We affectionately name our vehicles to clearly refer to them. Our truck, for instance, has always been named “Betty”.
Naturally, we came up with names for our two trailers that play off of Betty. In this post I’ll introduce you to “Boop”, our horse trailer.
Boop is a 1997 Sundowner aluminum bumper-pull trailer. She is a two-horse straight load, meaning she can haul two horses side by side with the horses facing the direction of travel. Sundowner is known for being one of the best horse trailer manufacturers in the US so I was thrilled to find her for sale for a reasonable price on Craigslist. Although she’s over 20 years old, she’s in great condition.
She sat outdoors in a shady spot for a long time at her old home, so she needed a good bath when I got her. I spent a few hours power-washing and scrubbing lichen off of her aluminum skin. She cleaned up nicely!
A roof vent was missing and needed replacement. The roof was leaking in a few spots, so I sealed it. The floor in the horse area required a thorough cleaning, which involves removing the divider and floor mats (they weigh a ton and are no fun to move). I was able to do all of this myself, but I relied on professionals to replace the old tires, pack the bearings with grease, and check the brakes.
Boop also has a “Dressing Room” in the front where I can store all MacKenzie’s gear. It’s a small space, about the size of a walk-in closet, so I knew that I had to organize it carefully to fit all the tack that we will need on the road.
Need is a contentious word in this case. How do I know what I’ll really need for a trip like this? I’m a bit of a Boy Scout when it comes to horses anyway; always be prepared is my motto. Perhaps I’m bringing too much. Time and experience will tell.
When I started investigating organization tactics, a Facebook group called “Horse trailer conversions II” inspired me to use a modular storage system named “Gladiator“. It is a wall-mounted track system with options like hooks, shelves, and baskets. I installed four baskets on the front of the nose-wall and added a few hooks to use the left over space in the tracks. I placed these high on the wall to use the vertical space that otherwise would be wasted. I can stack plastic totes filled with heavy or bulky items on the floor without interference.
I also added two clear plastic drawer organizers on the floor that are tall enough to just fit under the lowest basket. I added two saddle racks to the back wall of the tack room because there were none when I purchased the trailer. Although the dressing room door came with an organizer box installed, I added a Gladiator track with hooks about 4″ from the top. This is for hanging halters, leads, and things I need easy access to. I’m very pleased with how it all turned out.