It's the Little Things

Posted by Sharon Labels: ,

It doesn't take much to make me happy. Four new tires on my horse trailer will do it.
A couple of days ago the guys at Fountain Tire installed tires all around on my Sooner and although the bill stung a little, I was on a high for the rest of the day. It's the little things.
For many this might not seem like much of an event but for me, travelling alone with horses I love, it is. Only two other times in all the years I've hauled horses have I bought four new tires for my trailer. I clearly remember both.
In 1974 I was on the rodeo circuit with my good barrel horse, Duchess, and hauling her in a two horse straight-haul Miley (a step up from hauling horses in the back of the truck). As the tires wore out one by one, I replaced them with used ones, always travelling with extras in the back of the truck. But Duchess was winning money every time and finally, on the way home from a race in southern Saskatchewan, I made a decision. I had enough money to replace the tires. So I stopped at Canadian Tire in Moose Jaw and bought new rubber all around.  (I think they cost me $50 each.) I remember to this day how good it felt driving away worry free. Those tires lasted a long time until – you guessed it – I replaced them one by one with used ones with extras in the truck box.
After the Miley, I bought my first living quarters, a used, two-horse straight haul Roadrunner with a bed, stove and icebox in the living quarters, not much compared to the living quarters trailers of today but a real jewel then. I paid $3500 for it and traded a nice little mare for part payment. That trailer would be part of my life for many years. I hauled to horse shows of course, the beach for weekend get-a-ways with the kids, moved my horses to BC with it and pulled it up rough mountain trails to trail ride. I got it stuck and unstuck more times than I care to remember and of course I had flat tires. I replaced them with used ones and became a regular visitor to the "tire man" in Armstrong. He knew what I wanted when he saw me coming and supplied me with used tires for both the truck (a beat up 1978 GMC) and the trailer for several years (extras in the back of the truck).
1992 - The Roadrunner at Larch Hills before it was painted.
Enter a man in my life. The living quarters trailer got a paint job and made even more trips to the mountains as well as everyday use for my business training and showing reining horses. Don made fun of my load of 'extra' tires and even lug nuts (but that's another story...) but I was always struggling to make ends meet and could not afford new tires for the trailer.
1995 South Country Slide In, Cardston AB with my granddaughter
In 1994, with my new partner's blessing, I paid up a horse in the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City. We would be driving the long drive in late November and Don had changed a few tires on that trailer.
"I'm going to buy you tires all around for the trailer," he told me. "I don't want to drive all the way to Oklahoma wondering how many flats we're going to have. Go see your tire man."
And so I did. Tim saw me coming and he knew what I wanted – or thought he did.
"I want four tires for the trailer," I said. "You know the size."
 I could tell he was already thinking about what he had. He started to turn back to his pile of rubber and then realized what I said.
"New ones?" The look on his face was so funny I laughed. I think I enjoyed telling him that just a little too.
He was not quite sure he had heard correctly but I assured him I did want new ones and again, as I had so many years before in Moose Jaw, I drove away with confidence. I would not have to worry about flat tires for a while.
1994 The trailer painted and with new tires in Oklahoma
And so, when I drove away from Sundre with new rubber all around on my trailer, it lifted my spirits just as it did those other two times.

My Sooner with new shoes!
 Sometimes it's the little things.