June 15, 2012–If you’ll permit me one more trailering post before we move on to greener pastures, so to speak, I have to relate a story I heard while sharing booth space with Cassie Carrithers, a rep of US Rider at the recent AmerEquine Festival of the Horse in Fort Worth, Texas.
A lady came up to the booth to tell us about a time when she was hauling a trailerful of horses through the desolate Big Bend country in far West Texas when her freightliner’s engine blew up. (If you’re not familiar with this area, we’re talking about the middle of NOWHERE.) She called US Rider and within the hour a tow truck was there, and it towed the whole kit-and-caboodle to Fort Stockton, the nearest city.
But wait. There’s more. Fort Stockton is not what you’d call a metropolis, and they didn’t have (and couldn’t get for about a week) the part needed to fix her truck. (Remember we’re talking about a trailerful of horses on the way to a show?) So US Rider sent a second tow truck to Fort Stockton, made arrangements to get her horses to the show, and hauled her truck to the nearest big city to a garage they found that did have the part on hand. They made it to the show on time and this grateful lady couldn’t say enough about the importance of trailering insurance if you travel with horses. “You may never use it,” she added, “and if you’re lucky, you won’t. But if you ever have to use it, even one time, you’ll know how worth it it is!”
After the lady left, Cassie and I had a conversation about this coverage. What most people don’t know is it covers you and whatever vehicle and trailer you and your horse are traveling in. (So if you’re riding with a friend and you break down, your US Rider policy will take care of your friend’s vehicle and trailer even if they don’t have their own policy. This might be a good bargaining chip for the truck-and-trailerless folks like me who are looking for a ride to shows, clinics, trails, or campgrounds!)
The goofiest question Cassie has ever fielded answering the phones for US Rider? “One person called AFTER they broke down and wanted to sign up,” she said, laughing. “Now, we’re very fast — processing applications the afternoon they are received and putting coverage into effect (with a confirmation number and an emergency number to call) by midnight that same day — but if you’re sitting by the side of the road, that can be a very long time to wait!” Her advice? Sign up now, before you need it, so you can be sure you’re covered any time you’re on the road with your horse. “There are lots of other great benefits that come with your US Rider membership,” Cassie added, “This coverage really has a lot to offer, whether you travel a lot with your horse, or only occasionally.” For more information, visit US Rider online, and while you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for their free newsletter for all kinds of great travel tips and information.
Got stories about on-the-road breakdowns and how you solved associated problems and issues? Survival tips you can share to make these unfortunate occurrences safer and more manageable? Funny or unique solutions you’ve seen or heard of for entertaining a trailer load of bored or nervous horses stuck by the side of the road while waiting for help or repair? Chime in, everyone!