July 24, 2014

Dynamic Duo Gets New Digs

I swear I put way more thought and research into finding my horses a new home than I have ever done with finding us a new one. If only they gave a crap  :)

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
- Good quality hay, water and grain....mostly check! The hay looks about as nice as hay around here gets. I still miss the hay up north which was much nicer over all, but this hay looks pretty good. My only concern is quantity, but I am going to watch closely and see before I jump to conclusions. Water is clean and fresh. Grain we supply, so it can be of whatever quality we choose.

- Trailer parking....check!

- In my price range....check!

Gem in the cross ties
So all in all it is looking pretty good. In addition to the above, there is a fishing pond and we can bring our dogs out to trail ride with us whenever we want which is extremely hard to find. The BO is amazingly nice and really wants to learn about endurance and start going. Who knows? Maybe we can ride together and get to be pretty good friends. There is another boarder there who is also interested in endurance as well. I might get some nice riding friends out of this.

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

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