Friday, July 15, 2016

Barn Friends, Much Love

Growing up, I never boarded my horse with the exception of 2 winters when were were trying to qualify for a T3D. I had a barn at home and pastures and that was good.

3.5 year old Yankee and baby me in our "riding field"
 I rode outdoors all year round, no matter the weather. I rode alone. Fed alone. Cleaned stalls alone. Was basically alone.

All the time.
Took this with an iPhone propped on a barrel LOL

Then, I went to college. And I started boarding. It was self care, which added a weird element to the barn dynamic. I always felt like I couldn't make a single move without being judged or talked about under the table. The older folks thought I was insane for eventing and jumping, the vets thought I was stupid and the younger folks were just catty. I never actually enjoyed it. Sure, I made friends, but I didn't feel like I could rely on them. They had their own ways of doing things and my every move was questioned. From the depth of my bedding, to the grain I fed to the boots I used on yankee while riding.

Major eyeroll.

Why would anyone question this
THEN, I moved home and went right back to being alone.

Which also sucked.

Then, last September after another year alone, I leased out Yankee and moved B to an OTTB Jumper/Eventing barn with a massive indoor, XC/gallop field, and an outdoor arena. 

If it sounds like heaven its because IT IS.

We all know I adore OTTBs and to be surrounded by like minded, completely insane individuals like myself is beyond my wildest dreams. Not only are the people ACTUALLY nice, the facilities are more than I am used to. So much so that I call it The Palace.

B is like, "what are this fanciness?"
I love that everyone is always so interested in your life, your day, asking how you are, how your horse is, asking your plans and in general just being fucking lovely. It makes my day to walk in the barn and see such familiar faces, happy to see me and asking how my day was. Its the little things man.

To me, it feels like home and I legit have found my people and never want to leave.

These thoughts were solidified this week when I trudged to the barn, legitimately depressed over my injury, because B was finally sound, his shoes were on and I couldn't ride.

Piss poor timing.

So he was off for 5 weeks, on 1 and now potentially off for however many weeks it takes me to heal.

I was so bummed.

So of cours my friends noticed. 

I tried to be helpful and cheerful in discussion about their rides for the day and weekend show plans, but they knew.

One thing led to another and I was slowly tacking B up for them to ride.

Not me

They offered to ride my Dragon while I healed.

No one besides Supertrainer and L have ridden the dragon in 2 years, and until recently he was the most not chill. I never actually thought anyone would volunteer to ride him after witnessing the shitshow that was this winter. In Bacardi's defense, he's been the BEST baby lately. In their defense, he was a colossal asshole this winter and about dumped me every ride. So I could see why no one ever volunteered then. But he better now.

A on B
I was nervous, as always when someone rides one of my boys, but really freaking happy to see someone else take him for a spin. I never got to watch Supertrainer ride and the only video from their show together was from far away and blurry.

B was an angel and friend #1, "A", had him strutting around like a seasoned dressage horse. 

(Friend #2 you already know, she leases Yankee. Known as "V" on the blog. Theres also non-boarder but long time Ohio BFF, who also rides, known as "L". She's ridden B a few times too. There will be a test later.)

I was SO proud. I just sat there, beaming, while she took him through his paces. He is not an easy horse to figure out and she had him going round and forward in all 3 gaits in under 10 minutes. Bonus; he didn't spook at anything. Double Bonus; I have another wicked good horse riding friend that isn't afraid to ride The Dragon.

V on B

It was really cool to watch from the ground, because I get to see things I don't feel as well while in the saddle. Such as the ever so slight behind the vertical cop out that B gives when asked to really use his back and hocks. GOTCHU. You thought you got away with it, but nah son, goteem.

Case and point

We will be working on that one, lil mister.

Otherwise, he was a gem. My heart was almost exploding with love. Love for my horse, love for my friends and love for my life and where it has led in the last crazy year.

Prancy feets

I am so grateful my friends were willing to ride him this week. I was truly stressing about that, but instead they volunteered to help AND they're good at it.

L might be able to swing out and ride him this weekend at some point while we are all in KY for Champagne Run, so that is also very cool. 

V and Yanks running through their test 
On that note, I am trying to decide if I want to do daily updates on the blog or wait until Monday, but other way...crew is headed out for the weekend! If anyone is going to be at the KYHP, hit me up! I love to meet bloggers < 3


  1. Having riding and barn friends that share your values is SO precious! I made two of my best friends on this planet at my last boarding barn, but one moved and the other didn't ride much b/c her horse is broken. I rode by myself a lot after my BFF moved, and while I function really well on my own, it kind of sucks. Now I'm at my current barn with just 2 other riders but they are both active foxhunters/eventers/trail riders and we DO STUFF all the time together and it's GREAT! Our philosophies on horse care mesh really well, too, and it's just amazing to have that little family at the barn! So happy for you!

  2. You are so lucky to find a good barn. I've basically determined they are rare unicorns that don't exist so I settle for a place that takes great care of my horse but the boarders suck

  3. Awesome. So Awesome. What a great barn and barn friends who help each other out!

  4. What a great situation for everyone. :-) So glad you've found a place.

  5. Barn friends are best friends ;)

  6. Obviously we love being in the saddle on our own boys, but seeing them go around with someone else once in a while is definitely a treat :) Glad you have such a great place with riders that can help a sister out!

  7. Finding a barn that feels like a second home is rare and so special! I'm glad you've found that. :D