Sunday, October 6, 2019

The New Barn

I mentioned previously that I was moving Gwyn to a new barn. I'm looking at potentially having a job in the near future and the prospect of going into winter while pasture boarding and really only having light to ride on weekends was looking less and less appealing.  I started putting feelers out for barns that I felt were affordable still in the event I didn't get this job (still waiting) but also had the amenities that would be nice for winter weather. I found a couple and didn't act quickly enough on several and lost the spot.

The sweet spot price range I was looking at goes quickly around here and I knew I'd need to not sit on my decision the next time an opportunity knocked. I happened to join a cold weather riding challenge and mentioned that I was unsure where my horse would be located (we were sharing our location within WA state) and someone PMed me saying they had a stall opening Oct 1 at their barn not too far from me.
 I headed out midday with Hazel to find a small private farm. They have a max of 8 horses on property. There's turnout every day and horses are stalled at night. There's both a covered arena and an outdoor arena. Most of the riders are some form of eventer or jumper. The facility is less than 10 minutes from the local eventing trainer who has the nicest cross country course around. Her trainers come to this barn regularly to give lessons. My instructor is also welcome to come teach here and Cortney can trailer in for those lessons.

 There are 4 stalls on the exterior of the covered arena (plus one for shavings storage).
This is now Gwyn's stall

 Hazel and the little girl were quick buddies and immediately went off to play together on the swing set, which is in sight of both arenas.
There's a covered wash rack with hopefully hot water once they fix the heater (on the wall on the right)
 The other barn has 4 stalls (plus one for hay storage), tack lockers and a general tack room. I'm in the general tack room and that's fine by me. I've just got my grooming box, helmet, saddle, bridle and breastcollar. I'll probably keep most ointments and stuff in a big bin in front of Gwyn's stall.
The other place was sad to see me go. They have a lot of plans, but between fighting the fungusy gunk on Gwyn's legs and thinking about the fading daylight, it made a lot of sense to move. I hope the other place is able to put in the upgrades they want. I truly wish them the best.

Gwyn's move was anticlimactic. I moved her on Thursday. Hazel came with me while I hooked up the truck and then drove into the pasture to load Gwyn. I've got a new strategy for loading her that minimizes escapes if I'm doing it all solo.

She hopped off at the new place and looked around expectantly. I brought her down to the turnout pens and she walked in and kind of eyed each of the other horses, all of whom were VERY excited to see someone new. Then she cocked a foot and watched me.
In turnout.

Barn owner A was very impressed at how calm she was. And I guess she usually is. We've gone enough places that are new and different that this has just become The Thing we do. And I have the expectation of her that she'll take it all in stride. She's definitely becoming a been there done that kind of horse and I love it.
That night I came back to ride her a bit. Kaylee came with me. The barn was BUSY! We just had a low key ride and again, Gwyn was great and relaxed.

Kaylee even got on!
Friday morning was my 3 hours of no children time so I headed out to ride. The horses had been fed breakfast but hadn't been turned out yet.

Gwyn was a bit swollen. I'm pretty sure it's due to the fungal muck that's all over her legs. On pasture she'd be walking enough to reduce this swelling but being stalled has made it worse. It was slightly warm but not alarmingly so and she wasn't fussed  by it.

So I rode anyway. The swelling did go down with light activity.
I worked on coordinating myself to be asking for contact and bend in the indoor, then realized the weather shouldn't be wasted and went to the outdoor arena.
There was a course set up with ground poles and the tiniest cross rail. So we played trotting a 'jump' course and keeping a steady trot and not rushing anything.

That was apparently really hard work, all 20 minutes of it, so she had to drink from seat puddle water.
And investigate the mirrors.
Happy, relaxed mare

 Saturday afternoon I returned with desitin (40% zinc oxide) and slathered her legs in it. The zinc should help with the fungus crud. I also dabbed some lotrimin in the worst spots too. It's what I use to get rid of thrush too. The swelling already looked better that night, so I'm thinking as she stays dry, and with an antifungal, it should go away.

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