While everyone else was stuffing their faces with chocolate bunnies and hunting for little plastic eggs this past weekend, I was stuffing all my things into an already-full tack trunk and celebrating the end of the hunt for a new barn.
When I decided to move Ax from New Hampshire to Massachusetts, the barn I selected had just moved into a new facility the day before. While the place was beautiful to look at with grass fields, large riding arenas, and mountain views— it was truly set up for breeding, not so much for boarding. A month ago I got a call that the barn was on the move again and for a while it was unclear where Ax and I would end up in all of this. Days of searching for a new boarding facility left me feeling defeated—almost everything was either out of my budget, too far away, or missing some of my requirements. I was ready to send Ax back to New Hampshire for a hiatus when the barn owner told me that she found a new facility. I went to look at the new place that week and made my decision before even getting back into my car—we were following.
Saturday was moving day and Ax settled in almost instantly (the copious amount of hay in his new stall probably helped). As with all new things, it will take some time to get used to—new layout, new stalls, new turnout, and new arenas. Thankfully because I am not changing management, some consistency will be present to help the horses (and their owners) adjust. I am pretty used to moving around and so is Ax, but change still feels strange.
The fact that this new facility is gorgeous and a true barn is making things much easier. The building is split in half —one half is lined on either side with stalls and the other half is the indoor with new kick-boards and soon-to-be-new footing. Each stall has a “feed door” (also known as the perfect opening for a buffalo to stick his head out and survey the land) and I got lucky that Ax is on the end with the best natural light. The outdoor (which has beautiful footing) sits atop the hill, next to the barn, so you can see the whole place. Once Ax gets over the cows we can appreciate this more. Turnout is all grass and in large, individual paddocks that are perfect for playing with neighbors but not injury oneself. The best part? The land owners own hay fields behind and across the street from the barn with riding paths cutting right through the middle and leading to state trails. Goodbye indoor, hello hacking.