Networking is the best source of information

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CowboysHighway.com was conceptualized out of the idea that as we travel up and down the Interstates and back roads to the many events, we meet other horse trailers on the way, why not network with each other and share the places we’ve found to pull over, layover, spend the night that are most conducive to keeping our horses comfortable and healthy. Undoubtedly these horsemen and horsewomen have been driving for hours, maybe days, to their destination.Our horses are our valued companions and bare the brunt of standing for hours in their confined stall in the trailer.  Due to weather conditions, traffic, accidents and road construction that find us waiting for hours, the needs of our horses become paramount to keeping them healthy, fit, and comfortable.
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The CowboysHighway Logo

0000The CowboysHighway Logo is the brainchild of Bland Ballard with a little help on text from Susie.  How do you get  your idea across in a way that brands your product or service almost without saying a word?  Well, Bland figured it out with the help of his friend & graphic designer (whose name I do not have, shame on me because it’s ingenious!)

We want people to know when they see this logo, it represents a community of horse people on the road.  Almost like while on the Interstate, waving at others pulling a horse trailer.  You don’t know them, but you know they share the same passion.

 

 

We’re Getting it Done

CowboysHighway has been a project which began as a dream of Bland’s to bring real travel information to all of us traveling the United States and  Canada with horses on board.  An easy, usable, non-membership site and app for every conceivable need out there when driving across country with horses.

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Matt Shiozawa & family arriving at AT&T Stadium

It sounded like a pretty easy idea right? Just get a domain name, a developer to put your ideas into code, and upload that sucker right up, and as if we were on a world champion reining horse or WNFR calf horse of the year, the skids came on and we slid our way into all the road blocks possible.  From site design and domain names to implementing all our ideas as they rolled in while our man on the road, Matt Shiozawa would report back to us with great layover spots he’d check out as he traveled day and night on his way to qualifying for the 2015 WNFR.
This is what sets us apart from the plethora of great horse motel sites, or “equine travel” sites.  It was and is important to us to cover as many bases as possible. From the time we leave the ranch until we arrive at our destinations, what might we need, information wise, be it layover motel listings to emergency services?  Plus, getting this information to all our site visitors in one click, on one site, and as accurate as possible.  Also we’ve needed to find ways to get out there when there is no WiFi access.
99377e_5cc117f03a93484eb6723d16bcb6d303Some of us travel lighter than others, but our needs are the same for the most part.  Places to stay, safety, services when emergencies large or small hit, plus helpful information for our fellow horsemen and horsewomen.  Our newest addition is “QUICK STOPS” which is a listing of quick stops along the way, close to the highway, where you can pull over, unload, exercise, water, feed, whatever you need to get some proper rest and for the horses to get proper exercise and care.  Also, we’ll be adding a “What to do after an accident” checklist.  For minor accidents, sometimes we are shook up enough to not know exactly who to contact, what information is needed.  Do we call the police? What if the driver leaves the scene.  So we’ve found some excellent check lists and important information we could all use to brush up on.
So as you can see, we are a work in progress keeping our website visitors in the loop as we design and set up.  Please keep checking in as we add more information, more tips, fix what’s broken, implement the great ideas we’ve gotten from our CowboysHighway community.  We are not just geared to the rodeo, reined cow horse community.  This site is for ALL horse folk! So join in, we welcome all input.

Happy traveling this month and keep checking in!  Susie, Bland, Matt

Dodge, Ford or Chevy?

If you want to know which rig is going to be the best in any given year, for hauling, just look around the parking lots at the major events from rodeos, barrel racings to horse shows and cow horse events.

Of course, everyone has their reasons for driving a Dodge vs. a Chevy, but is it pretty standard that it be a diesel? I have to say that for me, diesels a must. I do know that being a woman and going into a truck dealership and asking to look at a diesel I’ve gotten “the lecture.” Yes, I have, the one about “why do you want a diesel? What will you be doing with your truck?” general questions I used to think were geared towards getting an idea of which truck would best suit my needs.  But I’ve always ended up having to more or less plead my case before I was allowed to test drive!  Probably the dealerships I went to, not all are like that.

Then comes the dickering on the price, ughhhh. So, I’ve begun asking my friends who are traveling a lot which they prefer, and why. Add the chip, don’t add the chip, add that exhaust? No don’t. Oh that brake, you need that, and the K&N Filter too.  I just take my friends with me, and I don’t have to plead my case.

My personal preference? The dodge BUT I hear the GMC is now great. Am I way off here? I just want my transmission to last, I don’t like being stranded….. The cost of these things, these days are out of sight! So maybe someone can share with me what they prefer….Susie

Welcome to our little corner of the Internet

12316533_136040693429975_4642440538104374081_nWe are excited to finally be launching our website and mobile app, CowboysHighway.  This was the dream of Bland Ballard, who has traveled thousands of miles on the rodeo trail, hauling horses.  He and all of his friends complained about having a hard time finding places near where they may be in case of an emergency, a break down, or in the event they just needed to know where they could go for an overnight stay.

It’s important to not only keep yourself aware and safe on the road, but especially important for our partners, the horses we love and care about so much. Our stops during the day to unload, give them some exercise, and all we do to ensure our horses have as little stress as possible is paramount in keeping they healthy and comfortable.

When we do unfortunately have occasional breakdowns, flat tires, and any number of bad situations that arise, the ability to have the information you need available and with you on the road is important.  There are times we’ll travel where there is no wifi and Internet access is not available.  To be able to download our website for offline use of the listings is important and we are working on .pdf files that will be downloadable as well as the telephone numbers to all State and Local Police agencies, truck repairs and services in emergency situations.

Bland was work hard to find the right team put together in assisting him and Matt Shiozawa to get this idea moving forward, and to help him accomplish this dream and to begin the  process of compiling the listings, utilizing test groups of users for feedback, and finally launching the website before Matt’s appearance at the WNFR in Vegas in 2015.

CowbyoysHighway does not require our users to sign up and log in.  You won’t be receiving emails to your inbox which may add to the clutter.  We’ve used our pet peeves, our pros and cons about certain websites, and what it is we are wanting to provide to our fellow horseman and horsewomen as our mission statement.

Thank you for visiting our website, mobile site, Facebook, Twitter and Word Press pages. We are a work in progress and as we’ve said many times, we can’t do this without your support in sharing the word about us AND sharing your favorite places to stay overnight, and other services and products.  Stay safe!