Ah. Lesson Day. I love lesson days, and while Moon and I haven't put a lot of practice in, I'm still looking forward to tonight. Maybe we'll FINALLY get that canter lesson in?? : )
Last night the BF and I headed out to Oakbank for dinner with a friend as I'm (we're) going to be horse/house/dog sitting for them for the next 10 days. AND for her neighbour (horse/house/cat sitting). Oh, and my boyfriend's mother's dog and house too! Busy!
I was originally supposed to bring Moon out to stay at my friend's place while I was looking after it, however she has two new boarders and one of the geldings seems a little 'proud cut'. Still trying to mount the mares and whatnot, which has made things a bit chaotic until they separated him out with his gelding buddy. So this is going to be a fun couple of days, AND it brings me about 15 minutes closer to Moon, meaning more riding. : )
There's also a Dressage competition (Bronze level 'official' show PLUS a fun show with a musical dressage competition) on Saturday that both my coach and an old friend who bought Sweet B (the horse I loved and nearly bought 6 or 7 years ago) are both competing in. Actually, I think Sweet B is actually going to be there, which makes me super excited. Coach W is going to be great to watch as well!
Since we were out in Oakbank anyway, I decided to time the drive from S Stables to home; I wound up stuck behind a very slow driver (slow as in drives the speed limit) and was able to get a fairly accurate gauge for winter-time driving...
...13 minutes to my door. 3 stop signs on the way out, 4 plus a street light home.
I literally felt like it was a hop and a skip away. I never even considered that there could be a barn so close to home, and SO convenient. I could pop by on my way to the grocery store. To the bank. To get gas. On my way to my parent's house. I could be there and back in LESS time then it takes me to get to T's place.
Don't get me wrong. I love T's place. It's perfect in the summer time, I LOVE riding with her and hanging out, and if it wasn't for the loss of winter training time, I wouldn't move.
But the reality is that Moon and I need to keep training. And S Stables, of all of the places, is the closest.
Now I just have to wait for tomorrow when I get to visit it again and make sure it's to my liking. The BF keeps reminding me to pay what I need to in order to ensure Moon'er is well cared for, well fed and happy. : ) It's really special to me to know how important Moon is to him.
Provided the care meets my requirements, and provided the arena is big enough for schooling (I know it's smaller then a lot of indoor arena's, but we really only use just over 1/2 of W's when I'm working normally, and it's not like I need a full jump course in there), then I think I'm going to put a deposit on it. Well, I want the BF to have a look over too, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be the place.
I also decided, meeting all those other requirements, I'm going to get the tie-stall for Moon. The neighbour I'm horse sitting for had a couple of 4'x8' tie-stalls in her barn, and I have to say, they're pretty nice. Add an extra 1' for S Stables, and I think we have a really nice, warm and comfy place for those cold winter nights.
I'm SOOOO excited about this that it's not even funny! I'm beyond apprehensive to talk to T about it (I'm so not a talker and I hate the thought that she might be sad I'll be gone), but the actual winter boarding makes me thrilled. I love the thought of Moon having 'a space', being babied every day, me being out riding or visiting more because it's closer, riding in the bad weather in the indoor, still getting an occasional lesson with W, and meeting some more horse people. And being able to monitor and change his diet more. : ) I'm really, really excited about it. I'm even dreaming about how I'll fill and arrange my tack locker, about hanging my little tack and stall plaques up in the place and settling in.
This is part of what I dreamed about when I was a kid. Coming into a warm barn in the winter to see my pony. His halter hanging on his hook, his nicker when I approach. : )
I'm working on my list of Q's for tomorrow...if anyone has any more things I should be asking or checking on, lemme know!
THING TO ASK A NEW BOARDING BARN:
1) Deworming rules (required dates? products? owner's choice?)
2) Blanketing? (fees? how often? number of off-ons?)
3) Current lesson schedule?
4) How many active (riding) boarders + BO's family?
5) How many riders are allowed in the indoor at a time?
6) Is the barn ever closed? (Christmas, New Year's, etc.)
7) What are the barn hours?
8) Is the outdoor ring useable? In winter?
9) Does the barn group do any activities together? (trail rides, movie nights, gymkhana)
10) Are the horses turned out with their halters off or on?
11) # of times/day the horses are checked up on?
12) Type of fencing in paddocks? Perimeter fencing for escapees? Type of gate latches?
13) When are they brought in, and when are they let out in the morning?
14) Free-choice hay in paddocks? Quality? Number of piles?
15) Number of horses/paddock and paddock size?
16) Any possible 'escape' areas?
17) Hay provided in stall at all times, or twice/day?
18) Grain fed? How many times/day? Supplements? Other feeds? Added costs for special programs?
19) Depth of straw bedding in stall?
20) When are stalls cleaned? How many times/day?
21) Arena size for jumping?
22) Standards/poles available?
23) Any restrictions on jumping alone? Riding alone? Bareback?
24) Trails in area?
25) Pets allowed in barn? On leash, supervised?
26) Having visitors to the barn? Other's riding your horse?
27) Horses led in or chased in?
28) Can you use your own farrier? Vet?
29) Head-in or head-out tie-stall? Able to see/touch other horses?
30) Arena lighting for dark hours?
31) Wash rack available?
32) Heated tack room?
33) Size of tack lockers?
Sooooo excited to check it out tomorrow!!! And to wait the month and a half to move Moon there!!! : ) I SOO hope this is the place for us!!! : )