When a horse show or vacation takes you on the road, bring the comforts of home along for the ride.
By Kate Bradley Byars
For the ultimate travel accessory when you hit the road, go beyond packing the basics and outfit your horse trailer with all the comforts of home. A horse trailer with living quarters is standard lodging when competitors need a comfortable place to stay at a horse show, but it can also be used for other travel opportunities, too. Instead of booking a room and carting all your belongings on a trip, keep them with you, and take your trailer to a national park, down to the coast or out to a quiet camping spot— horses included or not.
“One reason why I wanted a living quarters trailer was to be closer to my horses, but the other part of it is the camaraderie,” said Becky Horlen, an avid versatility ranch horse competitor from Bryan, Texas. “You miss out on a lot of fun socializing when you’re traveling to and from a hotel. It also helps when you need to get out of the weather at a show, be it rain, cold or extreme heat. All of those were factors into why I got the trailer I have.”
Becky invested in an 11-foot short wall, with three-horse living quarters and a slide-out dinette, a trailer she could pull with her truck but still offered ample living area space. She brings the horse necessities, sure, but she also packs the essentials for friends to gather for meals and share cocktails, too.
For Elizabeth McCarthy, having the right items to make a dinner for her family, or for 20-plus people, is a must-have for horse shows. Her daughter, Marin, competes in ranch events, and Elizabeth often cooks for the members of Marin’s barn.
“My mom never met a stranger and never left a seat open at the table,” Elizabeth said about the source of her love for cooking. “I took a lot of cooking classes and [focused] on cooking when my children were little. For four years, I was with Taste Project, a ‘pay what you can’ kitchen in Fort Worth [Texas], a full-operating kitchen that feeds hundreds of people a day. I realized that is my spiritual gift and started a catering company for friends—I only feed people I love! I find incredible joy in feeding people, and it is what the Lord has called me to do.”
With these six organization and food-prep tips, you can convert your horse trailer into the perfect home away from home, with custom décor, great grilling, and tips to help you spend the perfect night under the stars.
This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Fall 2023 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.