New friends! 
About a week or so ago, Dino and I made the move to a new barn that is not only a mere 7 minutes from my house,  but also boasts show-barn quality care (even for the field boarders!) AND gorgeous indoor and outdoor arenas. It is, hands down, the fanciest place I've ever boarded. I've been pinching myself daily to remember that yes, this is real. It's a major upgrade for us.

The move itself went as smoothly as possible, despite pulling into the farm just a few minutes before sunset. Dino made introductions with his new herdmates with great civility like the classy gentleman he is, and after some squealing and a very small amount of running around, all three of them settled down to graze. It was a zero-drama event, which is how I prefer my new herd introductions to go.

Dino not caring what anyone else is doing, as per usual. 
I managed to fit nearly the entirety of my embarrassingly large collection of tack into my allotted storage spaces, with the exception of my western saddle. I think it's going to have to live in the shed storage down in the run-in instead of in the climate-controlled tack room, but that's a compromise I can live with! My tack locker and blanket storage areas still need a lot of organizing, but everything fits and is easily accessible, which is the important part!

This cat approves of my tack trunk. I approve of the cat. 
Dino has been settling in well, but I expected nothing less from my ever-composed, go-with-the-flow pony. He's been taking in all of the new sights, sounds, and routines like a champ, and has seamlessly adapted to his new living situation.

So far, it's been absolutely ideal for both of us. Dino gets to live outside in a small herd and get absolutely filthy as he is accustomed, and I am really, REALLY enjoying the fact that I only have to drive SEVEN MINUTES to get there. I think my husband might be getting a little sick of my "See you in exactly seven minutes!!!" phone calls when I leave the barn at night. AND I have an outdoor WITH FOOTING AND JUMPS, AND AN INDOOR WITH MAGICAL DUSTLESS CLOUD FLUFF ON THE FLOOR AND SHINY MIRRORS AND LIGHTS AND DOORS THAT CLOSE AND SPEAKERS TO PLAY MUSIC WHILE I RIDE. The fact that this facility is mine to use every day and isn't something that requires a trailer ride and a ring fee is mind boggling to me. As a bonus, every boarder and member of barn staff that I've met so far has been SO friendly and welcoming, and has made me feel right at home and a part of the barn community. I honestly couldn't have dreamed up a better situation for Dino and I. Literally the only drawback is that my Orchard Hill family isn't there, too!

Beautiful, warm, cozy barn aisle for grooming! An indoor wash stall! SUCH LUXURY!

PINCH. ME. This indoor y'all. It's beautiful.
Access to two beautiful arenas also means that I'm able to ride all winter long. Really ride - not just 20 minute bareback walks through the cold and the dark. While I'm at a little bit of a loss as to what to do with myself with this newfound freedom from the elements of nature, I'm bound and determined to use this opportunity to get both Dino and I back in fighting form this winter. We are both definitely very out of shape (30 minutes of flatwork is a challenge for both of us), but we've got a lot of cold, dark months ahead to slowly build our fitness back up.

Can you tell it was raining that day and that Dino no longer has any topline to speak of?
On that front, I've been trying hard to vary our workouts in the ring to avoid Dino's typical sour attitude about working inside the confines of a fenced arena. In a little over a week, we've done a couple dressage schools, some easy, fun jumping over cavaletti, crossrails, and flower boxes, a lunging day (homeboy was WILD!), and a ride or two where I just made sure the go button was working while riding without stirrups or in two point, and quit after about 20 or 30 minutes of compliant work. The farm has been too wet for hacking lately, so I've been making the effort to do ringwork that's fun and easy for Dino to keep morale up. On the agenda in the coming weeks will be bareback and western rides, and hopefully some trail riding once all this mud dries up! I'm also open to suggestions of fun things to do inside to keep Dino engaged and interested in the work - finally teaching him to go bridleless is another possible project for this winter, as well as busting out the clicker to do some trick training again.

In his natural habitat.
While moving barns can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, I have no doubts that this move was the absolute best thing I could have done for Dino and I at this time in our partnership! I can't wait to share with you all where we go from here!


  1. It sounds perfect! Congratulations!

  2. I plan on tying bridleless work with marley too this winter! And also planning on getting a membership to BCHP to gallop the airstrip once every other week or so to build up some stamina and muscle. Maybe some grid work in the ring? I have lots of different setups I’ve been wanting to try! We’ll have some fun and get in shape.. I have no doubts! Welcome friends! ��

  3. So so so so freaking happy for you! How perfect in countless ways.

  4. What an awesome opportunity for you both!

  5. How cool! I'm so excited for you! I am on the same plan of actually getting to work my horse all winter to see how good it makes him in the spring!

  6. That's so exciting! Riding all year round! My stepmom just got a horse that we're sharing, and he's also boarded literally 7 minutes from my house at a barn with an indoor. Yay for winter riding!

  7. Yay! Congrats, it looks beautiful!

  8. This sounds like an amazing set up for both of you! Huge congrats for finding such a great place :)

  9. I love when barn cats come and make home in my trunk - that's been missing at my current barn and the last one, lack of barn kitties >:[

    But yay your new barn sounds awesome. I love how close it is to your home and I would be doing exactly as you do "SEE YOU IN 7 MINUTES!!!"


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