Friday, May 14, 2010

Oops. I got a Trailer.

The question of "is it worth it to get a trailer" may not be on everyone's mind all the time, but it's usually on mine.  As a kid, when my brother and his friend's would oogle cars that passed us on the highway I would do the same with trailers.  I had a sad, crappy 1973 King Two horse trailer and I COVETED every gleaming gooseneck that went by.  I knew I'd never get it, and in fact I was pretty sure I'd never even make it to something with a tack room but I could still call out trailer specs as they went zooming past at 70mph in the other direction.  "Sundowner 4 horse slant, living quarters, and oooooo front unloading ramp... fancy."

My family (reasonably) thought I was nuts, but I think dad appreciated the fact that I was obsessed with large steel structures that couldn't really hurt me as opposed to motorcycles, or skydiving or anything else that involved a multiple page hold harmless agreement...

I got my slant load trailer once I started showing a ton (and once I graduated from the 13.2 hand pony (since not much else fit in the 1973 gleaming heap of rust). It was a practical trailer.  Nothing shiny, nothing fancy, but it did the trick.

Now that I'm spending unreasonable amounts of money on a horse again, I've been considering the advantages (and disadvantages) of trailer ownership.  I get that much like second homes, it's ALWAYS cheaper to rent than buy, but still, you buy it cause its conveinent.  The only way for me to truly suss this out was to make a list.  (I love lists)

Reasons Not To (or, "what-my-dad-would-say")
a) lots of people have them, its easy to hitch rides to shows and clinics and such.
b) they are expensive and they rust like none other.
c) it's LITERALLY $80 a day to rent a decent trailer. 
d) I don't have plans to show nearly enough to justify the convenience of keeping one all to myself. 

In spite of the sound logical reasoning behind each one of these statements I managed to come up with several reasons why I do in fact "need" my own trailer.

Reasons to buy, buy, buy! (or, "what-I-would-say-backk-to-my-father"):
a) Only the owner of my barn has a trailer, and she charges to haul people around (fair).
b) Pia is scheduling trips to the vet faster than I'm scheduling manicures (which is impressive)
c) I want one
d) I have limited tack storage at the barn, and could use a "closet" for all my crap.
e) could charge people to haul them around (buwahaha)
f) Last week I would have given an arm and a leg not to be driving all over God's Country picking up trailers, picking up horses, dropping off horses, dropping off trailers just for a 2 hour vet visit.
g) I want one.
h) They hold their value well, and even if I end up horseless, I can pretty much get most of my money out of one.
i) the nicer the trailer you buy, the more you can sell it for? (I use this logic when determining "value" of extra features)
As you can see, the lists of pros greatly exceeds the list of cons.  Which means that I am only justified in searching for a trailer.... Yesterday I drove past the trailer place again so I stopped (oops).  The salesman was SUPER nice and very helpful.  Really honest about what each model gave me for my money and I felt really comfortable going with a lesser brand in exchange for their nicest model.  extra tall, extra wide, nice features aluminum roof... you know... and I could get out the door for under $9k.  not bad.

I took the literature home to mull over with the Boy and get his input it when I decided to do one last craigslist search.  I know that good used slant loads don't pop up very often, goosenecks yes. smaller trailers no.  Why? who knows, but they are rare.

I was squinting into the sun (YAY SUN) when I saw it "1999 Silverlite Freedom 3H slant BP Aluminum Trailer"  20 minutes away.  are you FREAKING KIDDING ME!?

I emailed desperately, knowing that the LOW LOW price was going to mean this person would be INNONDATED with responses and even went so low as to play the "oh gosh my horse needs spinal surgery and I need a trailer ASAP so that she can get to the best possibly vetrinary care.. boo hoo" card.  And apparently it worked! who knew!?

So 12 hours later, I skip my lunch break and head east to go take a look at this thing.  Quiet ramblings of recent craigslist murders rumble in my head, and get louder as the properties I'm driving toward get bigger, and bigger and more and more spread out... Hmm, well, I'll just be sure to be on the phone when I get there in case I have to scream "SAVE ME" real quick before I get knocked out and drug out back...

Thankfully the house I pulled up to was gorgeous, beautifully fenced and the cost of the landscaping alone made me think that they probably weren't too interested in my beaten up passat, or me for that matter.

Turns out the home belongs to a family who has a daughter at my old small high school, and that daughter played volleyball for me there last year. uhhhhh whaaaat? small world? really small world? TINY? Yup, yes it is.  wow.

Trailer looked great.  a few dings and some snags in screen doors and such, but all in all its a GORGEOUS aluminum 3 horse slant in excellent condition and I paid about 40% of what the trailer would cost new. WIN!

So here it is.  My current impulse buy, I'm thinking it's still a screaming deal, I hope it doesn't break, and I can't wait to use it for more than just taking P to the vet... (sigh)

Pretty, RIGHT!? so exciting....

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