Trailer Items I Can't Leave Home Without
Which best describes you? Habitual over-packer who brings two over-sized checked bags on a weekend getaway, the person who packs a swimsuit on an Alaskan cruise "just in case", or the guy who only packs a toothbrush and one pair of clean underwear and plans to just wing the rest?
When hitting the road for a summer full of rodeos or horse shows, it pays to be prepared. Here is a list of things I can't leave home without:
- Vet kit: This should be a no-brainer. Here are a few of the key items I keep stocked in mine: bute, vet wrap, scarlet oil (this is a wound spray that keeps insects off, prevents infections, and promotes healing), cleaning antiseptic, roll of cotton, gauze pads, clean towels, stethoscope (very helpful in a colic situation to listen for guttural sounds), thermometer, and surgical gloves (because cleaning wounds can be messy!)
- Water buckets with bucket straps: Keeping horses hydrated on the road is mission critical. Thanks to Jenna Smeenk for introducing me to the joys and wonders of bucket straps. I can easily hang buckets in the trailer or for horses tied outside. No more tipped over buckets, messes, or cracked buckets from horses pawing them on the ground.
- Extra tack everything: You never know what is going to break. I carry a complete extra set of everything in case I need a backup or just something to scavenge parts from.
- Cowboy Magic: Why have I not started using this product on my own mane? It's a game changer. On the go and can't bathe manes and tails? No problem. A dime size drop of this magical tonic and their tail shines like a diamond.
- Hoof pick: Especially on the road, different types of ground can be rough on their hooves. I pay extra close attention to their hoof health when away from home.
- Spare tire & all the road repair fixins: Speaking from experience as someone who has had 2 flat tires within a 20 mile stretch, changing trailer tires on the freeway is an art form not for the faint of heart. I keep a star wrench, fully inflated spare, extra lug nuts, and a jack in my trailer. I love the jacks you can drive up on vs. the crank style.
- Horse treats: My unicorns are spoiled and I'm proud of it!
- Fly spray / SWAT: hard for any horse to focus on their job with flies and mosquitoes bombarding them. SWAT is the most effective repellant I've found, albeit messy to apply.
- Hay net: Who doesn't love road snacks? On long hauls, it's important to horses' digestion for them to eat slowly all day, just like they would in the pasture. Hay nets keep feed in front of them but keeps them from scarfing it down quickly.
- Flashlight: From late night repairs to unloading horses at a dark rodeo arena, a small and very bright flashlight is just one of those trailer staples you will use over and over again.
- Pocket knife: Busting open bails of hay, bags of grain or shavings, heck even tightening a Chicago screw on my bridle, this is one of my most utilized trailer accessories.
- Paperwork: Crossing state lines, leaving the country, or entering most major rodeos & horse shows requires a clean Coggins test, health certificate, proof of registration, and occasionally a brand inspection. Know before you go and plan well in advance. Many of these tests take a couple weeks to get results back.
- Sunscreen & waterproof jacket: Rodeo season seems to range from 'Iraq desert-level heat' season to 'monsoon' season. Either way, it pays to be prepared.
Good luck on the rodeo road this year, be safe, and have fun!