The Story of the Big Move

Or - "Why I Feel Like A Zombie With Shin Splints"

Onward and upward!
This has been, quite possibly, one of the most exhausting weekends I've ever experienced, both physically and emotionally. As I write this on a very rainy Monday morning, I'm very happy for the fact that all I have to do today is sit at my computer to work!

But let's start with Moving Day.

We ended up having to push back the move to around 4:30pm on Saturday afternoon, giving me practically the entire day to get really anxious about it. Thankfully I was able to spend it outside in the sun with my husband, but I really wanted to just get the move over with!

It didn't take us very long at all to pack up all of my worldly possessions and four years of memories. Thankfully I had the opportunity to say goodbye to my favorite fellow boarders and friends, and true to form, Dino hopped right on the trailer, eager to see where we were going this time.

The drive itself was very uneventful, and we arrived to a very welcoming new barn owner who excitedly called out to her pony, Sully, that his new friend was here! Dino was super alert and interested, and we unloaded him so that he could get acquainted with his new roomies and scope out the farm.

Typically, when Dino meets another horse for the first time there's a lot of squealing and stamping of feet and Wild Arabian Stallion impressions. He's got a very dominant personality and generally likes to make it known that he is In Charge in any given situation. But when he and Sully met over the fence, there were no theatrics whatsoever!

Hey new friend! 
It went something like, "Oh, hey. You're a pony. I'm a pony. Wanna be besties? OK, cool."

So we let them out in the pasture together, and the two of them got along like they'd known each other forever.

Then Dino noticed the donkeys.

If you remember the story of the Killer Mini, you will recall that pretty much the only thing that will cause my pony to lose his marbles is a very small, hairy equine. The mini donks are no exception! So, to try and figure out these strange little creatures, Dino chased the poor girls around the field. I wish I had video, because it was absolutely hilarious! You could almost hear him saying, "WHAT ARE YOU!? COME BACK HERE! I DON'T UNDERSTAND YOU! WHY ARE YOU SO LITTLE AND FURRY???!!!?!?!"

He was doing his very best floaty trot the whole time, making me a little annoyed that he never moves that nicely under saddle! But eventually he stopped being preoccupied with the donks, and he and Sully settled down to graze together as good buddies do. Contrary to Dino's belief, the donkeys are actually totally adorable and sweet:

This is how a mini donk attack happens...
After putting away all of my stuff and carving out a space for myself in the cute little tack room, I said goodbye to my boy. 

Starting a new adventure together
My new barn owner is absolutely wonderful and texted me updates the whole night to let me know how he was doing! She loves Dino and kept saying what a gentleman he is and how happy she is that we are at her place. Despite knowing that this was absolutely the right move for us, it was still an extremely emotional day for me. Thankfully Michael is the best husband ever and took me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant to celebrate and relax. What a guy. I had been holding it together pretty well until I got a text stating simply, "Welcome Home." At that pointI totally lost it and started sobbing on the sidewalk. This is a good, good thing we're doing.

Then after a fitful night's sleep totaling maybe 3 hours or so... I got up at 4am to drive to Philly and run a 5K.

Last year we began a tradition of running in the Donor Dash to honor and celebrate the life of Rachel's dad who passed away after having a heart transplant. Sunday's race was a beautiful, moving, emotional event. It was awesome to be able to surround Rachel and her family with love and support, and everyone had a great time! We also had some ridiculous brunch afterwards:

Basically the most badass enchilada you've ever had with fried eggs on it. OMG.
Rachel and I were essentially ready to die after getting up so early, running the race, walking the 1 mile "Team" walk afterwards, and walking all over the city. We went home. Then I drove another hour back to my apartment, and THEN I thought it would be a good idea to go ride before I lost all momentum and collapsed into a completely useless heap. My schedule happened to align with that of my barn owner, and she graciously offered to take us out on a hack to show us the lay of the land around the farm. I couldn't pass that up on such a glorious day!

Dino was definitely still feeling a little tense when I got to the barn - those donkeys are highly suspicious and shifty. He is not very comfortable when they are out of his line of sight, and is really not okay with being in his stall without Sully, AND not being able to see the donks from inside. Thankfully he did quiet down about it while I groomed and tacked him up, but he was definitely not pleased with the situation. Peanuts helped.

Our new million-dollar view... and those crafty donks.
So, essentially we have 100+ acres surrounding the farm that are available for us to ride on. Our new friends took us on a grand tour of the crop fields (owned by us), tree farm (not owned by us), and surrounding horse properties (obviously not ours). Everyone wanted it to be a really positive experience for Dino, so Sully led the way and we mostly just walked and talked, letting the ponies take it all in. We even bushwhacked through the woods in an effort to blaze a new trail, and Dino really stepped up when Sully didn't want to go through the pricker bushes. My pony marched right through and led the way through the woods! I could feel him getting more and more confident as he started to "own" his job as a trail pony - bushwhacking his way through the underbrush and popping over little logs from a standstill. We had some trouble at a stream crossing with really deep, muddy banks, so Sully took the lead and Dino eventually went in the water even though he was really scared. Good pony! On the way home he stepped right through the stream, no problems.

As we walked, Dino got more and more relaxed - his head and neck went from fully upright and alert to low and swinging, and his ears turned to focus on me instead of any potential dangers. He was so good that we did a little trot through the tree farm, followed by a truly glorious canter up the hill through the crop fields next to the barn. I was, admittedly, a little nervous about that canter, but Dino was foot-perfect as usual. I just love my pony.

New buddies grazing that yummy grass
Of course, as soon as we got back to the barn he was on high-alert looking for the donkeys! But he was MUCH easier to put in his stall, and seems to be slowly learning that the donks are not going to kill him. I brushed him off, hosed down his muddy legs, muzzled him and turned him out to hang with Sully in the pasture until dinnertime. Dino trotted over to his buddy, and then tucked into the grass. Once in a while he would walk over to the donkeys out of pure curiosity, watch them for a while, and then go back to Sully. I'm excited that he's approaching them on his own, and hoping that his donkey anxiety will not be long-lived.

I was able to sleep long and deep last night, and while my whole body hurts today, I'm so pleased with the events of our weekend. Thanks everyone for all your love and support!


  1. Moving from one good place to another can be so.hard, but I don't think you'll regret it. Hope he settles in great. :-)

  2. What a gorgeous place! :)

  3. That place looks amazing, and the BO sounds incredible! Congrats on a successful move.

  4. Wow! I think you both will be happy with the new digs. Beautiful.

  5. Talk about a jam-packed weekend! The new place looks BEAUTIFUL!!

  6. ok Dino is crazy bc mini donks are the BEST THING EVER and i'm so jealous that you have them at your farm!!! lol seriously tho - glad everything went smoothly and it sounds like a wonderful new situation for you and the Europony :)

  7. Beautiful farm! I bet y'all will be happy there (even with the scary donks)

  8. Mini-donks in muzzles look like furry pigs!!

  9. Shin splints are awful, especially just during a marathon or a long run. I have started a blog where I write articles about shin splints and other common runner's injuries, feel free to check it out!

    Thank you, great post :)


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