Ok boys and girls, it’s story time! I mentioned earlier that I use a Roto Harrow to work the footing in my riding pen. There is a story behind my acquisition of it. This story is part redneck adventure, one dose of blonde silliness and a huge portion of fantastic customer service.
I knew that eventually the riding pen was going to
get finished be useable and I would need a way to keep the footing in order. I had talked with Grant at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno and was sold that the Roto Harrow would work pretty well for what I needed. Fast forward to June. Some friends of mine were going to have an exhibit at the Western States Horse Expo and could use an extra hand or three. I had some friends that I thought might enjoy it and I am not one to give up a chance to hang out at a major horse event. I checked to see if Roto Harrow was going to be there and sure enough they were, so I figured I could pick that up at the same time and save freight on the thing. Win, win, win.
In my preparations for leaving I was sure to transfer money I had saved into my business account. We got to Sacramento in time to watch the finals for the Magnificent 7, which is a great Cow Horse event. We all worked our butts off selling. I tracked down the booth for Roto Harrow and talked with Grant Gibbs about picking up a unit there. He didn’t have a 7′ there. However, the shop was only an hour away and he had one ready to go there if I didn’t mind going and getting it. Sounded fine to me.
Please note that I usually have at least a small degree of apoplexy with any large purchase. Although these are one of the less expensive arena conditioners, they still ain’t cheap. My friend Ted was really nice in helping me with my apprehension. He knows Grant and we went down and spoke with him, then we went and spoke with another manufacturer. Ted knows the dirt here – it’s hard, rocky and tough on equipment. He told me I couldn’t go wrong with the Roto Harrow. I took lots of deep breaths and told myself it will all be ok. I needed to purchase this and it is the best option. With that, I got through the pre-sale buyer’s remorse.
Late in the day Saturday I go back down to the booth to actually pay for the thing and make arrangements to pick it up. We chat a little and figure that it will work to go over to the shop early the next morning. I hand him my card and he runs it. It doesn’t go through. I am extremely embarrassed. I know I transferred the money, what gives. He tries it again. No go. Another time. No. What the eff!!!! I wanted to crawl into a hole. We chat some and decide it must be a spending limit on the card. I tell him I’ll call the bank and figure it out. He has no problem with it, tells me to go ahead and pick up the unit in the morning. I was to go there early, as that worked best for his son’s plan for the day. Then to come in and we’d run the card again. Not sure if it was because Ted was there to vouch for me, or they are just that trusting. Either way, it amazed me.
Anyhow, back at the booth I’m helping with we get sales wrapped up for the day and decide to go to dinner at Cheesecake Factory all together. I figure we’ll have to wait a bit to get a table for the five of us and I’ll call the bank then. So, I go to call the bank. Pull my card out of my wallet, start dialing. I’m ready to take on some US Bank. I have been embarrassed, I know I have the money, why won’t they let me spend it! As I’m starting in on the automated menu system I’m staring at my wallet when I realize I was using the wrong card. THE WRONG CARD! Now I really wanted to crawl into a hole. I’d dig it myself even. Then pull the dirt in after me. I had given Grant my personal debit card instead of the card for my business account. Am I that much of an airhead? Idiot? Blonde? I still haven’t figured out my excuse. All I can say is what a patient man Grant Gibbs is. Maybe other people do idiotic things like that too. It is unusual for me to make a mistake like that. Don’t get me wrong, I screw up plenty of things. But, somehow, I know where my money is – when I have any.
Sunday morning I drove out to their shop. These things are really made in the USA. Saw the shop with my own eyes. I felt even better about buying this then. I like to support small businesses. Ike gets the unit rigged to pick it up with the tractor and sets it in the bed of my pickup. At first we were thinking we’d set it at an angle from the driver side wheel well. Then we realize it will be sticking out way too far on the passenger side. Plus, I’m not sure how we’ll tie it on that way. The previous owners of the truck had put diamond plate along the top of the bed, so the holes where you would usually tie in are blocked. I have to tie down to the frame. Anyhow, we go ahead and set the harrow right across the top of the bed. This leaves it hanging over just less than a foot on either side. As long as I don’t make any sharp turns, we should be good, right? Right? So I start tying it down. I realize that to keep it in place I need to anchor it a little forward of the bed. There is a place under the back doors (driving a crew cab) that will work. Only thing is that the rope goes across the bottom corner of the door. I have two extra people with me. One rode up front, the other got the back seat. So, I’m going to have to untie and re-tie this each time she needs in or out? Guess what, we weren’t making
any many pit stops. Six hour drive or not. Really, I needed to take a picture of how it was rigged on. Sorry I don’t have those.
Nothing like going down the road in a twenty year old Ford with a weird green circle with pointy things on it. The drive back was actually uneventful. Except for the headlights freaking out a mile away from home. All the ropes held. No (major) shifting of the load. Only had to untie the rope on the one back door three times. Once to get on the road. Once when we stopped for dinner. The finally when we got home, sometime around 1:00am.
All that for this.
It does the job, was about half the price of the other options, and I haven’t killed it. Yet. Certainly happy with my choice. Still in awe of how patient Grant Gibbs was with my silly blondness and how accommodating he and his son were in letting me go pick it up on a Sunday morning, before I had paid for it.
Any one else have some slightly embarrassing stories when buying things? Or stories of amazing customer service?