From Endurance to Dressage
During the summer, I came to the conclusion that Blue Truck was getting old and needed to be replaced. After a visit to several truck dealerships and a review of my finances, I decided that Blue Truck was meeting my needs quite nicely and instead of replacing it, I just did some preventative maintenance.
The thing with maintaining a vehicle is that it never stops needing work. So, Blue Truck had another day at Le Salon. Our first stop was Big O Tires. Yet again, the tire guy assured me that I was nowhere near needing my tires balanced and rotated. Since Blue Truck only gets driven a couple of thousand miles a year, it's hard to create any noticeable tire wear.
The serpentine belt on the other hand was in need of replacement, so at least the trip wasn't a total waste of time. I have to admit to being a total girl when it comes to vehicle repairs. I know what the serpentine belt does (sort of), but there is no way I would be able to tell you if it was in good repair or not. I am trusting my "guy" when he said it needed to be replaced. And on a 13 year old truck, replacing everything is probably a good idea!
By the way, the cost for replacing the serpentine belt on a truck large enough to haul a horse trailer, including parts and labor, ran me $130.91. The tire guy kind of likes me so he gave me something like a $50 discount. Thanks, Brian.
Blue Truck's next stop was Branson's Express Lube. I've written about Ryan's shop before. Again, if you need a quick and dependable place to get your vehicle's fluids taken care of, Branson's is the place to go.
When I pulled in, Ryan knew just what needed to be done and had the work started before I was even out of the garage. For this trip, we repeated the oil change even though I had only driven 2,000 miles since my last visit; I like it done twice a year no matter how few miles I drive.
Next up was to service both differentials and the 4-wheel drive transfer case. While the guys were at it, I also had them replace my wiper blades. Branson's Express Lube is like any other oil change facility in that they also check all other fluids and tire pressure as well as wash the windshield and vacuum the crud off the floor.
While the truck was being serviced, I asked Ryan to check the brand new serpentine belt as I thought I smelled burnt rubber. There was no problem with the belt, but they did think Blue Truck's carrier bearing (part of the driveline) needed to be replaced.
Well, shoot. I guess my truck budget just got a bit bigger for this month. From my limited Googling, this could be about a $450 job. Good thing my Christmas shopping is already taken care of.
My charge for the differentials, oil change, and wiper blades was a surprising $161.48 and that included a 10% discount that Ryan so generously gave me. I guess it's a good thing the belt came in under budget.
So what does this have to do with horses, anyway? Call it a public service announcement. Having a trailer and a tow vehicle can get expensive, especially if you have a regular car, too. With some careful planning and budgeting, you can make it work, but it's important to know that your spending doesn't just end with the purchase price. Kind of like horse ownership, huh?
By the way, the trailer gets some vents replaced as well as new tires in a few weeks. There goes another $1,000 ...
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%: