From Endurance to Dressage
Big Toys, Big Chores
I love owning my own horse trailer (especially one that's completely paid for). And I feel very lucky to own such a nice horse trailer. I am not complaining, but with big toys come big chores.
It was more than ten degrees cooler yesterday than it has been, which meant I had to put the day to good use. I rode both horses, Izzy twice, but when I saw that it was still only 9:30 a.m. and the weather was still relatively cool, I gave my trailer the stink eye.
I normally plan for a trailer-cleaning day. It's such a huge, physically demanding job that it usually requires a few days to psyche myself up for the job. Not yesterday. I saw it sitting there in the driveway, close enough for the hose to reach, and decided to just go for it.
I grabbed a scrub brush, the broom, the rake, and a wheel barrow. I screwed the sprayer on to the hose and marched over to do battle.
Step 1 - empty tack compartment.
Step 2 - sweep out old shavings.
Step 3 - remove mats. Here's where the real work begins. Those suckers weigh more than I do, and they just lie there like dead weight offering zero assistance. Bastards. I hauled all four of them to some pallets that I had waiting outside. I then scrubbed the mats and left them to dry.
Step 4 - work like a dog. Seriously. I scrubbed the heck out of that floor removing all of the urine-soaked dirt that the dust layer was covering. I used the sprayer to loosen the gunk, and then I scrubbed. And then I did it again and again until I worried that I was scrubbing through the floor. I forgot to take a picture of the clean floor. Sorry, you'll just have to trust me.
Step 5 - continue to work like a dog. I next scrubbed every surface inside the trailer. The upper walls might have looked white in the earlier photos, but believe me, they weren't. After scrubbing the divider and walls, I tackled the poop-covered section. Yuck.
Do you know what happens to dried out poop when it gets wet? It turns into what looks like diarrhea. Lots and lots of diarrhea that covers your arms, hair, and occasionally lands on your face or in your eyes.
Step 6 - get the heebie-jeebies and take a break. Everything needed to dry out anyway, so I went and sat in the shade and checked in on some blogs and Facebook.
Step 7 - quit being a baby, and get back to work.
Step 8 - take a deep breath and wrestle the mats back into the trailer.
I know you're asking how hard those mats really are to move. Getting them out is hard, but at least I have gravity to give me a hand. Getting them back in is like trying to pick up your car with your bare hands so you can change the tire. I can tug on those mats all I want, but they literally only move an inch at a time. And there are four of them. Okay, one is really tiny - up there in the front left corner, but the other three are HUGE!
Step 9 - reload stuff. You'd think this part would be fun, but it's not. By now, I am always covered in ... wet. Wet sweat, wet poop, wet water. And the wet is covered with dried poop, shavings, and dirt.
Even though this is a chore that really stinks, I love putting a horse in a clean trailer. I am certain they climb in, take a deep breath, and thank me profusely!
Izzy's going on another trail ride this morning, so I am going to wait for his nod of approval - or a gigantic spook!
7/7/2015 04:10:21 am
I hadn't that of that,Carol. I know they make some kind of grip-like thing for moving mats, but when you only do something once a year, it's hard to remember to buy a tool for that one job. :0)
7/7/2015 04:11:32 am
It's not a fun job, but it's a very satisfying one!
7/7/2015 04:13:38 am
It's not an easy task for sure, but I've developed a strategy that includes folding them, flipping, sliding, shoving, kicking, a bit of cursing, and a lot of "help me, Jesus!"
7/7/2015 05:09:43 am
C clamps are really good for mats, you clamp down on that sucker and suddenly you have a handle. Mats though, no joke. They don't move more than an inch and are heavy as hell. Congrats on getting the trailer clean, I didn't end up doing it last fall and will have double duty this fall. Ugh!
7/7/2015 05:31:11 am
Ooh - another good suggestion! I'll have to look into clamps when I haul my mats out again next summer. It is the crappiest job, but it does need to be done, at least occasionally. :0)
Comments are closed.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: