Monday, August 04, 2008

Notes to other drivers

We took the horses out yesterday and had a great ride, but--as often happens--I was witness to some driving that had me scratching my head, shaking my head, or wanting to hurl horse poop at the offending driver with as much force as possible. I got passed twice (!!) in double-yellow zones yesterday, and we were going the speed limit!

So on the way home, I started to think of things I wish people knew about those of us hauling horse trailers.

We have to put them in a horse trailer to get them away from the barn, something that I enjoy as much as you might be enjoying your drive through wine country (possibly more), and I have just as much right to be on the road as you do. I'm just not going to be in a hurry about it. I am carrying two 1,200 pound friends that I would really like to be in a good mood whenever I get to wherever it is we're going, so it is really important to drive with as much care as if I had my daughter in the back. Possibly more because it's 2,400 pounds that doesn't understand or care why you had to slam on the brakes, just that it's terrifying and they are tied into a metal box they can't escape.

So, here are some simple things I'd like people to know:

  • I don't make any sudden changes if I can help it. I don't stop fast, I don't speed up fast, and I surely don't turn fast. My job when I'm hauling my horses is to keep things as smooth and consistent as I can.

  • To accomplish bullet point one, I like to leave myself adequate following distances between me and the car in front of me so I have room to maneuver if necessary. Please think about that before you use it to weave around the guy in your lane you think is going too slow.

  • I will try to go the speed limit as best I can, but sometimes I have to take things easier than you do in your sports car or motorcycle. I'm really not driving slowly just to piss you off or get in your way, so try to refrain from flipping me off as you pass me.

  • If I feel like there is a safe place to pull over, I will. If there isn't, I'm not going to risk my horses, truck, or trailer to get out of your way. Riding my bumper and/or weaving back and forth right behind me will not change that. Not to mention I can't see you when you're drafting off my trailer. And you really (really) don't want to hit my trailer.

  • When you are getting on the freeway and see me lumbering along in the slow lane coming up to your entrance, it's really okay to accelerate to freeway speed and get in front of me--as long as you don't cut me off. Don't be polite. Don't waffle. GO! See the first bullet point for why I don't want to slow my vehicle down while you figure out what to do.

I'm sure there are more things I could add, but if you all have other pet peeves, please feel free to share.

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