“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
- Marilyn Monroe
I made one phone call to a new acquaintance down here and the possibilities for a new barn became almost endless. There was one barn I really wanted to go see. It is a known endurance barn in the area and I had been told they had access from the property to all the local trails. How awesome would it be to ride out of the barn and have all my training needs right there? Very. The two downsides were that Gem and Pete would need to remain separated and it is 30 minutes away. But the ability to have trails right there and knowledgeable endurance people would balance that out. We went last Wednesday to check it out. Unfortunately, we were informed that she used to have trail access but the property between her and the forest was restricted now and it was an 8 mile trailer ride to the trails. It became a good back up barn if nothing else proved worthwhile.
What was amazing was the vast amount of offers to put Gem and Pete in people's private yards. I couldn't believe it. Every day I got a new text of a new person who was willing to fix up the fencing and put the horses at their house so they could be close and stay together. I have never come across friendlier people ever in my life. The hubs and I discussed our options thoroughly and while the private boarding was an amazing offer, the lack of an arena or trails would make riding next to impossible during the week (not that I have been riding lately any way) so we put those as a last choice. Then I got a text about a local barn that was only an additional 5-10 minutes farther than the current barn with a large, lighted outdoor arena, a pasture where Gem and Pete could remain together and even better it was laid back and as frosting on the cake - $50 less a month than we were currently paying. I just had to go check it out.
I happened to have a gap in my schedule last Thursday, so I called them up and ran over there and it was great. Super friendly, laid back owners with a real at home feel. No odd rules about blankets or farriers or anything really. The pasture Gem and Pete would be in was large enough for the two of them, but doesn't have as much grass as I would like. There is some and this is the end of the growing season so most places are very eaten down, but it is an adjustment from the large, lush pastures of W Farms. Had we moved straight here from the arctic north it wouldn't have been any change since the pasture is larger than up there with about the same amount of grass or just a smidge more than they had before.
The arena is spacious and has lights for my evening rides in the dark. They feed hay and grain as needed per the condition of the horses. It is on 55 acres and they said they have some trails cut through it that if you walk takes about 45 minutes, so for us would be about 10 minutes so is the same as at W Farms. They would be outside 24/7, but the barn has the largest stalls I've ever seen and we can use them whenever we want. For the price, I don't see how we could get better. My only concern is the lack of grass, so I will be keeping a very close eye on their weight. I am not a fan of the quality of hay down here in the South versus what I am used to up north, so relying on hay isn't so great. We will see. The hubs and I have toyed with the idea of purchasing the awesome hay from our last barn in the north and running up with the trailer to bring it down for Gem and Pete.
I called the hubs to let him and know and we decided it would be worth a shot. While there are other boarders, they don't frequent the barn much and if they are anything like the owners they will be easy to get along with. Given the other options - either far away , private so no riding ability, or super expensive - this one seemed like a good choice for us. We planned to move them in on Saturday morning and called W Farms to give them a heads up.