The horse department of my life has finally settled down enough after a whirlwind of activity over the last couple of months which means I can finally sit down and write all about the new and exciting stuff that's been going on!
About a month and a half ago I moved Ben to a new barn. I absolutely LOVE this barn. For starters, it is considerably closer to my house so what used to be a 30 minute trip one way is now just under 15 minutes. I don't even have to get on the highway to get to my boy now!
Its also full board which I have never truly had and it sure is nice not to have to muck a stall and scrub water buckets every day. His stall is 10'x15' so he has plenty of room to hang out and he's turned out every day in a big grass field with a couple of buddies that he adores, one of which is a huge Percheron that has adopted Ben as his own.
There's also a huge sand outdoor, an indoor which is probably the greatest thing I can imagine, a grass field adjacent to the outdoor that we're allowed to ride on, a grass track that runs around the paddocks and is ideal for trot and gallop sets, and access to two sets of fields, hills, and trails, one which is right out the back of the property and the other which is a short hack down the quiet road. Its like an eventer's paradise!
I've also started riding with the dressage trainer there who is incredible and has helped me with more than I could ever dream of in just three lessons. Its also great having a whole group of incredibly awesome people and horses around as there is always somebody to ride with, something I've also never had before. There is a lot more motivation to ride in 25 degree weather when you have other people to commiserate with!
To top it all off, Ben is the happiest I have ever seen him. He's never been turned out in a group, which I think he really enjoys. He loves to play and I think being allowed to goof off and get all of that out of his system during the day makes him much more agreeable when its time to ride him. He went from being this lazy, stubborn, cranky horse on the flat to a lovely, forward, sensitive, responsive horse within a day or two of being at the new place. His leg yields are great, his canter has improved leaps and bounds, and he seems quite happy in his work.
We've been keeping things pretty low key since we moved here, mostly working on our dressage, though we did venture to a little schooling jumper show for fun, and are planning to attend a few more throughout the winter.
I am so looking forward to spring, when we can utilize all of the facilities to get him super fit and ready to event. I also can't wait to see what his dressage looks like in the spring.
I've been mapping out a tentative schedule for the 2014 season now that the USEA calendar is out but it'll probably be a couple of months until the schooling show calendars start to come out so there will be nothing official until then. As soon as I have a basic plan, I'll update the 'Eventing Schedule' page at the top of the blog.
Thanks for reading!