Thursday, September 15, 2011

Karen W. steps into the hot seat

In my last post, I challenged CBF boarder Karen W. to try to sneak a guest blog post about her trailer-buying experiences by me. Well, I am nothing if not gracious, so here you have the first installment of what promises to be an informative series of articles on buying a new rig (Spoiler alert: the story has a happy ending). Take it away, Karen!

Hello, I’ve been asked to write something from my horsey experiences for the Course Brook Blog. I’m a fifty-something, female boarder at CBF who is mostly interested in dressage and trail riding.

My most recent experience was this fall when I attempted to buy a used horse trailer.

Part 1: the Search

I talked to a few trailer experienced friends and read a few articles. Here is the link to a particularly good one: which stated that one should get the trailer before getting the tow vehicle, because you need to know the weight of the trailer plus horses and luggage in order to get a vehicle powerful enough to haul safely. It’s a lot of math so have a calculator handy. I also needed a trailer to show my husband that I was serious when said I needed a truck to replace my aging Jeep Cherokee.

Then I got on my computer and searched “used horse trailers”. I found many fine sites and then there is of course Craig’s List. I found some bargains, but remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I emailed a few—three to be precise—and the replies were almost identical: These trailers were purportedly owned by military personnel and even though were advertised as being in the Boston area, they were not. According to the email the military would ship the trailer to me for free and all I had to do was give them lots of personal information. On Craig’s List there is advice on how to avoid scams and apparently this is a typical one. Who knew that people would prey upon our patriotism and current love for the armed forces to scam prospective buyers of horse trailers? I do now. Fortunately I didn’t give out any info other than my email address.

Local sites like were very helpful and I did not encounter any scams. But I did not move fast enough for many of the ads that I thought were good deals. By the time I made arrangements to go out and see them, usually more than an hour away, they had already been sold.

I stuck with because they had the most listings in my location. One had listed several trailers and I inquired why. The reason was she turned out to be a consignment dealer so had a choice on hand. She was located in NH about three miles from my brother’s house where I was going the day before Thanksgiving to pick up my mother. How convenient for me! But the day before I went someone posted an ad for a ten-year-old Kingston with a dressing room and it was just one mile off Route 95, which is my path to NH. Since I ran out of time picking up Mom, I did not go to the consignment place. I ended up only seeing the one trailer, which I ended up buying the day after Thanksgiving, for better or for worse.

Stay turned for Part 2: Getting the trailer home.

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