I was so excited to finish showing, packed, and on the road before noon. I had visions of getting home before 8pm...
About 160 miles into the trip I heard the dreaded BOOM! It's a sounds like the rear of the trailer has been rear ended. My passenger side rear tire on the trailer blew. I pulled over and checked. Yup, blown. We were about a mile from an exit that I had remembered having a Goodyear near the Pilot Truck stop. I limped off the interstate and pulled in. They of course did not have my size tire. No big deal, I brought 2 spares. $15 later they changed the tire for me and I was on my way. About 30-45 minutes later I heard the noise again. I pulled over and the spare we just put on blew. I got off at the next exit and pulled to a safe spot so my friends and I could change the tire. Thankfully my husband packed me everything I would need and a quick lesson before I left.
We changed the tire and asked around if there was a tire store anywhere. Someone said there was a Walmart a couple exits down. I had my friend call them, they said they had my tire and told us the exit number. Of course it was the wrong exit they told us so we passed it. I had to go 10 more miles away to get off and back on the interstate. We got to Walmart and found they did not have my trailer tire. I figured we would go on down the interstate and try to find someone who did so I could have at least another spare. As I was pulling out of Walmart the spare blew. Seriously.
I have the best AAA you can get including trailer assistance. They were NO HELP and said the closest tire place was a couple hours away. They said it would be hours before they could get someone to us. My husband said just tell Walmart to put any tire that fit on the trailer so we could get home. But of course they had nothing 16 inches. We were screwed, it was a Sunday, and it was about 6pm. One option was to get a friend of mine to come get my horse and try and get tires in the morning or have my husband bring me tires. A friend texted me a website of lay over barns. At least then I could get Poppy off the trailer and in the morning unhook and find tires. Of course all the barns were full. One lady offered to call a truck stop for me and see if they had my tires. They did but they couldn't get to me until midnight! So this kind lady came and picked me up to take my blown tires to get replaced. Horse people are the best! The truck stop only had one of my tires. One was better than none. While they were mounting it, my friends who stayed with the trailer called and said a guy who came to shop at Walmart saw my flat and came over to see if they needed help. He owns 6 tire stores and has emergency road side assistance so he could mount my tires there. Perfect! Get me 2 more tires so I can have 2 spares to drive home with! Now why couldn't AAA find these places???
I asked the truck stop about my blown tires and they said likely just due to the upper 90 degree weather and crappy South Carolina roads. The sweet horse lady who took me to get a tire refused to take any money from me. She went shopping at Walmart and even checked back on me to make sure road side assistance came. They did. When they pulled my blown tire off the trailer we saw it had a puncture. I must have run something over. By 10pm we were back on the road. We were half way home at this point. Poppy handled it all very well. At Walmart I was able to open her stall divider to let her stretch and hung her a bucket of water. She had plenty of hay. It was really hot so I tried to sponge her down too. I always feed bran mash with mineral oil before long hauls. This is why.
I'm not going to lie, I was white knuckled the rest of the drive home and I went no faster than 55mph. I have hauled alot but now it was dark. Pulling over in the dark if there was an issue and not being able to see my tires in the mirrors made me nervous. I did a lot of praying. It was after 3am when I pulled in the house. Poppy was fine. I bran mashed her again and turned her out. Turn out is always better for them. They tend to drink more and the moving around is best for her legs. Plus her pony was screaming for her.
I had been up for almost 24 hours by the time I got to bed. I was very thankful to have made it home safe. Though it was a trip from hell home at least I was near an exit each time. Also I was reminded that there are still good people in this world. It was also great to know I had friends who were willing to drive 200 miles to come rescue me if need be. As if the situation wasn't stressful enough, I felt like the friend that was with me blamed me for the tires blowing, complained about needing to get back, then slept the rest of the drive versus helping me stay awake. Be thankful for great friends who will drop everything to help and count your blessings that you are safe in a crappy situation. For those of you that want to haul your own horses remember this story.
I still had a great time horse showing. The facility is fabulous. Horse trailer parking was cramped but maybe they will expand that, the place is still very much under construction. The warm up rings are a small compact area in front of the ring you are showing in. It made it hectic when it was crowded but from what I hear indoors are way worse so I reminded myself it was prep for that one day!