|Ah. The good old days . . .|
I had to take a couple of horses to auction.
One of the more painful aspects of ranching . . .
In the old days, when I was ranching with my parents, a truck and trailer (chosen from the selection on hand) would appear magically outside the ranch house, loaded and ready to go.
Oh, the good old days.
This new ranching-on-my-own required much more forethought.
I had the horses.
And the pickup.
What I needed was a trailer.
A rental was indicated.
As an absolute neophyte in this area, I did what one did back then.
Went to the Yellow Pages.
Huh. Did you know there were dozens of companies whose sole purpose was to supply one with the best, biggest, lightest, heaviest, sleekest, cleanest, most-efficient, strongest, easiest-to-pull, prettiest (okay, I added that one), most-amazing trailer in the area?
Well there are.
I chose the nearest dealer.
And a trailer that looked like one of Dad’s.
Better the evil you know . . .
I drove over and, trying to look like I had done this all my life, hooked up to my newly-borrowed piece of equipment.
Okay, that part was easy. Back up the truck as near to the trailer hitch as possible.
Or until the attendant hollered, “Whoa!”
And hook up.
Okay. From that point I was more-or-less comfortable. I had pulled a trailer many times in my life. My real problems arose when I tried something new.
Like backing up with said trailer attached.
This is where I admit that my brother or Dad had always done the ‘intricate’ work.
Have you ever tried this?
Backing up a trailer, I mean.
You have to turn the controller vehicle in the complete opposite direction you want the trailer to go.
All the while looking backward over your shoulder.
It’s like trying to write something on a wall behind you by looking in a mirror.
Everything screams at you to turn the other way.
Usually while your spotter/attendant is screaming at you to do it right.
I did make it to the auction.
Horses, truck and trailer intact.
And, after much, MUCH backing up and re-backing up and adjusting and backing up again, and attendants sweating and swearing, finally moved the trailer close enough to the ramp to off-load two confused and rather dizzy horses.
Then I got the heck out of there.
I stopped at the ranch to clean out the trailer.
A nervous horse is a poopy horse.
And I took the trailer back.
Now, when I had picked up the behemoth, it had been parked among its fellows in a neat line.
Second from the end.
When collecting it, I had only needed to back the truck, hook on, and leave.
Returning the trailer wasn’t going to be as easy.
I would need to maneuver it, without scarring its fellows on either side, back into its home.
The key word here is ‘back’.
I was sweating before I even drove into the yard.
The attendant cheerfully indicated my parking spot.
Yep. Right where I expected.
Cue the Hitchcock violin music . . .
I pulled ahead and shoved the truck into reverse.
Then, taking a deep breath, pressed down on the gas.
And slid in as neatly and perfectly as any trailer-jockey out there.
On my first try.
The trick then was to try to not look as surprised as the attendant.
And to keep the swagger (mostly caused by relief) out of my walk as I helped unhook.
And to suppress the desire to turn hand-springs on my way back to the truck.
Yep. Sometimes, the planets align.
All things work together.
And one is allowed to feel that sense of accomplishment that goes with a job well (and perfectly) done.
Enjoy it while it lasts . . .