Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Trailer Inspection & Saddle Fitting

Spring cleaning all around!

First, Sunday, the trailer went in to get inspected. It was an hour of highs and lows.

High: Hitched that sucker up on the second try. BOOM. I take a great deal of pride in my ability to handle my rig.

Low: The electrical socket on my hitch on the truck has rusted such that the plug for the trailer did not go in all the way. So the trailer brakes did not get power.


Luckily, when planning for my rig I was very conservative: the truck can haul and stop the empty trailer under normal conditions. Which is what we had to do, over dirt roads, down steep hills, around a few tight corners, and then into the lot at the mechanic's.

High: Backed that sucker right up in there.

Low: Looked around at the neighborhood and decided I should totally empty the trailer before leaving it. I have accumulated a LOT of crap in that trailer. More spring cleaning on the list!

A portion of the crap.

On the way home, I swung by Autozone out of curiosity. The truck has a date with the mechanic on Tuesday anyway - it has a bit of an oil leak, ugh - so I figured if I could pick up the right part they could swap out the electrical hookup for me too.

Can I just say: that may have been the first time in my LIFE that I have entered an auto parts store and been treated like an intelligent adult? Something abut muck boots + breeches + muddy coat + mussed hair + baseball cap set me apart. I was also able to intelligently describe what I wanted and they admired my truck when we went out to double-check the right part. Excellent experience all around: I will definitely go back for future stuff!

High: The part I needed was only $15 for the high-end version, and one of my new friends at the store told me if my mechanic charges me more than $20 for installing it he is ripping me off and I should tell him so. High five, random dairy farmer dude!

Then today: saddle-fitting!

I spent a solid 30 minutes outside with curry comb and shedding blade trying to get some hair off of him, and he still looked like a homeless ragamuffin at the end of it. SIGH.

 A cute homeless ragamuffin, at least.

Saddle-fitting went exceptionally well. One of my favorite things about Vermont is how genuinely lovely all the horse people I've met are. My barn manager, trainer, farrier, vet, and now saddle fitter. We'd actually met some years ago, when I lived in Vermont before; she was the first person ever to fit Tris, and advised me to buy my jump saddle. So it was terrific to see her again and find she hadn't changed at all.

It was also terrific to find that my assessment of his saddles was spot on: both were a good overall fit, but both needed adjusting, the jump saddle much more dramatically than the dressage saddle. 

I am somewhat ashamed that when I pulled out the jump saddle - which I haven't ridden in for about 6 months - it was badly in need of conditioning. Oops.

A pricey, but excellent, couple of tasks checked off the to do list. While the fitter was working on the dressage saddle, I conditioned my jump saddle. Then it dried out. Then I added another layer of conditioning. Then another. (!) I've brought it home to keep it up. Ack.


I am not sure how much riding I will get done this week (PUPPY) but Tris will be a beginner lesson pony tomorrow, then he's going to be a pretend IHSA horse on Saturday for the local university. 

\For the record: dose 3 of 4 of the Pentosan loading dose was today.


  1. So jealous you have a saddle fitter so close! The only one in my area is a County rep, and won't work on other brands. Sometimes a somewhat local barn will invite in an unaffiliated fitter to work on everyone's horses, but not often!

    1. She is amaaaaazing. She used to have a trailer with a portable tack shop, so when she would come out to fit saddles you could shop, too. Wicked dangerous!

      Vermont is small and rural but it has an absolute wealth of excellent horse professionals. I feel incredibly lucky to be here.

      The idea of a saddle fitter who will only work on one brand kind of baffles me, I have to be honest!

  2. Yay for Spring finally getting here! I'm sure it feels great to get that stuff done even if it does make you a little poorer!


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