Horse Women and Their Trucks

By Terry Golson


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?


Leave a Reply to Stephanie W Morse Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

27 thoughts on “Horse Women and Their Trucks

  • Laura A

    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!!!!

  • Gin

    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

  • Kim Walnes

    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….

  • Deborah George

    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.

  • Stephanie W Morse

    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.!!

  • Christine

    Happy birthday!!!
    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!

  • Judith

    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.

  • Kerry B

    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. 🙂

    • Shaste

      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…

  • Shaste

    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 🙂

  • Jane Pipkin

    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.

  • Sherry strozzA

    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!

    • Terry Golson Post author

      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!