Moon and I have been searching for his winter home. As many of you can tell, the whole process is a bit stressful, particularly because I want him somewhere safe, where he’ll be well-cared for, but at the same time, I have a budget and a long list of requirements. This is also our first move together.
Today after work the BF and I went to visit S Stables; let's ignore the fact that while I was certain where it was, I got lost : P No, the BF wasn't overly impressed to say the least. Why don't I EVER get an address or even a phone number!
Nice place; family stable. Medium size indoor arena, flood lights, nice little barn that was cool inside. Fans at each of the stalls. Nice wide tie stalls. Good hay (they feed medium squares, store indoors). Tack room is unheated but in the barn so never below freezing. Lots of jumps and standards.
I really liked the care overall. Great owners. Things I didn't care for? They REALLY seemed to think that their way was best. Really didn't like the idea of me using my own farrier (she was 2 steps from saying that theirs was specially chosen not to be crap like the rest of them), she wasn't impressed that I only wanted lessons from an Equine Canada coach, loved the lecture on the efficacy of the West Nile Vaccine (hi, I'm a technician too!), didn't like the tiny paddocks, though it was nice they were hi-quall metal panels instead of hi-tensile.
Overall, it was a nice clean place, well kept, the horses were happy, the people were friendly, close to home and trails and had a ton to offer. Price was really good for the feed routine too.
But really, after all of that, I should tell you about yesterday...
Yesterday, while watching the ware-rabbit make his way around the ring with W, I was chatting with the lady who stopped to watch.
She asked me where I kept Moon…the perfect opening to explain my barn search to her, and inquire (without asking outright) if W only does box-stall board. No surprise when she replied that everyone was box stalled, though there IS a couple of empty tie-stalls in the barn she might consider using…”Ask her” the lady said.
So I did.
And explained how I was ideally looking for outdoor board, since there’s no way the BF would be okay with me paying as much for board on Moon as our mortgage (well, not that bad, but still $400/month in board is a lot when you have other priorities going on).
…W said she had thought about it…and if I wanted, she’d set up the front paddock for when he needs shelter, and then borrow some pasture off her neighbour for the rest of the turnout time! : O
For me??! “Well, sure!” She 100% understood and supported my determination to keep working with him over the winter, and also understood the financial constraints accompanying not only board, but then still trying to afford some lessons with her, which we not only need, we LOVE!
…She gave me a price for outdoor that made me smile. I could still afford to take WEEKLY lessons with her AND keep him at her place! If I REALLY wanted, I could cut lessons down and do the tie-stall for a great price too. But based on the ‘tubby’ comment he received when she saw him, we’re both certain he’s a really easy keeper!
Keeping Moon at W’s. I understand my initial apprehension, and I know it’ll be a longer drive then the other barn, but when I think about the quality of care (I mean, she calls him Moon’y!). She see’s how special he is to me, just like she sees how special every person in her barn’s horse is to them. And how special each of her horses, dogs, cats and rabbit are to her. She’s an animal lover. This is a place that HAND-WALKS every horse into the barn each evening. Who brings the horses in at the SAME time, not 10 one night, and not at all the next.
She feeds VERY high quality hay and rations, blankets, babies, and just adores each of them. If I had to chose someplace other then T’s that I KNEW Moon would be treated royally, it would be W’s. Of everywhere, W's feels 'like home'; it's comfortable and I just feel 'right' there.
So what if that means I drive a little further. And yes, I’m gonna feel like I’m being ‘watched’. But maybe that’s okay. What are shows, if not being watched??! What is coaching if not being watched?! Maybe this way, I can’t slack off, because she’ll SEE that! And see what we need to work on each week.
And maybe I can GET OVER MYSELF and stop being so caught up in ‘what everyone else is thinking’, every time I do something!
Yes. It was ‘right’ the instant W said she’d do it for me. And I knew I wanted it to be her, when she called him Moon’y in the barn that evening, when I found myself joking around with the other boarder, and when I caught sight of Moon’s soft, relaxed expression standing there in the barn. T’s place will always be ‘home’, but spending the winter at Aunt W’s is going to be very special.
Move-in date is October 1st (might sneak in early since we have a lesson there on September 28th anyway).
: ) Wow. I can’t believe I actually decided. And that this is going to happen!