Riley has been at his new yard for a week and although that time seems to have gone in a flash, I am so pleased with how well he has settled in. He has done far better than I expected.
He arrived at the new yard late on the Monday and so spent the first day in his stable. On Tuesday morning I couldn’t wait to return to the yard as I was anxious to see how he was and was quite nervous driving back over to see him. I felt some reassurance as I opened the car door and there was no noise coming from the indoor barn.
When I arrived at his stable, he seemed content and not only was it a joy to see him I was able to breathe a sigh of relief as he was calm and appeared in fine fettle. However, this was only day one, so I wasn’t going to take anything for granted.
Day two highs and lows.
On Tuesday mornings I have my riding lesson followed by volunteering for the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), all of which takes place at the same yard where Riley is now living so I went early and spent the time beforehand saying hello and having cuddles. The yard staff said that he would be put out in the ‘new horse’ field to see how he was, so in the afternoon I turned him out for a couple of hours with another pony. Despite a rather mad pony running around the field he seemed very chilled and happy. Later that day, I walked him back to his stable and (as I always do) turned him to face the stable door before taking off his head collar so that he doesn’t just barge in and grab the hay. As soon as I had turned him around, he barged out of the stable door and off into the yard taking me along with him on the end of the lead rope. Luckily someone helped catch him and we returned him to the stable. I came home upset, with words from the previous owner in my head ‘is he the right horse for you?’. I was feeling rather low wondering if I had bitten off more than I could chew, even though I was reminding myself he was still settling in.
A new day dawns
Wednesday morning dawned so I returned to the stables and was told he would be out in the “new horse” field that morning, so I turned him out and got on with mucking out his stable and with the chores done headed home. Upon my return later that day, he had been brought back in and was munching his hay. As all the chores had already been done, I spent some enjoyable time watching him over his stable door before heading home.
Coffee and a roll
On Thursday morning I headed back to the stables and took coffee with me so that I could enjoy it whilst gazing at him in the stable. I must admit I could spend all my days just watching him in the stable or out grazing. As he had been so relaxed in the small paddock for the last two days the yard staff felt he could be turned out with the other horses. So, Riley and I marched off to the other field for him to have a whole day outside. He went straight into the large field and said hello to the other horses and even had a roll. I felt so happy.
He was now settling in very well and Friday, Saturday and Sunday continued in the same vein.
Clipping and Shopping
Riley had not been clipped so this was something we needed to address urgently and someone on the yard offered to help, so arrangements were made for Monday 3rd February 2020 (update on this in the next blog). It did mean that he would need rugs, so I headed off to buy one. I soon realised that getting the size rug we needed quickly was not going to be as easy as I had anticipated. After some dithering about which to choose, a turnout rug was purchased in the shop and a stable rug online. I must admit they are both beautiful and although I know the outdoor rug will be muddy before I know it, as a first-time horse owner, I didn’t want to compromise.
Other purchases were made from a very practical wheelbarrow to some gorgeous HAAS brushes. The list is long and one of the next investments we need to make is a new saddle.
This week has been a whirlwind and I am feeling happy that the decision to move him so far seems to be the right one.