Today was cloudy and cold, about 48 degrees, and Monday we're supposed to have a high of 91 degrees. I welcome the 91 degree weather with open arms, but I sure wish things would stabilize! One minute I think I can put the winter blankets away and the next thing I know we're under a frost warning. It's crazy!
We had lovely, normal weather yesterday but I ended up spending about 3 hours at my potential new barn and ran out of time to ride before going to work. When I spoke to the BO earlier this week on the phone, we talked for about 45 minutes. She seems really great... and actual horsewoman instead of someone who runs a boarding barn hoping to make some extra cash. She has a small, six stall barn with all the amenities and limits the number of horses she has to eight, although she prefers six. She says that way she can keep things personal and each horse can receive the kind of care she'd want her own horses to have. She has three horses of her own and one boarder currently. Lilly and Baby would be horses five and six if we moved over there.
I was very honest with her about what we're looking for. I stressed that I wanted her barn to be a good fit for us, but I also wanted our horses to be a good a fit for her. We're tired of moving and if she was adamant about not doing something that we were adamant about having, it wasn't worth it to waste her time and our time.
They have lovely white, vinyl fencing, a large arena, a 60 ft round pen, numerous large paddocks with shelters, and plenty of free trailer parking. When I asked her about feed and turnout, she said "well, that depends on your horse..." Ahhh, music to my ears! Lilly would be turned out with whatever horse she did best with and she would be fed what I wanted her to be fed. She does beet pulp in the fall/winter/spring too, so that's a definite plus. She even has alfalfa hay in the barn that she'll feed Lilly.
M said she visited this place when she first moved to the area and wasn't impressed with the BO, but I'm not sure how that can be. She's going to go over in the next few days and talk to the BO again. Hopefully she agrees with me and we can give notice at our current place.
Despite the icky weather, I went over to the barn to ride. M met me there and we both worked our horses, which was nice. Usually I'm there all by myself, so it was fun to have company. The second pair of eyes is good so she can yell at me to sit back when I'm cantering. :)
I've actually been riding my new horse, Ellie. She looks exactly like Lilly, but she has better manners and doesn't do all the things Lilly does. Since I'm riding Ellie and not Lilly, I'm not anticipating my new horse shooting into the canter like a rocket or staying 10 steps ahead of my commands and not paying attention to a thing I ask. Ellie is a much more relaxed, happy horse that doesn't try to be boss mare over me, her new owner.
We worked on our usual warm-up exercises and even though it was chilly, she was very focused and M comment on how calm and sleepy she looked. Is it from the new attitude, or is it from the change in feed and supplements, or is it a combination of all of them? Either way, it's good!
We had some really nice canter transitions and even some nice canter strides. M would yell at me to sit back and Lilly, I mean Ellie, would settle into a nice canter until we got to the corner and then she'd speed up. I know she still has a lot of muscle to develop before she's able to carry herself for very long without needing help, but I'm seeing definite progress. The big change in me is that after our stellar canter, I made her do it AGAIN. Oh the horror! "Yep, that's good, but let's do it again!"
Plans have been finalized for next weekend's show in Johnston County. I have to work, so I can't show and I can't stay all day, but M is going to haul Baby and Lilly in her trailer to and from the show so I can spend as much time there as possible. Alex is going to meet me there just in case this new horse of mine decides she wants to scream and cry for her friend. I'll have some help to work me through what I need to do. Of course I don't anticipate Ellie doing any such thing, but just in case.