The Game Plan for the Trailer

Apologies: Post is super long and contains no pretty horse pictures. 

The last time I posted about the horse trailer was after hauling Paige to and from the vet’s farm. During the first trip she was pretty miserable as I didn’t realize that the trailer had ceiling vents. Sorry girlfriend. I opened them for the ride home, but I’m pretty positive she was still cussing me from the initial drive to the vet’s farm, because she was less than thrilled with the whole getting on the trailer bit. She hauled much cooler on the ride back to the farm, but I still plan to monitor the situation, and possibly remove the tops of the back doors if hauling when it is that warm.

A Soft Spot for Stars-The Game Plan for the Trailer

The trailer still has some redeeming qualities despite it’s age. I’ve been looking at horse trailers for sale, and for the value of the trailer that I own, I’m doing good. I can’t find anything else with this much inside storage, etc. in the 3k price range. I’ve seen a couple trailers in the 6-7k price range that I like, but that just isn’t realistic right now. I’ve decided to charge ahead with remodeling the trailer despite having it listed for sale on a couple facebook groups and craigslist. I haven’t been bumping the posts, so the likelihood of someone finding the post isn’t super high.

My brother (C) was supportive of my brainstorming on Tuesday and was actually super helpful. Not that I doubted him, he and I generally get along really well (which is nice since my farm borders his home) and can talk for hours if not needed elsewhere. He and I discussed the occasions that I would actually be using the trailer and determined that it isn’t likely that I’ll need running water or a bed, especially since the AC/Heat in the trailer is broken. The only place I can envision that I’d actually stay in the living quarters is the Virginia Horse Center. They have hook ups for water/electric, plus a locker room complete with showers in the building by the hook ups. So I’m not sure how much I’d need a sink in the trailer. I’d have to go to the locker room to shower anyway, so I might as well brush my teeth, etc while I’m in there. I can’t think of any other reason that I would need the sink in the trailer since most of my time would be spent by the stalls prepping, etc. Plus, if I don’t have working AC, the trailer probably won’t be comfortable enough to sleep in anyway. I can buy a working AC unit online if I need to, but that sounds like a lot of $$ and effort for something I may not use if I don’t haul somewhere to stay overnight.

A Soft Spot for Stars-The Game Plan for the Trailer

High on the list of sad things: AC that doesn’t work.

Currently the trailer game plan is to remove the sink and water heater unit along with it’s cabinetry. I’m thinking I’ll just remove the unit as a whole and put it in the barn somewhere in case I change my mind and want it back. So if you’re in my barn and see a sink, don’t get too excited about washing your hands…unless I can figure out how to hook the water hose up to it? Removing the sink cabinetry will open up a lot of space in the horse trailer, which I will need because I intend to store my show trunk in the trailer. I have a big Stanley tool box that I always kept in my bedroom at the farm. It hasn’t been at the barn because dirt. I’m hoping to move it straight from my bedroom into the horse trailer to keep it from getting super dirty. If I remove the cabinetry it should fit well between the closet cabinet and the wall. C and I talked about the possibility of a drop down/lift up table to go in the space as well. He thought (correctly) that it would be nice to have an area where you could sit and write if you needed to. Of course this brought back memories of going to shows and filing out entry forms vertically on the side of the trailer and trying to find a hard surface to put on your lap to be able to actually write something down. I can either do a large table (roughly the size of the top of my tack trunk) to drop down over the top of the trunk (providing I don’t want to open the trunk for a bit and don’t mind the window being covered when the table isn’t in use) or I can do a lift table top with a pivoting leg like a drop leaf table, which would mean that I’d have to move the trunk to use it. I can also make one that drops from the right from the side of the closet to sit over the trunk. Think of the ironing boards that hinge on the wall. I could make this at a higher height so that the person writing wouldn’t need to be sitting down. Because really, what are the odds of a) a chair fitting in the horse trailer with all the miscellaneous horse show crap laying around and b) having time to sit down at a horse show?

A Soft Spot for Stars-The Game Plan for the Trailer

You can envision a hinged table thing coming off that closet, right?

A Soft Spot for Stars-The Game Plan for the Trailer

I edited the photo to add the table. It would be hooked at the top, but when unhooked would drop down on chains to hold it level.

Since the previous owner of the trailer designed it for his buggy horses, there are zero places to put tack. No saddle racks or hooks for bridles, etc. I don’t know where he stored his harnesses, maybe in a tote or something. From how he described it to me when I picked it up he even had a water tank in the storage area under the manger where I would assume one would keep tack. I think I’m going to try to DIY a type of saddle stand that I can move around depending on how much stuff I’m hauling. I found a neat PVC one on Pinterest (see below) that looks simple enough.

A Soft Spot for Stars-The Game Plan for the Trailer

I may have to make mine taller than this one since my saddle is much bigger than the one pictured. The website that the pin links to sells the saddle stand, but I’d like to try to make my own since PVC pipe isn’t very expensive. I guess I could always use a pipe saw to shorten the legs on a metal folding saddle rack too. I already tried to put my metal folding one in the tack compartment under the manger, but it didn’t fit, so I’ll have to do something to it or make something else. Who knows, depending on how many people are going when we haul somewhere, it may make more sense to put my saddle in the back seat of the truck and have the saddle stand folded in the tack compartment for when we arrive. I like the idea of keeping the under the mangers areas free of permanent structure type things for this reason. I could bolt a saddle rack to the wall to stabilize it, but that would make it hard to put a muck bucket or a couple bales of hay in that area down the road, so I like the idea of movable saddle racks. Because if you have to pick between putting a muck cart/bale of hay in the backseat or your saddle, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to put the saddle in the backseat. 😉

Now that the refrigerator is humming away cooling my bottled water in the barn, I have lots of room in that corner of the trailer. So the question is: hang cabinets across that wall? Do corner cabinets? I know I definitely need some tack hooks and I’d rather them be at standing height in the living quarters than at thigh height in the under the manger area. And I need a mirror, you know, because I am a girl and all, and being able to check the amount of damage your hat has done to your hair at a show is nice.

A Soft Spot for Stars-The Game Plan for the Trailer

A Soft Spot for Stars-The Game Plan for the Trailer

Don’t judge my photo editing skillz…

Thoughts? I’m thinking first aid kit in the cabinet up there. That way it is always where it is supposed to be, yet not in the way so it won’t get shuffled around and lost. I think its a good idea to keep a pony and human first aid kit on hand. I need to put those together, plus a tool box. It’s always the things you don’t have on hand that you need.

A Soft Spot for Stars-The Game Plan for the Trailer

Hooks like these would be awesome. PC to Danielle Brantley from the Horse Trailer Conversions page on FB.

A Soft Spot for Stars-The Game Plan for the Trailer

Potential curtain fabric.

For the general look of the place, I’m planning white beadboard with vintage accents in the trailer. I have some cute fabric that I hope to make curtains with. It was a random print that I liked when on a girls’ trip out of town with friends. I didn’t have a project for it at the time, but I’m hoping I bought enough yardage to do all three curtains with it. If not I’ll add some solid blue fabric maybe two inches or so at the top of the valance to make it last. (Confession: I’ve only sewed one pillow case. This will be interesting…)

The current game plan for the ceiling is this tin. It looks like it would be flexible enough to curve slightly overhead:

A Soft Spot for Stars-The Game Plan for the Trailer

Ceiling option. PC Darlene Culver Rike from the Horse Trailer Conversion page on FB.

I’m not sure that I’ll put the mattress back in it. Boarder (T) and I discussed that an air mattress would probably be sufficient for the off chance that I would need to sleep in the trailer. I think I’m going to try corner cabinets in the neck of the trailer by the closet for more storage. I plan on using the steps into the neck as storage as they’re already built. I’m thinking that would be a good place to store grooming supplies like show sheen, fly spray, etc. We also decided that having a rug in the neck would be a better plan than gluing down carpet, that way it can be removed easily to be cleaned. Vacuuming hay off of gooseneck carpet on your hands and knees can be annoying.

The possibility of these details changing during the project is high. It is hilarious to reread what I said I was going to do with my old house when we first got it vs. what actually happened. Remodeling projects change every five minutes or so. 🙂

If you read this whole post, you get a giant cookie.

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