Sleet? So What? Toys Arrived in a Big Sleigh!

Right on schedule, the yearly winter weather event has arrived. Here at the Hermits’ Rest, we are having a sleet fest. Elsewhere, it’s snowing or a wintry mix. We are safe, sound, and snug, thanks to all the winterizing the ranch community has done (I am so grateful to all). The cabin residents are stocked with water, since theirs has to be turned off, and all the animals’ water is taken care of, too. So yes, it’s a bit nippy out, and sleet sure can hurt when it’s blowing in your face, but who cares? Not me!

Hey, look at that!

Yesterday, the wonderful men of my household set off for the environs of scenic Cleveland, Texas to investigate a trailer for sale there. The resident nephew had been looking and looking for a two-horse bumper-pull trailer that I could eventually haul on my own to all these lessons and shows I intend to go to in the future. They all were either scams (like the dealership in Oregon pretending to sell a trailer in Texas), big messes, or gone very quickly.

I was getting so sad that I resorted to SnapChat filters to cheer me up.

But, this one seemed real, and the guy selling the trailer was apparently a real hoot on the phone. So, the guys and their funds set off, hoping to make a quick trip before the weather turned bad. Well, it was NOT a quick trip, but that was fine and dandy with them, because they had a blast with the older couple who was selling the trailer and some other stuff. They were both a real hoot, though they were bummed that they need to shut down their horse operation due to unforeseen circumstances.

Good thing this sleet didn’t start until this morning.

By the time the conversation-filled visit was over, the trailer had been procured for an excellent price, along with numerous gas or diesel saws and other tools (the people are moving to a place with an HOA that only allows electric ones), a lot of useful other equipment, and an incredible amount of horse tack and other supplies, some of it in original packaging. HOLY COW! Lee says it’s my birthday present for the next many years, but I will note that the money from selling the Austin house is also MY money, so I helped buy it!

I ran out and got a trailer selfie.

I’m guessing I can worm a LOT of horses now, and if I need to, they can all be snug in blankets (other than Drew). And I will no longer worry about my “carrot stick” (the thing that looks like a whip, but you don’t actually whip the horse with it) that is falling apart. There is an entire tube of brand-new ones in a tube, plus more loose ones.

WOW. Those blankets look too nice for a “regular” horse.

I’m told there were so many poop scooper rakes at this place that we’d never run out if we got them all. There is also every kind of horse tack in the world except saddles. Those were already sold. That is okay. I’ll be fine with what I have.

Lovely saddle racks.

This is MOST exciting. I feel like that little girl on the commercial who got the pony all gift wrapped. But, I’m so frustrated that the weather is awful and I can’t climb in the back of the trailer and see what’s in there.

Now here is what’s amazing. This trailer has barely been used, though it’s a couple of years old. And it has been kept in a garage (the folks had garages for every one of their many vehicles and trailers). So it’s in amazing shape. It has all the things I dream of, like tie-down things, windows that open and close, padding on the stalls, and a smooth floor that I can easily clean. Hooray.

Fancy tail light.

It has LED lights! They are very bright. It’s aluminum, so quite light. It theoretically could hold three horses, but we would need to use a larger vehicle than the Tahoe to pull that much weight. I think it will be great for all seasons and keep the dust off the horses. It will also keep the dust off my saddle, which will be able to ride in glory in the little tack room with the saddle racks.

So, what’s the catch? There is always a catch, right? It’s a funny one. We have no place to put all the “stuff” the guys bought, so I can’t use the trailer yet! (Good thing I have no lessons this weekend.) But wait, there’s another good thing!

Many horses can be encouraged to canter in the round pen with these!

The current plan (it changes daily) is to bring the really cute storage building we’d set up at the church over here and put it where one of the shipping containers is. It will be converted into a tack and feed room, which will make life just grand when it comes to feeding, grooming, and storing horse stuff! I think they may even make a covered grooming area and a spot to wash horses. Now, it won’t have a water heater like the fancy ones at the stable I visited last weekend, but this will be SO nice. The shipping container can be moved and be our hay storage area, which will mean a lot less hauling of hay from over by the cabin.

Here’s the other side. All that black stuff is, I think, translucent? Not sure. I’ll have to actually pry the back door open to find out. Darn ice storm. Lee says the door opens like a dream. Aah.

There’s a lot to look forward to on a wintry day so I’m feeling rather warm and fuzzy inside. I’m so glad we got a good deal on all this stuff, that the guys got to make some new friends, and that the new friends know their old stuff is going to someone who appreciates it. I’m still sort of in shock and SO grateful to Lee and the nephew. I just expected them to come home with a basic, useful, older trailer. This thing should last the rest of my life!

I sure hope to make GOOD use of the things we now have and share with others. I can’t wait for Kathleen to get back so she can squeal over it and for it to warm enough for Sara and Mandy to look around. It feels good to recycle/re-use all this equipment rather than buy new things.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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