something really stupid

11/12/13
I watched the movie Baby Boom (Diane Keaton) tonight. I remember loving that movie. I was surprised to find myself crying a lot this time. I thought it was a comedy, I only watch funny things now. I related to it too much. I tried to have it all. And I missed a lot of those young baby years with all of them. And I will never get them back.

The day started slow and it was cold. But I sat out in the bright sun with my snowman looking down jacket, drinking coffee, watching the horses and listening to my ipod shuffle. I am the only person here. I got up and started dancing, it felt great. I tried to take some photos for a painting. Then I saddled up and rode each of them in the arena across the street. It was fun, we did all our old exercises and they were awesome. I used the dressage saddle on Wildflower and she collected nicely, hmmm.

I don’t understand the issue WF and I have been having on the trails with rounding up her back for me. Trotting with a hollow back is exhausting after a while. I am using a snaffle bit now on her, trying to get her to soften up more and listen to me more. It may be that she is just so afraid of the stuff we see, or what she thinks she’s going to see on the trails that she forgets all her training often. Nothing very bad, but she has taken off on me a few times and ignores my cues sometimes too. Especially woah. Some bucking when cantering and kicking at Dreamy when I am ponying..guess it is bad. Or maybe she’s just normal and Rachel, woah! what a freudian slip! I mean Dreamy is so awesome. Am I being unreasonable to expect her to be as good?

It’s freezing cold, supposed to be 20 tonight and high of 40 tomorrow. I’m not riding. I’ll go to town for a few things…a space heater for one. Then I plan on painting most of the day. Maybe some internet stuff in the nice warm lodge with wi-fi. I will probably see some people at least there. I don’t mind being alone most of the time but I know its not good for me to go days without any human contact. I spoke to 2 people today, a few words each, that’s all. One in the lodge asking them to post my blog address and another to the nice young man that feeds the boarded horses in the pastures surrounding the area that I am parked. I asked him if those horses are ever ridden. Two go out on the weekends sometimes. The other grey one is 15 years old and has never been ridden. His owner travels a lot and sometimes saddles him up and works him in the round pen but never rides him…

I just read a journal I kept on my computer from January thru June of 2013. I had left our house in November so I had been in the apartment in Pasadena for 2 months when I started it. I was terrified and depressed. I’ve come a long way. I don’t know if I can share it at this time, maybe later on. I don’t know if anyone would really want to read it any way. I was such a mess. Thanks to all the friends that stuck with me thru that awful time, I don’t know how you could stand to be around me. But thank God you did. And thank you Rachel for moving in with me. I am forever grateful for our last year together and am so sorry for the way it ended. I blew it.

11/13/13
Last night I thought I had run out of fresh water so I hooked up to the spigot figuring I would do that for the night and fill the tank in the morning with light and warmth. When I went to take a shower I had no water still. I took the shower head apart thinking it was clogged. It was too cold to go out and figure it out so I went to sleep. The heater ran all night on propane so I knew it was cold outside. I figured out that when set on HI it uses electric first then propane to maintain a temp. I checked the propane tanks this morning and the one being used it is still 1/2 full to my surprise.

This morning I went out to feed the horses and saw icicles hanging from the spigot, hose and fence. My water line was frozen. I hope there is no damage to my pipes. I had to use two pipe wrenches to unhook it from the trailer. The hose is frozen solid so I have no water until it warms up enough to thaw. I hope it does today. The horses water bucket was frozen and they were just standing there looking at it. I broke it up for them. I had given them a lot of hay last night and they had not eaten all of it which is good. Eating keeps them warm. Neither one was shivering like they were in Idaho. Their coats are very thick and soft now. But the cold is taking all the fun out of being here for me. I’m going to the lodge to check the weather forecast. I’ll leave if it isn’t warming up tomorrow. Packing up and loading in these temps is not going to be fun but staying in the trailer all day to stay warm is boring. At least it didn’t snow. The sun just came up over the ridge so let’s see what happens…
So I learned at the lodge from the helpful folks there, if its predicted freezing temps and you are hooked up to water, switch to your tanks and fill them up. The heat in the trailer will keep it from freezing. Good to know. They also offered to hook me up with other riders which might be nice. Weather predicts that last night was the coldest I will have here, it will warm up to 57 I think. I checked the next place in SC and their temps are similar even tho they are farther south, shucks. I heard from Billy and he wants to Skype me in a couple of hours to discuss his school plans so I’ll hang around till then for that.
Evening
I did something incredibly stupid today. I’m embarrassed that I was just talking about how I am feeling so comfortable hauling now that I don’t need a check list any more.

Thank God the horses were left at camp in the corral. Thank God the trailer didn’t come loose and kill someone. I had hooked up and then drove about a half hour on a narrow curvy road to go dump the tanks at another park camp. No one was there and after I found out the gate code I went in and dumped. As I was putting everything away I noticed the hitch looked odd. It was locked as it is supposed to be but I forgot to put the chains on. I couldn’t believe I did that, I had just had a conversation with one of the guys back in KY about how I always put the chains on even for just moving the trailer a short distance because of a prior time I had not set the Brenderup (my old trailer) down fully on the ball hitch… Then I realized the goose neck stem was locked but not set down fully!! Horror shot thru me. I dropped to my knees and thanked God no disaster had happened. On the way I had heard a strange noise but didn’t stop to investigate it. I can’t believe I drove off without double checking everything. I can’t believe the weight of the trailer resting on the top of the ball had held it in place. I can’t believe I am so stupid. I can’t believe I am so lucky. I am going to do a big checklist on cardboard that I go thru twice before I even move the rig. I think God was telling me to do this. I don’t care how many times I hook up, thousands of times even, I will never not use a checklist again.

WALK AROUND THE RIG TWICE CHECKING THESE ITEMS
EVERY TIME YOU MOVE THE TRAILER

TRUCK BED:
Check that the plug is plugged into the trailer bed and secured with cover clip
Check that the chains are attached and the brake cable is not tangled or stuck
Check that the stem in fully seated on the ball
Check that the stem’s lock is in place and the pin is down all the way

TRAILER:
Check that the trailer’s electric plug is plugged in at the bottom of the trailer
Check that the step is fully pushed in and the latch is caught
Check both blinkers and tail lights on the trailer
Check that all doors are firmly shut, padlocked if horses are loaded
Check that manger windows are locked and secure if horses are loaded
Check that I have removed the key from the Big Foot control box
Check that the horse water tank is shut off up on the hayrack

INSIDE THE TRUCK:
Check that the airbags are at 60 psi
Push the trailering button and check that the trailer light is lit on the dash
Push the traction button and exhaust brake button and check the dash to be sure they are all enabled
Visually check that all tires are looking full (actually check air pressure how often?)

INSIDE THE TRAILER:
Stow and secure all loose things
close all cabinet & fridge doors
lock the cat in the bathroom with food and water

There’s a bunch of other things to prep for a haul but these are my SAFETY LIST.

I pray to God that I am never so negligent again.

2 thoughts on “something really stupid

  1. I am so happy to have your safety list
    But I don’t understand all of them. Gene reminded me to do something to check that the brakes are working on the trailer??? Will have to investigate

    Going to ride tomorrow. I miss JJ. Riding with friends Saturday afternoon too. Just got home from CA. Was 85!!!!

    God bless.

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