Well, my birthday is nearing to a close. They seem to lose their excitement as we get older (despite my best attempts) and since it was supposed to rain anyway, I didn't set out with much of a plan.
I had the day off work and the weatherman predicted a mild but windy day. I dragged myself from bed shortly after the sun rose, made a list, did some quick internet research over breakfast and then started on my phone calls.
I got a reasonable quote for sandblasting the trailer and drove out to get a new key made at the locksmith's. Who was closed until mid-April. The trailer parts dealer was too inept to measure the part I *specifically* asked if they had in stock, so it was too small. Then he told me if I had removed the jack foot in the first place, it wouldn't be lost. Right....it was me who lost a 40 year old jack foot... : P
I did manage to get a couple of small things I needed at the local RV parts dealer, and priced out some "last boxes" of oak flooring for the back doors. I actually think I can get away with a single box, and can get it for $40 at the local refit center. And I'm good with that. Now I just need to pick a width, color and buy a box.
I stopped by one more local sandblaster and got a quote from him. Then he told me he not only painted trailers, but also that he probably has a can of that beautiful GMC blue I was looking for...I could tell he was laughing just a little, as I stood there professing how I wanted it blue, while standing in my GMC blue jacket (seriously, he color matched it!), in front of my blue car, in blue jeans. : P I'm one of *those* girls...(well, I kinda am...H has a box-o-blue stuff for the trailer stashed for me, I've dressed Mr. Moon in all blue and the trailer will be pulled by a blue truck...).
I'm gonna give him a call back in a couple of days to find out if he has the paint. The price he quoted me (he gave me a "not more then, but probably less then...") was not unreasonable, considering it included labor and materials to sandblast, prime and paint. Essentially I'd drop the trailer off and get back a brand new trailer. At least after we re-epoxy the roof and get new tires (on backorder because my BF got a little carried away shopping for motorcycle parts instead...). Granted, he did rig up some replacement steel panels for the trailer today, so I couldn't complain too much that he worked instead of hanging out with me all day. Though he sprinted out the door to drive them to my folks on his motorcycle. No worries, I'll stay here with the dog and research trailer mats... : P
My dad hunted around locally for some checker-plate rock guard and can up nil. A little quick googling later and I found myself a supplier. Nice thick stuff that's protect the trailer and goes a little higher up then the old stuff. I figure if I cave and do this full-out, I might as well keep the paint from being chipped to heck. And since they have minimum sized rolls, there'd be enough to also checker plate the wheel well and the back doors...
I confess, I'm probably going to cut back on some lessons, eat a little more kraft dinner and wave goodbye to my tax return to do this thing right. The Blair Trailers are nearly extinct. I've found the daughter of the maker and even her trailer isn't in as good of condition. I have two choices. Spent a handful of change and get it in servicable condition. It'll last me 5 to 10 years before needing a lot more TLC. I'll put in about 150 hours of man-time, plus. It'll be ready to go by August.
OR, I can get it completely refinished, put in 20 man-hours on the "finishing touches" plus the roof refinishing. It'll cost me two handfuls of change (maybe $700 more), and I'll have a trailer that will last quite likely another 40 years. It's just not possible to give a quality de-rusting job with a wire brush, and it's not possible to give a quality prime/paint job in your back yard. That's the reality. Instead, this way it'll be essentially brand spanking new, rust free, best possible painting job, protected from stone chipping and really, rather beautiful. And should last and last...
I could realistically sell it for about what I put in, based on comparable trailers in the area. To the right person, maybe a touch more, the wrong person, a touch less.
I kinda wanna be that person that brings this trailer back to life. So that 40 years from now, when it needs its second overhaul, I can look at that person and say "She's given 80 good years. You find a trailer that can do that." Oh, and so I don't have to put in the effort every 5 years scrubbing the rust off it and wondering how much longer till my pony pops out the side... : P
She'll be customized, protected, beautiful and strong. She'll embody all the great innovation of the Blair family, and it'll be a trailer I can hopefully use for my entire adult life.
Ah damn it. What's another handful of change?
So after my adventure deciding to truly pimp my pony ride was completed, I picked up some groceries (what an exciting birthday) and then headed over to the barn. I rode through our dressage test for Saturday once (yikes) and then spent another 40 minutes bickering with Moon.
He's stiff. He is soooo resistant to bending left again, it's painful. And frustrating. Like we made sooo much backwards movement coming into show season. So I just focussed on trying to get him soft. Over and over and over. So much just at a walk, it was painful. He was lazy. When I pushed him, he'd surge and then fall back.
And of course, for not riding in so long, I'm stiff and sore and ache all over. I can still feel Saturday's gallop and I'm not too happy either. Oh, and all of yesterday's work on the trailer too.
After 40 minutes, I called it a day. I told W that she'd best get us working tomorrow. She only replied "He's just stiff". Yeah, but that doesn't make me feel better!
His left hind had some noticeable heat in it, so I threw a poultice on before letting him out. I'm seriously going to have to start wrapping him as I'm not happy about this leg.
I redid his tail knot to keep it from the mud and threw on his rainsheet and liner.
And then bit back a tantrum.
I know they're horses, but I desperately want to bite Curly-horse in the arse.
Moon's rain sheet had a hole in the shoulder. Nice. And a ton of bite marks on the rump, most which didn't rip through. THIS is why I cheaped out and spent $30 on it.
But his liner, his nice Schneider's liner, has two HUGE holes in it. One in the front where it would have been bit, and one a continuation from the bite in the rain sheet. I just threw it on him, closed my eyes, and sent him out. AURGH!
I'm gonna be doing a LOT of sewing come springtime.
Lastly, I dropped off my April board cheque and then left a note to W letting her know this was my month's notice. It's probably for the best, since she was lamenting about how many horses she had in the barn now and how many more would be arriving this spring.
Honestly, if it wasn't for the expected bouts of rain and the wonderful-ness of having an indoor arena, I'd be volunteering to head out early. I love the care, but I'm itching to move on. Be closer to the park for hacking out, which I'm learning is way less frustrating for me then trying to soften a stiff pony. Even though he needs it and I'm sure it won't take forever to get back in the game.
Wonder if my trailer will be ready to haul out at the end of the month??? : P