Yes, that little dot is Salem in an actual pasture (something that is a rare find in this area)
Life is full of changes, and lately Salem's life has been jam-packed with them. There's been a lot of drama going on behind the scenes. here. :-)
Back in January, my BO informed me that he had put the barn up for sale, but that it would take several months and not to worry because the new owners were going to keep everything the same, etc. That lead to much stress, anxiety, and confusion, but when the new owners took over in June, we were quite relieved--we all knew them and were thrilled to have them as our new BOs. That was short-lived, as they decided they didn't want to do part-board (which is what I, the OCD horse owner, have always done) and raised the full board significantly. I did a month of full board, but it just did not work out for us; so, the barn search was on.
As many of you know, looking for a place to keep your horse is pretty much THE worst, most stressful, difficult thing on the planet. For weeks, I felt like I was having eight heart attacks and three strokes a day. My "must-have" list for Salem's new home included:
1. Either a stall with an attached paddock OR a paddock with a 3-sided shelter--Salem weaves when locked in a stall and walks the fence line when turned out. He's only content if he's in a paddock with the option of going into some kind of shelter (preferably with a fan!).
2. Part-board or at least a "modified part-board" where *I* provide all hay/grain. I am not interested in arguing to get my horse more hay, or the proper grain, or enough grain, blahblahblah. No thanks.
3. Somewhat in the vicinity
4. Affordable without having to sell organs, my soul, other *ahem* parts of my body etc.
Thankfully, the stars and planets aligned and I actually found exactly what I was looking for (thanks to my vet, who suggested it!). It's not fancy; it doesn't have an arena or a round pen or pretty, pretty landscaping, but it actually met all of my requirements. It's got good bones and charm and major potential. Best of all, I was told that Salem could have the "penthouse" suite, the very first stall on the end of the barn, with a nice paddock of his very own attached so he can come and go 24/7 as he pleases.
Photo overload in 3...2...1...
Shipping outfit! Yes, I pad him up like the Michelin Man even for short (like maybe 2 mile) trips
Holding Salem is Stacy, who was kind enough to trailer us
(thank goodness for nice people with trucks & trailers!)
Salem's new pad
"There's hay here; I approve."
Salem's paddock view from his stall
Now he really does have a velociraptor enclosure--with electric wire and everything.
We just have to lower the cow-in-the-crate in now :-)
Meeting the neighbors
One of the other perks of this property is the huge pasture--it's probably around 2 acres. I know some of you are in parts of the country where 50-acre pastures are the norm (or small!), but around here we usually have tiny little dusty paddocks totally devoid of grass. So, this pasture is like a giant emerald wonderland to us.
After a few days, I decided to let Salem loose in the pasture for the first time. I figured there would be much galloping, bucking, zooming, rearing madness.
Nope. Just wandering, mosey-ing, sniffing, a munch of grass here and there...and that's pretty much it.
"OK, I'm done now."
This is the one thing about the property that could be bad--lots and lots of coral rock.
Everywhere. Could be great for his hooves, could be a disaster for his hooves.
Could also be a disaster when I start riding him (soon--more on that later!). I don't wish to
fall onto coral rock. Not that I *ever* fall, of course
Indoor wash stall--so nice!
Hoses on either side, just like a little car wash
There's also awesome grass here. Much more lush/thick/green than the last farm
I think Salem has finally settled into his new home. It took him a couple days,
but he is now back to 24/7 hay (he didn't have that the one month on full board @ old farm)
and he knows that he still has his personal masseuse/groomer/pamper-er *yours truly*
with him every day, so he's quite content
This is how I leave him each night--all tucked into his shavings-filled stall,
with a nice soft mash and a net full of sweet orchard hay.
Yes, moving is stressful, but I don't think he has too much to complain about @ the moment
More news coming soon! I have just gotten extremely behind on all things blogger, so it will take a while for me to catch up.