Friday, January 23, 2015

Long Overdue Update

Usually when I'm a blog slacker, it's because I don't have anything to write about. The holidays are always busy, the days are short, it's cold outside (and I don't do cold very well)... but the holidays are over, the days are getting longer, and while it's still cold outside, I have ventured out a time or two.

I didn't do a 2014 recap, I didn't set 2015 goals... I just wasn't feeling it. However, it's time to stop being a slacker and get back into blogging. Show season is on its way, and soon I'll have lots to write about.

I've actually had something to write about, but never got around to writing about it. No one will be shocked by the news, since I do it all the time, but I moved Lilly to a new barn. Again.

My previous barn was increasing their boarding prices, and since I was already paying for my own feed and extra for trailer parking, I didn't feel like forking over more money. I've been concerned about the grass there anyway, so it gave me the little push I needed to start shopping around for something else.

Since I've been to just about every barn within a 20 mile radius of my home, I knew I'd have to go out a little farther than I probably wanted to, but I didn't have much choice. I checked out one place that was just awful, and then stumbled upon another place that I liked a lot.

It's not nearly as 'fancy' as I'm used to, but it has everything I need and the facilities are safe for Lilly. She has a stall, there's a wash rack, an arena, a nice tack room, and obstacles on the property so I can practice doing trail stuff. The barn owner is super nice, shares many of the same philosophies as I do, and actually RIDES. It's a small place, with 5 boarded horses, the BO's riding horse, and then an adorable little pony that she has for sale. I moved Lilly there Thanksgiving weekend and I love it.

I have to provide my own feed and hay, and prebag all the grain, but I don't mind that at all. I thought the hay storage was going to get annoying, but I have room on my pallet for about 8 bales of hay, which lasts my porker quite a while. It helps that the feed store is three minutes from the barn, so I can just "store" my hay there, and run over to buy some whenever I'm getting low. I'm saving quite a bit of money by boarding there, which is also a perk.

Shed row style barn, with wash area.
The very large arena.
Lilly in one of the pastures with her buddy, Bear.
Kat the barn cat, wanting more love before I head home.
Lilly waiting for dinner.
I mentioned my new BO actually rides, as does one of the other boarders. They're always hauling somewhere to do the trails and I happened to be at the barn one day before they hauled out. When they offered to haul Lilly with them, I jumped at the chance. We had a great time on the trails and Lilly was a super good girl. We talked about doing a lot of trail rides this year as a group, so I'm excited about having horse people to hang with and places to go ride. I was always amazed at how 'dead' the other boarding barns were. For as many people as we always boarded with, I was always riding by myself. It's nice to have people around for a change.

Me and Lilly on the left, the BO in the middle, and one of the other boarders on the right.
I also made a decision recently to switch Lilly's feed. I was feeding her the Purina Enrich Plus, but the feed store close to the barn doesn't carry Purina. My BO mentioned she feeds her piggy Tribute's Essential K, which is also a ration balancer. After comparing the two, I figured I might as well give it a shot. She was finally all the way switched over to the new feed about a week ago and seems to be doing really well.

Lilly's hooves have changed quite a bit since moving there as well. When I first got her moved, her bars grew like crazy. They were very flaky and easy to peel off, but I was surprised by how much growth she had in that one area. Since her first trim, the bar growth has slowed substantially. Her seedy toe continues to hold steady too, and I'm seeing more concavity in her hooves. The terrain there is fairly sandy, but it's not super soft, and I've seen her running like mad out there in her pasture, so I know her feet are feeling good.

Sweet pony face.
Thus far, this has been a great move for us and I'm very happy with how she is doing at her our new place.