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When showing, rodeoing, or cowgirlin’ in general, lots of time is spent in a living quarters horse trailer.
For those that do not know, it is a horse trailer with a living space (or quarters) in the front, hence the name.
It is the “home away from home” as Paris M Starn, an avid NRCHA competitor calls it. She shows horses “all over the nation all year long” which means she has “gone months living out of my Living Quarters.”
If she’s not at a horse show, she’s at a roping with her boyfriend, Jake Pancost, who trains rope horses. Talk about a power couple!
She’s had quite the experience with living in a living quarters trailer and is sharing some of her tips!
There is not a lot of room in living quarters, especially when living in them weeks at a time. Paris admits, “I am a neat freak.” She makes sure to always make her bed each morning, which she describes, “can be its own in a living quarters with a short roof.” She also makes sure to clean and pick the trailer up in the morning.
“I feel if you get into a routine of every morning cleaning your ‘home away from home’ it helps keep everything in order.”
For Paris and Jake, they found, “it’s easiest to leave everything on hangers and store them like that.”
To make their lives easier, they “also bought mini laundry bins that I have stuffed away out of sight to help [them] sort [their] dirty clothes.” A life saver for the living quarters! Paris continues, “Those come in handy too when it comes to moving everything out at the end of the trip too.”
A rule of thumb for her is to “always ensure that I have plenty of clothes so that I am prepares for ANY occasion.” In the summer, she will “pack a bathing suit or two with lots of shorts.” In the winter, she packs, “wild rags, extra hoodies, and leather jackets.”
As for food, Paris comments, “I try to pack up food that I can get ready anywhere on a quick notice. For me, I like to have Macaroni and cheese around to stick in the microwave as well as protein bars and snacks. I don’t tend to do a lot of cooking on the road but I do love to have something quick to heat up.”
When being on the road as much as they are, you’ll run into having to “dry camp.” This means you are camping without hookups to electricity, water, or other amenities. Paris says, “We have been lucky enough to always have a trailer with a generator so we use it when we are dry lotted. However, we always ensure that we fill up both of our water holding tanks prior to leaving our barn so that when we get where we are going we always have water to shower and do the bare minimum.”
A stand out feature of Ms. Starn is her gorgeous long hair! When asked how she maintains it, she jokes, “Hair on the road is my version of hell.” However, she has been able to provide a couple of hair hacks for other cowgirls on the road!
“I have found that washing your hair every other day is the best way to go. I get lots of oil in my hair so I use dry shampoo to keep it neat and presentable. When I wash I also sometimes double shampoo to make sure I’m getting it as clean as possible.”
Her go-to hairstyle to show in is a messy braid “because of how easy it is to do with minimal styling tools.”
Her advice for someone who has never lived in a living quarters before is: “make sure to have proper cleaning supplies loaded in the trailer. I always have a broom and a swifter in-order to sweep and mop the floors in the living quarters. I always try to leave my boots outside too if possible. That will help you feel as clean as possible in a small area. Get outside! If the weather lets you get out and bring lawn furniture. Don’t forget to spend time around the fairgrounds with your friends, not just in your trailer! Your best memories come from getting out!”
She ends with some more advice of, “When you are traveling make sure you get to know the town you are in. Yes the purpose of having a living quarter is to have the comfort at the arena but make sure to un-hook and drive around, see the scenes take in the new places.”
You can follow her living quarters travels and show life on her Instagram!