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trailering a friend's horse

I'm looking for advice/guidelines for letting a friend's horse hitch a ride with me.

I bought a two-horse trailer so that I could share the fun of trail-riding and attending events with a couple of friends who do not own trailers...I thought we would share the work, too. Instead I have been treated like a chauffeur.

This weekend, a friend loaded her horse in my trailer after a clinic then drove off to do personal errands while I drove our horses first to her barn, where she met me to off-load her horse, then I drove another hour to my barn. The next day, I had to clean out the trailer by myself. After I get the "Sucker" tattoo removed, I figure I should set some basic guidelines for future favors. I should mention that this was only the third time I've trailered horses, and it was disconcerting to be left on my own. My GPS went on the fritz and I got temporarily lost. Her offer of gas money did not begin to cover the added responsibility of safely trailering another person's horse!

Any standards or guidelines out there that I may borrow without beating up my friend for her lack of consideration? [xx(]
It sounds like your friends are really taking advantage of you! You do need to set some rules. First, gas money; they should be paying half the cost, at least. And unless it is an emergency and the owner of the horse has to leave it with you, make it clear that you expect the owner to remain with the horse at all times. As for trailer cleaning, the horse's owner should at least clean up whatever mess her horse made.

Maybe you could say something like, "I'm happy to haul your horse, but this just isn't working out for me. It's more work than it's worth, and I can't do it anymore unless we have some ground rules." Then tell her what you expect in the way of gas money and sharing the work.

Hope this helps! It is nice to have someone come with you to trail ride and show, but the responsibility needs to be fairly shared.

Wow. What EZ said.

That's way out of line IMHO. I would have a hard time letting a super-experienced horse hauler trailer my horses unless I was riding along, and certainly would never burden a friend with taking care of them. It is absolutely the height of rudeness (and maybe stupidity) to lay that kind of stress on you as a relatively inexperienced hauler.

My advice would be to flatly refuse to drive anyone's horses around without them coming with you. Too many things can (and do) happen, both with the machinery and with the horses. There's not enough money in the world to compensate for that.
"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~
Thank you both! Does anyone have a written set of guidelines (from a publication, for example) that I can share with friends rather than making this too personal?
No... but it would be easy to dummy something up that LOOKS real official... [:I]

I think the least rude way to lay down the law is to focus on the horses - "I'm okay with being responsible for loading and un-loading my own horse(s), but I am not an experienced hauler and it causes me a lot of anxiety to be responsible for other people's animals, whose needs and habits I don't know."

What happens if their horse gets hurt while you're unloading it for them? What if it keels over in the trailer? What if you break down, have to unload by the side of the road and their horse gets hit by a truck?

I am a fairly experienced hauler (with my own rig), but am still pretty leery of transporting other people's horses. Broke a finger and badly tweaked another one just a couple of years ago when I agreed to give someone else's horse a ride. He threw his head while I was tying (or un-tying - don't remember) him to the outside of the trailer, and jerked my fingers through a ring... my stupid, and I don't handle other people's horses any more, any more than I have to. But that's the kind of stuff that happens, and often on a much larger scale.

I feel for you Cary - it is great to have riding companions, especially if you are going riding places where being alone could be dangerous. But you HAVE to get equal treatment or they're not really riding companions, just selfish "friends".
"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~
I've hauled friend's horses occasionally. Once a friend had to leave and I kept her horse at camp overnight and hauled him home. Another time, another friend had gotten a spider bite and had to get it treated...then once I had an emergency and had to keep the extra horse at my place a couple of days rather than drop her off when planned. MOST of the time though, my friends rode along and did their share of the work.

I'm sorry you've been put in this position. One thing I'd be concerned about if you put anything in writing about cost and money exchanging hands is IF there is an accident, your insurance company might not cover you since they may claim you were hired and paid to trailer the horse. I would never have thought of that being a problem but there was a recent local case where a private vehicle being used to deliver pizza was involved in a serious wreck. Their insurance company denied the claim because it happened as a part of work. Insurance companies will do anything and claim anything to avoid paying out.

I'd certainly lay out the rules and what you expect but be hesitant to put anything into writing about fees. Both EZ and AD have great ideas about what to say.

Good luck! Please keep us posted on what you decide to do.
Karen ~ Trails  
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN

"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."
[Image: th_horse-galloping.gif]  

Good advice, all. Thanks. My other trailerless friend was shocked that this happened, and has offered to ride with me even if I'm just trailering my own horse so I won't be alone. Unlike the friend mentioned above, this friend wants to learn the ropes. I will certainly take her up on it, and be happy to trailer her horse in the future. As for the careless friend...I sent her an e-mail with a link to a list of things to know about trailer safety, to which I added a note about "not taking someone else's horse unless they are with me or nearby in case of problems." She hasn't written back. (Sigh.)
Way to go, Cary! It takes courage to separate the wheat from the chaff sometimes. But now you have identified a real friend, and will travel safer.

All that aside, are you going to put up some pictures of your horse(s)? That is pretty much what this site's members demand!

"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~
Hmmm. Would love to if I knew how. Is there a way to upload pix directly from one's computer without joining photobucket? (I did try to find out.)
Originally posted by CaryC

Hmmm. Would love to if I knew how. Is there a way to upload pix directly from one's computer without joining photobucket? (I did try to find out.)

Sorry - I should have spelled it out (as I needed it spelled out for me). Pictures have to first be uploaded to photobucket or a similar online photo-caching site. Then they can be linked in your posts... photobucket is free, and the links are pre-formatted with image tags. Pretty easy except for the hassle of uploading the pix.

Now you know - LET'S SEE SOME! Smile
"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~

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