From Endurance to Dressage
It finally happened. After more than 16 years of hauling a horse trailer, I finally dented one. And then I punched a hole and ripped it open. Go big or go home. Right?
It happened as we were pulling into the show grounds at last week's show. Because really, don't we all need just a little bit more stress on show day?
I have a bit of a reputation amongst my friends as being a pretty damn good driver. My best friend jokes that I can back that trailer up a gnat's ass. Apparently, I just can't go forward.
The directions for parking asked that we enter through the facility's second gate. I should have known better. I always go through the first gate, but I am a rule follower so even though it felt wrong, I pulled down to the second entrance. It was locked of course.
I was able to make a u-turn, but it meant that I was now coming at the main gate from the wrong direction. I had to swing really wide to make the turn, but in doing so, the outside of my trailer hit a gate pole that was less than 3 feet high. I just couldn't see it.
Laurel felt terrible because it was on her side. She was actually more stressed about it than I was. I just shrugged my shoulders and said oh well. There was no point in getting mad about it, and how was it her fault anyway? She wasn't the one driving. I laughed and told her we were just going to park so that we didn't have to look at it while we were at the show. And that's what we did!
Fortunately, Laurel knows people. And by people, I mean Mike Combs, manager of DeLaney Manufacturing. Mike and his staff make stuff. Everything they do is a custom order. When I asked him exactly what they manufacture, he told me they can make anything out of metal.
Mike gave me a spontaneous tour of the facility, explaining what some of the machines are used for.
These guys can make anything. They can work from a simple, hand-drawn sketch or from full blown technical blue prints designed by an engineer.
For my repair job, Mike's guy worked free form which means that he basically eye-balled it. Okay, I don't know that for sure, but I do know he cut away the torn up part, laid a new piece of aluminum over the top, welded it in place, and then shaped it so that the edges were smooth.
I didn't stay to watch the work, although I wish I had. When I got back, the welder was smoothing out the patch.
While the guys did a great job, it doesn't look like it came off the lot. That's okay because the trailer already has all kinds of little dinks and knocks. My horses have chewed off lots of pieces and kicked others. This is just one more boo-boo in a string of many.
There's a lot I don't know about welding. More accurately said, I know almost nothing about welding. I did learn that welding aluminum, or any other metal besides steel, takes more specialized equipment than your typical backyard welder has in his garage. That's why I went to DeLaney's - they have all the right equipment.
If you live locally and need something made from metal, or need something repaired, check these guys out. DeLaney's can be found just off Rosedale Highway and Fruitvale at 2920 Wear Street. You can call Mike Combs at 661-587-6681.
We are once again ready to hit the road. Thanks, Mike!
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%