Thursday, June 2, 2011

big news!

I am very excited to share some big news with you all.

On the first of July, Lucy will be moving to a new barn, where she will have oodles of grass turnout to run herself silly all day long so that hopefully I won't have to deal with as much nonsense.

As with everything, there are pros and cons to this move:


-Lucy will have a much bigger space to move around in
-There is grass in the turnouts, so her ulcers will hopefully not return, as she will be living much more "naturally" and eating continuously, which is how horses were designed to function
-The new barn has an indoor that is about twice the size of the one at my current barn
-It's on the way to work for me, so I can easily stop by in the morning
-It's the same price as my current barn
-There is a no loose dogs policy and I will be very happy to never have to deal with people letting their dogs run around while I'm trying to ride my horse, who by the way HATES dogs and uses them as an excuse to act stupid


-I adore my current barn owner and will be VERY sad to leave my barn
-The barn style is not open and airy like my current barn, and I will miss the warm afternoon light touching the stall doors and warming up the entire aisleway

Giving my current barn owner 30 days notice yesterday was one of the hardest things I've done in a long time! It's the first time I've ever had to give notice, since when I bought Lucy my current barn was the one she went to, a year and a half ago. The one and only downside to my barn is that the turnout is very small, and although Lu goes out for an entire day, she does not have the space she needs to be able to play and run if she feels like it. I've watched her try to run around in her paddock and it's a little scary to be honest. She can get about three or four canter strides in and then have to slam on the brakes. My barn owner is seriously the nicest guy and I will really miss chatting with him every day! I will miss a few of the boarders, too. Some of them helped me a lot with Lucy when the trainer I was working with abruptly left the barn and I had to figure everything out on my own. I had no idea how to feed her but with their coaching and a lot of research, I figured everything out and now feel like I'm pretty competent in that area!

I have tried literally everything else I can think of, short of Regumate, to get Lucy happy. I have spent thousands of dollars on chiropractors, massage therapists, lyme tests, ulcer treatments, saddle fitters, supplements, special grains, etc, and still she acts crazy. After my fall earlier this week I got so discouraged and kind of got fed up to be honest. There's no reason that she should be acting like that, other than she may just need space that she can really zoom around in and get that energy out before I ride her.

I have been casually looking for a new barn with great turnout for a few months now. I wasn't willing to settle for anything less than superb turnout. I was willing to sacrifice the indoor if I had to, but after the winter we just had in New England, I was really hoping I wouldn't have to! It was also important to me that my wonderful leaser be happy with the new location, because seriously, I don't even know how I managed to find someone as awesome as her but I did and I hold her opinion highly. Luckily she loved the new place, and it wasn't much further of a drive for her, so she said I should go for it!

So I made the final decision the day before yesterday, completed a boarding application for the new barn and made them copies of Lucy's coggins and rabies certificate at their request, and gave notice at my current barn.

My friend Claire has also decided to move her horse to the same barn as she has been looking around for better turnout for her TB gelding, too, and I am really happy we're sticking together. We have a lot of fun and we're a good team, since she has the trailer but Kenny and I have the truck! We can't really go anywhere without the other ;)

Here are some photos of the new farm!

One of the pastures
The aisle of the main barn
The indoor (well, half of it!).

Since I took these photos, a lot of work has been done to the property so I will take some more when we move the horses next month. The barn has a lot of history and was in bad shape when the new owners bought it in late fall of last year, but they have put a ton of money and time into it and they are restoring it to its former beauty.

In unrelated news, if Lucy's ego wasn't big enough already, she won "Most Beautiful" in a photo contest my vet's practice was running. I won't tell her if you don't.


  1. You will be amazed at the difference that turnout on grass will make in her. Barns with grass turnout cost twice what I am paying right now and are over an hours drive away. I did it with my previous horse (the change in him from hothead to fun was miraculous) and I did it last year with Nina. It is my number two priority in my life, to have her in a barn with good turnout. Number one right now is making a living - it's always something.

  2. Wow that is SO great that you found a barn with a lot of Pro's. It's THE hardest thing to find that 'perfect' barn. It's why I board an hour away currently (which BLOWS) and I'm always looking for a similar set up, closer. Yet to find it...
    Nice that your friend and her TB is going with you too!

  3. I agree. Most barns around here with an indoor and grass turnout are in the $800+ range and don't do rough board because they don't have to. I haven't been able to move her anywhere yet...this is the first one that came even remotely close to meeting the requirements I had, and was a reasonable distance away for me to drive. If I could afford full board I wouldn't mind her being a bit further away, but if I have to be there every day I didn't want to be driving long distances...the amount I'd pay in gas would have exceeded what full board would cost me at that point!

  4. Wow, that's so exciting! I'm jealous, I wish I could move Jetta somewhere with lots of turnout. Hopefully that will settle Miss Lucy down!

  5. Congrats on the new place. I have had the plight of boarding and now am lucky to back where my parents farm is with 30 acres of lush pasture as turn out. I hope you, Lucy and your friends are all happier. Boarding can be difficult, it sounds like you are a great horse owner and Im sure you will make friends at your new place just like you have where you currently are!

  6. Very very exciting! Back in March, I moved from a small, private barn with 4 horses and little turnout, to a public boarding barn with 20+ horses and fantastic turn out. I was sooooo nervous when I gave my 30 days at my old place...I seriously had tears in my eyes. But it was all worth it because now Grayson is in a large field with a herd of horses...he loves his buds! I also ride a lot more which is great!

    I agree with Barbara, I bet the turnout will make a HUGE difference with Lu. Turnout is essential for a horse's sanity :)

  7. A few people have told me that she probably won't run around at all, but I'll admit I'd be really surprised! I think even just the mental stimulation she'll get from being in a larger space with grass to munch on will do her a world of good.

    The horse I used to ride lived in a huge 10 acre field with some horsey friends and in the morning he'd always have a romp around when first let out, then he'd settle down and graze. I caught him having a nice snooze many times, flat out on his side snoring away. He was so happy in his space and I hope Lucy can enjoy something similar at the new barn.

  8. Awesome news!! I'm so happy for you. The first few days Izzy switched to pasture board (where she finally had room to run), she ran like a maniac. Now she hardly ever runs out there, but I think just the freedom to know that she can is helpful to her. I know she and Lu are different horses, but Izzy went from high strung and wired to totally calm and laid back, almost never spooking.

    Best wishes for you guys!

  9. Sounds like you found the as close to perfect barn as possible. Large turnout will be awesome for her and you! I am very great full to find others who have OTTB's and to follow their progress. I absolutely LOVE your bridal portrait, it's the first time I have seen one like mine.

  10. That's awesome news! I bet Lucy is going to be a different horse there. And wow, that indoor looks huge!

    I do have to ask though, are those little stone fences going to keep her in? I bet your girl can jump when she puts her mind to it.

  11. Looks like a really nice place :) the pasture fences look really cool actually. You said you live in new england? Thats some pricey board though, I thought $500 was a lot (the going rate in ohio) so when I moved to Missouri I was blown away with $300 for full care and two arenas and a xc course...
    I hope Lucy will be happy in her pasture :)

  12. I should have specified - they are re-doing all of the paddock fencing so that paddock will have wooden fencing with electric on the inside panels all the way around. I agree, I think Lucy would have a good chuckle if we thought that low stone fence would keep her locked up!

    Checkmark, yes, board around here can get very expensive. I live in Rhode Island, but in Massachusetts it's even worse.

  13. I'm so glad for you guys! I hope you're both very happy at the new place. It's amazing how difficult it is to find great boarding barns.


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