I have an irrational fear of trailering long distances. Well, maybe it’s not irrational — in the 20-odd years I’ve had my own trailer, twice I’ve had horses fall. Luckily, they were both fine, but the anxiety around trailering had plagued me and has only gotten worse. I feel so responsible when they are in the trailer! Ironically, I hate trailering at highway speeds the most, even though both times the horses fell I was on back roads going about 20 mph. I just feel intensely vulnerable driving on the highway with big trucks and speeding cars. It’s not that I worry about how I drive, it’s everyone else! If I could tap my heels together three times and wish us there, life would be grand.
So, when I decided to bring Zelda to Vermont this summer, I had to deal with driving her there. Here’s the good news: the trip prompted an overdue trailer maintenance session where my husband checked it over from stern to stem. He checked the brakes and the bearings, replaced my flaky brake control, and pulled out the mats and checked the floor. I knew it was in tip top shape. But my stomach was still turning somersaults just thinking about the drive — about 2 hours and 45 minutes with a stretch on Route 91.
Then my husband came up with a great idea. We could use an Eyeball Trailer Hitch Cam inside the trailer to keep an eye on Zelda. This is a very simple device that was designed to help people hitch their trailer. It seems overkill for hitching, but it’s a wonderful, easy way to add a trailer cam to your set up with plug and play components. It’s not the clearest image, but it lets you check to make sure your horse isn’t having a problem standing up.
I cannot tell you how much more comfortable I felt being able to watch her during the trip. Even though we drove up in one of the worst rainstorms I’ve ever driven in (after a summer of practically no rain), we got there safely. I will say that when the Flash Flood Warning alarm went off on my iPhone my daughter and I looked at each other and thought about just pulling over to the side of the road for two weeks, but we kept on driving, albeit rather slowly.
We made it to Vermont (and back) in good form. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (I guess) and the local trailering I’ve done since I got back has been a snap. I don’t think I’ll ever really like highway trailering, but adding the Eyeball has made me a lot less anxious.