From Endurance to Dressage
Too Close for Comfort
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!
7/19/2016 05:50:33 am
Glad you have such a great trailer place! We had a tire blow and rip off a fender a couple of years ago... our trailer repair guy got us a new one and while it doesn't match exactly, you'd never know it wasn't the original unless you look closely. Having a good trailer repair place is definitely a must. Glad yours is back in good working order!
7/19/2016 06:07:22 am
I am not sure these guys do many trailer repairs, but I was thankful to find someone to fix it. They would have ordered a new running board, but I didn't want to pay for a fancy repair job. I just needed it safe and serviceable (and cheap)! :0)
I love love LOVE my aluminum trailer but the the downside is they're so easy to dent up! In 6 years with my current trailer and 2 with my mom's, I haven't done any damage bad enough to require repairs (yet -- knock on wood), but I'm sure my time is coming....
7/20/2016 05:41:31 am
My motto too! :0)
7/20/2016 05:42:51 am
Considering I haul A LOT, I am surprised it's taken this long to whack something.
7/20/2016 05:44:08 am
That's exactly what Mike (the manager of the shop) said. That's what I am going for, and maybe I can set a new record. How about 20 years?! :0)
7/19/2016 08:48:34 pm
Really glad to have this referral. I inherited my Dad's outdoor fireplace and it's finally rusting through. It has been around since the 1960s and is the perfect shape/design. I'm going to call Mike and see what he can do to duplicate it.
7/20/2016 05:48:52 am
If you do call Mike, you'll find him very friendly and fair in his pricing. I know they do a lot of work for individuals. While I was there, he was making something for one of the local high schools so I know his pricing must also be pretty competitive. They're also fast. I called on Thursday and got it done on Monday. I don't know if he gave me a special price because of our mutual friend (I told him to charge me fairly), but the repair was $200 exactly. I felt that was pretty cheap considering the amount of damage.
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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%: