Monday, November 21, 2016

it's my birthday so i'll buy if i want to

Alternate title: New Wheels Part II !!!!

my dearly beloved 2014 calico, on a chilly dewy dawn - our last early morning together!
we shared 8,000 miles of memories <3
And. Technically my birthday was last week. But the thing about buying myself presents as an adult is that it's less about the day itself, and more about the payoff (which may or may not be as prompt as we might wish lol).

introducing: the new 2017 Cotner Ultra, hereby dubbed SS Shiny Bench by Carly
This has already been a big year for self-gifting. Obviously I bought a horse. Kiiiiinda a big deal lol. Naturally, the horse now needs his own appropriately-sized chariot.This might not be news to anyone beyond me, but it turns out that buying a trailer is almost as much of a pain in the ass as saddle shopping.

she looks good from behind
I had a lot of false starts and disappointments, and some grandiose plans that crashed back down to earth. Luckily tho, with the help of friends (like Brita - who uncovered promising leads, including the dealership from which I ultimately bought; and Allison - who selflessly volunteered to serve as my agent to look at and potentially buy a different trailer {that ultimately sold before we got there, rats}), I finally found the one.

oh! the junk i will fit in this trunk!!
My wish list for a trailer turned out to be quite simple, if not the most popular. Two horse bumper pull with ramp. Extra tall with extra nose space (no dressing room) and two escape doors.

looking to the front and back from outside the escape door. the pictures on the dealership website didn't do the amount of space in there justice, so maybe these are better? 
This 2017 Cotner Ultra adds a few extras to the deal: Running boards along the escape doors so yours truly might avoid wrecking herself (again) via careless trailer exit. Extra wide escape doors. And custom built-in wooden trunk in the nose.

bc there's a LOT of space up in the nose! and that bench is substantial enough that if i sit allll the way on it, my feet don't touch the ground. yas!!
If I were being picky, I would wish for more windows - especially near the horse's head and on the rear curtains. The dealership installed a few extra bridle hooks inside for me, bringing the grand total up to 4. And they're the nice bridle hooks with the rounded top and hook below. But I'm still thinking we might need more hooks in there haha (always needs moar hooks!).

definitely a different look from the calico stock trailer!
But I'm not that picky, and this thing checks off all the right boxes for me. Yay for a Charlie-sized new bus!! Happy birthday to me!!

i appreciate this picture bc the composition reminds me of my beloved barn door vista shots!!
But what happened to the Calico, you may be asking. Well. Part of the reason I wanted to buy from a dealership was so that I could a) finance, and b) trade in the Calico.

he's got so much space up front for that giant head and neck!!
So after confirming all the details with this dealership (Pine Hill Trailers in Gordonville, PA, see below for more details**), I hauled my Calico up there with the anticipation of leaving it with them and bringing the Cotner home. Except... something else entirely happened. Something that makes my sentimental sappy self get a little misty eyed.

plus plenty of head room!!
Some gentlemen happened by while I was clearing equipment out of the trailer in anticipation of handing it over to Pine Hill. And they began asking questions, taking a look around, kicking the tires, lifting the mats, etc etc. Turns out, the one has a young teenage daughter who keeps horses at home but hauls out for weekly lessons (sound familiar?), and they were looking to upgrade their ancient even-smaller-than-mine trailer.

and he doesn't dwarf it by standing next to it!!!! yas!!!!
So he actually up and bought the thing directly from me, right then and there. Plus his wife and daughter drove over to check it out too, and the daughter was so sweet. Showed me all these pics and videos of her and her mare doing their h/j thang, and it just made me so happy to think that the trailer that transformed my own horse hobby was going to the kind of home that will continue to love and appreciate (and USE!) it!!

Heartwarming, y'all <3

***

Anyway, for anyone else out there who may be trailer shopping, here are the details on the dealers I worked with throughout this process:

Pine Hill Trailers (Gordonville, PA): I had such an incredibly positive experience with these guys, from start to finish. Over the course of the preceding week we handled all the details and paperwork and whatnot via email, phone, and fax so that when I showed up over the weekend, all I had to do was inspect the trailer then sign on the dotted line. And poof! we were all done!!

Plus, once I was actually physically present at the dealership, I had an even better impression of them. It's a fairly large operation, with all types of trailers (horse trailers being just a fraction of their business, as they're located in the heart of Amish and agricultural PA), but everyone there from the service bay to the finance department was friendly, polite and knowledgeable. Highly recommend this dealership!!!

Traveled Lane Trailers (Centreville, MD): I met these guys at Fair Hill International a few weeks ago and absolutely fell in love with one of their side ramp trailers. Alas it was a bit beyond my budget, and the other model they stock that met my criteria had an 8-10 week lead time. Too long for my impatient self.

That said, tho, I was REALLY sorry not to be buying from this dealership. The staff was beyond friendly and helpful - both when I met them in person at Fair Hill, and in our many (MANY) follow up phone conversations and emails. They talked me all through the Calico valuation and trade in process, how to handle registrations, and even how to evaluate privately owned trailers I might come across.

And they just straight up offer some very nice trailers at very good prices. Again, I was sorry to ultimately not do business with them bc I had such a good feeling about them. They'll definitely stay on my radar for any future trailer needs tho!

Kingdom Trailers (Forest Hill, MD): I bought my Calico from these guys originally and couldn't be happier with that experience. Alas they didn't have much in stock that met my criteria this go round, but I couldn't leave them off the list bc of how well they've treated me in the past.

82 comments:

  1. woo hoo- Congratulations! That trailer is much more Charlie sized. I'm sure that he approves.

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    1. he's definitely much more at east in there

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    1. me too!! i need your help organizing!!

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  3. Oh hell yes, new trailer! Super exciting. And it looks like Charlie fits really well. The white trailer looks so chic with your white truck, too. I'm going to visit each of those dealer pages after this comment. I'm about 10-12 months out from buying a trailer of my own (and truck!) so I'm in full-on dreamer phase right now.

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    1. eeee that's so exciting!! buying my first trailer was legit the best thing i ever did for my horse hobby - hope you have good luck finding the right vehicles too!

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  4. Love the new trailer! Never heard of this brand. I'm still trying to figure out the truck part - why are there so many models to choose from? So hard to figure out what's appropriate and properly stocked for pulling ponies!

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    1. cotner is actually a somewhat regional trailer manufacturer, based in pennsylvania. they do a LOT of custom trailers, but a few can be found ready made (like mine). everyone i know who has or had one loves them, and the guy who runs the business is supposedly great to work with for keeping the trailer serviced over the years.

      anyway, good luck figuring out the truck part too! that was probably way more of a headache than when i bought my first trailer, since i was looking for something used with very specific criteria (4wd, v8 engine, acceptable tow capacity, etc etc) for a very limited budget. my answer ended up being a chevy silverado 1500, tho i would need to upgrade that should i ever get a meaningfully larger trailer

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    2. Sounds like I have similar criteria - just looking to pull a 2 horse BP at this point. I'd love to get something certified used so there is some warranty and trying to stay under 30k miles and I dream of heated seats - might be looking for some kind of unicorn here!
      It will be sort of a daily driver from the sense that my husband and I will each have a vehicle but since husband works from home I would be able to take his accord to work and save on gas money.

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    3. ooh nice!! mine is just a farm truck so aside from pulling daily driver duty while i had a broken leg and couldn't operate the clutch on my normal car, the truck typically just hangs out at the barn unless i'm hauling. so it gets maybe ~5k mi/yr. i therefore could get away with something a little older.

      so the chevy i have is a 2001 v8 4wd with ~200K miles on it that i bought off craigslist for $4k. i've since replaced the tires and brakes, but that's about it! it's SUPER basic tho. just the bench seat up front - no extra room in the cab, crank windows, old ass upholstery, no AC haha... but it gets the job done!

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  5. yay glad you jumped into it with both feet (SCARY BUT SO EXCITING) and i have to say i missed not getting a dressing room but my horse loves all the extra space so I daresay Charlie will not give a fiddle about no dressing room (OMG THAT TRUNK SO ENVIOUS!) i actually looked at Cotners before settling on my Kingston (ended up buying from Traveled Lane and yes please people put them on their list they are AMAZING. They have my trailer now doing routine maintenance on it and keep me updated on time when i can pick it up and what they are doing, incredible family owned business). LOVE THE COTNER THOUGH YAY! I have a friend who has one and loves it (I had no idea there was a dealership near enough to see them so glad you found one!). I do love my Kingston though but glad you found a Charlie bus to fit him AND YOUR BUDGET! YAY for monday morning happy news! :)

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    1. haha idk if scary is the right word - maybe the first time i bought a trailer when i had never pulled one before and didn't know how much i would actually use the thing, maybe that time was a scary plunge into the unknown. this go round i know exactly what i'm doing and it's just plain fun and exciting :)

      and i actually specifically did not want a dressing room. call me crazy if you like, but they always kind of strike me as a PITA, especially if the dressing room doesn't communicate with the horse area directly. idk. i realize this isn't the most popular opinion tho haha.

      all the same. yas. i'm just so freakin thrilled to have the new cotner! their main dealership is in bucks county, PA tho you can find them all around the PA area (this one was the only one listed at Pine Hill to my knowledge)

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    2. PS Happy birthday to you too after all the excitement i forgot to add that :)

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  6. I've never heard of this brand but that trailer is GORGEOUS!!! That trunk tho...and so much room for Charlie! Whoo hoo! Happy birthday to you! 🎊🎈🎉🎁

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    1. it's a regional brand but with an excellent reputation. i actually looked at a few used (that got snatched up before i could get to them!! rats!!) and came to the conclusion that i like them very much. so it was quite serendipitous to find this one ready to go!

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  7. OMG that trailer is AMAZING! My first trailer was a used Cotner and it lasted forever. I ultimately bought used, but my experience at Kingdom trailers was not so great.

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    1. glad to hear you had such a great experience with your cotner!! tho i'm equally sorry to hear the same can't be said for your business with kingdom. i know the family and have been happy with them, but it's never good to hear of less pleasant experiences :(

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    1. thanks! i'm super excited about it haha

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  9. I knew this was coming! Wooo happy new trailer day!

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    1. thanks - it's certainly been a long time in the making!

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  10. BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!! So so so excited you have a new, shiny, Charlie-sized bus! TIME FOR ADVENTURES! :D

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    1. thank you!!! adventures await!!! :D

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  11. Love it! And the built in trunk is so nice. Congratulations and happy birthday!

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    1. ha that trunk stole my heart before i was even sure of the rest of the trailer's dimensions lol ;)

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  12. CONGRATS!! Does this mean we will potentially be seeing more of one another?!

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    1. thanks! charlie and i are officially one the road - esp now that he'll load without needing two humans for assistance lol

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  13. Congrats on the shiny new trailer!!!! I love that trunk in the front.

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    1. thanks i'm absolutely freakin crazy about that trunk lol. poor brita tho. she's definitely on the neater more organized end of the spectrum and i'm basically a hoarder. i'm gonna need her help BIG TIME in keeping that thing tidy and useful as opposed to chock-full of junk!

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  14. traveled lane trailers is so good. before i lucked out into my trailer I spent a lot of time talking to them. They're SO freakin nice and helpful and honest.

    it's really sweet that your trailer found a new home to help someone else get out and do their thing :) and you already know how i feel about your sweet new rig.

    happy birthday!!! why is it when it's our birthday (or christmas, or w/e) the horse gets the most prezzies...

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    1. lol is it terrible that i feel so guilty about spending so much time talking to them and learning from them, and then didn't end up buying anything from them?!?

      anyway thanks!! and i'm so freakin happy with how things went with the calico. it honestly was making me depressed to think of that trailer languishing unloved for months on a dealer lot surrounded by so many nicer more expensive trailers... such a relief that it went to a good home immediately instead!!

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  15. Ooooohhhhhhh it's beautiful. And I really love that sale story of your old trailer. <3

    Happy belated birthday!

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    1. thanks! and seriously i may have shed a tear or two on the drive home just thinking about how perfectly that whole calico sale worked out <3

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  16. Chariots of fire plays in the background! Emma slowly drives the trailer and Charlie up the driveway (maybe with Charlie hanging his head out of a window for extra effect?)! EXCITEMENT ENSUES!!!

    That's fucking awesome, congrats and happy birthday! Now you and Charlie can get down with your bad selves everywhere!

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    1. thanks!!! i'm so happy to have this thing that i can get him into all by myself lol - finally we can go to all the places without relying on outside assistance! my independent self is joyous on this occasion haha

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  17. Now this was the wheels post I was looking for!

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    1. lol yup! i like wheels of all shapes and sizes haha

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  18. Your new trailers looks awesome. I've been planning to build in a wooden bench like that in mine so I'm jealous yours and with one.

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    1. that wooden bench is the bomb. i'm seriously so excited about it. and was happily pleased that it appears larger in person than i had come to expect from the dealership photographs!

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  19. ERMAGERD. best birthday everrrr!!!!!

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  20. It's a beauty! :) Happy birthday!

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  21. Congrats on the new trailer, and Happy Birthday!

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  22. How awesome, Congrats! Charlie will be so much happier. And this will obviously accelerate his training, a new trailer will automatically advance his level +2. No? Just in video games? Damn, I suspected as much. Ha!

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    1. haha i'm totally banking on the +2 skills growth!! the biggest win is that i can get him onto this thing all by myself. know what that means? dressage lessons are back on the schedule again!!!! hang onto your hats, folks, i'm gonna try to make this horse fancy if it's the last thing i do lol

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  23. So shiny and new and huge! I LOVE that built in trunk, so fancy! Congrats and Happy Birthday!!

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    1. thanks!!! the size is really what gets me too - in all actuality it isn't necessarily loads larger than the calico in any particular dimension. but just the configuration and structure inside makes it feel massively more spacious, even as it remains quite easy to tow!

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  24. Woo hoo! So excited for you and Charlie and your now possible adventures! That's SO SO exciting! And Happy Belated Birthday!!

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    1. thank you! i'm super excited about the whole new world of possibilities too!!

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  25. Oooooooh, these pictures show how much shinier the WHOLE trailer is and not just my fave bench. Love it! Congrats!!

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    1. haha yea it's definitely got that 'new car' smell going for it right now. don't worry tho, i'll get it dusty and dinged up soon enough!! :D

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  26. I pick my trainer's brain ALL THE TIME about her trailer. I'm not in the market (yet), but it's like building a house... you can pick ALL THE THINGS, and it sounds awesome at first... but then it gets overwhelming lol

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    1. omg it's definitely overwhelming - and definitely wise to pick the brains of ppl you trust. for instance i consulted brita a lot since she's traveled all over the place in our other friends' trailers as well as mine, whereas i just know the calico. so she had a better idea of what worked in practice

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  27. Oh wow, it's so pretty! Congratulations!

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    1. it's definitely a different look from the stock trailer!

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  28. Soooo pretty!! Congratulations and happy birthday to you!

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  29. Love this story. So happy for you and happy birthday!!

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    1. it's such a gushy squishy mushy story about the calico haha and i love it too <3

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  30. so many wheels for your birthday!!!!! Charlie looks quite happy with the new trailer and holy awesome tack truck!!!!!!! That is the best part!!!! So big... so lovely....so much storage.... Happy birthday and happy trail(er)s rides to Charlie!!!

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  31. Congratulations! I bet you're so super happy. And Charlie too!

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  32. Congrats! I cried when I signed the paperwork for my brand new trailer, so expensive, but so wonderful. We went to a Horse Expo and got one of the display trailers at a discount. Glad Charlie gets a ride his size ;) Sound like a great birthday for you. Enjoy your bounty.

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  33. I was envious of your new wheel part 1! Part 2 is amazing, congrats!

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  34. Now that is a bad ass new ride for Charlie horse! And, of course, happy belated birthday!

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  35. Yay new horsewheels! I had a hunch that you were going to be upgrading your trailer sooner rather than later haha I'm dabbling the rig and trailer research phase right now so thanks for the links :) I've had my eye on Kingdom for months but will look into the others as well...

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  36. Yay! Very exiting to have a Charlie sized bus!! Also heartwarming that your old trailer found a new loving home too. :)

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  37. Woohoo, Charlie sized trailer!! And happy belated birthday!

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  38. Congratulations! It's beautiful! I'm sure Charlie will love it. I'm happy to hear you had great experiences with Kingdom Trailers before since whenever I'm ready to upgrade (probably not for a couple of years), I was looking at some of there trailers. Mostly I'm looking for a step up slant that can be converted to a box stall that can keep all my boys happy...

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  39. Exciting! I don't know what I would do without my tack section! But that set up is really nice! I talked to Kingdom after we emailed back and forth when I was initially shopping and they were super helpful! I ended up buying from a more local dealer and then trading in for a GN earlier this year.

    Having a trailer is the best ever! :)

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  40. I'm so far behind in your blog it's not even funny! But huge congrats, that is fantastic!!!

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