Posts Tagged ‘horse travel’

The LQ Trailer’s Inaugural Trip!

But first, we should catch up on the acquisition of the LQ trailer. You may recall that it was ordered in July of 2020. Right smack in the middle of coronapocalypse. There were many stops and starts in the building of my new trailer. Parts could be difficult to acquire. Employees became sick with COVID. And 4Star trailer orders were, and remain, through the roof! We had one false alarm when my salesperson contacted me that my trailer was nearly done weeks early at the living quarters conversion company, but they didn’t have the correct size awning. It turned out to be a false alarm and wasn’t actually my trailer. The scheduled finish date for my trailer was December 25. I joked with my salesperson that I expected it to be delivered to my house on Christmas morning. LOL.

Alas, my trailer arrived at the dealership in late December. I was finally able to bring it home in early January. Its maiden voyage was to bring Jaguar home from a 3 day stint at the vet clinic due to a pretty bad impaction colic. The day I picked it up my salesperson went through everything with me. How to run all of the appliances. Turn things off and on. Necessary maintenance. I’m more of a tactile learner, so I’d be lying if I said I remember all that much from the run through, but she was very thorough! Boot City and I did a practice run staying in it at a friend’s house in late January so I could figure out how to run all the things before I was out in the wild on my own.

All hooked up and ready to go at the dealership!

My first big trip far ¬†away from home with horses and dogs was to go fox hunting in Georgia in early March. I’m happy to report that everything worked perfectly and I LOVE my new trailer! I had one minor panic attack shortly before I left because I could NOT get any of the propane appliances to work. Mind you, this was just a few days before we were set to leave. Turns out you need to turn on the valve to allow the propane to actually flow to the appliances. Who knew?!

Our setup in Georgia, before I remembered to put out my rug.

This is my first time owning or using any type of recreational vehicle, so the learning curve was quite steep. I’m very glad we did a practice run before going on the big trip and that I made sure I knew how to use everything before I left. I was travelling with other seasoned living quarters campers, but I wanted to be as self sufficient as possible.

My tiny yet adorable living area.

The things I love about my new trailer are:

  • It’s the perfect size. I was a bit worried it would feel tiny (because it IS pretty small), but the mid tack area really helps keep clutter out of the living space
  • Everything is really well done and solidly made. Nothing feels cheap or flimsy. Both the actual trailer construction (4Star) and the LQ Conversion (Outlaw Conversions)
  • I’m glad I did the 3 horse instead of the 4 horse. I don’t need all that space and the mid tack more than makes up for the storage I had with a 4 horse
  • WERM flooring in the horse and tack area is the best thing ever. It’s a pour in flooring that is permanent so I never have to remove mats to clean the floor.
  • My storage worked out better than I thought it would. I still need to figure out a few things (I have one weirdly deep cabinet that is difficult to utilise the space) but I had plenty of space for food, clothes, towels, etc.
  • The length is perfect. I knew I didn’t want a super long trailer and this one really is the Goldilocks size for me. Sure, we could all use a bit more space, but I’d rather have less space and a more manoeuvrable trailer.
  • I LOVE having my rear tack door open on the same hinge side as the horse compartment. This way if a horse is tied on the back tie ring, the door will never swing out and hit it.
  • When I initially ordered the trailer I didn’t have a door from the living quarters into the mid tack. All my LQ friends told me I was crazy, so I added it before it was too late and boy am I glad I did. It can serve as a mud room. I can keep garbage in there AWAY from the dogs. And it makes it easy to get to things I want to store there and not use up space in the actual living quarters.
  • The mid tack is awesome. It’s a hybrid storage area in that I can keep horse feed and supplements and some tack things as well as extra towels, garbage, hoses, chairs and other things that make living out of an LQ easier.

The barn kitty hanging out in the LQ

The things that I would/will change:

  • Having dogs sleep in the trailer while the trailer is parked in/near dirt makes for a VERY dirty floor and bed. I’m going to buy a small rechargeable vacuum to keep in the trailer AND I was introduced to some bedding called Beddy’s by Hilary (www.equesterianathart.com). I’m pretty sure I need that bedding, I just can’t choose which one!
  • On this trip I put my extra hay in the horse area. I think for future long trips I’ll just do the extra work and put it on the hay rack on top of the trailer.
  • I talked to the contractor who renovated our house about building cabinets in the mid tack before I got the trailer, and now that I’ve used it I definitely think I want to go that route. It’s hard to use the vertical storage without shelves or something to contain things. I also may just put some of those wire grids that affix to the wall and hang baskets on it.
  • I’ve always been 100% team step-up and hated ramps. My 2 horse that I sold last year had a ramp and all my horses disliked it. However, this trailer has 3″ blocks on the axles to raise it up a bit (I like the blocking because it gives me more ground clearance, which can be beneficial when you are turning a long trailer around on uneven ground like we tend to do frequently) and the horses don’t love the big step into the trailer. I know I can add one later, but I’m going to haul it for a while before I invest in something that expensive and permanent.
  • I wish I had added a stud door to the first divider. That way if I wanted to use that stall for hay I wouldn’t have to worry about the bales moving around. Again, I can add this pretty much anytime, but it’s more expensive to add later.

I’m so glad I invested in this trailer. I really hope I keep it for a long time and that everything keeps working perfectly. I’ve read lots of posts on living quarters trailer forums and heard nothing but glowing feedback for 4Star LQs as well as the Outlaw Conversion. It is also nice that both companies are nearby so if the trailer ever does need maintenance the furthest it would have to go is Oklahoma City. 10 out of 10 recommend this setup!

Gene is HOME!!!

At about 8a EDT on Sunday, August 30 Gene and his friend Nina began their trip west to their new homes!

Gene’s luxury accommodations for his VERY long trip west! Pennsylvania really does look lovely this time of year, especially when compared to the inferno that is Texas in August.

We were SO very fortunate to connect with a fellow Chincoteague Pony owner who happens to live within 30 miles of me and already had a trip back east scheduled with an empty trailer! She offered to bring Gene back to Texas for us and another future Oklahoma resident joined the trip. It was probably good they were travel buddies, it would likely have been a much more stressful trip for a baby pony to make alone.

Trailer buddies.

Gene’s drivers stopped many times along the way to allow the foals to stretch their road weary legs, drink water and grab a bite to eat. They evidently turned their hay into their bedding! Chincoteague Ponies are known to be good drinkers, which is SO good especially for foals on a long road trip. These kids drank lots of water and never went off their feed.

Gene napping at a stop. Nina never laid down the entire trip. Poor girl!

I can imagine how exhausted A and M were after 30 hours of traveling. They arrived at my gate at almost exactly 2p on Monday, nearly exactly 30 hours after leaving Pennsylvania!

The best site of August! Gene’s ride arrives at the farm! Too bad it was 101F. Yikes!

The ponies were very easy to unload and they happily went into their new stall. I was impressed because the very first thing they did was take a big long drink. Why don’t big horses do this better?!

Babies getting a good long drink of water, likely glad that the floor under their feet is solid and not moving!

Boot City made a makeshift barrier to prevent the foals from touching noses with their neighbour (a very grumpy Coco). They will be as isolated as possible for at least 10 days to prevent them and my horses from sharing cooties. Nina will probably go to her permanent home later this week or weekend. I think it was a huge help for both foals to make the biggest part of their trip with a friend. Nina is quite a bit more apprehensive about humans than Gene so his presence has given her some confidence with all the new things. She will even eat out of a feed pan held by a scary person with him.

They also eat like champs! Jaguar is teaching them to nicker every time the barn door slides open in hopes of more food. It’s pretty cute.

They laid down to sleep a LOT in their first 24 hours in a stall. Most foals lay down to sleep more than adult horses and it speaks a lot to their development from feral foals to domesticated ponies that they felt comfortable enough to lay down almost immediately. We are SO excited for our journey with Gene! I’m so glad I’ll have a long weekend coming up to just hang out and get to know him. His co-owner was here for his arrival and i’m sure will be back again VERY soon!

And now, we nap under our fans.