This was seriously an ordeal in it of itself. I double checked with the trailer's former owner S, who I still keep in contact with via FB and text, that I had everything I needed before I set off for the DMV/MVC. It's a 30-35 min one way drive so I really didn't want forget something and have to drive all the way back home for a piece of paperwork.
I was flying out for vacation later in the afternoon but still took the whole day off so I'd have plenty of time to go register the trailer in the morning. I figured that since it was a week day, the lines in the office would be not as crazy and I could zip in, pay for the plates, and get to the barn with ample time for a quick ride with Quest before heading out to the airport. Well when I got to the DMV, the guy behind the counter said I was missing the seller's notarized form for a non-titled vehicle...despite having the official trailer title in hand?? Ugh.
I texted S to fill her in on the situation. Fortunately for me/unfortunately for her, she had been called to do a random drug screening test for work and she was at a state dept office that had a in-house public notary. Once I got the address from S, I made my way over to her and soon got the form signed and notarized to register the trailer.
I also stopped by S's work place to pick up the mats that she had forgot to include when dropping off the trailer at the barn.
So now I have a bunch of ready-cut trailer mats that I need to figure out 1) how they were meant to fit together in the trailer, and 2) how to attach them to the walls. I really don't want to rivet/put holes in anything so I'm looking for an industrial strength adhesive. Tbh I could haul out without the mats on the walls? But I was thinking it'd be smart move to proactively protect my investment if possible. So if any fellow trailer owners have suggestions on how to tackle this, I'm all ears!
Anyways after attaching the new plates to the trailer and unloading all the mats from the car, I had barely enough time to groom and tack up the mareface for a super quick ride. We had a really nice w/t/c cardio session in the indoor and a leisurely wander walk outside.
This past weekend was the start of the distance riding season for a lot of riders on the East Coast. With Quest officially done with rehab and staying 100% sound throughout the process, I have been optimistically thinking about legging her up for LD/CTR rides later this year in the fall. While I think mareface will probably be ready way before then due to all the long slow distance we had been doing for months during rehab, the slow start is intentionally giving me the time to practice driving a rig empty at first for the basic parking, backing up, etc.
Next will be hauling out for short local adventures to explore trails while scouting out places that will be good for training. Hopefully by the time the LD/CTRs roll around in the fall, I'll be more comfortable with doing longer (2-3hr) hauls on my own.
As for training for the rides themselves, the first few events I've picked out are ones located in areas I've ridden myself so at least one tiny part of the unknown is addressed. While rehabbing, I rode Quest on a wide variety of surface conditions found at the barn, from pavement and arena sand to rolling grass hills and forest trails. While sand still scares the effin hell out of me, I have to remind myself that we had a huge footing disadvantage while at WSS a year ago because we only got to work on grass and gravel rail trails. In stark contrast, OF has a great sand arena which we have access to year-round and, after chatting with some FB distance riding folks, the footing is hugely reminiscent of the Pine Barrens.
Another thing is silencing the ugly little voice inside my head that questions my ability to manage my horse properly. While I know a lot of people in the distance riding community, not all of them have time (or desire, as I found out indirectly) to share tips with a newbie. I've tried contacting AERC listed mentors but so far nothing has come of it. Unsurprisingly and as with anything, I'll probably have to do my own research and develop my own training schedule.
Anyways that's the game plan for now. I'm excited and a bit nervous to see what this year will bring. It's been a long difficult road making this endurance thing a reality but we're another tiny step closer to it. Hopefully having a trailer now will provide the freedom that I've always wanted and not just more stress!