While Johnny and I (along with the cats, dogs, and boxes) have been living in the house since late September, the horses have been living life as usual at the boarding barn next door. Moving is hectic, so it was easier to have my awesome barn owner (and new neighbor!) care for them while I got everything in order at my own place.
I made a trip to the local farm and ranch store and picked up some essentials for the barn- water buckets for stalls, small buckets to mix feed in, a sturdy pair of wire cutters, a couple of metal trash cans for feed, a wheelbarrow and a big trash can for waste. I also grabbed a couple of saddle stands for the tack room.
My barn owner gave me the name of a hay grower nearby, and I was relieved to find out he had two hundred bales of prairie grass hay at a reasonable price this late in the season. My relief was short-lived- the hay grower didn’t offer delivery. After a week of trying to find any solution other than “borrow a trailer and haul it yourself”, I was able to find someone to deliver it for a reasonable fee.
Once hay was sorted out, I set out to get feed. For now, I’m feeding the horses the same thing they’ve been eating- Heritage Performance. I’ve increased the amount they’re eating, and I’m still feeding them alfalfa pellets for the time being. The feed is pretty reasonably priced and easy to get, so we’ll see how Moe and Gina weather the winter.
With hay and feed sorted out, I was finally ready to take over caring for the horses! It’s been one week since I started, and I’m absolutely thrilled with how it’s been going. It takes me half an hour or less to feed them in the morning and evening; they’re fed in their stalls, since Moe eats a bit slower than Gina does. Their hay goes outside, and their stalls are left open for them to go in and out as they please. Moe sleeps in his stall sometimes- I’ve found shavings in his tail a couple of times. Gina spends all of her free time squealing at the gelding in the adjacent paddock.
I really enjoy spending time with them every day, and I get a lot of satisfaction from caring for them. I’m also grateful I’m right next door to the barn where they’ve been boarded for the last couple of years. When I was working at a horse show over the weekend, my barn owner/neighbor fed and blanketed the horses for me in the evenings. (One day I’ll teach Johnny to blanket!)
I still have a long way to go before my barn is fully kitted out, but for now, I’m just glad to be feeding my own ponies!