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A Tour of “10M”

A Tour of “10M”

My new barn doesn’t have a name, but since it’s only ten minutes down the road from my house I’ve been affectionately calling it “10M”. It’s a privately owned facility that the owners just bought around a year ago. They’ve been doing renovations and are just starting to pursue boarders to fill their stalls.

Red is stalls and runs, blue is the arena, orange is the storage stalls, green is the small barn

10M definitely isn’t as fancy as KW. The structure is older, the floors are dirt instead of concrete, and most of the lighting is from skylights. It’s darker, quieter, and less aesthetically designed than KW. If KW is the luxury model of the barn world, then 10M is more of an economy car.

Board at 10M is super cheap for our area$300 for full care, not including shavings! By moving to 10M I’m saving around $150 a month. There’s a little more labor involved with the cheaper price (I’ve cleaned my own run a couple of times and I’ve got to soak my own pellets), but spending a little extra time at the barn is worth the savings. Plus I get to drag my own arena, which is super satisfying!

The arena itself is a little bit longer than the arena at KW. SellerH and I are confident that we can fit a small course of jumps in there, which is exciting! The footing was very uneven when we first arrived, but the more we drag it the better it gets. Working on the footing makes me want an arena of my own (some day!). I think it needs to be watered down, but it’s improved so much since the start of the month.

Raglan also seems to think that the arena is THE BEST for rolling.

The barn is shaped like an L around the arena. The long side of the L has stalls with runs attached.

Raglan’s stall gets cleaned every day, his water is always full, and he’s been getting a plethora of hay. He’s in the third stall, right between two of SellerH’s resale projects. I love that his run puts him right next to two other horses (yay, socializing!) and that he can stick his face out the front of his stall.

The short side of the L shape has stalls that are used for storage. One of the stalls is a wash rack and another one is a tack room. SellerH and I have taken over two storage stalls (one to keep our tack/equipment in, the other to store our grain and all of SellerH’s hay, since she’s doing self care).

There’s also a viewing room on the short side of the L (underneath the hay loft) that looks out on the arena.

The barn is really quiet. Out of the eleven stalls in the main barn SellerH has taken over five of them, I have one, the owners use three, and the other two have boarders. There’s another, smaller barn with five or six stalls in it, too, but I’ve only seen a couple of other people come out to ride their horses.

Of course, the best part of the whole facility is THE BARN CATS.

The barn owners also have a big flock of chickens (I love chickens 😍) and a few turkeys (I do NOT love turkeys, the hens are okay but the toms will chase you if you’re not careful 🙃).

Raglan and I are settling into 10M nicely! It’s been a lot of fun to have SellerH around. I’ve never really had an adult riding friend before, especially not a friend who’s also interested in jumping. At some point I still want to end up in a bigger facility with a lesson program, but for now 10M is a great fit for us.

… and Learning to Move Forward

… and Learning to Move Forward

TrainerA came out on Sunday to show Ezhno to a potential buyer. I haven’t been riding Ezhno (just a bit of small walk/jog here and there), but he thrives on a chill lifestyle, so he was a complete angel. He even sidled up to a big ramp so that the potential buyer could get on him without straining her injured knee.

The last time I went to sell Ezhno, I was upset. This time my mind feels quiet. I’m tired and stressed from trying to sort everything out, but I don’t feel like I’m losing a piece of myself anymore. As much as I love him and appreciate everything he’s taught me, I just don’t enjoy riding him anymore. I don’t think it’s fair to prevent him from finding a new person, especially not if there’s a chance that continuing to struggle to afford him could make me feel bitter in the long run.

A reunion—and a final goodbye

Yesterday, after I got Raglan settled into his new stall (which is Ezhno’s old stall at the new barn), I introduced Ez to the Miley. It took 30 minutes to get Raglan into the trailer, but Ezhno (who has no practice with straight loads or with loading onto a trailer with a ramp) got on in 5 MINUTES.

Clearly he’s just the best horse ever ❤

Ezhno’s potential new owners live just off of a local trail system—like walk down the driveway and you’re there. Ezhno hauled like a pro (outside of his inability to back down the ramp, which is fair since we’ve never practiced it; we ended up twisting ourselves around to face forward and walking off that way). Then we turned him out in a pasture next to his new buddy.

Ezhno settling into his potential new home today ♥

A post shared by Stephani & Ezhno & Raglan (@two.hearts.one.oxer) on

He’s on trial for the next two weeks. The hope is that he’ll be a good trail horse so that the buyer and her husband can tackle the trails together. I feel good about the people and about his new lifestyle. I think they’ll be a great fit! Maybe I’ll feel more sad at the end of the month, but for now things are okay. 🙂

Learning to Trailer on the Job

Learning to Trailer on the Job

Yesterday morning was CRAZY. A lot has happened over the past couple of weeks and I haven’t really had the energy to process most of it, let alone type it out and press publish.

First off, the barn situation. As much as I love KW, the moment I bought Raglan I knew our days there were numbered. Not because it’s not a fantastic facility, but because I knew there would come a time when I would want to have access to a full course of jumps without feeling cramped. SellerH moved all of her horses (and Ezhno) into a private barn ten minutes from my house at the start of the month. After some thought (and touring a bunch of other barns!), I decided to move Raglan there, too.

New barn means new dirt! #dirtprincess

Wednesday afternoon my normal tutoring gig up in the mountains was cancelled due to snow, so I did a little bit of maintenance on the Miley and then lunged Raglan and brought him to the outdoor arena for one last trailer loading practice session. It went… well, pretty terrible.

My face when my horse won’t get into the trailer the day before he really needs to get in the trailer. His face when he just wants me to give him the mints.

Yesterday morning my mother and I threw my tack trunk into the back of the truck, hooked up the trailer, and spent thirty minutes trying to coax Rags to get into the Miley. About halfway through I got frustrated, smacked him on the butt a couple of times, and then told him he was a cow and that I was going to leave him there. Of course, he immediately refused to get anywhere near the trailer, let alone into it. You’d think at some point I’d learn that getting upset never helps. Eventually I stopped raging in his general direction and apologized for losing my temper. He took a peppermint or two and then climbed aboard.

FIRST TIME HAULING LIVE CARGO OMG

Rags spent the drive ripping away at a hay net loaded with a couple of flakes of alfalfa. I had BarnOwnerK skip him when she fed breakfast this morning, so he was pretty stoked to get to eat while we drove.

Driving a trailer with a horse in it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I actually didn’t feel nervous at all until I stopped at a light and there was a big bang from the trailer. Then I started to fret a little bit, but luckily it was only a twenty minute drive to the new barn.

Checking out the new arena after he was done spazzing out

When we pulled in and unloaded he was pretty amped up. The new barn has turkeys and the owners have a few mastiffs. Between the giant birds and the barking dogs, Rags spent a few minutes standing out in the parking lot blowing big gusts of air out through his nostrils. At some point he payed attention enough to let me drag him in through the barn and out into the arena, where he rolled like five times and trotted in circles around me (with minimal bouncing) for a few minutes before he chilled out.

Sticking his head out of his new stall. Barn tour to come!

And just like that, I hauled my first horse! Of course, my morning didn’t end there…