dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Further Adventures of Teresa, Quaid and Julia

 So when I last wrote a post, I shared that Quaid was heading off to training and Carmen to a place with an indoor for the month.  You may recall,  from previous posts, I am not a fan of trailering in the winter. It makes me nervous.  Which makes me work on all sorts of plans and contingency plans (this will make sense later). 

Mike and Nikki are about 3 hours away which leaves a lot of room for different weather. Fortunately, the forecast was pretty good for Feb 1.  My original plan was to take Quaid today and Carmen tomorrow morning.  But then the forecast changed and the weather was going to be iffy tomorrow. Maybe. Probably. It could be rain or snow or a mix or nothing. Could be 2 cm or 5 or 10. 


So I decided to make it a long day and take Carmen after I got home from dropping off Quaid. It would be a long day but everyone would be settled. 

My plan was to leave a 9, missing the rush hour traffic through the city but early enough to have time to drop him off and get back with lots of time to get Carmen loaded (a 10 minute drive). Julia took the day off to be my wing person. Before we left I posted this cute little image with the caption "Quaid is off to school. Wish us luck". 

Oh for those earlier times when I was young and full of hope. 

The first 90 minutes were uneventful. A few slow downs from construction but we made really good time. I even commented 'this trip is going really well'. 

Then I looked in my mirrors and saw a bunch of smoke billowing behind me. 

what? I thought. At first thinking it was spray. then yet more smoke billowed out. 

Where is that smoke coming from?! I said. 

What smoke? Julia said. I don't see any. 

Look in the mirror  said grimly as I started to slow and pull over. 

When I got I could hear Quaid whinnying. Smoke was billowing out from the back of the truck. I thought I had blown a tire but couldn't see anything. Then Julia looked under the back and said 'the truck is on fire'. 

Call 911! I said. Then frantically thought about what I should do. If it was just the truck I would have backed away but my beloved horse was attached to the truck. Unloading him on the side of a busy highway didn't seem like a good plan either. Honestly, the cars were speeding by this smoking truck without even slowing or moving over. 

So I did what any sensible person would do. I grabbed my water bottle from the cab, went under the truck and doused the fire. The flames flared and then, miraculously, went out.  

I went in the trailer. It was full of smoke and Quaid was giving me the hairy eyeball. But was staying calm. 

Then the fire truck rolled up. The firefighters got out and looked. We heard there was a fire but there isn't one. 

Not now I said. I put it out. 

Then we all looked at the truck.  "oh I see, the back end went out of 'er'.  The box at the back blew out leaking oil all over the back of the truck. Which then caught fire. 

Then it was time to figure out what to do next. I felt at a loss. One of the firefighters was a horse owner and offered to get someone to get us to Truro so I could make arrangements. He told me that it wasn't safe on the side of the road. Which is wasn't. 

I put out a call on FB: 'Help, my truck is on fire on the side of the road. Horse is onboard'. 

Within minutes my phone blew up with messages and offers to help. I was overwhelmed. First with 'holy fuck my truck caught fire!' and 'holy fuck, people are amazing'. 

My phone rang and it was my friend Nicole (where Jane boards). 

Hi Teresa it's Nicole

Hi Nicole how are you? 

Better than you are right now I hear. 


Jane told me to bring her truck to you to haul your trailer. 

Oh thank god. 

Where are you?

*gives really garbled directions*

*silence* I'm sure we'll see you. 

So now that there was a plan I could reach out and let people know. Someone had called and offered to come and get me but they were in Bridgewater. I called him back and said I didn't need him. But I asked him if he could go and get Carmen for me. So we arranged for that. It was one less thing to worry about. 

In the meantime the firefighters did not want to leave us unprotected on the side of the road. They were blocking the lane next to us. But they couldn't really stay. So they arranged for the police to come and block the lane for us until we could leave. 

I had Julia call Ed for me (she had earlier to let him know what happened) to tell him that we were getting a truck and carrying on to Amherst. The truck would be on the side of the road for him to get towed. 

Julia called her sister to get her to go to the barn and wait for the guy to pick up Carmen. He was late but then Tanya was able to go. 

Nicole and Greg arrived with the trucks. Greg looked at the truck, I told them that it had caught fire. 

What did you do? Asked Greg

I went under the truck and emptied a water bottle on the fire I said. 

He looked at me with the 'horse people are crazy' look. 

My horse was on the trailer. I had no choice! I will not have my horse die in a fire. 

Julie went in the trailer to keep Quaid calm,, Greg unhooked the truck, I pulled it forward and he hooked up Jane's truck. Nicole helped me to transfer the feed.  Five minutes later we were on the road.  

I had informed Nikki, who also gave me some numbers to call. I told her we had it sorted. She texted me that I didn't need to come and we could work it out. But I was half-way and I honestly couldn't imagine going home and starting over. 

While we were on the road Stephanie and Tanya texted that the guy had a flat tire so was going to be late. About an hour later she texted that she was on the road. 

photo proof from Tanya

In the meantime my phone was blowing up with so many offers of help and advice. It was amazing. Like all of you- THANK YOU! There's a lot of negative about FB but it can really be a force for good. 

We finally pulled into Mike and Nikki's place. Quaid unloaded and walked to his stall and grabbed some hay. My lesson from this: buy the horse that can stand on a trailer attached to a flaming, smoking truck, while traffic whizzed by, with firetrucks and police cars. Then stands quietly while the truck is unhitched and new truck hitched up. Travel another 90 minutes and land in a strange place and then say 'cool, where am I now? the hay is good'. 

After talking about some things we headed home. Ed let us know that the truck was towed and he would have dinner waiting for when we get home. I love him so much. 

While we were driving I got this photo from Tanya: 
Carmen: I've been kidnapped. 

God I love the women in my life. They are warm and open and generous. With their time, help and trucks. 

What a freaking chain of events. I am home now and exhausted. Julia and I both agree that no more horse plans in February.  

How was your day? 


  1. hooooooly mother of dog, what a terrifying ordeal, omfg! i'm so glad you're all ok, so glad your horses are all so sensible, and so impressed by the utility and resourcefulness of all your friends and network!!

  2. That's terrifying. I'm so glad you all are safe. Quaid is quite the trooper!!!

  3. Wow Teresa that was epic! Thank goodness for FB and the horse community and everyone's good hearts. Glad you caught the fire in time before it did any major damage to your truck, let alone your precious horse! Now- don't forget to breathe, and go enjoy those horses!

    1. It could have been so bad. I’m grateful it wasn’t worse.

  4. Wow, just wow. Kudos to you for your quick thinking and bravery and also for having developed such a good network of friends. Glad it all worked out!

  5. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Oh, Teresa. My heart sank reading this earlier, and I just got to my computer to respond. I'm relieved to hear it had so many happy resolutions, but let's face it, that is our very worst nightmare hauling our precious horses. What an absolutely amazing boy you have in Quaid, and such good thinking on your part to grab water. I can't believe so little water was able to put it out. I sure wish the other drivers would have done more to help you, but the police sure sound nice. What a story you lived to tell.

    1. Honestly, of all my trailering worries, fire wasn’t one of them! I will now carry an extinguisher in my trailer. I don’t know why the water worked but it did and I’m not going to question the universe. I just remember thinking that there was no fucking way he was going to be injured or worse in this way. He was pretty incredible.

    2. Fire was never on my radar either. I usually fear a flat tire on a busy road. I'm going to get a fire extinguisher, too! going to order one right now.

  7. A real testament to surrounding yourself with the right kind of people! I'm so glad everyone is safe and sound. What a terrifying ordeal! Quaid is a gem just kind of dealing with whatever came at him. Good boy Quaid!

    I'm not sure if they have something similar near you, but there's an insurance you can get here called US Riders that is road side assistance for horse haulers. I've heard mixed reviews kind of depending on where you are I guess. They helped me out with a flat tire very quickly and easily once. Might be worth looking into in your area. But hopefully you'll never need help like that again!

    1. I don’t think we have that here. We’re probably not ‘big enough for it to be worthwhile. Which is probably why everyone is so helpful. Horse people are the best.

  8. That's absolutely terrifying! What an incredible group of people, and what a good boy Quaid is! (and also Carmen for allowing herself to be kidnapped;)

  9. I went from awww look at the cute Quaid graphic, to WTF, then concern took over and I ended with laughing out loud at Carmen being kidnapped LOL! Best photo & caption ever!!

    What a turn of emotional scary events. Thank god it all worked out and Quaid was cool as a cucumber. You have kick-ass horse skills and super amazing friends!! I wonder what are you going to do for "fun" tmr...jk.

    Wishing you a relaxing post haul day!

  10. Dang girl! Not the adventure you were hoping for! Glad you had enough water! And, glad you all go there safely. Now let the fun begin...after you get some rest!

    1. I could do with fewer adventures like these.

  11. Talk about an intense day! That's something I've never had to consider when hauling before. I don't haul now because I don't have the setup but I doubt I'll be able to trailer without thinking about this now! Fire extinguishers for everyone.

    1. Intense is a great way to describe it. And yes everyone should have a fire extinguisher!


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