Monday, July 27, 2015

Road-trip Blowout!

Not much left of this tire.
I was packed and pulled out of my driveway by 6am heading for my 5th International competition.   Driving down Hwy 43 on my way to Tennessee, I heard a horse kick inside the trailer.  It was a hard kick - BAMM! - and I glanced in the rearview mirror. Hmmm....wonder if I should check on them?  For some reason I reached for the mirror button and tipped the mirror down so I could see the tires and I thought I noticed a bit of smoke or dust blowing on the passenger side of the trailer.  When I pulled over to take a look, it wasn’t a horse kick I had heard, but the tire on my horse trailer had completely blown out.   Arghhh, less than 90 minutes into my travels and still in Wisconsin...and here my trip came to a screeching halt. 

Next, I was wielding a tire iron and hydraulic lift in my flip flops and white shorts. (I know!)  One quick call with Scott, and I was able to figure out how to get the bolts off, how to remove the spare, and how to get everything put back on.  However the spare looked low, so I drove slowly to the Citgo Station only a half mile down the road.  Scott caught up with me there - helped put air in the tires and made the decision that I needed a new spare, just in case.  A few questions to Siri and I was on my way to Farm & Fleet for a new spare in Rosco.  The F&F guys put a new tire on the rim of the blown tire, as well as a new tire on the rim of the spare - but I was the one who had to again change out the tire in the parking lot or wait until noon for an appointment.  So tire change #2 was undertaken - and quite proficiently and experienced, I might add.

F&F parking lot getting
a new spare!
Two hours later, I was back on the road. I made one wrong turn that lost me another hour along the way, but I arrived at dusk around 8:30pm.   As I drove down the Tennessee Miller fence-lined drive to the arena and horse stall building, Carlan rang to find out where I was ‘cuz she was worried we hadn’t arrived yet.  3 minutes later I  saw her waving me in as I pulled up, exhausted at my stalls.  In no time, I had Carlan, Emily, Katie and Peggy Butler all providing an iPhone flashlight and a helping hand.  Diva and Bourbon knew we had arrived, and pounded in rhythm inside the trailer.  I think it was “let me out, let me out, let me outta here, let me out,” in some kind of horsey morris code - but we all knew the song.  Shavings down, fans installed and blowing, hay tossed, water hung, leg wraps off, and horses tucked in - whew!!!!  I hung out only a short a while to see Eileen, Bruce and Owen briefly - then headed for the hotel, to get me showered and tucked in around midnight.  The pillow felt so good.  I pray tomorrow is a better day!  

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