By: Kirstie Pike
CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women
I just got a new trailer for Prois. I realize that many of you might think that after six years in business, we would have a trailer by now. We don’t. I’m cheap and insist on making do to save a buck…as any of my employees know.
For six long years, Prois has hit the open road to attack show season, also known as “the Gauntlet”, with my truck and…wait for it…horse trailer. That’s right. I said horse trailer. It made perfect sense as, well, we already owned it! The Prois chicks could be seen driving across the country with a 32 foot horse trailer in tow as if we were hitting the rodeo circuit.
But we weren’t.
It’s the end of an era. My horse trailer (aka: Bart), is about to hit the pasture.
Over the years, we have gotten used to the comments and stares as we pull Bart into the large convention centers to unload for yet another show. We have become quite adept at answering many of the logical inquiries that we hear as we are unloading at the largest hunting and shooting shows in the country. Here is a sampling:
Fellow Attendee: “You got horses in there?”
(Nothing more is needed. While it may make perfect sense in the eyes of some to bring a trailer full of horses to a Las Vegas convention center, it just seemed somewhat illogical to us. Weird.)
Fellow Attendee: “What do you have in there?”
(We use this answer in the event said attendee didn’t register the first comment. Additionally, I’m not sure what else Fellow Attendee would THINK there could be in my trailer as we are unloading for a hunting and/or shooting show. Stock cattle? Illegal aliens? The funniest thing is that after they receive this answer, they wait around to see us unload horses. No lie. I think they are disappointed to see that we really just have crates in there. Weird.)
Fellow Attendee: “What company are you guys from?”
Prois: “Under Armour”
(OK. We may or may not have used other company names before. Sue us. But let me walk you through our rationale… while we are happy to use a horse trailer, it is a bit embarrassing while we (usually myself and another female staff member) are unloading a horse trailer in the midst of ginormous semi’s and trailers with huge logos and the help of many men. Additionally, if Fellow Attendee really thinks Under Armour would show up in a horse trailer…then they deserve to be silently taunted. Just sayin’)
Union Dock Worker: “Hey! I remember you ladies from last year! You still got horses in there?”
Prois: “Yes. Still. And they are pissed. Can you lend a hand?”
(Not much commentary needed. It’s just fun.)
Additionally, travel with this 32 foot trailer across the country and into high traffic urban areas has also been tricky. I can neither confirm nor deny that I have had to use homemade cookies to bribe union workers to allow me to park in the easiest locations. I can neither confirm nor deny that I have been approached by a kind gentleman in a cowboy hat as I struggled to back Bart through a multitude of trailers and forklifts into a 12 foot wide space…his only comment being this, “My wife said I should come help you ladies.” They were lavished with homemade cookies after some brief conversation in which he asked what company we were from…all I could say was “Under Armour”) I can also neither confirm nor deny that I have hauled Bart the wrong way down a one way street in Pittsburgh. And Las Vegas. And Indianapolis. Twice.
Obtaining parking for Bart in these urban destinations is akin to shaving my head with a cheese grater. Typically there is no oversize parking available. And if there is the slightest chance of having oversize parking for Bart, the parking spot requires such bizarre and difficult maneuvering that NO amount of homemade cookies could get him in there. Or out. We have taken to commandeering random parking lots and looking doe-eyed when security approaches and asks, “You got horses in there?”
Bart has been to Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Reno, Phoenix, Ft. Worth, Salt Lake City, Columbus, Dallas and Las Vegas more times than he cares to admit. He is a celebrity among the Teamsters Union dock workers that operate the Sands Convention Center at the SHOT show. Bart has been backed through the Mandalay Bay Convention Center at the Safari Club International convention, narrowly missing priceless taxidermy.
While we might temporarily miss the unmistakable (and undeniable) odor of horse manure surrounding our trailer and booth, it is indeed the end of an era. Bart will be put out to pasture to do what he does best…haul horses.
So watch for us this show season with our fancy schmancy Not-A-Horse-Trailer! Homemade cookies to the first person who asks us if we have horses in there.