It has been a tough winter, but it is time to set our sights on the new riding season. The cabin fever approaching now can be worse than the flu season!
In preparation for travel and focusing on your horse trailer, it might be to early to un-winterize the trailer, but here are a few things you really need to do now.
I spent a good amount of time talking to the Federal folks and our state Motor Vehicle folks about new laws and regulations on horse trailers for traveling. For the most part, the rules have not changed but I suggest you contact your state motor vehicle office, by phone, to be certain you are licensed properly.
First, take a few minutes and look at your trailer and truck registration. There are new laws in various states that determine licensing requirements. If your truck and trailer are over 26,000 pounds, you will have to have a Commercial Driving License (CDL). It does not question your driving ability but is a safety concern with the weight. Most of us, even with the largest rigs, are under this limit. One way to be sure is to simply take your truck and trailer to any feed co-op and pull it up on the scales. Usually there is no charge and you will have a printed receipt of your weight, time and date so it satisfies any police officer of the exact weight.
You may want to pay a few dollars to upgrade your weight limit on your truck hauling license. The cost is almost nothing, but it makes sure your truck is licensed to pull a heavier trailer.
Be careful not to put on your trailer a name of a business you may have such as leather repair or equine services. Again, check your state transportation office, because some states will recognize this as a commercial effort and, therefore, you need a commercial license!
Check your axle grease, brakes and lights. They may have been fine when you parked your trailer last year but a few months of freezing and thawing can change the light bulb contacts. Also, it is easy to replace a grease seal versus having an axle rebuilt. Go by a dealership and ask them to give you an estimate on any repairs. That means you get a free inspection.
I suggest you place a yellow pad and ink pen in your trailer to make a list of things you need to add to the trailer. Somehow a can opener is always needed each year. (I think the mice eat them). By making a list, it helps get you ready for the season.
Finally, pick a location to come ride with us. Even if you are just passing through Virginia, you can stay with us over night at no charge which includes stalls and hook ups. Life is painfully short. Pick a few dates now to visit friends and places to visit this year. You deserve it and it adds great joy to your life.
As always, contact me directly anytime at my personal e mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Best of America by Horseback and be a part of an upcoming episode
March 23-25: Florida Sheriff Youth Ranch – Live Oak, FL
April 6-7: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
April 13-14: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
April 25: Trails Etc – Midway, AL
May 4-6: Tucker Trail Saddle Ride Weekend at East Fork Stables – Jamestown, TN
May 11-12: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
May 18-20: Smoke Rise Ranch – Glouster, OH
June 8-9: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
June 15-17: Gathering at the Farm – Culpeper, VA
June 29-30: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
July 13-14: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
July 18-22: Cook Forest Trail Ride – Clarion, PA
July 24-29: Farm Days Week at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
July 27-28: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
August 7-12: Farm Days Week at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
August 10-11: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
September 14-15: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
September 21-23: River Valley Horsecamp – Farmington, IA
September 28-30: Mackinac Equestrian Center, MI
October 5-6: Daniel Boone Days – Culpeper, VA
October 12-13: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
November 2-3: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
Learn more about upcoming rides, visit www.bestofamericabyhorseback.com or call us at 540-829-9555.