was? Guilty as charged. Since a few months ago he was not bending enough to the right, in my typical “If a little bit is good, a lot is better” fashion, I had him overbent to the right, and he was out in the left shoulder and that’s why he ‘refused’ to do half pass or shoulder in to the right. He’s not quite completely fixed yet, but I rode him tonight and got a lot closer to being able to do something resembling a half pass to the right.

I’ll report on Fling later – there was an epiphany there too.