By Fallon Taylor with Savannah Magoteaux – Photo by Tyler Stockton Getting there is half the battle.Getting there is half the battle.

To people who haven’t gone down the rodeo road for any length of time, when a blowout occurs a full analysis of that one blow out—and the heroism it took to change it—will often appear on all social media outlets for days. That changes when you go down the road for months at a time.

For example, in this month alone, my crew has fallen victim to the trailer awning-popping-out-going-down-the-road trick. The road seems to pull this on us once a year, just to keep us on our toes. As we found ourselves getting pelted with rain drops while hanging from the top of the trailer as oncoming traffic zipped by at a mild 75 miles per hour, we decided that putting our complete trust in a couple handfuls of zip ties (to get us to the next rodeo, of course) was a fabulous idea.

Another time our generator, on its last leg, decided it would be awesome to break into three pieces and watch us humans run around and frantically call every city within 500 miles to get it put back together. Did I mention this was during 100-degree weather?

I have also been grateful to be the rig with a full fire extinguisher on hand after seeing another rig’s axel catch fire hauling a trailer full of horses. But, with every new adventure come amazing stories that sound like tall tales that wouldn’t actually happen in real life. Well, I, like the other cowboys and cowgirls that are and have gone down the road, really do experience these things.

The point that I hope readers will understand is that if you’re waiting for your ducks to get in a row before heading out to pursue your dreams, you need to understand that your ducks won’t always line up perfectly. They will get mixed up, disheveled and out of sorts before any of the fun stuff you want to accomplish comes to fruition. When you watch all of the cowgirls at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo running in Las Vegas amidst all the glitz and glam, remember that they have the experience of a NASCAR pit crew, because that is what got them down the road for the eight-plus months it took to qualify.

Below is a checklist of items I’ve compiled that I think it’s wise to ensure are in your trailer before your next journey. Tear out this page and tape it inside your tack door to make sure you have everything. You can tell some awesome stories about what you forgot at home and how you had to improvise—like that time we forgot a crowbar and my husband, Delbert, had to go hiking for rocks to get me to the rodeo, which worked by the way. But wouldn’t it be more fun to just talk about all of the goals you achieved?

The Road Warrior Checklist:

Battery powered impact wrench set. I honestly don’t mind loosening lug nuts the old fashioned way with a 4-way, but I hate for my horses to sit on the side of the road with careless drivers for any longer than they have to.

Jumper cables. You know those fancy push-button hitches? I can tell you they die!

Diesel exhaust fluid. You will cross states that have never heard of it and think you are a crazy person asking for drugs when you try to purchase this item.

Zip ties. See story above for reference.

Wrenches, screwdrivers, and a spare spark plug for your generator. Trust me, you’lll need these.

Easy drive up block for your tires. It is much simpler to drive up on the block than it is to use a manual jack and it saves time. Also see item No. 1.

Silly string, nerf baseball bats, and boxing gloves. Have these on hand in case none of the above tools help and you and your traveling partners need to let off some steam!

Hopefully this list will help you keep your ducks as corralled and in line as possible. Just remember to be  prepared for the unexpected and be ready to improvise if needed.

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