Moving barns. Ick.
Sunday was moving day for the Dynamic Duo. Our current barn was seeing a change of hands next month and it is still up in the air who is taking over. Last I heard a lady who breeds warmbloods was coming to look at it. Who knows how much she would charge or if she would even offer boarding. It was time to get out.
We headed out bright and early before the hubby could get too sore to say no and loaded everything up. One big bonus of living out of the trailer is that I never have to worry about grabbing my stuff. Everything is already in place. Gem and Pete loaded great and we were saying goodbye to the BO and heading to their new digs.
We pulled into the new barn yard and I parked the trailer to unload the horses. Unfortunately, the one big negative with this place is that they split mares and geldings. Gem and Pete have been side by side for nearly 5 years with just a small stint at Crabby Acres and I really hate splitting them apart. Having made finding a barn for them a second job I can honestly say that there is no other options out there right now.
Gem unloaded first and I headed out to her pasture to show her around. The mare pasture is to the left of the barn and is 35 acres of wide open space and tons of wonderful grass. There are 3 other pasture board mares out there full time and one stall board mare who gets added at night now and then during the day in the winter. The grass is so plentiful that the current horses have been taken off grain and no hay has been required all summer. The other mares aren't ridden ever though, so I made a mental note to keep a close eye on Gem so she doesn't get skinny with her heavy work load.
We wandered around the perimeter and met the boss mare who is a massive dun quarter horse. The BO's right hand woman explained that she has never seen her kick or bite and will just run new horses around until she lets them in. I can live with that. Gem was not in the mood to socialize one bit and tried to double barrel her. Sigh. Be nice mare!!!
Eventually we ended up back at the gate and I let her go. She was very stressed and kept calling for Pete and spent the next 10 minutes running back and forth by the gate. It broke my heart because I knew if Pete was out there she would have run around happy for the room and got busy grazing. The other horses just looked at her like she was crazy and left her be. I wandered back to the trailer so the hubby could get Pete out.
Pete is in a 40 acre pasture with the same lovely grass and I think 6 other geldings full time with 2 or so added from the stalls. He wandered around good naturedly as usual and when he met everyone else he just let them sniff and got busy grazing. He is so easy going. He immediately made friends with everyone and was enjoying himself when we left him.
We did drive by again later that day to check on Gem. We didn't bother going over (I wanted to see how she was acting without her knowing I was there) and instead just parked the car on a side road bordering her pasture. She was by herself a little ways away from the two main mares (there are 2 quarter horses who are best buds and run the pasture and then a third mare who is a 28 year old arab who just ignores everyone and stays out of the way) and was grazing just fine. I yelled out a hello and she popped her head up. Well, apparently the boss mare took notice and decided to go say hello again. Gem snorted and squeed then pawed with a front leg. That wasn't being nice. The two mares came over and Gem turned and double barrel kicked the boss mare. Ick. We will have to see how this goes.
So why this barn?
Well, two big reasons: 3 miles from my house and the largest, best grassy pastures I have ever seen. Gem will get to eat real grass, move around and maintain some level of fitness.
There are other reasons too. There is a lighted arena for work in the evenings. Both pastures have a wide grassy lane mowed around the perimeter. The geldings comes in at 1 mile even and the mares at 0.75. They have a short but steep hill on each lane. While these aren't trails, it is better than nothing and I can get a lot of speed work done on great footing out there. I can circle, do figure 8s, do laps at trot, canter, gallop.
The BO is an older man who has more horse knowledge than I may ever have in my life time. He was big into the local rodeo circuit back in his day and did super well until injuries piled up. He is friendly, super nice and after talking to several current and past boarders I know that the horses will get the best care ever there. He won't let Gem get fat or skinny and will let me know if anything comes amiss.
I ma excited to be there and think that once they settle in things will be really good. I just hope Gemmie agrees!