Trailer Maintenance: Replacing the Trailer Jack

September 1, 2019

While I was out of town for the 2019 International Trip, our amazing neighbor did some welding work on my trailer. If you need a welder this dude is fantastic!

When I got back I decided to continue the trailer maintenance and replace the trailer jack. This was mostly a necessity because the inside mechanism had become bent and it was getting harder and harder to hook and unhook the trailer. The final straw was having to get my husband’s help to wind it high enough to unhook it.

I searched around and found that you replace the whole piece not just the inside and it was actually pretty affordable. I did some measuring and decided I wanted the top part to be slightly shorter but could take that up on the under side. So I picked out a trailer jack on

There were plenty of jacks to pick out. I selected one that was rated for well more weight than I needed and had the correct amount of lift. I considered the electric ones which were way more affordable than I would have thought but ended up selecting a gray economy one by Bulldog that would match my trailer. It was about $65 after shipping and arrived in about three days.

Full disclosure, my husband did the actual installing. He used some DW40, some jack stands, and a ratchet wrench. The whole process from collecting tools, changing the jack out, to putting the tools back away took about 10 minutes. It was way easier than either of us expected.

First we sprayed DW40 on the three nuts. Then we wound the trailer up and put the two jack stands under the hitch bars, one on either side. Then we wound the original jack down, putting the weight on the jack stands and none on the actual trailer jack. Next my husband used the ratchet wrench to loosen and then remove the three bolts. This was the hard part and took a bit of arm strength.

Once the bits were off the old jack was easy to remove and the new one was easy to slide right into place. The nuts were put back on and tightened down and then the new jack was wound out and the jack stands removed. Done.

We both wound the jack up and down a little. It turns way easier than the old one but not as easy as we both expected. I put that to it being the economy model and that it is lifting quite a bit of weight. I don’t recall any other trailer ever being any easier than this new one.

Two days later I hooked up the trailer and the new trailer jack worked just fine. That night I unhooked it and it worked great. I am completely satisfied with this project and still amazed that it was easier than expected.

I Broke My Finger – ugh

July 27, 2019

On Sunday I went on a trail ride and at the 10 mile mark, with two miles to go, I got my rein wrapped around my left ring finger. I pulled hard on the rein to get Simon back out of brush and onto the trail and the rein slid over the end of my finger and I felt the end of my finger snap. Crap.

I knew instantly. I quickly grabbed my phone out and was lucky I had service. I called my husband, Rich, who jumped in his truck to meet me at the trail head. Of course while he was driving he lectured me over the phone about riding alone, how much water did I have with me, was I on too long of a ride, and so on, but he showed up and met me at the busy road crossing to the parking lot.

Disclosure: there is vulgar language in this video clip.

Note: I am horrible at videoing and tend to think I hit record when I didn’t and then actually hit record when I want to stop.

On this ride I had been attempting to tape a little clip for my trail report blog post and apparently hit record instead of stop and had my phone in my hand (recording for a solid five minutes) when I broke my finger. You can’t see anything but you can hear my reaction.

Luckily the two miles I had to ride back were easy trail. Simon was also quite aware something was wrong and was perfect. I carried my hand up in the air, mostly resting it over my helmet to help keep it from swelling as much. I did find that deer flies took to landing only on that hand and now I have quite a few bites. I am not sure if this is because my hand was in the air above the rest of me or if they sensed with their evil fly senses that this hand was compromised and they should attack.

The parking is on the side of a mountain which rt211 passes over, and the trail head is across the road. It’s a relatively blind crossing and I lead my dog and pony across, one in each hand. In my compromised state I wasn’t sure how I was going to dismount without hurting my hand. I also wasn’t sure how I was going to lead them both across the road with one hand. Luckily I only had to wait a few minutes. Rich pulled up and came over and got Daisy and led her back to my rig. Then he helped me get off, which wasn’t nearly so challenging as I thought it would be, I basically just jumped off.

Rich was a champ and held Simon while I unsnapped everything and then he pulled my tack off and loaded up Simon and then my tack into the trailer and finally put a confused and upset Daisy into my truck.

I grabbed a few things and hopped in Rich’s truck and he climbed in mine and off we went. He took Simon and Daisy home and took care of them while I drove myself to Urgent care in Harrisonburg (I wonder why there is no Urgent care north of Harrisonburg until you reach Winchester). I continued to keep my hand up in the air, when I wasn’t changing gears, and I got a lot of waives so I assume people thought I was waiving at them.

On the way to urgent care I decided my finger was probably just popped out of socket and they would just pop it back in and I would be as good as new. Wishful thinking.

They took X-rays and sure enough, the end of my fourth finger showed a break even I could see on the X-ray. They put a splint on it and sent me home with instructions to see an orthopedic surgeon and I may take Tylenol for the pain.

Monday my finger showed minor swelling and some purpling. And I made an appointment for Tuesday with an orthopedic.

of course, I kept my team in the loop through all of it.

Tuesday I went to the RMH Sentara Orthopedics Center. I explained what happened at check in and was told, “oh the doctor is a horse person, this will be a good one for her”.

When the doctor came in she said, “so I hear you had a riding accident”. I said yes. “And I suppose you need to be back on your horse right away”. I laughed, yep.

My understanding is that the end of fingers is made of softer bone and it breaks more easily. It also gets limited blood flow and there is not too much they can do for it.

She advised me to take it easy on it because “I assume you have an important show coming up soon” and that I would want to be in as good of condition as I can for it. I should expect it to hurt for a few weeks and it could show swelling for up to a year. Crazy right?

They gave me a smaller splint and I was told I could wrap it in vetwrap.

On Wednesday (so three days after the break) I decided I needed to ride Possum and see how my finger held up. Getting on sucked. Surprisingly I didn’t think about it much, which is my normal down fall with mounting, over thinking it, and I just got on. And I smashed my finger in the process. That hurt. Holding my reins was awkward, as expected. And I was really wishing Possum had a solid neck rein (it’s coming) but all in all it was doable.

Although I took a Tylenol early in the morning, I did not have any pain meds in my system by the time I rode at 730 in the evening and it wasn’t too bad.

So I need to take it easy so I am at my best for MGAA Nationals in just over two weeks. And really my finger is not that swollen or bruised and it doesn’t really hurt unless I hit it on something.

Bottom line – I got this.

Hay distruction

November 26, 2016

Black Friday morning Rich and I picked up a loaf of hay, took it home, and filled my hay shed.  Yea. 

Later we had a pet emergency and had to rush Ash (Rich’s dog) to the vet.  I was in the process of moving ponies around so I stuck them into the field that the hay shed is in.  

This morning I went out and found Simon in the act of mass hay distraction.  

It took a little work to get cleaned up (and every hay barrel and net is currently topped off).  And the ponies are moved into a different field.  

Saddle repairs – Martins Harness Shop 

November 23, 2016

This past weekend I went to tack up Poe and found some damage to his saddle. It’s a well used older Stubben and repair work tends to be a necessity every so often.  Luckily I live near one of the best saddle repair places around.  

About a year ago he replaced the billits on this saddle. A few years ago he custom made me an Australian girth with elastic on it.  He has stitched up an array of straps and I have even brought him friends much loved tack for work.  

This time I needed a patch put on the underside of one knee roll and a stirrup leather keeper replaced.  

I dropped my saddle off on Monday and Tuesday morning I got a call that it was ready for pick up. 

Bravo Martins Harness Shop in Dayton.  Excellent work, great customer service, reasonable prices, and quick turn around.  

Hills and Fences

January 22, 2015

It is time to start getting Poe back in condition for the upcoming games season and I decided Monday was time to get started.  I started in the riding field but the footing was so slick I felt uncomfortable.  Easy decision, we moved out and into the open.  We walked and trotted up and down some hills enjoying the views.

Then we rode around the fence lines making sure everything was in proper order.

(Yep another boring winter post)




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