It seems such a simple idea — buy yourself a trailer so you can get out and about with your horse. What could possibly go wrong? Erm... quite a lot, actually. Here are 15 things you'll probably have experienced if you own a trailer...
1. That smug feeling you get because you passed your driving test before 1 January 1997, and can therefore tow a trailer without having to take an additional test. You feel sorry for wannabe trailer owners who passed their test on 2 January 1997, but really that extra day makes all the difference and the roads just wouldn’t be safe with just anyone driving trailers willy-nilly.
2. The “will-they, won’t-they” loading experience, where your horse’s willingness to get on said trailer largely depends on how good your driving was last time you went out. Everyone’s a critic these days, even equines.
3. The Mexican Stand Off when you encounter a car on a narrow country lane that refuses to reverse. The driver waves his fingers at you in the internationally understood hand signal of “you go back”. You’re tempted to respond with the internationally understood hand signal of ahem “get stuffed” — but you don’t. You’re too classy for that. Aren’t you?
4. With reference to the above, the overwhelming hatred you develop towards any car driver who can’t or won’t reverse. IF YOU CAN’T OR WON’T REVERSE, YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS DRIVING DOWN A SINGLE TRACK COUNTRY LANE, EVER. Annnnnnd breeeeeaaaathe……
5. The horror when you’re driving your trailer down a one-track country lane, and encounter another trailer coming the other way. Which of you reverses? How far even is the nearest passing space? Argh!
6. The smug feeling you get when you happily tow your trailer out of a waterlogged lorry park as you watch all the lorry drivers stuck in the mud waiting to get towed out by the friendly tractor driver.
7. The joy of doing a million-point turn trying to get out of your friend’s yard, which is extremely short on turning space, after dropping her and her horse off after a show. You’re tempted just to crash out through the hedge, cartoon-style.
8. The near-breakdown of your friendship as your mate yells “left hand down! I SAID LEFT HAND! NO, STOP!” as you execute said million-point turn, taking out a small bush and a bit of wall in the process.
9. The guilty feeling you get every time you go round a roundabout and can feel your horse wobbling and stomping about in the back, trying to keep his balance. Roundabouts were definitely invented by a horse-hater.
10. The sneaking suspicion that by the time you’ve hooked up your trailer, got your horse kitted out in rug and travel boots, sorted out kit/tack/snacks, loaded, and driven to your destination, it would probably have been quicker just to hack there. Still, it IS raining and at least you’re not wet….
11. …Unless you’ve just discovered your trailer roof leaks. This usually happens at riding club camp, while you’re sleeping in it.
12. The — totally irrational — fear that the back of the trailer will fall down on the motorway, and your horse will fall out the back. Or maybe through the floor. Even though you’ve only just had your trailer serviced and they’ve told you it’s safe as houses.
13. The fact that you mutter “cabin crew for take-off” to yourself every time you secure the trailer prior to any road trip. And still find this hilariously funny.
14. The self-loathing (OK, that’s a bit strong — “self-disliking a bit”) you feel when you realise you forgot to sweep your horse’s poo out after your last outing, and now it’s welded itself to the floor forever.
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15. The jealousy you feel towards anyone with a lorry. They don’t know they’re born!