Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Moving Day & First Trail Ride

Quest and I moved to our new barn this weekend and it was uneventful....for the most part! I wanted to keep the move as low key as possible but arrived to a very not-lowkey mare whirling around in her stall since the stable hands put her inside the empty barn first and Quest thought it was the end of the world.

It's been a year since Quest has been on a trailer but she knew something was going on. She was up from being "abandoned" in the stall too so I waited for her to chill out before taking her out. While waiting for the trailer to be prepped, I worked with her on the ground first doing our forward, whoa, back, exercises. That helped dial her brain back on me and when it was time to load up, she hopped up on trailer like an old pro; entire thing from start to finish was less than a minute. Good mare! 

The drive took about an hour and 15 minutes taking mostly local roads. Quest unloaded fine but she was anxious and was drenched in sweat from the trip...probably thought she was going back to auction ): She was turned out in the temporary QT paddock, got hay, water. Despite the travel anxiety, she dried off and settled in super quickly with zero drama. I was totally expecting some fireworks since my friends back at the old barn told me Quest had been extremely worked up the first week she arrived, racing and bucking around in the round pen. None of that happened though- the most exciting thing that happened was a little trotting around and calling when the herd moved out of her sight to the lower pastures.

Checking out the paddock
Meeting some of the future pasture mates
She was stalled at night and then turned out again yesterday morning. When I showed up in the afternoon, I thought I was imagining things when I saw Quest stuck her head over the main pasture fence to greet me as I drove up...She wasn't scheduled to be moved with the rest of the herd until much later in the week.

Well apparently a certain mare thought that gates were a nice suggestion and JUMPED out of her temporary QT paddock and into the main pasture. Fortunately Quest cleared the fence and didn't look worse for the wear from her little adventure asides from a couple bite marks on her rump. Sigh.

They think she jumped the lowest part of the fence on the left. The gate has since been replaced

Quest was hanging by the gate when I arrived and quite eager for attention. While not anxious or worked up, she did look a little forlorn all by her lonesome since the rest of the herd hasn't quite warmed up to her yet. When went to fetch her from the pasture I muttered, "You know you did something very bad today." While grooming, I noticed that Quest's feet have already changed a lot in just a couple days. She hasn't been turned out this much ever so I'm expecting some adjusting to life on the move.

I'm still waiting on a couple of things for my treeless saddle to arrive so I tacked up with the treed saddle for this ride. We headed out on our first trail ride at the new barn with J and her daughter B escorting. We trotted through forests, walked through hay fields, hung out in a big river with 7-8 other horses, crossed a huge bridge (first ever for both of us!), and even led the way for a good section of the ride home. When we got back to the barn, another endurance rider named L had stopped by to visit. I have been friends with L for awhile on FB so it a very nice treat to meet and chat with her in person finally.

I'm happy Quest did as well as I could have ever hoped for being our second day at a totally new-to-us place. She kept up and powered down the trail along with J and B's seasoned endurance horses, behaved politely around them, rode on a loose rein during our walk breaks, tuned her brain back to me with one-rein stops when her anxiety was going up, and I was able to enjoy the ride instead of worrying about antics. I think I'm starting to figure what works and doesn't work for her which I hope will help keep her anxiety to sane levels since rides are going to be a WHOLE different level of excitement. Time will tell what things really need work in order to be truly trail ready but so far, so good.


  1. yay glad she moved so well (and made it over the fence without injury haha)

    1. Yeah super thankful she didn't hurt herself! That would have been a whole another headache lol

  2. Replies
    1. Low key is always good with horses- let's hope that things stay that way!

  3. So excited for you!! Quest looks great!