Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The New Place

Lilly is settling in nicely at her new home. So far she's transitioning well on the grass, and the barn manager (we'll call her J) has been keeping track of all her turnout time on the white board. She's up to an hour and a half, three times a day. So far she's looking really good! I think the grass, along with the constant access to hay while she's in her stall (through her slow feeder net), has been good for her. It provides a more 'natural' environment for her digestive system, and she hasn't started gaining any weight. At least not yet.

Doesn't she look great!?
She's being turned out in a little pasture on the front side of the barn. It still has a lot of grass in it, but it works better for them regarding her turnout. I've heard she's been a bit of a booger when it's time to come back inside, but who would want to leave the green grass to stand in a stall?

Current pasture.
Once her turnout time is increased and she's been transitioned to the grass, she'll get a much larger pasture out back behind the barn, and she'll be next to the boys. There aren't any outdoor shelters but they all have very large trees that will provide them shade if they need it. Because of the 12/12 turnout rotation and the fact that they bring them in when it's going to storm, I'm not too concerned that she doesn't have shelter. Normally that's a must have for me when looking for a barn, but I've never really had this kind of dedicated care before either.

This will be Lilly's pasture when she's ready for full time turnout.
I haven't ridden her at the new place yet because I just haven't had time. I've longed her in the indoor a couple times, though, to watch her move and make sure she's not getting foot sore. There isn't a round pen, so I had to dig through my stuff and find an actual longe line. I wasn't sure how she'd do since we haven't longed that way in years, but she was fantastic. I'm looking forward to our first ride!

Nice and big, with plenty of room to longe and ride.
No one really uses the outdoor arena, but I plan to ride in there quite often. I enjoy being outside, so as long as it's not super hot or rainy, that's probably where we'll be. I don't think we've ever worked in a grass ring before, so I'll be curious to see how she does with that kind of footing. The thing is huge and I love that I don't have to zigzag around jumps. We can do whatever we want!

Giant, and oh so green!
I've taken over one corner of the tack room with my equipment, but it's a very large area and they told me I could take up however much space I wanted. Of course I plan to expand, but for now I'm trying to keep myself under control.

Tack trunk and western saddle!
Something else I've never had before... mirrors in the indoor! They're a bit dirty, so I might not be able to keep my OCD under control for much longer. The Windex might travel with me to the barn one of these days. Lilly is hysterical with these. She sniffs and sniffs and sniffs and sniffs (you get the picture) the mirrors trying to figure out who is in the arena with her. I have to drag her away, otherwise she'd stand there all day sniffing.

Greetings blogosphere!
I mentioned there were four other horses at the barn. Two mares and two geldings. One of the mares is a Clydesdale named Manda, and the other is a Percheron cross named Sabrina. Sabrina is super anti-social and wouldn't come close enough for me to get her picture, but Manda said she'd allow one photo, as long as I photographed her 'good side'.

Manda, posing for the camera.
The boys tried to be social, but the fence is pretty high, so they did the best they could. Dakota is the big Appy and Dobbins is the black QH. They're both very sweet. Dobbins is still recovering from a pelvic fracture he suffered when a herd of horses spooked, slammed into him, and knocked him to the ground. He's doing pretty well, but it's been a long recovery.

"Did you bring us treats?"
All in all, I'm happy with the move. I'm having to learn to let go a little bit, which is hard for me. I'm normally super anal with my horse's care, and I just don't trust those taking care of my girl. Past experiences have taught me not to trust. J is super nice, but a bit more controlling than I'm used to and I'm a little afraid I might have gone from one extreme to the other. So far since moving Lilly, J has given her a bath and bought her a new halter. She's also called me about Lilly's supplements twice, telling me what I should do to change them, and which ones she no longer needs. I just thank her for her input, but let her know I'm happy with the way things are for now. The bath thing had me really upset for a while, but I've let it go. If it happens again, or I notice they start changing stuff without asking me, then we're going to have to chat.

Life is good!
On the positive side, though, she always has hay, water, and ankle deep shavings. When she's outside she has her fly mask on and is sprayed with my fly spray. There's never more than one pile of manure in her stall at any given time, and she seems very happy. I guess there's no harm in having a concerned barn manager as long as she remembers at the end of the day, Lilly is my horse.

18 comments:

  1. I wish someone would bath my horses for me! LOL

    Actually though, I really do see your point. Lilly does belong to you and she even though she owns the barn, there have to be mutual boundaries in a boarding relationship. I feel like this is especially true, when it comes to something as important as food.

    I will say that she does look fabulous!

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    1. My hubby said it's about time I get something extra for all the money I pay! I just wish she would have asked me about the bath first.

      I completely agree. Taking care of my horse is one thing, but taking over my horse is another. I want to make sure she doesn't end up doing the latter.

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  2. I hope the transition to grass continues to go well. Many horses do great on a grass/hay only diet.

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    1. Thanks, me too! She's still on the Enrich 32 but I might be able to re-evaluate that at a later date as well.

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  3. Barn managers are paid to do just that.... manage the barn. That includes making sure everything from the horses to the facility to the pastures are in tip top condition. I would step back, take a deep breath, and reassess the situation if I were you. Giving a horse in her care a bath is NO BIG DEAL and actually quite normal in most "full care" or smaller, more all-inclusive facilities. I don't think you would be happy either if your horse showed up with heat rash or some sort of fungus/skin issue, or God-forbid overheat, become dehydrated and colic from being grungy, sweaty, overheated and dirty and not getting cooled down with a nice little shower or bath. I understand that you are used to more "self care" type places but most professional barns do give horses under their care baths. The supplement thing- she wants what is best for the horses under her care. Period. That is her JOB. I would take her recommendations into consideration because she has probably managed the care of more horses than you have. The buying her a new halter thing... there are many barns that provide halters for the use of their boarders in order to maintain a uniform, professional look. If that is not the case at this barn, then she may have just found some on a crazy sale (Dover had some nylon halters on clearance for literally 5 dollars the other day) and decided to buy one for Lilly as a friendly, welcoming gesture. PLEASE do not continue to take every kind, thoughtful, and NORMAL gesture this woman does for your horse AS PART OF HER JOB as her "hijacking your horse". I normally don't comment on your blog (have been reading for a while), but this really struck the wrong chord with me, someone who has been boarding with barns on the A circuit for many years.

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    1. You're right... her job is to manage the barn and the horses in it. I get that, and I said I'm learning to let go and be a little less controlling about who is doing what with my horse. This barn is a lot different from the barns I've boarded at before. But you know what? Lilly is MY horse and everything that happens with MY horse is MY call. What happens when she bathes her with something Lilly is allergic to? What happens when she sprays her with an oil base fly spray and it causes Lilly to break out in hives? What happens when she decides to stop giving her the ulcer supplements and we go back to having serious digestive issues?

      I don't care who you are, where you've boarded, or what horses you've managed. You don't go changing things with MY horse without asking ME first. She never told me she might bathe my horse as a service to me, but if she had, I probably would have agreed to it. Instead, she called to say, "By the way, I bathed Lilly today... hope you don't mind."

      You know what else? I've owned this horse for her entire life, so I'm pretty sure I know what's best for her. This barn manager has known Lilly for a whole week. That's not enough time to know anything about what's best for my horse. Not her supplements or anything else about her.

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  4. Its a beautiful place! I have found that the less "fancy" and heavily boarded tend to be the nicest places of all! Yours is clean and seems quiet, I hope (I think) you will have a good time there!

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    1. Thanks, Milo! I hope so too! It's like a big, fancy barn without all the big, fancy drama. They only want to have a total of 6 horses, so it should stay nice and quiet. Just the way I like it!

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  5. Wait..she bathed your horse... like really? I'm sure she probably didn't mean anything by it, maybe she's just that good of a barn manager, but I would probably be a little annoyed at the very least. Maybe that is a common thing with "barns on the A circuit" (hell, I wouldn't know), but that is strange. As a fellow horse mom of a horse with skin allergies, this would especially be a no, no in my book. I don't think it's wrong of you to be a little upset. Then to have her go on about supplements and telling you what YOUR horse needs...yeah, THAT would be a big deal to me. How long has this lady know your horse? A week? lol

    For what it's worth, I don't think your over-reacting (and don't you just love people who show up out of nowhere an play devil's advocate? ;) I'd probably play my cards wisely and see if she backs off and if she doesn't I'd definitely have "a talk."

    On a completely different note, I LOVE LOVE LOVE mirrors in the indoor at Missy's barn. Trust me, you'll grow to feel the same way. They can be so helpful!

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    1. I must say, I freaked out about the bath! Maybe it's a Paint horse owner thing, Mare, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that's weird! Like you, I'm worried about what she washed her with because of her sensitive skin.

      I've been doing pretty much what you suggested... I let it go, but I'm watching to see how things progress. Maybe she's trying to make a good impression on me because I'm new, but I'm hoping the newness will wear off and she'll just take care of my girl without crossing those boundaries.

      I'm definitely excited about the mirrors. I'll be able to see how we look as we're riding for a change. Usually I have to record myself and then find time to watch the videos, but now I can glace over at the wall. :)

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  6. The grass is SO pretty at that place! Lilly girl def looks content with herself, and her new 'mates' are too cute!

    Yeah, um, the bm is coming off a little creepy to me, hope it doesn't get so bad you have to leave! Can't wait to hear bout your first ride!

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    1. They definitely have nice grass at this place. Plus with all the rain we keep getting, it just gets greener and greener!

      Me either... I don't want to move again!!

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  7. That's a little creepy... but she looks great and the place seems gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you! I'm enjoying it so far. :)

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  8. Its very possible that your new BM is a little board with only having 5 horses to look after. I agree she should have asked you first but She's probably just trying to help Lilly settle in. Its a really nice place though!

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    1. She doesn't stay there all day, though... she feeds in the morning and then goes back home during the day. I could see if she had to spend all day there, because then she might be looking for something to do to pass the time. I'm more upset that she didn't let me know ahead of time.

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  9. I'm with you on the bath thing.. I would lose my mind if my barn manager brought Jingle in and bathed him without my consent or me there. haha I don't think that's controlling at all, and I also think it's super weird.

    I am pretty aligned with you, my Barn Manager thinks that she's all of the horses like.. mother, whereas we are their owners. It's caused me a lot of grief and frustration, because no... I am his "mother" as well as owner, and then when it comes down to it, she chooses the things she wishes to do, even if i tell her otherwise. very annoying.

    The facility does look beautiful though and perhaps in time you two will figure eachother out. She probably just has nothing to do since there's so few horses there.

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    1. It's very frustrating! You want someone taking care of your horse who cares about him/her because that's when you get the best care, but there's a fine line. I can't stand it when my wishes go unanswered or are changed without telling me.

      Hopefully once we've been there a while and the newness of Lilly is gone, things will be more normal.

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