November is National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo) and I thought it would be fun to post using the alphabet as a guide for blog titles this month. I will start at A and go to Z with the option to not post four days out of the month (yesterday being the first of those four days). My goal is to also provide media with the posts, so you can look at pretty pictures too.
I have not been real happy at Silver Quarter Acres. Not because the barn is bad - I and Ashke were treated very well there - but it just wasn't a good fit. The barn is located in a curve of a canal, so the view from Ashke's stall was a large, grass covered wall, the ground was clay and the runs were wet whenever there was rain (and it's been rainy this year). The BO was awesome about doing whatever they could to help mitigate the issue (rock and gravel added to the runs yearly), but there's not much you can do when you are located in a flood plain. The trail across the street I was so excited about became not so exciting the fourth or fifth time we rode it. I had hoped getting back to the Fairmont and Ralston Creek trails was easier and more convenient to reach than it was in reality. I also didn't really make any friends, other than C, and when she left, I really had no one to talk to. Don't get me wrong, everyone was really nice, but to go back to having no one to ride with was depressing.
Ashke didn't seem happy either. He wasn't in turnout, mostly because being released into the round pen four days a week isn't turn out to me, and his run was fairly small. He did get along with the horses on either side, but he wasn't grooming or playing the way he has in the past. There have been several days when I arrived and he was standing in his stall with his head in a corner. He hated the indoor and wasn't much better in the outdoor. It just never felt like he settled in well. He fought me pretty much every arena ride and seemed to be more and more unhappy in his stall. When he was inside he had no visual connection to any horses, because the stalls were built to house a stallion, with nine foot high, solid wood walls.
I started looking for a new place a few months ago. We went out and toured a barn that I really liked. I got on the waiting list, but it seemed like it could be months before we would be able to move in. I kept looking just to see what was out there: I had to have an indoor, wanted some sort of outdoor riding access, and he needed a stall with a run by himself.
Then SQA raised their rates. At the beginning of winter when I needed to add blanketing to my ala carte selection and made them the same price as TMR. The reason I moved from TMR is because I don't want to pay over $600 a month and now I was in the same boat as a year ago. My search intensified and I found a private facility about a quarter mile from my first choice (waiting list) for a barn. J and I went out and toured the facility and made the decision to move Ashke. His run was twice the size of SQA, he could see the horses on either side of him even when inside, he had a view of the surrounding fields and far distant mountains (we thought it was pretty) and they would feed him his bucket feed once a day. With the extra charge for blanketing and trailer parking, it was $450 a month. Plus, the facility is a family's home farm, with ducks, chickens, dogs, sheep, horses and rabbits to listen to/watch. The only drawback was no shavings in the stall. Ashke will have to learn to sleep on hard ground and pee in the sand. Neither of which was optimal, but I could live with it until the barn I really wanted to move to had an opening for me. Our plan was to move in on November 1st.
Then my first choice of a barn called and offered a stall with a run starting December 1st. I couldn't stay at SQA for an additional month (meaning move one time to the new barn) so we talked to the open at the private facility. She was completely fine with us moving in for one month. So, that is the plan. One month at the new facility and then a move to a barn a quarter mile away.
Ashke seemed snorty and intrigued when we disembarked off the trailer.
The stall was being disinfected when we arrived, so we did a bit of a walk-about.
K had come with to see the area.
Looking west from the farm.
The view from his run. Much better than the Wall of Dirt.
The view north.
Okay, I know you are going to see this and think, ugh, but I look out over this and am reminded of the country I grew up in. This is prime riding area with dirt roads, hay fields and some wide open spaces.
Ashke's run is thirty feet by sixteen. Much bigger.
There is a mash feed bin that rotates out so the mash can be dumped in.
Me outside taking a pic. J inside taking a pic of me.
Ashke enjoying his mash.
There was a mare that had just moved into the run next to Ashke. They had touched noses exactly twice. He fell madly in love in a total of five minutes and when her owner took her out on a walk about Ashke lost his ever-loving mind.
I'm very impressed in his ability to canter in a 5m circle.
Inside eating before the mare was taken out of her run.
Outside being silly about the mare. Oh, and nipping me on the shoulder in order to make his Highness' displeasure known. (Only my shirt.)
My tack trunk with the grey tack box on top. The western saddle is not mine.
My feed bin with bucket and spoon. There are 21 bags of feed in that box.
The left side of the indoor as seen from the entrance door from our part of the barn.
Straight forward from the entrance.
To the right from the entrance.
Final shot in the sequence. It may be a couple of weeks before we get to use it, however.
Wash stalls. Outside, yes, but with water from the house so hot water is available.
Ashke had settled and was eating when we left. I will go out tonight to check on him. For now, I think he is in a good place.