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What is the picture that haunts your waking and sleeping thoughts when it comes to traveling with horses. Yep, a BREAK DOWN! I’ve never had a break down. Before I go out of town with pickup and trailer, I grill my husband. Did he look at the tires? Do I need to buy new tires for truck or trailer? Are you certain that the tread is enough.. I mention at least 6 times how dreadful it would be if I broke down somewhere in the middle of no-where with horse in trailer.

JR and I are headed to a clinic in Buffalo, Missouri. It’s about a 2-3 hour drive. I decide to take the route that goes to Sedalia and then south on highway 65.

As we are zipping along coming into the city limits of Sedalia, a pickup drives up beside me. I notice out of the corner of my eye, some agitated movement from the pickup. I look over and am told to roll down my window. “YOUR BACK TIRE ON THE TRAILER IS FLAT!” My eyes start to roll up into the back of my head into a simulated faint when they get stuck on a beautiful sight…WALMART! I happen to know this is a Super Walmart and it’s only blocks away.

There is a GOD.

I whip into the Walmart parking lot, find the tire place and park in the shade. I find a worker and whine that I have a flat on my horse trailer and my horse is IN THE TRAILER. It’s summer in Missouri and humidity and heat are present. The worker assures me that someone can take care of the situation and to go into the store and get a ticket. In the store, I whine about the horse being in the trailer. I get sympathy and then am told to give the money taker the keys. “NO!” I say. “I have a HORSE IN THE TRAILER! I’ll be with the trailer and truck with the keys!” That was my only instance of someone being in la la land at this Walmart store in Sedalia.

I go out with my horse. I look at him in the trailer. It’s hot in there. The woman that makes things happen in the Walmart tire store came out and met me. We looked at the tire. We discovered that I needed a NEW TIRE. My old tire was Shredded! She tells me to drive up to another shady place, that is right beside the Tire Store. I do that. Then we discuss the grass situation. We have a nice parking lot with a long strip of grass besides it. It’s pretty wide too. We go over and survey the grassy area. We decide that JR would be very happy here.

We come back to a very agitated JR. I open the door knowing that he’s going to LEAP out. He leaps out. Well, in my agitated state, I didn’t notice that we were parked directly by an awning with lots of flags advertising Great Tires…flapping in the wind. The sound of the air tools…ZIIIIIT! ZIIIIIIT!

JR lands on the ground in the midst of the Tire and Lube Shop and I heard in my head a voice, “IS THIS WHERE I AM TO DIE?! ” JR's front legs are spread wide and his rear is ready to start the motor. His head is up and every white in his eye is glowing and showing. I’m thinking to myself “Relax, but Hang on tight to the Lead ROPE. Hang on whatever happens.” We stand and nothing comes at JR to eat him. He relaxes a tiny bit. I decide the time is right to lead him across the parking lot to the grass.

We make it! After a few more moments of deciding whether or not this is the new place he is to die, he decides to snatch a mouthful of grass. “Aahhhhh,” I’m thinking. He’s going to settle down. And settle down he did. We strolled around our grassy knoll and checked everything out. The woman-who-makes-things- happen-at-the-tire-store came out with the tire catalog and we chose my new tire. Life was good.

After a while, I started getting this "filled up" feeling. I tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t go away. There were bushes in the grassy knoll, but not thick enough ones. Soon, I decided that JR had to go back into the trailer that was resting next to the flapping flags, near the ZIIIIT sounds. I have fluid to donate to the Walmart. Luckily, they had not started to put on my new tire yet.

JR had a little problem getting back into the trailer. No sensible horse would get into that trap with all that commotion around. I chatted with him. He said “NO. I chatted with him. He said “NO.” I chatted with him, he said, “MAYBE.” I chatted with him and he said “OK, BUT HURRY BACK!”

Hurry, I did! I came back out to find JR spinning in the trailer. I decided to get my lawn chair. I got JR out and we went back to our grassy knoll. I sat down and he chomped grass. whew

People started to return to their cars or drove into the tire parking lot. They all stared. If they had small children, I invited them to come over and meet JR. JR got to meet little girls and boys that came to Wal-Mart on that day.

JR became the Walmart Tire Store Greeter!

About an hour rolled around and the new tire was on! I loaded JR with only two NO’s and went in to pay. As I left the Walmart, I thanked our new friends. On our way out of the parking lot, I noticed a new sound…something dragging. I leaped out and checked the perimeter of the truck and trailer…nothing. It was probably one of the shredded pieces of tires stuck on something that made a noise.

We went to the Buffalo clinic and bragged about JR’s new Walmart Greeter job. We came home on Sunday. My husband and I checked the tires again with me whining. “I had a flat tire. Are you certain that the other tires are OK? Are you certain that I have enough tread? Why did I have a flat? Was it just that I ran over something. When I drove the truck/trailer, the dragging noise continued. I asked my husband to drive the pickup and the trailer and see what he thought about the noise.

My husband called me at work on Monday. I have 3 more new trailer tires. One tire had a knot on the inside and it would have blown soon. The tire guy didn’t like the other two tires either. The tire store people are fixing my FLAT TRUCK TIRE.

I drove all that way with the inside dually tire flat! That was the noise that I had heard.



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