My list is simple:
- Pasture board with this amazing thing called grass and not just dirt and weeds
- Ability to keep the Dynamic Duo together
- An arena with lights for weeknight night riding
- Trails would be great
- Good quality hay, water and grain
- Trailer parking
- In my price range which is admittedly limited
After searching for months and months (since April) we finally found a place that had the majority of those things and decided to give it a try. I wanted to wait until after Biltmore to move them, so last weekend we packed the horses up in the trailer and amidst intermittent pouring rain we moved them over to their new digs...lets call it Serenity Haven (not its real name, but pretty nifty and so far accurate).
Lets see how it stacks up to my list:
- Pasture board with grass....check! The pasture they are in is mostly grass. The recent drought has taken its toll on it, but fortunately it hasn't had any horses in it so while the grass wasn't growing, it wasn't getting trampled and eaten down to nothing either.
|Looking up the hill to their pasture|
- Ability to keep the Dynamic Duo together....check! They are in their own 4 acre pasture with some woods and 3 nice next door neighbors. It is on top of a hill
|House and barn are behind me, they are up the hill|
and that is the drive way to the right
|Looking down the driveway|
|They are behind me and that is the barn|
so the drainage even in all this rain we have been getting is awesome. Hopefully no thrushy feet.
- An arena with lights...nope :( They have an arena of sorts...basically a flattened section of the back hay field, but no lights and it isn't fenced in or anything like an official arena. But...
- Trails would be great...check! I'm always a little cautious when a BO tells me there are trails on property since most of the time it ends up just being the pasture you can ride in or a 5 minute walk around the property. But the hubby and I took W and Bones out for a hike on Sunday and we logged about 3-4 miles of actual real trails with some pretty nice hills in there and mixed footing. Plus the BO said you can ride the power lines from the end of the driveway for miles. I haven't been on those yet to see if the footing is decent or if it is all straight up and down and rocks. So the trails aren't extensive or varied enough to get all my conditioning done, but it does allow for me to not ride in a circle a hundred times. The downside is obviously there are no lights (although that would be impressive) so in the winter I won't get any riding in during the week, but in reality last winter when it was dark before I even got out of work I wasn't going to ride anyway.
|Gem throwing a hissy fit in the airy barn|
- Trailer parking....check!
- In my price range....check!
|Gem in the cross ties|
I really only have 2 current concerns:
1) Quantity of hay as mentioned above. They were getting about 3/4 of a bale for the two of them a day at FS Farms with grass and grain. Here they don't appear to be getting anywhere near that much. I am going to wait and see if she starts to look too lean and then ask for it to be increased. Hopefully that won't be an issue.
2) Distance. It is 30 minutes from our house which is a bit too far by 10-15 minutes. But if it limits my need to trailer out and gives me decent mileage during the week, it will be worth it. We will see what the winter brings.
So far I am pretty happy with it. They are a small place with eager and happy trail riders. Bones and Einstein can come along and ride with me which is awesome. The whole barn atmosphere is calm and the scenery is breath taking. Lets hope it works for the long term!
|Looking down toward the barn|
|Gems big butt blocking some of the view|