I won't lie - I'm looking at the pictures in this post and breathing another sigh of relief at having Saturday crossed off the calendar. I'd promised to help a friend move her horses - C's been boarding at a place near here which she loves, but which - unfortunately - is over an hour from where she lives.
What with gas prices and everything else continuing to go up, she started looking for places closer to home this summer. After much searching and visiting, she finally found a really lovely place less than 15 minutes from where she lives. Clean, well-kept barn, nice indoor arena, two outdoor arenas - a smaller one with trail obstacles and a larger, unfenced one with really good footing and what appears to be good drainage. The hay is good, the pastures are big and the number of horses in each is low. And most importantly, the owner had space for two geldings in one of the pastures - which was perfect for C.
They set this weekend for a move-in date, but C's truck has been having some problems, so I offered to move her if she still needed a hand getting the horses and her trailer over there. Saturday morning we met bright and early at the old barn, both of us bundled and shivering slightly. It was all of 20' BRRRR!!!!
After a half hour of finagling - I had the wrong ball up on the hitch and for some reason the left turn signal didn't want to work - we had things hooked up. At which point she mentioned that one gelding has had issues in the trailer, and the other gelding had never actually been in that particular trailer.
I decided to let her do the worrying - we weren't in any hurry, we had the whole day to work with, and both horses have been hauled extensively all over the country. And when the time came for them to step on, they loaded like perfect gentlemen without any issues whatsoever.
The trip itself, other than one wrong turn and a detour through a Casey's to get headed the right way again, was completely uneventful. We pulled in at the new place about an hour and a half later, both of us badly in need of a bathroom, but with all peaceful in the trailer, thank goodness!
After locating the owner, we unloaded without incident and walked Max and Trinity back around the barn/arena to the large, L-shaped pasture they'd be sharing with three other geldings; a black bay and two sorrels, all quarter horses, and all tucked into the run-in shed, in the sun and out of the wind. Their ears pricked up and they sauntered over to the wide, red metal gate to nicker at us.
"These three are pretty laid back. You should be fine. Go ahead and walk them out past the hay feeder and turn them loose. I'll run interference," the barn owner said. She opened the gate and shooed the three geldings back out of the way, and in we went.
They followed at a mostly respectful distance as we walked Max and Trinity into a stiff, chilly north wind out past the run-in shed and the round bale feeder to the top of a long slope leading down and then back up again to the end of the pasture. When we slipped the halters off, Max and Trinity trotted a wide circle around us trailing the other three residents like a comet tail.
In the face of the wind, as Max and Trinity continued to investigate their new home, the three geldings gradually lost interest and headed back to the shed. The horses in the surrounding fields raced down 5-strand electric fence - electrified top and third strand - to exchange greetings, but kept a respectful distance off the wire, and neither Trinity or Max was disposed to get close, either.
We hung out for nearly an hour watching them explore, making sure they located the water tank (heated) and continued to play nice with the three geldings. None of the five seemed disposed to start anything, so eventually we decided to go get some lunch.
We returned to find them all standing around in the sun, sharing the shed's wind-break effect, so C gave me a tour of the barn and we got the trailer parked neatly in line with the others and unhooked before we walked back out to check in again.
They all came over to the gate to say hi, obviously having worked out somewhat of a pecking order as evidenced by the occasional flicked back set of ears and some unhurried but respectful moving aside going on.
All in all, it was a singularly uneventful moving day - just the way I like them!