Hi there! As most of you know, I was lucky enough to grow up with my horses right in my backyard. Boarding has been a new experience for me. Although I have enjoyed many different aspects of boarding, I’ve recently made the decision to move Cash back home. This is not my personal home, but my childhood home. I’m fortunate enough that my parents still have stalls and fencing up, and were willing to let me keep my horse there. This Covid-19 virus is taking a toll on many people. I decided to proactively see where I could cut some costs. As tempting as it is to give my car back (lol), that’s not really an option. So, I’m going to cut my monthly board payment and take on Cash’s full care at my parents. My parents live 10 minutes from me, so I’ll be saving on gas and time as well!
Although it was not an easy decision to make, I put a lot of thought into it. I will miss having horsey friends to hang out with and ride with. Cash may miss being around other horses, but he will have a steer for a stall mate. Cash’s well being was my number one priority. I would not have chosen to move him to a barn without horses if I thought he would deteriorate mentally from lack of companionship. Cash seems to prefer food over friends, so I think he will do just as well with my dad’s steer, “Itty Bit”.
I’m very excited for this move! My parents have some great places to ride, along with two pastures full of lush, green grass. I can’t wait to ride in all the places I explored with my childhood horse, Murphy.
Although my dad had left an extra stall up, we had some work to do before it was “horse ready”. There were already mats down to prevent slipping, and a salt block holder in the corner. Other than that, we had to build a feeder for hay and grain, and find the best place for his water.
Luckily, Dad managed to find Murphy’s old wooden feeder. I first used a putty knife to scrape away some of the gunk that had accumulated from years of use. Next, I took a sander to smooth out the edges and grain box. I ended up sanding most of the inside and a good portion of the outside as well. It almost looked new!
The grain box had a lot of wear and tear from Murphy…he inhaled his grain as fast as he could. He didn’t care if he took a few chunks of wood with it. Despite sanding, the bottom was still fairly rough. My dad and brother cut a piece of strong plastic to line the grain box so that Cash wouldn’t be getting splinters during dinnertime.
My brothers have been a huge help! One brother installed the hooks for my cross ties. The other brother cut down a pallet and attached an OSB board to make the perfect place to stack a few bales. Currently, Dad and the boys climb into the loft every time the steer needs hay. Because I will be stopping over in scrubs on my way to work, Dad agreed to put a few bales on the ground. My younger brother also built a wooden box to hold the water tank to prevent the animals from dragging or tipping it.
The tack room was another huge feat! I haven’t cleaned or organized that room in years! I took everything out and swept it first. With the help of my dad, I rearranged it so my tack box and saddle rack are more accessible. We were able to throw some stuff away, and move a few things to the loft. I didn’t mind sharing a tack room with other boarders, but I did grow up being the only girl…so sharing space is never something I’ve been great at! Having a clean, organized tack room all to myself again makes me even more excited for Cash’s move.
Because I order Cash’s feed through Chewy, I usually order two bags at once. I ordered a few extra bags when the chaos of Covid-19 started to avoid risk running out – there isn’t a store within driving distance that sells it! I took the three extra bags of feed and two bags of oats to my dads to store in the metal bin. I’m fortunate to have a place to store the extra bags where mice cannot get into them.
Aside from moving the actual horse, I have a few basics left at the boarding barn to move yet. Instead of moving my wooden tack box to the boarding barn, I purchased a three drawer plastic tub to keep Cash’s things in. The draws, along with my saddle and feed pretty much covers what I have left there. I’m still riding almost every day, so I decided to just leave my saddle until I move Cash.
Everything is really starting to come together! Just two more days before Cash and I turn the page to start a new adventure together. Stay tuned for updates on how Cash is settling in as we adjust to a new environment together.
“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness never owned a horse.”-every horse owner