It's been a little over two weeks since the barn move and things are still going swimmingly. I will admit that I was little tense for the first few days after we arrived and had to refrain from constantly checking my phone for updates. Some readers may recall our welcome gift from the last barn move was an emergency vet call and stifle radiographs...So I don't think my concern was unwarranted!
I'm certainly not as experienced as some others when it comes to boarding at different barns but from what I have noticed, I am satisfied with my decision to move to OF so far. The BO is friendly, attentive, and has been prompt with addressing my questions. I have already met a handful of boarders that love to trail ride and are eager to show Quest and me the trails directly accessible from the property.
The facilities are pretty nice. With the shorter daylight hours, I appreciate having access to a nice indoor with lights and non-dust footing. I do tack up Quest in the dark pasture, which is not as nice, but I'm becoming quite the pro at efficiently grooming and tacking up using only my headlamp for light.
However none of that puts a damper on the simple joy of being able to see my mareface more often than not. Keeping Quest close has been instrumental for her rehab as well. We're making steady progress with undersaddle walks and handwalking, doing one vs. the other depending on what time allows. While the arena still bores us both utterly to death, we have been keeping our minds busy playing with basic walk dressage movements (thanks Liz for the suggestion!) and I have been doing a tune up/self-evaluation of my own riding and painstakingly working to improve my 2ptober time (4:30 as of last night).
When good weather allows though, we have been venturing out on the trail and this past weekend Quest and I hit the trails undersaddle for the first time in almost half a year. A couple days before the trail ride, I had taken Quest out on trail once on a handwalk. She was relaxed and attentive the entire time- she genuinely seemed pleased to be back out exploring again.
The success of that walk made me very curious to see how she would fare undersaddle on the trail. It had been quite awhile since we last did this and she was going out solo.
Well, she was simply awesome. No antics, no arm pulling, just a nice forward walking march.
We did have one sticky moment where we had to pass by two motocross bike riders. Quest has seen ATVs and motocross bikes on trail back when we boarded at KBTC but it had been awhile and we were on unfamiliar/new-to-her trails. The motocross riders were very courteous and seeing us coming from a distance away, they stopped their bikes, got off, and even took off their helmets.
Quest was fine approaching the bikes to a certain distance but did not want to go forward after that. When I asked her for forward, she decided to back up instead. I did not want to risk doing any tight turns because of her suspensory so if she wanted to back up, she'll have to do it past the obstacle. I stopped Quest right next to the bikes and gave her time to process before we went on our way. I profusely thanked the bike riders for being patient enough to give us the time and space to figure it out. They were even kind enough to wait until we had walked out of sight and were far enough on the trail before starting their engines back up.
Six months ago I would not have dared to let myself think about trail riding but here we are now. I've got my adventure mareface back and I couldn't be any happier.