Always An Orchard Hill Girl

A piece of my heart will always live on the Hill.
When I first moved Dino to Orchard Hill, I did so with a lot of trepidation. It was so different from any other barn situation I'd been in, despite being the Fanciest Shedrow In Bucks County, and at first he was even terrified of his mini donks. I wondered what I had done, and if this would work out for us. But within a few weeks, I saw my pony start to bloom there - mentally, physically, and emotionally - and I hoped that Orchard Hill would be our last move before I bought my own farm and Dino came home to live out his days in my backyard. I made lasting friendships with Sully's Mom and Kim, and I treasure them like sisters. Boarding there changed my riding in ways I could never have imagined, and I became braver and bolder and my bond with Dino strengthened.

However, Life Is Change.

Instead of the 10 acre farm I wanted, we bought a 2 acre plot in a neighborhood where I can't have horses in the backyard. And as absolutely perfect as it is in every other way, being a 35-40 minute drive from the Hill began to wear on me as the months went by. I found myself dreading the drive out to the barn, and skipping it on days when I knew I couldn't ride. Because what was the point of spending over an hour in the car if I was only going to be there for a few minutes to scratch Dino on the neck and give him a treat? There have been no more "quick" visits to the barn over the past year, I'm not there as much as I want to be and yet away from home even more, and I'm feeling the strain.

Even so, I wasn't actively looking for anywhere to move Dino. I didn't put out feelers on the local Facebook groups, I didn't ask friends or coworkers, and I didn't look for ads for boarding barns. Dino loves it at Orchard Hill, and who was I to seek to move him from a place where he was so happy? I could tough it out.

Teammates for life
After helping Best Barn Girl Jess move her boy Charlie to a new place just ten minutes down the road from me, I started thinking about moving again. Her new barn seemed to have wonderful care, the owners were kind and devoted, and all of the horses exuded a calm, peaceful energy. It was a place you wanted to linger in, and the owners told me I'd be welcome as soon as another stall opened up - which one did soon after I met them. But Dino would have to live in a stall there instead of roaming around outside 24/7 as he's become accustomed to, and I worried that he wouldn't be happy living that way. I never called about the stall. My gut told me to wait.

A few weeks later, I found out what I was waiting for. One of the barns that my veterinary practice cares for had a field board opening at their incredible facility. It was the same price that I was paying at Orchard Hill, plus they had a beautiful indoor, an outdoor, space to ride outside, and the farm was an easy hack to the huge state park nearby. And it was 7 minutes from my house.

Always arranged from Tall to Small
My heart was already made up before I saw the farm, but my visit there sealed the deal. The barn manager was one of the most lovely people I'd ever met, and she and I got along instantly. I knew two girls that boarded there from past barns, and liked them a lot, too. The horses were all fat, shiny, happy, and calm. The farm itself was so peaceful and inviting and clean and beautiful, and I knew at once that this would be our next home.

As excited as I am to start this new adventure with Dino and have access to such an amazing facility so close to home, it's a bittersweet move. I love Orchard Hill and the people and horses there more than anything. I love the animals like they are my own, and the girls there have become family. While moving is absolutely the right decision for us at this time, I'm going to miss them all fiercely.

I might be moving, but I will always, always be an Orchard Hill Girl.


  1. things change and changes can be fun and exciting! and having dino close to you will be lovely and fantastic.

    so excited for you!! DO A BARN TOUR.

  2. Indoor? You had me at INDOOR. WOW. SO excited for you and Dino. I know it will be a bittersweet move but so close to Dino. YAY!

  3. aw changes like this are so hard - you have such a great barn family!! it sounds really exciting tho - the change in commute can make a HUGE difference, as may the change in facilities. i'm excited to see what can happen when you've got proper riding surfaces all year round!!

  4. Very excited for you! Moving and change is definitely difficult, but it sounds like a wonderful place to move to. You MUST provide us with tons of pictures and a walkthrough of the place!

  5. Oohhh how very exciting!!! This is such a great update. Yay for you two!

  6. So bittersweet. But the new place sounds about as perfect as a place can be! I hope the move goes easily for you guys!

  7. Any long commute to the barn is a tough one, on the one hand we love our horses and commuting to them versus someplace we don't love is a heck of a lot easier. On the other hand as you stated a commute like that can really take a toll and turn our thoughts sour. I totally empathize with you. So exciting you found a new place, so close to home that ticks off the necessary boxes and then some!


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