From Endurance to Dressage
I mentioned in a post the other day that my truck is now a teenager. Teenagers can be unreliable. I was looking to boot my teenager in exchange for a much younger model.
Blue Truck, which I've had for 13 years, has been an awesome vehicle. We bought it in 2000. It was somewhat of a custom job as Ford didn't have the F250 Super Duty readily available on the lot back then. We custom ordered each element of the truck. We exchanged the carpet in favor of rubber flooring, eliminated the rear split window (back before there was power to the window), and even made sure the 4X4 stickers were not added (too flashy for this girl). We upgraded the differentials, chose the V10 Triton engine, and added a hefty tow package.
We pretty much chose elements from the interior packages that we liked: no leather seats as we had two big dogs with big claws, but we wanted cruise control and power options. The sales guy scratched his head over our choices. I know he wanted us to just stay with one interior package, but it was our/my truck and we/I knew exactly what we/I wanted. And that's what we got.
Even back in 2000 the payment was big. We paid $670 a month for 60 months for a Ford F250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4X4. Back then, that amount of money paid rent for an apartment. It was worth it to me though as I really wanted/needed a horse trailer. Within six months, we had the gooseneck hitch installed and the trailer was purchased.
For the first 5 years we owned the truck, my husband and I alternated who drove it to work. He had a much farther commute so we tried to minimize the miles we were putting on it as our plan was to make the truck last for ten years. By 2005, both hubby and I had "regular" vehicles for driving so Blue Truck's only job was to pull the horse trailer.
Over the last eight years, I've only put about 13,000 miles on it, and it only has 113,000 total miles. I use it almost exclusively for hauling the horse trailer, but occasionally, I use it to pick up heavy loads, most often related to the horses (bedding, feed, hay cubes, etc.). Blue Truck runs great. I've replaced a fuel pump and a hose. I've put on a few sets of tires and gone through a few batteries. Aside from annual oil changes, that's all that I've had to do in 13 years. I'd say we've gotten our money's worth.
And yet ... For the past 6 months, I've been thinking about replacing Blue Truck.
Let's face it, Blue Truck, you're getting old, and you're starting to show your age. You're paint is starting to peel, you're developing a little rust, and frankly, I just don't trust you not to leave me stranded somewhere.
That's what I told Blue Truck. That's what I told Hubby. That's even what I told my dad, my mom, my barn owner, and even the dealers at Dodge and Ford. They all looked me and asked what was actually wrong with Blue Truck. I couldn't find anything except being oldish. Mature. Well loved. Comfortable.
I shook off my feelings of nostalgia for Blue Truck and pounded the pavement searching for something new and shiny and ... new. Not really, of course. Now-a-days you do all your looking and building online. I put together the truck I needed:
So then we actually pounded the pavement and started looking at used F250s and Ram 2500s. I say we because Hubby got tired of me calling him from various locations asking him what he thought. We found quite a few trucks with quite a few miles and most of them were in the $500 a month for 48 months range. Hmmm ... Blue Truck started looking down right glamorous. What sense did it make to buy another truck with high mileage? I already have that for free.
I put a temporary kibosh on a new or used truck. I needed to rethink this thing. I took a deep breath and wrote a new budget with a truck payment added to the vehicle category. Immediately my contribution to my savings account plummeted and my show budget shrank. Just how much did I distrust Blue Truck?
Ultimately, I just couldn't justify spending $650 a month for the next 60 months to drive 20 times a year for maybe 2,000 miles. I am pretty sure Blue Truck can can make it another 5,000 miles. By then, I'll have "saved" almost $20,000 in payments. If anything breaks before then, I think I can afford the repairs.
Speaking of which, I think Blue Truck might like a day at the spa ... oil change, radiator coolant exchange, transmission fluid replacement ...
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%: