Its not nearly as easy as it sounds! In fact, it’s downright scary! I used to have some confidence on the roads, well when I was driving anyway. Now I’m a gibbering wreck.
It has taken us 5 years to save up for a horse float. Well you know raising teenagers is an expensive business. And all that snowboarding did take the stuffing out of the budget every winter. Now the boys will be on their own with those costs this winter as they will be OMG ‘Adults’ of course they once you hit 13 years of age on the snowfields you are ‘adult priced’ but still need your ‘adult parent’ to sign all the wavers??? not sure why I find that unfair – how can you cost as an adult but not be responsible in any way…
Anyway, the focus is now on the girl and her sport. Yes, that’s right she loves horses. Always has, probably always will. I’m encouraging this as sport is a good thing for girls, especially teenage girls. It is good exercise going out to catch that nag in the paddock, ride it, etc. Then, there is the fact that you learn to be a team with the horse, and with other riders in events. You learn to compete (but nicely, please girls!) There is a risk of injury of course, and then there’s the time and money factor for mum. But I still think it’s all worthwhile to keep girls focusing on their much loved horse, takes the total focus off teenage boys which is a HUGE bonus! There is a problem here though – riding may encourage confidence in children and teenagers, even in the horse; but floating does not do anything good for mum’s confidence! Let me set the scene for those who haven’t lived through the last few years with us on facebook. I have an oldish ute 4×4 diesel towing vehicle. It wasn’t so oldish when I bought it 5 years ago, but they don’t actually get younger while you are saving for the float.
Prior to getting our own float we borrowed a couple of floats to transport ‘The Boy’ around to lessons. The first time or two it was scary, but ok. Then I went to take him to horse camp one afternoon. Just got to the really windy part of the road, just before two mega downhills, all with mountain on one side and a drop off on the other. Yep, first corner and the car starts steaming madly. I wasn’t sure initially if it was steam or smoke, so stopped half on, half off the road, dropped the tailgate and got the two kids to get the horse out and move him away. Decided it was steam, so could have been worse. We did have some good luck after that. Although several people slowed down they then just drove on. No mobile reception out here. So we walked the horse back aways and found someone who was home. The owner of the float retrieved the float and dropped the horse off. The owner of the 2nd child I had with me picked us up and dropped us off. The NRMA (roadside assistance company) retrieved the car and dropped it off to the mechanic. Many $$$ we were again on the road.
So we had electric brakes for the float fitted to our car and borrowed the riding instructors float. When we picked it up (Saturday afternoon) it had a flat tyre so we changed it (using their car jack as it was hydraulic) and came home to pick up the horse. Just prior to the start of the windy road my daughter said ‘The tyre looks funny’ looking into the side view mirror. ‘Funny, funny? Funny how, speak to me!’ Two seconds silence followed by ‘Oh its come off’ I dont think I need to repeat what I said just then, but it would have been a 4 or 5 word expletive. We stopped in almost the same spot, half on half off the road. And the tyre rolled past – well it had some speed up when it parted company.
Once again several people slowed down and then drove off. Yes, fine don’t bother – I’m NOT ok but don’t let that worry you!
You might remember right about now that we don’t have a spare anymore, that was the spare that just shredded and rolled past? and we dont have a hydraulic jack? OMG! Oh and let me just say that I’d noted that morning when I was cleaning up that the NRMA yearly fee had been missed being paid 6 weeks ago? Yes, that’s right. All of it. The man who stopped and said – oh just get the NRMA then was surprised when steam came out my ears but I didn’t say anything I was past it.
Lucky for us quite a few people were going home just then. One person stopped to help and at least slow traffic. One person had a useful jack. Another pulled up who I knew had a float at home, so she went off to get her hubby and a wheel. It was very lucky that no one actually crashed into anyone as there were about 5 cars and a horse float on a corner at one stage.
Someone decided we could pull off the road into a driveway without losing the wheel so supervised that. We were only on a slight tilt then and off the road – bonus! It was dark by the time Hubby turned up with a wheel and said ‘I hope it fits?’ Don’t even think that! He decided we didnt need to take the horse out and put the new wheel on. It wasn’t the same size – but close. So we took off into the homeward bound snow traffic (not reknowned for their patience or common sense).
At one stage two semi trailers overtook at the same time, several busses, and would you believe it? A stretch limo! TG that horse is quiet. He gets bored and rocks the float but otherwise nothing seems to phase him (unlike me).I debated getting a third tyre when I got both the others fixed. Apparently the front left tyre is the one that explodes or shreds if the electric brakes are set too high. The guy who installed them didn’t know that. You learn a lot when you’re a mother – the hard way often.
So we finally got our float. Not a new one, and not a lightweight one (they are more expensive). We were doing ok. I’d done some good trips – getting there and back without incident and was starting to feel quietly confident. Although the car is not pulling uphill as well, but that d@mn horse has put on weight lately. Last friday was a different matter. Very hot day. 4 teenagers in the car. Horse and float on the back. Just need to get home. The car overheated suddenly near the top of a hill (and not the hilliest hill I might add). The bonus here was that we were not (for a change) on the corner now known as Feral’s Freaking Float Corner. We were on the side of a highway. In the stinking heat. But at least there was just enough room to get off the road without tipping the float over. And there was mobile coverage. We rang the riding teacher who said she would come rescue the horse (thanks). Then we rang the NRMA. Yes I made sure I was current this year! Madam where are you? Are there any identifying features, an emergancy phone or something? (no, there’s yellow paddocks, mountains, there’s not even any sheep!). Well, I have to have some identifying feature. There’s a ruddy great float and horse behind us and we’re standing on the side of the road? is that a bit of a clue? Finally she put me through to the local guy. Where are you? Which way were you going? How many of you are there? B*gger, I’ve only got two extra seats in the van. We then had to find someone to take some people home. Not always a problem but being the Folk Festival weekend where we live everyone was a little bit umm ‘folked’ definately not quite sober anyway. Found a sober P plater to take 3 teens off our hands. The riding teacher turned up. The NRMA took the car away. Getting familiar? Two hills later the riding teachers car started to overheat. Panic stations – luckily we were about to pass someone’s grandmothers house – and they had a paddock. So we all got home. Some of us that day, and some (The Boy) many $$$ and a week later.
I did think that when we got a float we’d be able to take the horse out to pony club, shows, games days and horse camp. I was wrong. I admit it. I’m now trying to work out how to beg money out of the bank manager for a new car.
And then – will I ever again in my life feel confident driving a horse float? I will definately be taking some of the homeopathic remedy that helps with Anticipation Anxiety. But I think I may need to have a go at one of the subliminal messages I have seen because my subconscious mind is going ‘OMG, OMG, OMG’ just thinking about it. I think I’ll be sleeping with the tape on for several weeks before I can even contemplate it. Towing is hard enough without the responsibility of a large live animal in it. I’d never get a job with the circus towing giraffe’s around, that’s for sure.
www.snowyopathy.com if you want to look at the homeopathic side of things.
or if you want to look into the subliminal message side of things here’s a link to that.
Just imagine having the same set of self beliefs as someone who is just naturally confident – of feeling excited by social situations, feeling more extroverted, actually wanting to share your opinion (don’t forget being able to drive the float off the farm without gibbering) – think how confident this set of self beliefs would make you on the outside!
Begin today with the ultimate confidence subliminal album, or if you haven’t used subliminal messages already you can try $44.91 worth of free subliminal messages. There’s more about this stuff on the ‘Motivate’ section of this blog.