Thursday, May 25, 2017

Trailering Horses: An interview with Curt Courtney by Gina McKnight

Kia and Joy learn to love the water

Trailering Horses: An interview with Curt Courtney
by Gina McKnight
Archived Interview from the May 2017 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication without permission.

From Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA, welcome horseman Curt Courtney! Curt is an expert in horse transportation. Riders and horse owners know the importance of providing a safe environment for your horse while on the road. Curt and his wife Joy have trailered horses all over the United States.

Curt writes, “I have been around horses my entire life, my parents were avid trail riders. My wife and I own and ride horses. We know a lot of horse people. We started delivering trailers and all types of cargo/horses all over the United States, which led to opening our own trailer sales company.” Curt continues by emphasizing the importance of trailer safety, keeping your horse comfortable in the trailer, and purchasing the right trailer.

GM: Curt, you’ve an awesome horse history! With both parents loving horses, and being around horses your entire life, you have the experience to help others with horse transportation! When was your first encounter with a horse?
CC: I barely remember my "first" encounter with a horse. I have been around horses since I was a small child. My first was with a buckskin mare named Trixy. My four cousins and I would all get on her bare back together. She would take what my dad referred to as "baby steps" then when you put an adult on her she was a regular step out trail horse. I then ended up with my very own Shetland pony named Babe who took very good care of me and helped me lose fear and gain confidence.

GM: What horses do you currently stable?
CC: Currently we have seven horses. Kia is Joy’s registered Paint mare, then we have Bo who is my granddaughters POA (Pony of the Americas) gelding. We have two minis, a pony, and donkey who is our watchdog. We also have a Tennessee Walker and a Rocky Mountain as well as a Quarter Horse – all mares.

GM: As an avid rider and horse enthusiast, you must ride a lot. Where is your favorite place to ride?
CC: My favorite place to ride would have to be Turkey Creek Ranch located by Newcastle, Nebraska. Turkey Creek Ranch offers 16+ miles of groomed trails that allow you to explore the beauty of northeast Nebraska. Terrain ranges from scenic hilltop views of the Missouri River, to peaceful shaded ravines for a quiet ride. The perfect weekend getaway, Turkey Creek Ranch offers some of the most beautiful horse trails available. The views from up on the hills as you look out over the Missouri River bottoms are simply amazing.

GM: And your best horse?
CC: Kia is by far the best horse on our property. She belonged to Joy’s father before he passed away. She is the same horse every time out no matter how long she goes between being used, there is not a mean bone in her. Joy trail rides. Joy and our granddaughter Calyla have been doing trail challenge courses on Kia. They brought home a championship buckle last year.

GM: As a seasoned horseman, very knowledgeable about horse trailers and transporting horses, what is the most important item buyers should know when purchasing a horse trailer?
CC: As horse owners, we know when we are selling a trailer the risks that come with hauling horses. When we sell a horse trailer, safety is top priority. That is why our trailers are equipped with electric brakes on BOTH axles not just one and they also include a spare tire. I always say going is great, but when you need to stop, you want to stop, and nobody I know wants to sit alongside the road with animals with a flat tire waiting for help.

GM: As a horse owner, I prefer hauling my horses in a stock trailer vs. a horse trailer. What are your thoughts on this topic?
CC: People have used stock trailers to move horses for years and there is nothing wrong with that. After all, a lot of your horse trailers are simply stock trailers that have had options added to them to make them horse specific. We offer a swing wall tack room with removable saddle racks, and once you remove the saddle racks, the swing wall opens and is suitable for use as a stock trailer.

GM: So far you have seen a lot of horses, a lot of horse people, and have had your share of riding history. Can you share a favorite riding anecdote?
CC: A horse memory for us is a bittersweet one. Joy’s dad was near the end of his battle with cancer. His hospital bed was in the bedroom by the window. My brother-in-laws removed the screen from the window and Kia was brought up to the house. She put her head thru the window and nuzzled him. I guess she was saying her goodbyes.

GM: Do you have advice for novice riders?
CC:  My advice to novice riders would be to learn your horse and never let the horse decide when you get off.

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?
CC: To me horsemanship is being in the same place as your horse, not physically but mentally being in the same place. It is about mutual respect between you and your horse. It is about understanding each other

If you have questions about transporting your horse, contact Curt…

Gina McKnight is an equestrian, author, freelance writer, and editor at Monday Creek Publishing.

Calyla and Bo establish their bond.

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