I must have been about 9 or 10 yrs old

The first time I became aware that not all horses would willingly agree to climb into a box on wheels I must have been about 10 years old, a typical horse crazy girl that had no horse.

Well yeah, I did have a horse, my grandpa's plow horse, or mule, whatever he happened to have I claimed was mine. On some springtime Sunday visits out to the old homeplace, grandpa would let me sit on his horse or mule as he walked behind, plowing rows. A few other times I would ride bareback down the driveway. My sister rode down that driveway too, 'til the horse took off in a dead run and out the road. Parents, grandparents and siblings were screaming "JUMP!" And jump she did, rolling off into the ditch. The horse was caught in a backyard on down the road sometime later. This is probably one reason to explain why I have the horse bug and my sister does not. Of course, the tree limb incident likely contributed but that is another story.

At the end of a culdesac, about a mile or so as the crow flies then through some woods, past a pond and another neighborhood from my suburban home, was a small farm. Small as in probably 5 or 6 acres with a home. A seemingly distant country area where a lot of the homes were on acreage and quite a few had small barns with horses. Development of homes on smaller lots in the area signaled the beginning of the end to keeping horses near town.

What drew me to sneak off and through the woods? The pull of the old barn behind the home and the pasture to the side where a chestnut horse and a larger, probably much older gray gelding grazed.

I remember the old barn well with its moldy tack room and a couple of moldy old western saddles, there must have been halters, bridles and such. The wood feed troughs, dirt floor and step-down to the shed are still fairliy vivid to me.

I never saw or met anyone that lived in the house on the farm. I do remember the last
name of a girl about my age who lived across the road, Uldrich. Perhap I asked her if I could ride one of the horses, I had seen her ride in the pasture I think.

It would horrify a parent these days to find that their young daughter had just wandered off and entered a barn on a distant farm to pet some horses, and worse, put a saddle on one and rode away. At the age of about 9 or 10 I did just that. It would horrify and anger any barn owner too.

The old grey gelding must have been a kind and knowing soul. Maybe he had years of experience putting up with and packing kids, those kids had grown up and left him behind with his chestnut friend. My favorite place to go was down the road, through a field to a small pond. I would urge the grey into a trot hoping he would hop a fallen log near the pond and not stop to step over. The day I showed up in my own back yard riding the grey was the day my mom found out about my adventures. I do not remember getting scolded or mom expressing any concern, maybe the reaction was "that's nice dear".

One Saturday I was invited by the Uldrich dad to ride the grey horse in a walk trot class at a horse show being held in another town. Uldrich daughter would ride in an English class on the chestnut. There is no memory of how I got to the show grounds. I do remember realizing I was poorly dressed compared to the sequined western attired kids on spiffy horses. The class of kids was huge, when we were told to line up I knew there was no chance to place but I was proud of the grey horse.

My most vivid memory of that morning is of entering the show barn to look for Uldrich daughter, the chestnut and the grey. There was no chestnut, the chestnut had put up a heck of a fight, no way it would load in the trailer, even with the grey friend on board so the chestnut was left behind.

I remember very well how dissapointed I was, selfish kid I guess. I would have to share "my" gray horse that day. I wonder if Uldrich daughter felt the same way.


Help! One of my clearance lights stopped working

Most trailer companies these days use "sealed" lights, either standard or LED's. This prevents water from getting in to the actual light. There are 2 parts to these lights, the bulb portion and the bracket portion. To change a light you remove the bulb portion, which just plugs in, but the bracket portion remains on the trailer.

In the past, standard trailer lights had a red or amber cover that was removable, with a small replaceable plug in bulb. Some trailers on the lower end still come with this type light. Evidence of moisture under the cover eventually would be seen as drops of water / condensation allowed for mold growth under the cover, inside this type light it is common to see black or green gunk. I suggest you remove the light cover and clean out the cover and clean off the base periodically.

If one day you turn on your trailer lights and one or a few fail to light the likely culprit is the ground wire, lack of ground wire contact to metal. Remove the colored bulb portion of the light. Look for the ground wire on the right side of the bracket that remains on the trailer, it is attached ( usually by a screw ) to a small metal flat plate. Carefully loosen the screw, inspect for any corrosion, clean it off if need be, carefully tighten the screw. In my experience, 99% of the time once the ground wire is again making good contact your light will work again.