Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Decision About AJ

But first, I ordered a new book for Lilly and should be getting it in the mail tomorrow:

Equine Fitness: A Program of Exercises and Routines for Your Horse

It got pretty good reviews on Amazon. I read through the pages available with the "Look Inside" feature and it looks like a pretty good book for getting Lilly back into shape. There's a small section on nutrition, a section about muscles and how they work, and then it goes on to explain how to condition the horse, and then keep them at that desired level of fitness. It contains a bunch of different routines and exercises to use to get the horse to the desired level.

Assuming the book is what I think it is, I'm really looking forward to having a reference I can use to set up a routine for Lilly. That way I can get her back into shape without worrying about doing too little or too much.

Regarding AJ, I think I've made a decision. I think I made the decision a few days ago but I don't want to say it out loud because then it becomes real. As much as I'm going to miss him, I think the best decision for everyone involved is to send him up to Michigan to live with my parents and Justus. That way I can make sure he's happy and taken care of to my exact specifications without the hassles of asking the people who are boarding him. If I want him to have more food, he gets more food without a 2 lb limit or any other crazy stipulations that come with boarding. He'll enjoy being with Justus and having a routine that never changes, and Justus will finally have a buddy to keep him company.

I'd like to get him up there before spring grasses start popping up, so I'm looking to move him around the first of March. Even though he's going to Michigan, it's been pretty cold down here too and if he needs it, he can wear his heavier blanket until things warm up.

I think I'm going to have him professionally hauled since the trip from here to there is about 12 hours on a good day without a trailer. I'm not sure I'd want to haul him straight through and I have no idea where I'd layover for the night. So for about $500 I can have him hauled in an air ride trailer with quite a bit more room than my gooseneck has for him, and he can travel with other horses rather than being alone.

I've got a few companies in mind, TDS Transport, SVS Horse Transport, and M & N Horse Transportation, but if anyone has used a good shipper before and you want to recommend them, I'd appreciate the info.


  1. Sounds like a good plan for AJ, even though it will be hard not to see him.

  2. Aw, it's hard, but that's a good decision. AJ will be loved, and it will be good for your parents to have him to love on.
    I used Bob Hubbard when I shipped Paj from Kentucky to Colorado, and I was very, very happy with them. Pricey but worth it.

  3. For some reason this makes me kind of emotional. Maybe I can sense how much you will miss him. I think you're probably right, though, that at this stage of his retirement it might be the right time for him to have the stability and individual attention that your parents can give him outside of a boarding situation. I'm sure he will miss you, too.


  4. It sounds like it's a good plan for AJ, you will just have to get your parents to send you lots of pictures. I used Zeigler's to ship my mare from Colorado to Florida and liked them. http://www.zeiglerlivestocktransport.com/

  5. Thanks Kate... I think AJ would like being back "home" and enjoy the milder temperatures too.

    It's definitely hard, Terry, but AJ is so special that he should be shared, right? Knowing that he'll be with my parents, though, makes it much easier. They love him quite a bit too. Thanks for the shipper info... I emailed them for a quote!

    Thanks SillyPony... I really will miss him quite a bit. I've been thinking about the whole thing a lot and realized that I've been spending a lot of time with him because of Lilly's issues. Once she's back into work and I'm showing, I think he'll end up receiving less attention than he's use to, and he would get lots of love at my parent's house. I know in my heart it's the best solution for him.

    Yankee, I told my mom pictures are mandatory for sure... and lots of them! And thanks for the shipper info. I'll be contacting them too!

  6. I dont envy you having to make that choice. Im glad that he will still have people around him that love and care about him (and you!).

  7. Many choices are hard to make, but this isn't a bad decision. I'm sure you've thought it over enough to know if it's right.

    Ask for and check references on all of the shippers. Most are good, reliable folks.

  8. It's wonderful that you have such a good option for AJ. Having made the decision to retire a horse myself, and not keep him near me, I know how hard it is. But, it sounds like it's the right decision for AJ and he'll be in the perfect place!

  9. I know you'll miss him, but he'll be so happy and so well cared for!

    I used Light Star to haul Dixie from Ohio to Nevada. She was on one of those big-air ride trailers behind a semi for most of the trip, then had a layover in California one night and back over the mountains to Nevada in a small trailer. I was very happy with them - about $1200 IIRC for a ~2000 mile trip.

    Looking forward to the book review!

  10. I know it was a tough choice, but I think you're doing right by AJ. *hugs*

  11. You made a great decision I think but it was HARD too Im sure!! I'm gonna miss seeing his cute little ears but I'm sure you'll share his pics from his 'grandma' with us!!

    Glad yall are in the new place!! It looks SO NICE!

  12. Thanks again, everyone. I really appreciate the support. Knowing that he's going home to live with my parents makes the decision much easier. I don't think I'd be able to do it if he wasn't going up there.

    Thanks for the link, Funder. I'll get a quote from them as well.

    Grandma will be expected to send pictures often, and I'll definitely share them here. :)

  13. Alright, so after looking in that book, I ordered one as well!!

    We can discuss ideas. :)

  14. You'll love it, Milo! It has cards in the back with the exercises on them that you can take with you to the barn. :)