January 23, 2015

3 Horse Slant Bumper Pull Restoration- Before and Afters

I purchased my 3 Horse Slant WW 1995 trailer in January of 2014.  That summer I spent time dismantling the trim and other areas to get at rusted spots.  I scraped the rust and then applied a converter which made the thing look even worse than it was!






The trailer had rust in screw holes that held DIY plexiglass covers for the windows.  We took those out since ventilation is important for a horse trailer (hence the reason I like these stock styles).  A horse can always have a fly mask on and a warm blanket if needed.  I may in the future look at removable screening though....



The inside of the tack room had a leaky roof due to an issue with a seam.  The rest of the "damage" was just from scrapes of tack and other seam condensation.  All this was scraped, treated, sanded and painted after first the roof was addressed.



The worst thing was all the ridiculous amounts of caulking the prior owners used to try and fix the leaky seams!



I didn't like the saddle rack location or size.  It didn't make the best use of the space so we unbolted it and sold it to another horse owner.



The worst seam, as stated earlier was above the tack room.  Seam tape for RV's was utilized  along with a polymerized coating for the roof.



The process was pretty simple, path the seams and bigger holes (from a hay rack not rust) with the fabric and polymer.  Then apply the roof coat to the entire surface once everything is dry.


Sealing of Seams

Trailer Roof


After the roof was addressed I finished up treating the rust on the outside of the trailer.  I filled in holes from various screws that held onto arms for fencing, a hay rack or the plexiglass windows.

Holey moley


Even in the worst rusted areas it was still just surface and there were no rusted out areas which made me very happy.



Once that was complete I could prime the entire outside.  I tried at first to use my paint sprayer but I was having issues so went the brush and roller route.  It turned out nicely.






After the primer came two coats of paint.  Then I started adding trim and reflective stripping to the trailer.



Next up was the inside of the horse area.  I wasn't comfortable with the flooring, it was older and it was tongue and groove.  It's best to have gaps between the wood planks for drainage and to prevent the wood from rotting.


We removed the wood and then treated the frame.  It was in great condition, rusty looking but no different then if you looked are your personal cars undercarriage.





I researched the best type of wood to use and the best prices and found a pine treated with a certain type of pressure treatment that would not corrode the metal.


To bad the floor will get pooped and peed on right?!!!



Obviously the inside horse area had the most rust with past pony legs creating dents and scratches since 1995.  I treated the rust and sanded the dividers; this area needed the most amount of paint.  Eventually I want to apply rubber paint or some type of padding to the lower "foot area" of the trailer.


The matts were in decent condition but when I hung them to prevent wetness staying on the floor underneath they all tore in half.  I'll probably be buying new ones this spring.


The dividers will continually need WD-40 and perhaps repainting due to the sheathed nature.


The trailer is done.  I have some touch-ups and of course regular maintenance I'll need to perform in order to keep this trailer looking good.  I certainly will not let it sit for over 15 years without paint touch-ups.  


With maintenance I should never have to overhaul the entire thing.  The new lights are clean and bright.  We are adding some interior lighting to run off a solar powered battery but the working lights are functional and perfect when attached to the truck as they should be.




It's so pristine looking now!




The fenders and gravel guard added are black diamond plating and look so sharp on the trailer.  Very custom!


I also added a horse decal to the front of the trailer that matches the one on the back window of my truck.  It's makes a nice pair when towing. 


The tack room was the last, and honestly most difficult, to be completed with a custom made wooden saddle rack set in the corner.  The amount of seams and caulking made this room torture!  This opens the room up nicely and allows for lots of storage like my three drawer supply bin, a stool, other containers, buckets and a mini porta pottie.



The saddle stand has little fleece "pillows" adhered to each rack so that the saddles are on something soft.  I also put horseshoes at the end of each rack for looks and as an added hanging hook for helmets or strapping.



This trailer so far has been really functional.  Working on the exterior and interior lighting has been a challege since the cold weather is making the wires easier to break so we've left somethings on the To Do list for now.  I still need new tires but won't get those until this spring when I actually start hauling.

January 20, 2015

Mom Comes to Visit Dani

My mom came out on Sunday to see Dani and I.  The snow had finally melted in most riding areas but there were still muddy patches.  I rode in the arena so my mom could hang out with us.  She'd had a knee surgery in the early summer and hasn't been doing as well as she'd hope.  She uses a cane and gets around quite well but I still provided a chair for her while I rode.

Dani and I are both out of practice with riding really.  This has been the first weekend in a long time I've had lots of pony time.  I haven't ridden a lot in November and December because of time and weather.  We had not trotted in a while either and after observing some of the footing in the arena I found some spots I was comfortable trotting my girl.  That is something we need to work on, the trot.  Rating her to have a nice medium trot is my goal.  She has a big trot, great for the carriage that she was trained on as a youngster.  Great for traveling many miles if we were to do that but I just want a nice little trot I can ride comfortably to and maybe someday even sit the trot.  She speeds up and then will overcompensate and go back to a walk when I try to rate her speed.  We just both need to work on it and I need to figure out just the right amount of pressure to slow her down but not SLOW her down.  Headset is another issue with the trot and I think will help with her pace too.  I don't need her in a perfect dressage frame but a little less hollowed out would be helpful.


Another thing that Dani seemed to do was anticipate.  The first place I asked her to trot she kept getting ready to trot there whenever we reached that area.  I tried to make sure I wasn't sending her any misguided cues.  I think a trot and walk and trot and walk session would be good for us.  My mother enjoyed watching us and seeing her Grand-horse.

Another minor issue I've been working on with Dani is the cinching.  I think there have been a couple times where I maybe tightened a little too fast and since Dani has always been cinchy this just increased her sensitivity.  I've worked with a little bit of "pressure and release" technique.  I would pull the girth under her and hold it until she stopped moving about, rinse and repeat.  I'm taking every step much slower.  We have to realize that sometimes we don't pay as much attention to how fast we do things around horses and they can be very sensitive to it.  She'll always have the issue I think but as long as I treat her softly and don't tighten too fast she is fine.  Don't know how I caused this little relapse since I've always taken my time and tightened several times over many minutes while tacking up but it only takes a little change to upset dear ponies.


I'm very glad that it doesn't take much to get Dani back where she needs to be with most issues.  I've been pleased with her and the mounting block.  If you all remember I've had issues in the past when I first got her.  One thing I'd like to really work on though is getting her to move to the block a little more.  Right now I get her next to it and then since it's movable I re-position it.  It's definitely better to mount that way for the horse since there is less torque on her back.  I still need to make sure I can get on normally so I'll have to switch it up sometimes in practice.  

Still very happy that my mare is compliant and sweet as always.  My mother spoiled her with an apple and then the silly pony was digging in her pockets the rest of the time.  I do warn people!  It was a great day to be out at the barn with the pony.  The days between weekends are so long with not being able to see her.  The time change is coming up though!!  Can't wait!!

January 19, 2015

Snow, Ice and Wind

I was very happy that my long weekend actually had decent winter weather.  Saturday was warm enough for Steve to come out and work on the wiring in the tack room.  I rode Dani around the property in areas that were less muddy or snowy.  We stayed at a walk since the ground was slippery in spots.


Dani always gets excited to see Steve.  He's a new toy that lets her get away with things and gives her more treats than I do!  LOL.  The following Sunday Steve was at work and I headed to the barn.  The winds were horrendous and I wasn't in the mood to fight with putting the saddle blanket on or having to deal with the muddy riding areas and a potentially spooky mare.  She's not really spooky by any means but I don't like wind myself.


Instead we went into the barn and I gave her a really nice grooming and worked more Manely Long Hair product into her mane.  I'm liking this product.  It keeps her mane much more manageable and hopefully less breakage.  I rarely use it on her tail since that hair is pretty strong and long; I've had to trim it several times since I've owned her.  Not a bad thing.  After a nice pony grooming session I hugged her and headed back home.  Two days of pony fun in a row!  I can't wait until the weather and time change happens so I can get out there more!

January 14, 2015

Catching Some Pony Time

I went out to the barn on Saturday.  I think Dani ran around the round pen 5 times before I received a call that I needed to be activated for my job.  Ugh.  Sucks working on your "day off".  It was a gorgeous day so even sadder that I had to leave.  The following Sunday was a little colder and chilly but I was determined to get some pony time in.  I tacked her up and rode around the property.


Dani seemed more alert, she looked around and snorted at a couple of things.  She even started at some tumbleweeds.  Luckily when she shies it's not too big and she'll more willingly take a look at the scary object with my assurances.  After our ride my little mare took a long drink of water and then.....


Tried to kiss me with her wet dripping lips!  Ewe!  Pony slobber!!!  I tried to get a picture of her tongue with my cell but they timing was never perfect.  Such a silly girl.  Look at her billy goat beard!!!  I miss seeing her during the week.  I can't wait until the days get longer and the time change occurs.  Lacking pony time!

January 12, 2015

Horse Trailer Update

I have not realized that I never posted on the final interior finish of the trailer!


It's done, all painted and pretty.  It will need touch-ups every year I am sure but the painting is done, the flooring is done and it is fully usable!  I still need new tires this springs before I'll feel comfortable taking trips longer than a few miles.  Local trips will be fine, the tires still have good tread but I think they are older than they should be and I want to make sure on highway or longer trips that my Daenerys is safe.


Steve had been working on wiring for interior and exterior lighting.  I have one light for the tank room, two for the horse area and one flood light for the grooming area on the the right side of the trailer.  These all run off a separate battery that can be charged while parked via a solar panel that connects to the terminals.  It's meant for these batteries....for truck, tractors or ATV's that don't get used all the time.  We've had issues with Steve being home to do the work, then with the weather being so cold and the wiring being extremely brittle and unworkable.  Lastly we had an issue with the switch smoking when Steve tested the system.  Ugh.


So I still don't have exterior or interior lighting, I haven't really had a need for them just yet and when I come at night to see Dani I just drag some supplies to the barn and groom her there.  For now this last part is on hold until we get some warmer weather.  I don't see that occurring for a while though.

At least if I need it I have a solar lantern and then of course my tack room has been in use for a while.  I love having access to everything and even having my own little porta potty!  Dani doesn't seem to mind me taking a quick potty break before our rides, she often takes her own DURING our rides.  LOL.  It's been a great little space to have and I hope to do some hauling this spring!

Serene Sunday

Sleepy Stubs on my lap. Nice evening inside. Snowy outside

January 01, 2015

2014 Year of the Trailer??

January
Well last year started with a bang!  I bought a horse trailer!!! It was exactly what I wanted, a bumper pull, 3 horse slant with a tack room in the front.  It needed some work to meet my expectations but I wasn't afraid of that.



Also in January I continued to work on slow feeder for Dani's trough.  Eventually I moved onto slow feeder nets and loved them and it was great having Dani be able to "graze" most of her time in the smaller stall area.




February
February was lots of cold weather as seems to be typical in Colorado.  We only whipped out the blanket a few times, Dani is pretty darn tough.



We also had L come to the KCRC barn with her 6 horses new friends.  It was great to have friends for Dani and to see another human being at the barn!  Still the evenings were dark and there was very little time to ride except on the weekend.



March
At the evenings grew a little lighter I had time to play with Dani on desensitizing with found objects.  She's such a sensible horse and I think continuing this effort will have great pay offs.


Steve and I attended the Mane event for the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo.  Lots of cute pony fun there.  The rest of March I spent planning my parents 40th Anniversary which we hosted at the KCRC club house.



 April
In April my dirty pony really needed a bath but instead we just got in some refresher rides with trot and working on mounting techniques.



I did some fetlock trimming as the barn was very muddy and shorter hairs would be best.  She's pretty good about it so I am happy about that!


May
In May Dani had an odd leg swelling.  We had the vet wrap her leg and it went down but there will always be a bump.  We are pretty sure she bumped her leg on the fencing as she kicked out at a neighboring horse.



Steve and I began stripping down the trailer on the warmer days to begin the process of rust treatment and painting.  We sure had a lot of work cut out for us!



My friends son, Liam, had his birthday party at the KCRC club house.  It was batman themed with pony rides.  LOL.  I think the kids had fun.  My friend Michael had a pony ride too.  I'd never known that was her first ride on a horse ever!


June
June saw lots of trailer work.  I started with conversion of rust and then began painting.  The spray painting gun didn't work so well, user error I"m sure so I ended up using rollers to paint.




KCRC hosted an EXCA (Extreme Cowboy Association) clinic at the grounds.  Dani and I joined to learn more about EXCA and the obstacles you encounter.  She was a really good girl.  The only thing was sidling up to a block to dismount onto.


July
Weather prevented a fun day on horseback at KCRC for July 4th, I was bummed since it's fun to do things with the club.  We also got in lots more work on the trailer when the days were nice.  Steve's parents were in town to visit for a month or so and we had Cierra out for a week so we spent lots of cherished family time up in Durango.  I also worked on getting Dani into trailer loading mode with L.



August
The move to the new barn was uneventful and Dani settled in right away. Because of the lush grass and her easy keeper status a grazing muzzle was on order.  



Luckily we didn't have too many issues with that though I'm sure she disliked her muzzle.



We installed new trailer flooring.  It wasn't really too hard, I was relieved and got a good look at the frame and treated areas that needed rust treatment.



Dani then came up with pony hoof clip injury.  The flap kept getting grass caught in it so we had the vet come out and they told us what wrap to use with DMSO and Furizone.  Dani hated having her leg wrapped and unwrapped.  It was a struggle but after a few days we were able to keep her leg open to the air and she healed right up.


September
In September I discovered bots on Dani's legs and sides.  That was a first.  I became very familiar with a bot stone! Steve and I spent a long weekend in San Francisco.  Then we spent time finishing of the tack room of the trailer and finally getting the trailer to the barn.  Dani had a minor colic episode, mainly seemed to be just gas discomfort.  Luckily she was fine.  It was a sudden change in weather and barometric pressure too.  Phew!


October
I began working on the horse area of the trailer, rust treatment and painting.  I did get some rides in and also too Dani for walk to the high school across the street.  



I discover some odd mud looking crusts on Dani's rear legs.  It is apparently scratches.  I treat her legs with Shapley's MTG which has sulfur in it.  Eventually it clears up.  I now have powdered sulfur, animal feed grade, and some oil so that if she has this start again I have a more concentrated tool.  It can also be used as a prevention.



Julie Goodnight mentions my post on her Facebook page!!  The posts sky rocket on October 29th!!




November
I take a jiggy ride near high school with Scotty and M.  For the most part Dani does good she was just excited and I think I was tense.  More to work on.  I discover a missing chunk in mane from Dani rubbing the fence, ugh, her mane is so beautiful!!!  Steve and I spend Thanksgiving in Mrytle Beach with family and have a great time though I miss the pony.



December
I come back from South Carolina and have her hooves trimmed and her annual dentist visit.  Both horse people mention the swelling of old injury seems a little more so I decide to paultice it overnight.  She actually did really well with me paulticeing and wrapping.



Since it's dark as night when I get off work I can't do much at the barn during the week.  On the weekends I hope for nice weather so I can play with my mare.  We've had a few nice relaxing rides at least.


We plan to ride more regularly and also to begin some serious trailer training to get this girl out to some events and trail rides.  See you this year!!!