Sunday, April 19, 2009

John's New Barn

Yesterday I moved John to a new boarding facility. Without going off on an endless whineybinge about the reasons, let me just say: 360 acres as opposed to 80, 14 horses as opposed to 50, home-grown sweet green hay as opposed to dusty giant square bales of woody stalks, and ambient estrogen quotient reduced by about 8000%. John will have one pasture mate, pictured here:

A gentlemanly older Arab; they made friends in 2 minutes and now seem like they've been pastured together since the dawn of time.

At this barn they do grow their own hay and they test it as well, so they know what they're feeding. The back of the property is about 250 acres of trail systems;
; across the road is a state park of 8818 acres. Not all of this is horse-legal but John and I can certainly have fun exploring there this summer.

Now where does that leave Montana? This is the part I'm not entirely sure about yet. As I was about to load up yesterday, the barn owner came out & said her daughter is interested in keeping Montana. She has been riding him and enjoys him, and he could be a lesson horse for her advanced dressage students. Daughter out of town this weekend.

So after thinking and talking some more, I left him there. I have tried to sell him for a year now, and no luck although one very near miss did occur. I have to admit that my interest in dressage has faded to an uneasy afterglow in recent years. Since John to be exact. The shows, the tall boots, the white breeches, the arena letters, all this I could say goodbye to without regret. Montana is not a fun trail horse these days - he is reactive, barn sour, and can be hot - and while I feel guilty for not working him out of this, I would be relieved not to have to. If he found a dressage job with someone who loves it, that would be a great outcome for me.

So he is Left Behind as the Rapture folks say. I fully expect to get a phone call saying come pick him up. I have come to think of him as the equine cocklebur of my life.

Random product endorsement: I had a flat tire on my horse trailer yesterday and got my first taste of the service provided by USRider, the horse trailer insurance people. I love this company! 10 minutes to get a call back from a dispatcher, another 10 to get a huge truck pulling up next to me with a monster jack and a cute dude to operate it! And no charge whatsoever. I renewed my membership as soon as I walked into the house. I know real cowgirls change their own flats but I was in a state of jangled nerves and it was nice to be 'taken care of' so well.


Once Upon an Equine said...

Sounds like a really nice place for you and John. Thanks for the USRider comment. I've heard good things about them.

Mrs Mom said...

Hey now- that sounds like a slice of equine Heaven there for you and John! Fingers crossed for Montana as well!! Cant wait to hear about your rides this Spring and Summer.

ezra_pandora said...

I hope everything turns out ok. It will be nice to have a little piece of mind knowing that the horse you could leave behind will be used and treated well. Your new slice of heaven sounds like, well, a slice of heaven :)) Sounds great and I'm really happy for you and John and all of your future expeditions :)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Sounds like you are pulling John out of an overcrowded public school and putting him into a luxurious private school.

Jocelyn said...

I agree with Nuzz, I was going to say something about the same!

Good For you!

Crossing my fingers for Montana.

Anonymous said...

John looks very happy in his new place! I use USRider as well, although so far I haven't actually had to call them - the time my daughter had a flat when hauling our 4-horse gooseneck, she and person she was with changed the tire themselves!

Flying Lily said...

OnceUpon: I can't say enough good about USRider. They even called 1/2 hour later to make sure I had been helped.

MrsMom: Equine heaven indeed. I can hardly believe it; I just tiptoe around out there. John seems to feel he deserves it however!

Ezra: Thanks! Peace of mind - what a concept! Especially with horses it seems scarce & hard to come by...

Nuzzling: Very perfect image!!!!

Jocelyn: So far so good for Montana. I checked up on him yesterday and he was fine.

Karen: I thought I should change it myself too, but just could not face the mud and possibility of whole trailer sinking up to hubs with me crying and wringing my hands on the side. Gaah that was a morning. don't horses just provide this sort of morning on a regular basis??!

AareneX said...

Yay US Rider!

I renew my membership cheerfully every year, having used their services enough in the past to consider it "already paid for" because they are so wonderful.

Great service, intelligent dispatchers, and reasonably priced. Why couldn't all companies be run this way? My spouse never used their service until one time when I was with him and the truck broke down so I called; since then, he is their biggest fan.

I don't even get paid to say this: everyone who hauls horses should have US Rider!

Flying Lily said...

AareneX; I completely agree. I was so touched by their asking first, "Are your horses safe?" And then they just rocked and $78 I ever spent on that membership.

Funder said...

Ooh, sounds like a great new facility for you and John. I hope things work out with Montana! It's tough when your interests change, I know.

Amy said...

keep Montana safe. dont let him be abused. why should he have to eat dirty awful food and not have a good life? will he just get churned and churned until he is sent to auction?

Flying Lily said...

Amy, this is a very real fear I have, and is the reason why I would not have sold him to some of the people who came to try him out over the past year; they didn't seem like they could handle him, and he would get passed on & down. The barn where he is, is a dressage and jumping barn, and he's a dressage horse and a nice jumper. Several of the clientele are very fond of him, as is the barn owner's daughter who does the training and lessons. I believe he is safe and while I lament the hay situation, he does seem to thrive: 5+ BCS score at his March vetting.
I think he's gastrically tougher than John. And if I do sign him over, I will try to retain right of first refusal. That's not to say I am completely at peace about this situation.

Molly said...

I'm really excited to see more of your new barn life. I bet the trails are beautiful.
Life with horses is meant to be peaceful.
There's enough drama away from the barn.

Flying Lily said...

Thanks Molly!! I wholeheartedly agree.