Today is the big day. Hopefully.
I left W a message about hauling out of her barn on Friday for trail riding...but forgot to leave my work number, so I won't hear if it's okay until we get there for my evening lesson. I'm *thinking* it's not a big deal, but I still have memories from an old coach who REFUSED to allow horses to come or go off of her property. Whether you owned them or not. Hence, no one there showed, which considering W has a bit of a show barn going on, I'm thinking no issue. But still I fret (cause that's what I do).
If we can't haul him out on Friday, then he'll stay at T's until the weekend. I don't want that, but I've already promised T I'd ride with her, so that's that.
Hence, tentatively it's 3 hours until Moon is at his new home. I'm nervous and excited and a good part of me doesn't even believe this is actually happening.
Yesterday I felt like I was someone else, packing up my gear. I spent an hour with the vacuum removing all the hair from my new saddle (apparently she last used in during shedding season). Then like the nutter I am, I took a tooth brush and scrubbed the entire thing. Every stitch, inside, the gullet plate, the buttons. Everything.
The added benefit was that I was able to check for any flaws or damages. There's some rubs in spots, but nothing serious or concerning. The missing screw is not stripped, just missing. I'm gonna have to hunt a new one down, as it's not overly functional without it.
After the cleaning, it looked great. Even the BF said it looked way better and when he compared it to others for sale online, thought I got a swell deal.
Since I still had some time, I whipped downstairs and sewed up a saddle cover for it, in a dark blue fleece. To make it look a little extra special, I found two embroidered initials, and added them to the cover to give it a 'monogrammed' look. : ) I'm pretty proud of the final product. Now it won't get all dusty sitting around.
Without the gullet screw and a girth, I probably won't ride in it today. I did find my aussie girth is a 32", so it *might* work in the mean time...We're headed to Calgary in a week, so I'll probably do some shopping then.
I pulled my new Schneider's blanket out and was impressed so far. The quality seems good, but I was too worried about it getting covered in dog hair to have a really good look at it...which is dumb, since tonight it will become covered in horse hair!
I've got my stall plaques. I didn't get around to making the quick release halter...I don't know if I need some trailer ties or w/e for tying him up at night. I don't know if I'll even have a saddle rack! Just one? Or two? Does he need his feed bucket? What about a water bucket? What gear should I be bringing?!
I'm starting to feel like *maybe* I should have actually asked W some of these things! I haven't a clue on any of it. And I still have to deworm him tonight before we leave! Plus the BF is in a course, so I have to head home and THEN to the barn, so it'll take a little extra time there.
I've also spent most of the morning hunting for a special poem or quote for T's Thank-you card...except can't find any that feel right! Oye.
I grabbed some fluorescent paper and made up two "Emergency Contact Info" papers for Moon. I think I will tack one below his stall sign maybe, and one just inside my tack box. I really think these are important to have quick and easy access to.
Oh the nerves! I'm sure I'm going to be an absolute disaster in today's lesson. How can one concentrate on shoulder-in when their horse is moving into a stall in a nice barn with an indoor?! I can't!! This is my kid-dream. I've imagined this day a thousand times, and there's zero way I can relax.
I get to try on his new blanket and hood! (hopefully which fit!). His new saddle and fleece pad! Aurgh! So much new and exciting! He's MY pony!
Filling mental space in my head: lalalaladeedaaawhoopielalalala....
I can hardly sit still. Can't think still. Must get to barn. Must see pony. Must move pony in. So exciting!
And you still have to wait 5 hours to find out how it goes!
The day has come and gone. The "Big" Day. It's over. Complete. And now there's new things to keep our attention.
Yesterday was awesome. T met me at her place, we chatted and then loaded up. It was a bit of a sad drive, as I led in my car and she followed with the truck and trailer. She reminded me again that this wasn't forever and that I'm always welcome to the trailer. It still won't be the same without her company.
We unloaded Moon at W's and headed into the barn for our lesson. I was saddened to learn that one of the horses in the barn that had been ill for a few weeks passed away, which is always tragic and unfortunate.
W hadn't yet had an opportunity to build Moon's new stall, so the mare Sierra was moved into the large 12x20 box stall of the mare that had passed on (the vet diagnoses it as cancer), and Moon was given her 12x12 box stall for the remainder of the week. His new digs should be built on the weekend, and in the end, this is the perfect transition. Give him time to adjust in the more spacious quarters and then move him.
I have to say, it was pretty awesome to see him in that great big box stall : ) It's probably the only time in the next 5 years or more that he'll ever be in such a nice stall, so I'll really have to appreciate it while it lasts.
: ) I should add, that one of the girls that works part-time for W saw Moon and said "Is he a pony?" Oye! I LOVE my MoonSox, and find him to be the PERFECT height, but true facts state that he's about 2" from being a pony. : P Poor guy.
We headed into our lesson, and it was obvious that both Moon and I were stiff. We lacked the smooth-like-butter feeling of last week, where he felt soft and slow in my hands. After a ton of leg yielding, 3-loop serpentines and turn on the fore, he started to come around and really offered me a lovely trot with both impulsion and flexion.
I admit, I remained the stiff one, and need to relax. I'm hoping to start bringing my ipod with me to the barn, and just using the rhythm and music. Plus, then it's like Dressage freestyle, which is awesome. : )
After our lesson, T told me that we are looking so improved. She hasn't seen us ride in months now, and that was a huge compliment. It means a ton to me that our changes are clearly visible, though I know that he feels so wonderful.
It was at this point, that Moon had to move into the stall. I unclipped him, no lead rope and wandered into his stall. He followed like a gentleman, walked around, munched some hay, and then I stepped out.
And he tried to walk out with me. Nope, sorry bud. Closed the stall door, and he tried chest bumping it. "Um, excuse me. I can't get the door open" he was looking at me to say.
When he realized that he wasn't getting out, he got a little agitated, pacing, splashing his water bucket and shoving his head out the door with big worried eyes.
T and I went back to my car and loaded up with his tack trunk, bucket of blankets and remaining gear. W had cleared us a saddle rack and bridle hook and we had a small space for our gear. I hung Moon's stall plaque on his stall, and hung his bridle on the hook.
T headed off after a final kiss on the nose to Moon and a promise to be back the next day for our regular trail ride. After she left, I realized I had forgotten to give her the 'thank-you' gift and dashed down the driveway after her. Handed her the envelope, grabbed my new blanket from the trunk and headed back to the barn.
The barn was warm. I hadn't realized it before, but it was probably 10 degrees or more warmer then outside. Mmmmm...toasty. The lights were on in the arena, and it was bright and comfortable at the same time.
I took the Moon'er out of his stall to try on his new blanket. I didn't drag the hood with me (didn't know where we were going to keep it), but figured this was a good place to start.
I have to say, I'm pretty pleased. Not sure if I should have gone with a 78", but I think the 76" is right. It's Moon that's a little wrong : P
The length seemed perfect, the belly band wrapped around great. Love that it was made to cover a little further up. The tail flap velcro'd on, so I can remove it if I want. The hardware was all good quality too.
I REALLY like the V-Free neck. Moon has a high wither and a curved back, and the V-free fit better through his back then ANY other blanket I've seen on him. I was thoroughly impressed. The adjustable neck, which was a selling feature for me, was actually not as advantageous as I had hoped. It SEEMS that Moon must have a pretty low-set neck, as it seemed to pinch/pull a bit when he tried to put his head down, even with the velcro neck straps completely undone. This is what makes me feel like he needs a larger size, but when I look at him front-to-back, the length is PERFECT. He really just seems to have a low neck and would have done better with a slight v-cut out of the front panel. Unfortunately, since it's a solid front (no velcro/straps), there's no gap there.
In the end, I'm happy. It's not perfect, but no blanket is. He'll be nice and warm, and since he won't be chowing down a ton out in the paddock (there's not really any grass...and then it's winter), he should be very cosy.
Other awesome features? I LOVE that the loop end of the surcingle straps have little elastics in them! So you can do them up snug, but they still expand with the horse's chest and such. Never seen a blanket with that before, and I'm a huge fan!
They came with the little rubber rings to keep the surcingles done up. Nice addition. The coloring is nice (black doesn't show dirt!), the material seems strong. It has some loops around the neck for the hood, which I need still to try on. I got the 2011 hood and the 2010 blanket, so some modifications may be needed...
Leg straps came with it, has nice darts in the legs for movement. Cute "SStack" lining in it. And the drop of the blanket even covered Moon's big belly. : ) I'm pleased!
And the closed front and putting it on him? He did not care at all, despite being a little worked up from the move. Score!
He refused an apple, so I put him back in his stall. Sprayed him quickly with the blue spray as he ripped his shoulder cut open again (and bled on me), and then W's mom came in to give out the evening hay. Happy Moon'er.
The other girls in the barn, J and A (??) with their horses Point and Ebony were there, and W was showing off my stall plaque! In the end, W placed 2 orders and J placed one! I now have to get some wood and start woodburning!!! They were bugging me that I could make tons of them and sell them to keep up my board payments! lol. Now how many do I need to make a month to pay for Moon's board?? Maybe this can be the start of my competition fund?!
But now, I don't know how much to charge for them! They both bought without any price, and I haven't a clue what's reasonable! Anyone have any ideas?
Then I had a muffin one of the girls had brought for us, looked at my watch and discovered I'd best be headed home! It was already after 9, and I had been at the barn since I left work!
One more kiss on the nose for Moon, and then out the door.
Today, I'm gonna try and get some more pics (didn't want the flash going off during lessons, since you could see it from the arena due to his stall placement!). The girl is picking up her new CAIR girth tonight, and then I'm gonna try on Moon's new boots for the trail ride today and tomorrow. And the HOOD, so you guys can see some pics and get a review on that (since it's blanket buying season now!).
: ) So far no worried calls from W, so I'm thinking he's settled in nicely and hasn't managed to kill his pasture mates...yet. : P ...or vice versa : O
Tonight, trail ride. Tomorrow, Pembina Valley trail ride. Saturday, our first arena ride. Soo excited!
Oh! And I tried him in his new merino 1/2 pad (just the pad alone, no baby pad or anything), and really like it! You NEED to use the billet straps, but it looked nice and seemed comfortable for him. Plus, it didn't seem to get as grossly sweaty as the others (sheepskin helping to regulate the heat?).
And no, he hasn't tried the new saddle yet. I have to find a replacement gullet screw before I ride in it, and still have to measure for a girth! Whops! Lots to do tonight!
Oh, and apologies for the 14 page post : P