For the post you've ALL been waiting for!
It's been a LONG couple of months. Busy, hectic, and as usual, projects ALWAYS take longer then you anticipate. Okay, it actually took less time then I anticipated, but longer then I wanted. Funny how what you want and what you expect are not always the same.
Last night, after paying the insurance on the car and pony trailer, stopping for groceries (and winding up standing at the cash for 15 minutes waiting for the Supervisor to come off break, because the cashiers can't ring through more then $8 in coupons...I had $24 : ) ), stopping to buy the last hook I needed (and discovering they were sold out!), I got home just before 7 pm.
Scarfed down some supper (or a close approximation) and headed outside. I WANT THE PONY TRAILER FINISHED!
Cut the last two pieces of diamond plate without making too big of a mess...I think I'm finally learning how to cut a straight line... ; ) ...kinda...
Riveted, and riveted and riveted. Seriously, my hands ache. I struggle to make a fist. So if you're gonna piss me off, do it today!
As I was putting the screws into the diamond plate on the rear doors (realizing that they'll keep the boards in place), I apparently had the torque setting *just a wee bit too high*, and snapped the head RIGHT off the screw. Leaving the post behind, lodged in the wood.
Now, today, in hindsight, I *probably* could have just pulled out the board (since it's the bottom one, that's only secured by the screw...which was snapped), but yesterday, I didn't have such clarity...
Instead, I drilled it out. It was a LONG process. Screws are HARD. I even snapped another drill bit. Oye. Gonna owe a LOT of drill bits...
Remainder of screws in, both diamond plates on. Success.
Spent a lot of time affixing the door-hold-openers (what's the technical term?!), making sure A. I put them on the right way! and B. They worked.
Then it was getting dark, so I quickly caulked everything, all the diamond plate, the door holders...
Still had the saddle rack to install...
Got that finished by twilight...
Squeezed the clips onto the trailer chains...I had bought the LAST two blue ones at the local store on my way home! And made it there 5 minutes before they closed! Bought the clips there too (very nice, strong clips), and made the mistake of perusing the discount bin...picked up 2 more bridle hangers (for the future barn since they were $1.75 each), a blanket rack (the chain style for $5), and another choker chain for the dog (which turned out to be too small...but it was $1, so big deal). REALLY happy to finally have those trailer chains though!
Clipped the chains onto the trailer and stood back.
And then peeled all the plastic protector sheets off the diamond plate. SHINY.
The list of To-Do's?
1) Install Rubber Mats
2) Install Steel Plate in Tack Room and Rear Doors
3) Drill hole for interior light and Install (already wired)
4) Hook up trailer, connect clearance light and rivet
5) Find a hook for the front door....if only I hadn't misplaced the ones I bought...and rivet on.
6) Trailer jack wheel...rig something up for that one.
Seriously, I'm considering it finished now! The minor things I'll knock off tonight, and voila. FANCY TRAILER!
I had dreamed of hauling it out tonight, but can't and I still have those 6 things to finish off. And I might caulk the rear door boards just because I still have caulking left. Oh, and I have to cut the plastic that I accidentally got stuck in the caulk. : P
But really, it's finished. DONE. Complete.
Saturday it'll likely roll out to the barn, ready for loading practice. Maybe my boy will be sound by then...
And what's the big dream now??
Some of you, reading this, looking at the pretty trailer, might think, "Hey, I could do that! Take a $900 trailer and turn it into a beauty".
Last night, at 10:30 pm when I finally got inside and plunked down at the kitchen table with a bottle of water, I would have told you DO NOT DO IT.
It's a hell of a lot of time and effort. It's difficult. You WILL screw something up. Things won't be perfect. It'll cost money. You'll be sore and aching. Blood, sweat and tears. Literally.
Is it EVER worth it?!
At 10:31 pm, I would have told you to go out there and do it.
Why? Why if it was so exhausting of a process?
Because I rock.
Tell me it isn't gorgeous. It's alright, I know it is.
I rock. The trailer, isn't anything more then a testament to my awesomeness. And I'm pretty awesome.
I don't mean that in a cocky way. What I mean, is that THESE experiences, are what makes you. I caulked for the first time on this trailer. And did a really nice job. I cut sheet metal, riveted, drilled, measured, toiled, wired, crafted, created, modified and painted. It may seem silly, but I'm so much more capable, more independent, more sure of myself because of it.
I did this. Okay, I had help with the painting and the wiring. But overall, it was MY project. My success. My accomplishment.
Like my pony.
It's easy to pay people to do things. It's easy to ask people to do things. It's REALLY hard to do things yourself and learn in the process. But I can promise you, it's worth knowing you can do it.
My mentor last week, commented on my level of confidence this year. And how much I've changed since we met. I used to be meek. Tentative. Now, I sorta just stride into his office, shut the door and make my opinion known.
I strode into my boss' office the same way. I'm striding through life that way. YES, I make mistakes. The horse trailer is RIDDLED with them. I can point every one out. But every one taught me something. And I kept going.
The final product? Looks awesome. To hell with the mistakes. They're mine and I own them. And I'm proud of them. I'll even point them out to you if you ask. 'Cause I learned to fix every one of them. On my own.
Not sure what my favourite part is...all of it??
The mentor had made a comment to me, that sticks really close to my heart. He said "As children, we think we can do anything, be anything. We dream and believe it will be reality. And then we grow up. At some point in our lives, we stop believing. We find limitations; a ceiling to our own potential."
"Sandra, the ONLY limitations in life, are the ones you place on yourself. You're no less capable, have no less potential today, then you did when you were a kid. Believe in yourself, dream big, and life will find a way to make it happen."
It sticks with me. Do not be limited. Do not tell yourself you can't do something. Just go out there and do it. Even if it's restoring a 1974 Blair Horse Trailer.
...maybe ESPECIALLY if it's restoring a 1974 Blair Horse Trailer.
Old, rusted, dirty hub (it was actually a dirt film!)...and new, shiny hub!
Trailer tie, matching of course. : ) Pressure treated feed bunks.
My wiring! : ) Yup, I got to rig this part up, all by myself! So if nothing works...my bad. ; )
The jack, awesome new break-away module AND my really expensive, but gorgeous 7-pin plug, complete with brushed steel pistol grip and holder! Yes, it WAS worth it!
Even pretty from behind.
Yup, I hung a Canada Flag out the front. Ready for the Olympics...
SOO excited to hook-up and haul out!
Wait till her new tires are on!
Okay, so once the new tires are on, this'll be sweet looking. Look how SHINY that cap is! Remember, there's new electric brakes back there, another thing missing from a lot of these trailers!
Looking forward; can't wait to park Moon in here, and chase our dreams, together.
Sweet tack room. Three bridle hooks and my "stolen" folding step stool. Just gotta rig in my tack bin...
Folding saddle rack! Will add a piece of foam to keep it from banging around. But it works, fits and is pretty sweet. WAY better then leaving tack on the ground!
Beautiful rear door panelling and trailer chains (I like saying "bum chain" too much...). Gorgeous. No pooping in here.
Interior light. Hanging. WILL finish! And it'll be a SWEET addition! (seriously, how many of these little trailers have interior lighting?!)
Yup, I even made my own custom magnetic decal. Yeah, hand-made that puppy!
Custom decal. Custom paint. Custom trim. CANTERING CUSTOMS.