Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Coolness for the Techie Horse Person!

Amazon.com: iBall Wireless Trailer Hitch Camera: Electronics

It's not my plan to turn this otherwise rampantly egoist blog into a product report, but this is a little item I just got, and it's worthy of note for anyone who trailers anything anywhere.  This is a wireless camera that sends a video of your hitch to the monitor that plugs into your lighter so you can see how close you are to actually getting the ball into the socket without getting out of the truck umpty-seven times.  I do have one of those steel guides that tries to force the ball towards its proper destination, and it does work to a certain degree, but I need absolutes, damn it!  And this is absolute.  

I suppose if you are a die-hard hauler, you can probably hitch up in your sleep.  Often my rig looks like that exactly the approach I took.  I tried the magnetic thing with the rod that's supposed to help you center your connection, but the rod kept falling off as it apparently wasn't designed to stick to anything that my rig had to offer.  So I went to the guide with the above-noted results.  Now I'm going full-bore technology on the problem.  

There are cheaper places to get this than Amazon, but I'm all about one-click buying this week, so I spent the whole $128.  I'm hoping I will also be able to use this in creative ways unintended by the manufacturer.  Off-label is my middle name.  I'll report back if I manage to find intriguing alternatives like turning it facing down so I can identify what I ran over that made that sickening thud.   

UPDATE:  It came to my attention as I was reading the instructions on this handy device (RTFM should be my mantra, but I can't spell it) that the most notable use for it is stuck on the back of the trailer for a perfect view of what's behind when I'm backing up.  Really!  No more asking strangers "How close am I to that Mercedes I can't afford to pay for damages to?"  I'm beside myself with glee. 

iBall Wireless Trailer Hitch Camera
Okay, I probably wouldn't have named it that
but, it's pretty nifty nonetheless.

 Now, for some reason, Blogger won't let me go back to normal formatting, so the rest of this may or may not look right on your screen.  I apologize for that.

oor Dakota got beat up last night.  Not to the point of needing vet care, but to the point where I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or be angry.  The aggressor, undoubtedly, was Leo, the 26-year-old Quarter Horse who is totally smitten with the 20-year-old Thoroughbred mare, Dolly.  Dakota is 21.  All of them should know better by now, wouldn’t you think?

I certainly thought so.  But some time during the night, Dakota crossed some imaginary line drawn in the pasture dirt, and incurred the Wrath of Leo.  You have to look kind of hard to see the owies, but they’re there.  
What makes this even more comical is that Dakota, the chunk of an Appy who was sold to me as a “herd leader” type who didn’t take any guff, spent his first months here recovering from a brief but exciting run-in with Duke, all 34.5 inches of him.  Duke made it obvious that Herd Leader was not really on Dakota’s CV.  I’ve never in more than 50 years around horses had to actually teach a horse to kick back when assaulted, but I had to do that with Dakota or spend the rest of his life here doctoring random wounds.  

He’s quiet and calm and tends to stay out of whatever drama is going on among his herd mates, but every now and then he manages to accidentally step right into it.  Some readers may remember him as the horse with the awful bump on his head from slamming head-first through two fence boards during a game of “Got Your Nose” with Zip.  They played every day at 3 PM.  They’d take up positions on opposite sides of a short fence (with an open gate—they designed this game on their own) and go mouth-to-mouth for about an hour.  Then one winter day when the only ice in the field was directly under the lowest board of that fence section, apparently Dakota’s front feet slid, and total face-plant ensued.

They never played that game again, and it’s that fact that makes me think that the battle over Dolly’s heart will be short-lived.  Some horses (Zip, for instance) will tilt at windmills indefinitely.  Some are saner than that.  That’s Dakota.  

Today after I doctored his minor wounds and sent him out to play, he gave Dolly a wide berth and went to stand with his alter-ego, Pinky the One-Eyed Wonder App.  There’s an ebb and flow in the herd that ‘s visible if you look for it, and right now it’s ebbing.  Yesterday it was flowing, and everyone grazed together without incident.  A few days ago ebbing had Dolly micro-managing attendance at the water trough.  

They’re fun to watch, but anyone who thinks they can truly guess what’s going on in the mind of a member of another species is just asking for disappointment.  Proactive is only possible to a point.  Reactive is where it’s at as we humans try to live the horse life.  A sense of humor helps, and plenty of first aid supplies for those times when we’re dead wrong.

1 comment:

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