August 26, 2014

A little bit here and a little bit there....

Steve and I have to wait for Amazon orders of wiring to come in.  We need stranded wire, specific guages and certain colors to make wiring and future fix ups work smoother.  We also want to make sure it's done correctly so if running lights go out it doesn't set the brake lights wonky....kinda like they are now!  All the different circuits are run and the whole system should be grounded to the tow vehicle.

While waiting for wire to arrive I've done work here and there, the tack room has all the caulk removed so I've worked on priming the walls and will continue with painting soon.  While I literally wait for the paint to dry I've been treating new areas in the horse area for rust.  I worked on the inside of the door.

There is still more caulking inside the horse area, so that will be a project to do while waiting for the paint layers in the tack room to dry.  I'm thinking I'll paint the upper horse area before I apply the Herculiner to the lower wall, I want to keep the nice black layer from getting paint flecks on it.

The dividers will be interesting to paint. Brush?  Sponge?  Roller?  I'll have to experiment to see what will work best.

When Steve was home this past weekend we began work on the gravel guards!  Finally!  We only installed the two on the fenders and since local stores didn't have black rivets I'll have to touch up those with a black paint.  I think they look sharp and can't wait to install the front gravel guard.

I will apply caulking around the fender to prevent water seepage under the guard and to smooth the sharper edges of the metal.  Even though the corners don't stick out Dani will find a way to hurt herself on it I'm sure!

August 25, 2014

Update on Dani's Leg

Dani’s leg had a wound with a flap that kept capturing grass pieces so I wasn’t content with just leaving it be and putting vetricyn on it as per advice of other horse people.  There was no way to keep the wound clean.  Called the vet for advice and to see if we needed to have the flap clipped.  We opted to go with sweat wrapping (DMSO and Furazone) and see if the flap either adhered or fell off.  After one wrap it fell off and the wound was looking very good.  After the third sweat wrap we went with a simpler bandage using only a pad with antibiotic ointment, cotton and vet wrap to include the bottom of the hoof bulbs to keep it on better. 

Dani is not an easy patient.  The second sweat wrap found her to be quite ornery with legs aimed to strike.  It was a three person team.  One to hold the good hind leg, another to wrap and another to try and distract her with tiny treats.  I also worked her beforehand, then I would handle her legs and if she did a slight kick off I sent her off again in the round pen.  She’s not lame but I don’t want to push her hard and hurt her but I can’t have her kicking like this.  I’ll have to continue work on this as her getting leg injuries seems to be “her thing” so I need her to be a good girl.

Today the wound looks much better so I decided to go with the original plan if she hadn't had the skin flap.  Spray vetricyn and let it be.  We'll see how it goes and if I'll need to bandage it again.

There is a riding instructor and trainer that N and M work with on Mondays, I may look in sometime and maybe schedule a lesson or two to work on her hind leg issues.  When they are worked with too much she gets fed up and it’s a bit dangerous.  She’s always stiffer when picking her hind legs, sometimes does a little kick out but not to “get you” and you have to wait for her to relax a bit and stretch her leg.  Usually she’s not trying to kick meanly but during this bandage changing situation, she very much was kicking out aggressively!

August 21, 2014

August 20, 2014

Tack Room Prep-Work

While I have the trailer in front of our house I figured I'd get the tack room prepped to receive a saddle rack.  I started removing the caulking where I plan to install the saddle rack.  I continued with caulk removal for the whole room.

It's pretty evident that the prior owners thought that just adding more caulk would solve the leaking problem with the tack room.  That totally doesn't make sense since you all probably remember the seam on the roof of the trailer.  If you don't fix the actual issue, no amount of caulk will stop the leak.

It really shocks me that one would not try to figure out that actual cause of the problem vs. "fixing" the manifestation of that problem.  A thatcher doesn't fix a leaky roof from the inside.  Remember that scene where Heath Ledger hops out to fix his dads roof in "Knights Tale"?  Same concept.  This trailer also had issues with leakage around the door of the tack room but instead of the old owners replacing the weather stripping they just applied caulk to areas they figured water was coming through. Oh and there is also evidence that duct tape was considered a solution as well!  What a mess!

After much scraping and chiseling and razor work I removed most of the caulk in some of the worst areas.  I will take a wire brush attachment for the drill and try and complete this job the best I can.  At least I can get to most of the rust in the seams and then caulk the outside....where the problem starts, and keep the area sealed.  Really since fixing the roof seam and the weather stripping on the door I haven't had issues of water getting into the tack room.  There are a couple additional areas on the tack room door that could use some sealing to make it perfect but I've fixed the leak issues that had lead to all the rust issues inside.  We'll get it fixed up nice.

While working, I'm on a stool to reach the ceiling easily.  Luckily the piping is hollow and has strategic holes for wiring so I can arrange my main tools within easy reach.  I use an old flathead screwdriver as the main tool along with box cutters and a razor blade to get at caulking that is bonded more strongly to the metal.  The pliers get tiny pieces out of the crevices and the mini wire brush cleans the grooves out really well and removes flaky rust.

And on a side note, one word of advice, before you start trailer restoration or heck...any farm work really, make sure you are up to date on your Tetanus vaccination!  Ouch!  Not as bad as it looks, nothing an angry bird Band-aid didn't fix!

With the rust now exposed I sanded and cleaned the surfaces really well and then applied Corroseal to the rusty areas.  

Hopefully I can prime and paint sometime this weekend in between assisting Steve with wiring and getting the saddle rack install. finish the rest of the tack room when I can.  After that, I'll have the horse area to finish up...including more caulk removal, oh joy!  Some areas in the horse area are exposed to possible rain so reapplication of caulk with be a necessary evil.

August 18, 2014

Herculean Handles

I purchased Herculiner with the intent on using this product in the area of the horse trailer that gets most beat up by hooves, the bottom portion of the inside walls.

My first test was to try it out on the two door handles, the escape door and the main door.  I applied it to the handles and to the catches.  There will need to be some touching up with white paint since some Herculiner leaked through the painters tape...but other than that I think it looks pretty nifty and will hopefully hold up to the beating these handles tend to receive.

This stuff is pretty hardcore tough just from what I've seen.  I think in hindsight I would have used Dupli-Color's brand for the handles since it's not as rough on the hands and not as thick...the doors take a bit more to shut now.  In the actual trailer I think the heavy duty quality will be awesome though.  Stay tuned...I still have outside caulking and paint touch-ups to we plan on rewiring ASAP so we can move the trailer to our new barn this coming weekend.

August 16, 2014

Woodn't You Like a New Wood Floor?

The floor is wonderful!  It's strong, it looks good and it will hold up for many years!  I'm so delighted.  Yes, the floor will get dirty and look less pristine in short time.  Yes, it will be covered with mats when in use so I won't be able to admire it's beauty.  Yes, horses and donkeys will poop and pee on it.  But I am cherishing the beauty of it right now and feeling very accomplished!!

I picked up the rest of the boards I needed and Steve began cutting.  We then slid the last few full size boards in the horse part and then the tack area.  Then we came to the rounded front.  Using the old boards as a template we were able to arrange the boards and draw where to cut each piece.

Steve started out with a jigsaw but that wasn't doing the job so we got a reciprocating saw to finish it up.  That did it and we were able to get those tricky pieces cut.  Installing them was pretty easy since they are shorter and you can more easily get them into the groove and slide into place.  There were a couple that he had to adjust the ends a few times and re-cut them but nothing terrible.  

The last piece was a full sized board but only 6 inches wide that Steve had to trim down the width on one side since the gap wasn't consistently wide.  It took lots of hammering with the mallet but we got the floor in and the floor is nice and tight.  Hopefully we won't have to add any more boards when the wood shrinks a bit.  I'm hoping the gaps will be perfectly sized to allow for the drainage without huge gaps.

The floor is finished and beautiful!  Me likie!  Now I can finish removing the interior caulk and treat the rusted areas. Then I can prime and paint.  We are racing around the far turn!!  I have final touches for the outside to complete still and of course the electrical will get done soon.

Even with the inside ugly and incomplete I can still utilize the tack room when I bring the trailer to my new barn.  I'm hoping these last steps will go smoothly.  Even if it rains I shouldn't have an issue working on the inside since it stays mostly dry.

Very satisfied.....

August 13, 2014

Sliding Wood

Installing the boards into the trailer hasn't been that hard so far....knock, LOL.  The boards are placed in via the slot in the tack room and then slid into the channel.  A rubber mallet has to be used on each end, inch by inch or else the board will get stuck when at an angle.

The narrowest areas with the most friction is below the divider and where several welds seem to congregate by the escape door in the horse area of the trailer.

Once past that area you could slide the board, even pressure down the rest of the length.  Sometimes one side would be pushed too far and you needed the mallet to unwedge the wood.

The first board had to get hammered into the back groove as far as we could get it.  We'd had trouble getting the old piece of wood out so getting this one in took a little finagling. I was so excited at the first boards' installation.

Here's a close up of the groove that holds the boards in place.  On a lot of trailers the boards sit on top of the supports and you drill bolts into the frame to hold them in place.  That would be a little easier I think for the initial installation but if you need to move the boards when they dry, and produce larger gaps than you wished, it seems that would be a difficult thing to adjust.  Each way has it's pros and cons; just depends on how the trailer was made.

I did most of the moving the boards into place, the boys wanted to do all the manly stuff with the mallet.  Fine by me, even though I know I can do that part, it's less sweat for me!

I bought five 2x8's that were 12 feet long, we only have a couple inches of "wasted" wood per boards.  I have to get 8 more of that size and then one 2x6 at 12 feet long to finish out the tack room with the wonky cuts we'll have to do there.

It's looking good!  I'm so excited; hence the trailer floor and I's selfie.  Tomorrow I'll get the rest of the wood we need and we'll hopefully be able to finish it up!

We kept the boards for the front of the trailer and will have to use the jig saw to cut those curves.  We'll have a piece leftover that we can then hold onto in case the wood dries and creates a little too much gapping in between the boards.  

Like I said earlier, place the boards right against each other if it's fresh or pressure treated.  It will dry and shrink slightly.  It shouldn't shrink too much lengthwise; it's mainly the width.  I don't want too big of a gap between boards but I want some for drainage and for air circulation.  The point is to reduce the potential of wood rotting.  I'll post pictures of the completed floors once we are fully done!

Reports from the barn:
Dani is eating while wearing her grazing muzzle!!!  She has finally figured it out or finally giving up the idea that pouting will change her situation.  Nicolle says she's doing well.  I haven't been out much this week because of the trailer work.  I miss her but it's a sacrifice I need to make right now so I can get the trailer out there and have all my tack and supplies conduct more trailer training for the pony!

August 12, 2014

Trailer Frame and Pressure Treated Wood

The frame of my trailer is in good condition, phew!  Some areas have a little more rust but nothing terrible, none of the support areas are affected badly or have holes.  I've run a wire brush over all areas and have brushed away the remains of loose rust and dust.  Corroseal is amazing so I have been applying that starting from the back of the trailer.

Using a brush for the underside has been a bit difficult but I was out of small rollers and didn't feel like driving out to buy some.  It's been fun using a mirror or standing upside down at times to get the underside covered.  So the rust is converted, encapsulated and protected from further rusting.  Yippee!  Love this stuff!

Our next step is to install the new flooring into the grooves.  After much research I've come to some conclusions:

*Rumber flooring would be ideal but needs extra bracing to be added to most trailer floors.  Once that is installed and the rumber is in you simple just clean out the floors, it's pretty low maintenance and doesn't rot like wood.  It usually lasts a really long time too.  The price is WAY high for me right now so it's a no go....

*Oak or hardwood that is pressure treated or even if it's not would be the next best thing.  Try finding that in Colorado and try finding it at a decent price!  No luck here.

*Most trailer shops and trailer builders now use pressure treated wood for their floors unless they use the aluminum tongue in groove floor with Rumber or some other rubber top surface.  Pressure treated wood is often Southern Yellow Pine, Fir or Spruce. People I know that have recently done floors have used this wood as well with great results.  This is the option I'll be going for.

The last bit of Corroseal added, it's still wet and you can see that it's a
thin white material.  This is NOT paint.
The chemicals used in pressure treatments slow decay, and usually prevent bugs.  They do need to be handled carefully, meaning wash your hands before eating after handling, wear a mask when cutting etc.  It's safe to use with horse trailers especially since matts will be on top of the wood.  I wouldn't feed a horse directly on top of the wood since I'm extra cautious in that sense but I don't intend to since it's a trailer.  Hay nets will be used and fallen pieces will land on the matts anyways.  

I've looked at Lowes, Home Depot and one lumber yard determining what types of treated wood each carries.  I've found a good wood at the lumber yard; All Weather Wood  This is safe to use with metal contact so I don't have to worry about adding additonal protection elements to my frame.  There should be no acceleration of rust from a reaction with the wood preservative since this type does not have Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ), Copper Azole (CA) or the Micronized Copper Quaternary (MCQ).  So here is some information from the company about my particular 2 x 8's:

The developers of Wolmanized® pressure–treated wood, acknowledged Leaders in wood preservation, now introduce their Latest breakthrough: a Long-sought Low-impact preservative providing Lasting resistance to termites and fungal decay that's backed by a Lifetime limited warranty. The result is Wolmanized® L³ Outdoor® wood, the first decking product protected by a nonmetallic, carbon-based solution. This wood is intended for out-of-ground use only. 

I would suggest anyone using any pressure treated wood find the exact information from the company to determine if there are addition steps you need to take to protect your metal.  Some pressure treated wood should not sit in direct contact with naked steel or aluminum.  The chemicals Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ), Copper Azole (CA) or the Micronized Copper Quaternary (MCQ) can leach into the metal and cause accelerated corrosion.  Also for those that bolt their floors since they don't have the floor channel design, use galvanized steel or some sort of coated fasteners.  Where ever you buy the wood the company should be able to provide you the MSDS (material safety data sheet) and information about the products used to pressure treat the wood.  Never burn or chip the remnants of pressure treated wood after a trailer install.  Disposal in the landfill is recommended.

The floor channel/groove in which the wood will be installed
If you can't find pressure treated wood that is safe to have direct contact with the metal I would suggest adding protection to the horse trailer supports.  Various people on forums have used flashing tape often used in house window installations.  For my application I was worried this would make my narrow floor channel even harder to work with but luckily since I found the pressure treated wood that is NOT corrosive to certain metals I don't have to figure that part out!

TITE-SEAL 4-in x 35-ft Rubberized Asphalt Flashing Union Corrugating 10-in x 600-in Vinyl Flashing

I research things to death and my hubby has been saying that I over think things.  Honestly in this case I don't think I do.  Some pressure treated would can corrode metal at a faster rate and I don't need my floor supports going before the boards do.  I want a secure trailer, nothing wrong with gathering as much information as you can!  He's used to me and just lets me do what I need, if he won't listen I just remind him of all the times I was right about things and he then concedes.  LOL.

More to come on the installation of the boards!

August 11, 2014

Removing the Floor

The unexpected project, aka the trailer floor, has so far gone smoothly.  I have the most awesome horse husband!  My in-laws have been out visiting the past couple weeks and Mac helped Steve with removing the floorboards.  The trailer did have an opening in floor channel/groove in the tack room to remove boards.

It wasn't wide enough to get them out easily since we wanted the front boards intact to use as a template for the new floor.  Steve used an angle grinder to open that top lip, then started prying out the boards.  

It's hard to see below with the rust stains but you can see right at the end of the boards near the top of the picture a white piece of metal.  If you follow it you then see rust color and then near the right lower edge you see some whitish metal again.  That is our gap where we will be able to slide boards out and then slide the new ones in.

I was the stacker and hauler, so I took the pieces for the tack room floor and stacked them in the garage.  You can see the curved edges we'll need to replicate.  After Steve removed all the boards he needed for templates he took a skill saw to cut the rest in half to speed up removal.  He was careful to not hit any of the braces.  Mac and Steve still had to work on some boards because the floor groove/channel had a lot of debris and was not exactly smooth.  It will be better once it's treated to get boards in since there won't be rough areas hold the board edges so tightly.

I wonder if these were the original floor boards.  That would be surprising since they are tongue in groove which is not the best idea for horse trailers.  You want to place new wood into the trailer nice and tight so when it shrinks a little there will be gaps to allow for drainage and circulation.  The tongue and groove collects debris and can accelerate rot.

These boards were actually in good shape, and very hard. Several were suspicious hence the reason for redoing the floors.  Perhaps I'm a little over cautious but this is my baby I'll be hauling!!  I' pleased to address and treat the frame with rust converter and prevent further erosion.  The frame and braces are actually in excellent shape!  I like being able dissect this trailer and then know that when it's done it's as sound as I can make it.

The welds are good and strong and there is only surface rust.  Take a look under your car and you'll see the same thing.  Rust is not something to be overly scared about and anyone with a steel trailer would be fooling themselves if they thought they'll never have to deal with rust.  Even aluminum trailers corrode but I think sometimes people forget that and don't take the time to really check things out before the situation gets bad.

I have some work to do this week, cleaning up the floor grooves, treating them and priming them.  It's not a lot, I don't have to fix any braces or cross bars.  I've seen pictures of trailer remodels that needed whole sections redone since they looked like Swiss cheese!  Glad this trailer is very much structurally sound.  

My hubby is also looking at wiring diagrams to get working on that project soon, he used to work on the wiring of helicopters so this trailer will hopefully be a piece of cake.  We've discovered that after we took the running lights off the brake lights didn't work correctly.  That should not be the case so he's going to get that fixed after the floors are done.

August 09, 2014

Hitch cam

I purchased the iball hitch camera.  I wanted to get a camera for hitching my trailer but also for viewing the inside horse area of the trailer while driving.  Pony cam!  I search and read reviews.  A lot of them were quite complicated looking and the price tag...pretty high.  Plus not all had the ability to do both functions.

Introducing the iball camera.  It is magnetic and sits near the ball for hitching.  Then you can move it somewhere in the interior of the trailer to view what ponies are up to.  The price was about $149.  I was very pleased.  Using it the first time meant that hitching was a breeze.  I just had to figure out what view showed the proper alignment.  I'll be able to hitch up myself and in a flash!!  I was so excited that I literally jumped up and down for joy when I came out to see the ball perfectly aligned.

The screen that you see inside the truck just simply plugs into the charger (cigarette lighter).  The only issue noted is that having devices with Bluetooth on will interfere with the picture.  I rarely use Bluetooth on my phones so not worried about that.  I am always happy to find a good deal on a product that actually works they way they say it will!  I definitely recommend this camera!

August 07, 2014

Darth Vader Pony!!!

My pony has transformed into a Darth Vader horse.

Hooo-purr, Hooo-purr, Hooo-purr, Hooo-purr, Hooo-purr, Hooo-purr....

No seriously, it's just a grazing muzzle.  She's wearing it part time, if we can keep it on her.  The grass is lush with recent rains and she's not used to grazing 24/7 so we want to keep it slow with her intake.  I was sad to leave her today with the muzzle on.  I'm sure she'll learn to eat and drink just fine like all the other horses that wear them do, it just sucks and I'm in worried mom mode.  Hopefully it will only be for a month or two and then she can be free as the grass dries out a bit and we turn more to hay.

Today I walked her around the easement around the pastures.  It's a 10 foot wide path that we'll have to ride sometime, very pretty views, open plains and the mountains in the distance.  It was a gorgeous evening even though I got bit by a mean fly.  Dani was good mostly at staying where she needs to while being led and didn't get too excited with nearby horses running up to her and running off.  She has settled in well and one boarder who does the feeding often (she keeps her Morgan here and only lives about 4 miles from the place) loves Dani.  She's partial to Morgans.  I get that.

After our walk we passed by the goat pens.  I love goats but these guys weren't too sure about us.  I guess looking at the shadow we did look a little monstery!  I adjusted Dani's muzzle, gave her some treats and led her into her pasture.  Hoping things go well.  It wasn't adjusted right before so I was told she ended up having a funny necklace on.  So far the new barn is smooth sailing.  I was sick for two days so didn't get to see her.....I think she remembers who I am.....LOL