In a couple of weeks, I turn 60. I bought myself something.
There’s a lot written about the mystery of why some girls love horses, and why when those girls turn into women, we still love horses.
Not much is written about women and their trucks.
We love our trucks.
Go to a horse show, and 99% of the owners and drivers of those trucks are women.
It’s not all about getting to competitions. Plenty of women who have horses never go to shows. Yet they still drive trucks.
For the last four years I’ve driven a Chevy Colorado. It’s been my main vehicle. I can’t afford a truck and a car. Lots of us horse women use our truck as our primary vehicle.
The Colorado is a mid-sized pickup truck. My horse trailer is aluminum, doesn’t have a dressing room, and my horse is small(ish). When I bought the truck and trailer, my plan was to have something to take Tonka to nearby places to ride. The rig was fine for that.
We horse women also like to have transport at ready just in case. You never know when you’ll have to take your horse to the veterinary hospital.
My truck handled those tasks just fine.
But, when I wanted to go trail riding with a friend, we had to use her truck. Even two small(ish) horses add up to around 2500 pounds.
Two years into owning Tonka, I started going to shows. Tonka was perfectly happy in my trailer.
But my truck didn’t have the power I felt I needed to maneuver safely on highways. I didn’t go to events in Vermont because I worried that we didn’t have the power for the hills. I wanted to do more of this.
All good reasons to get a truck.
But not really the reason.
Horse women love their trucks.
I decided that my 60th birthday was a good excuse to buy the truck of my horse girl dreams.
I have a son who is a writer at Car and Driver. He advised me to wait for the Ram 1500 with the eTorque engine. I’d be able to get that this fall. I looked at other brands. He was right. (He’s always right about these things. He’s been advising me on vehicle purchases since he was nine years old.)
But when I started shopping for my truck I hit a road block (pun intended.) The salesmen didn’t take me seriously. I’d walk in, tell them that I was going to trade in my vehicle for a Ram, take a look at what they had in stock, tell them I was waiting for the eTorque, and they didn’t get back to me. I didn’t even get follow-up emails! I took a test drive and one salesman said, rather incredulously, You’re good at driving a truck.
I’ve heard this same story from lots of other horse women. They all make the purchasing decisions, and yet sometimes they bring their husbands along, just to take the hassle out of the shopping.
We love our husbands, but this does not make us happy.
I have a friend who only buys Silverados. Always in red. Why? A lot has to do with this one advertisement. Perhaps the only ad that features horse women and their trucks.
In all of the promotional material for pickup trucks, I saw only a few pulling horse trailers, and none with women at the wheel.
The guys in Detroit don’t get it. They’re missing out. They’re alienating some passionate truck owners.
I had time to do my shopping because the eTorque (which would improve the ride for Tonka) wasn’t yet in production. I also wanted a specific blue paint color and was willing to wait for that. I finally found a dealer who took me seriously, was willing to discuss towing mirrors at length, and give me a great trade-in. My sales person was a woman.
I got delivery of the truck three weeks ago. Since then I’ve had people look at it with the sort of enthusiasm that one reserves for puppies. Those people being horse women.
The above photo was taken after a trail ride on a day that the temperature hovered just above freezing. My new truck has a heated steering wheel and heated seats. Talk about features made for horse women!
I’m getting used to driving a full-sized pickup truck as an everyday vehicle. It has it’s downsides. But when I mentioned that to a friend at the barn, she looked at my truck and said Oh, that’s not so big. She uses a 2500 to pull her rig.
Are you a horse woman who loves your truck? Tell me about it! Have you gone truck shopping? What’s been your experience?
NOTE: This post has resonated with a lot of women! I’ve written a follow-up blog. Go here. Be sure to read the comments!
My truck is not quite as new or shiny as yours, but I am just as passionate about it! I tow with my manual 2000 F350 Diesel Dually, and will never part with it. It only has 110,000 miles on it, and I’m told by those in the know that it will easily go 200,000 to 300,000 miles. Thankfully, it is not my daily driver, so I only put 4,000 to 5,000 miles a year on it. I had a few trucks before this one, but I always felt like my trailer was pulling me. Not with this truck! I tow a pretty large gooseneck trailer, and my truck has power to spare. There is something about a woman and her truck!!!!
I have a 2001 F 250 Diesel, Laura, with 317,000 miles. She is my primary vehicle. Running strong! Yours is just getting “broken in”…. 🙂
That’s what I love hear!!
Boyght my 03 Dodge 3,500 new, & put all 328,000 miles on her. Still running fantastic!!! Got it in the divorce & feel about it like some people do about their children… can’t regret the marriage (divorced almost 12 years ago) because it gave me this pickup. ♥️
So many of the commenters here say they have a diesel. Interesting!
Congratulations on your new truck. You will love more power I love my truck too! It’s a big one ton Ford, but I need it to pull my trailer, plenty of power for pulling the hills around here. And never feel like my trailer is pushing me. It’s not my primary vehicle though. I have an SUV for that.
I think around here men are used to us women and our trucks. But occasionally when I get out of my truck some good old boy will come up and say something like “what’s a little gal like you driving a big rig like that for”. Or worse yet, when they assume you can’t back up or turn your rig around and want to help by doing it for you. Or worse yet, giving you directions! Grrrrrrr
Really, they want to get in your rig and back it up for you? I am shaking my head….
Doesn’t happen. I let only my husband back up my rig.
I have a 2001 (purchased in 2000) F250 as my primary vehicle. Wavedancer is a diesel, and therefore not only big, but far more expensive to fix. I don’t care. She takes care of me faithfully, hauls like a dream, and is my dear friend. My non-horse friends pressure me all the time to trade in my truck for a car. “You’re not competing any more, why do you need a truck?” They don’t understand. I feel safe in that truck.
I took a male horse friend with me to purchase her. When I first began driving her, it was great the way other drivers paid attention to our presence, rather than trying to bully their way or force an issue (I live where there are aggressive drivers). Not any more!
And I love stepping out of my truck at gas stations…people are shocked that a small older woman is driving this big badass truck. Makes me grin every time. What a Beauty! Does your truck have a name?
You GO, Terry! Thrilled for you. I admit to envy about your heated steering wheel and seats….
I know what you mean about safe. Haven’t named it yet. Right now just calling him (?not sure about that either) Big Blue.
I have driven trucks since I was a teenager,though not always as my primary vehicle. One of my favorites was a 1966 Chevy with a “three on the tree”. I have been driving my beloved 2003 GMC Sierra Quadrasteer as my primary vehicle for many years. She is beautiful, comfortable,reliable,and with the 4 wheel steering,handles like a dream. That feature is especially wonderful for trailering our horses. I feel so much safer up in that truck. I just love her. Best of luck with your Ram. My husband had one as his welding rig for many years and it was a great truck.
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a quadrasteer, but she sounds exceptional!
Love my 1997 Dodge 2500 Ram diesel. It was made to pull. My brother lives in south Florida in Jupiter Farms. This area was originally developed for people with a couple of horses to be able to build their little farmettes and keep their horses home. Brother got a kick out of seeing all these women in the grocery store parking lots getting out of their honkin’ big trucks.!!
That’s a long-lived diesel!
You will never regret that truck! As you know, we haul with a Dodge 2500 diesel. It’s standard shift. The salesman was AMAZED that I could drive it at all, never mind well.
Congrats and I can’t wait to see you out and about with it!
We will have to park next to each other 🙂
I have always driven Chevys. I had a ’76 Blazer that I pulled my horse trailer all over creation with.
When I got back into horses 25yrs later I bought a 1500 Suburban. It hauls the 4horse ok. But now with 300k miles it’s looking at a new engine. My son laughs cause I replaced it with 2500 Suburban that’s older. But I tell him it has a much bigger engine. Lucky for me the husband can fix any engine. He and I study up on what we want. He does the talking and I write the check. Division of labor. I’ve given up trying to change the world. But now the local Chevy dealer is run by a woman so I’ll have to try her out when we get ready for the next one.
Ohh and Kim.
The black 1500 is named Beast cause he was a beast compared to my VW Jetta.
And the white 2500 is named Falcon. For the millennium falcon from star wars. We are closet geeks and when we got him he was stripped down and just a massive engine. My son said he’s the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy and it stuck.
Useful husband to have around!
I love my trucks. F150 and a Dodge 3500 flatbed. Both double cabs.
I will always own a truck.
I know some Ford people who would never own a Dodge 🙂 I like your open-mindedness!
I LOVE my truck(s). I have a newer F150 with the new V6 eco-boost engine that can pull two horses with no trouble at all! Tried driving a normal mom type car for awhile….didn’t like it. We also have a 2008 F250 Powerstroke (diesel) that pulls our big living quarters 3 horse trailer quite well. I drive the big truck and trailer by myself hundreds of miles to competitions. People are always amazed at how well I can handle the rig! I just love blowing their minds when it comes to stereotyping women. 🙂
I’ve seen those rigs with the living quarters. I’m impressed! What sort of competitions do you go to?
I was at the rock yard recently picking up a load of gravel with the utility trailer. The kind young gent who loaded me asked appologetically if I would be able to back to a different spot. Wouldn’t pull it if I couldn’t back it up! The real challenge is backing a trailer with a front axle that turns. Now that’s fun!
Wonder if he would have asked that if hubby was driving…
I love my 02 Chevy Tahoe. Not a real truck but has an almost 9000 pound tow capacity and all the heavy duty suspension and brakes and makes a good daily driver for hauling the (human) kids around. Fine for my little 2 horse and I don’t haul much. Looking at new ones the tow capacity is more like 6000 pounds which won’t cut it!
I do drool over my (woman) neighbor’s 1 ton dually. Her daily driver is a Prius. Gotta love representing both sides of the political spectrum 🙂
Great article! 2000 F150 ext cab and the big engine w 160K miles on it. 1999 F250 diesel ext cab and the big diesel engine and only 175K miles. Both are Trucks! Recently purchased used from people I knew and with only 1 or 2 owners. I have always wanted to drive a truck, and now I alternate driving these two. I love how they are almost the same inside. I recently replaced back door handles and got new stereos and speakers for both and they use the same parts for that stuff. Of course the 250 is beefier. But the 150 is super fast! The 150 has a manual shift for 4WD and the 250 had a switch on the dash. I carried up to 6 or 7 square bales in my VW Jetta at times (depending on if I used the front seat), but now a round bale is no problem. The jetta is for sale. The trucks are much better on the country dirt roads, and I feel safer on the highway. When driving in town, it feels like other drivers give me more space. I have hauled a flatbed on the highway but am looking forward to learning to haul better and hauling a horse trailer.
I ve been driving a truck for 20+ years towing horse trailers. Every dealership i ve gone into i ve encountered salesMEN who didnt take me seriously! Or didnt think i could afford a truck! One even let me test drive a truck then afterward when i said ‘ i like it – lets talk price’ said ‘ oh this truck is sold – i didnt think you were seriously interested in buying one!’ Needless to say i never went back to that dealership!
I got to “test drive” a truck. The salesman drove and drove until I finally made him pull over and let me get behind the wheel. That was a Toyota salesman, and it was a small truck!
I turned 60 this year and did something similar. (This will make the men cringe). My late husband left me a 1970 Plymouth’Cuda and I sold it and purchased a Dodge Ram 3500 dually and a new SMC 3 horse trailer with LQ.
I do get some looks pulling that rig with my truck!
Wow! Enjoy your adventures in that!
My own truck…That is what I want for Christmas and my husband is in agreement. I think he is tired of hearing me complain about his one ton Ram dually, with the 6 speed standard transmission. All you do is shift gears and I for one find that annoying. I want to be able to hook up my trailer, load my mule, jump in MY truck and go. After all I just turned 76 and not sure how many more years I will be able to enjoy my favorite hobby, riding my mule in the mountains. So it is decided, come spring I will shop for MY pick up. Something to look forward to through the long winter. Happy Trails.
PERFECT Christmas present. A mule! Mountains! I hope for an early spring this year so you can get out as soon as the weather turns. You should start shopping for that truck now 🙂
You’re an inspiration Judy! I hope to grow up to be like you. Where do you ride your mule? May you & your mule ride many happy trails in the future!
I drive a 3500 GMC dually, diesel, pulling a living quarters gooseneck WW 3 horse slant aluminum trailer. I love it…all. I couldn’t afford to use it as a daily driver, but it does what it was meant to do, and with 4 wheel drive too.
My hubby is set about getting more power than you need, and I have found that to be best – I never get stuck, my truck never strains going up mountains…and I feel….kinda invincible.. . God, guns, guts .
So you can take the rig horse camping? Wonderful!
You bet! I love my little cozy camper house. Tv, microwave, refrigerator, wonderful bed, etc. Heat, A/C…
Have said often that it is the women who own the trucks where I live, although my husband does have his own truck – he needs it for work. I drive a 2001 Chevy 2500 HD crew cab with the 8.1 engine and Alison transmission. I love it! Only 106,000 miles and still going strong. I pull just a 2 horse but with a 9 ft cabover camper with a slide out on it for camping. My back seat folds down making a large flat area for my 3 dogs – wish they had this feature in newer trucks.
My 2019 Ram 1500 has back seats that fold down flat or fold up. Perfect for dogs. Too bad my current dog is just 10 pounds! 🙂
I can fully relate to this story! For the last 15 years I have driven a 1994 Dodge 2500. It has been a reliable truck for the short haul but didn’t have the power to give me confidence on long trips like many of my horse friends with bigger and newer trucks. I just retired a little over a month ago. Thanks to frugal spending and a consistent savings program for my retirement I can now get a newer more powerful truck AND a trailer with amenities for horse camping with my friends.
Horse camping sounds fun! Enjoy!
I love my 1500 Ram truck. I read an article in Horse and Rider that said the 2019 1500 V8 was the best truck for pulling a horse trailer, and it is! I don’t know how I survived before without the heated steering wheel. I will be paying for this vehicle for a long time, but it is worth it.
Thank you for your time and article about women and trucks. I am a horse, loving truck owning woman. Not to blow my own horn but I know I educated some salesmen on the trucks they were trying to sell me. I did as you and your son, researching extensively the 4 major brands.
My frustrations hit an all time high when two sales people watched me walk around their lot for 25 minutes looking at the inventory. Finally I walked up to them and asked if either were in sales, they said “yes”, I explained to them my husband had sent me down to pick out which model would suit my needs but I was given the impression they ( sales people and dealership) didn’t want to sell a vehicle today. The men then tried to talk and encourage me while he couldnt
I once walked into a BMW dealer knowing exactly which vehicle I wanted to get – after I checked to make sure that the dog crate fit in the back. The salesman said I could go onto the lot to see for myself. Never came out to talk to me. I went to another dealer. Bought a new BMW from a salesWOMAN who talked to me.
Google put this ‘in case you missed’ on my page of interest. I love your truck, age, horse story.
Please do another/update article.
I hope you are having a great time with Tonka and Ram.
Thanks! I’ll have to write up another post about the truck. I was out there this morning vacuuming horse hair off the seats. Shedding season chores!
Just love my Ram 3500 diesel , quad cab 4×4 long bed. Pulls my trailer loaded 4 horses, lots of camping stuff, hay, grain , wheel Barrow etc. Total length is 62 feet for my truck and trailer. Pulls like nothing is behind you. Its a chicks truck alright!! Love the sound of a diesel.
That’s a rig!
My daughter’s and I just bought our 3500 Dodge Ram Dually with American Force rims all 6 and front and back bumpers , Iron Cross. We named our truck Dunamis, meaning God’s mighty powerful force!
In God’s timing he made all the right connections.All the time when shopping sales men always thought we were looking for my husband, well I’m not married, but I do have two Percheron’s weighing each 2800lbs.You would think that was enough of a reason. We had two banks so no, we had salesmen not interested in asking to us even though my family is attractive and I’m knowledgeable of trucks since we have been looking for so long. Non the less, we won by God’s set up! Yay!
Now we’re on the search for a trailer! God bless and congratulations to any women that believes you can own a big truck! Why Not!!!! You can go anywhere and do anything!!!
Congratulations on your truck! How can these salesmen not recognize the competence of women who handle Percherons? Honestly! Good luck finding just the right trailer so that you can your horses can safely travel and have marvelous adventures.
I feel so fortunate to have stumbled across your horse/truck blog and found someone who can potentially give us first-hand advice. By the way you have a great looking Ram, I trust it is still serving you well.
My wife, after being many years without a horse, recently acquired a Tennessee walker which we board at a nearby barn. We have access to a small 2/3 horse slant trailer which we could use if we had a truck to pull it with.
We cannot really justify having a dedicated horse pulling vehicle, given that probably we very seldom would actually be pulling a trailer. So any vehicle we got to pull a horse trailer would need to be a daily driver as well. A full-size pickup is not the ideal daily driver for us in suburban Atlanta. Where 95% of our time would be not pulling a trailer but doing normal daily tasks of parking lots and drive-throughs and parking decks, etc.
While we understand the bigger the truck, the easier the pull, in looking at trucks we found the Colorado and was hoping that would be a good fit for our needs of a daily driver and occasionally pulling a trailer. Particularly the 2017 year and later, with 4WD, Crew Cab, long bed, and turbo diesel which is rated with a towing capacity of 7600 pounds.
I’m not a pick-up guy, although have been learning a lot lately, but on paper at least it would seem like a truck rated at 7,600 could adequately handle a horse trailer of say 5,500 pounds (3,500 trailer and two 1,000 horses)…
I have never actually spoken with someone who used a Colorado for horse trailering, so am very interested to get your thoughts. I know from your article that you felt the Colorado was maybe not really up to the task, although you used it quite awhile I think.
I am curious what your Colorado configuration was and if it wasn’t the configuration I’ve mentioned above, if you feel that configuration would alter your opinion.
By the way we love Maine and on our last visit returned home with a real Maine coon cat.
Any thoughts you have on this are appreciated.
I loved my Colorado, and it was a great starter truck, but it had limitations. Although the numbers were right – it could pull my trailer and horse – it didn’t have any power in reserve. When I got my truck and trailer I thought I’d only be going short distances to local trail heads. Also, my horse is smallish, I rarely had a second horse in it, and my trailer is a lightweight aluminum mode. So it did fine for those local trips. But when I started to show and trailer further afield the lack of power showed. I couldn’t accelerate on the highway to change lanes (or avoid an idiotic driver). I couldn’t trailer to places with steeper hills, like Vermont. The configuration you mention with the diesel engine might resolve that, but I honestly don’t know. My Ram is a far better tow vehicle – but far worse to fit into a parking spot on the street! For where I live in Maine, the Ram is a great vehicle. I wouldn’t want it as the daily driver in Atlanta! I’m not sure you’d like the long bed Colorado either. Depends on where you live, parking, etc. That said, once you start driving a pickup truck, you don’t want to stop.
Thanks so much for your response.
Based on that we will probably know not to consider the regular V6 Colorado. We will try to really think about what our intended trailering trips will be and perhaps trailer test the turbo diesel version. CARMAX has (at least in our area) options for 24 hr. test drives and 30 day no-question asked returns, which make possible for some real trailer testing before final commitment, which will be very helpful in this situation.
We will also add the Ram1500 to consideration in the full size category, previously we have just been considering the Silverado.
Definitely drive a Colorado around to see if it feels like it could be a daily driver. Otherwise, this is “horse money” which we joke doesn’t count. Having a truck that is safe and reliable is more important than anything. It’s nerve-wracking enough hauling your best friend in traffic! If you look at the Ram, get the e-torque engine. Huge difference in hauling. Also, love the side mirrors that have the safety feature of yellow warning lights when anything is in your blind spot. It automatically adjusts the range of the blind spot when you’re towing.
I have a 4-door crew cab dually (Ram of course!) with an 8′ bed. I have two trailers. A 3-horse slant and a 4-horse stock. I’m 67 years old. Guys always look surprised when I hop out of it at the local Tractor Supply. I don’t understand why.
That’s a big truck! And I’m sure you can back up your rig like a pro. 🙂