We closed on the house on Friday the 31st. On Sunday, our horses arrived. I had not really planned on having – or even wanted to have – them to arrive so early, but that’s what we ended up with. The shippers haul at the carrier’s convenience, which meant somewhere within a 3 week window. I didn’t want to give them a later date and have the horses arrive in October, so I said they could arrive anytime after the 1st. And they did; they arrived on the 2nd.
For what it’s worth, Brookledge was awesome. I had never heard a bad thing about them as far as the care they take with the horses. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about them not responding to people’s inquiries, but I didn’t have that problem. Probably because I was shipping 4 horses in box stalls across the country and paying enough money to make me want to cry for it.
Our driveway can’t take a semi so they had to send a gooseneck trailer for the final leg. I was initially concerned since Nilla cannot be in a straight stall even for a short period of time, but even their goosenecks are designed with box stall options. They had the air ride tractor trailer driven all but 4 miles from our house then had the horses transferred to the gooseneck and driven to our house. The gooseneck was brought up from PA empty just for this transfer. Brookledge takes care of its horses. Every one of ours walked off the trailer looking healthy and hydrated.
At this point, we didn’t even have our furniture yet – we were sleeping on an air mattress, eating out for every meal that wasn’t breakfast (cereal), and driving a rental car – but we had horses. Horses we were not prepared for…
Luckily, the previous owners had left us about 30 bales of hay and we were able to buy beet pulp, bedding, and some other supplies in town and cart them home in the rental car. We also shipped 3 large Husky trunks full of horse supplies with the horses. Sadly, our tack was with our house supplies and we couldn’t ride yet.
But really, we didn’t have time to ride, we had a million other things to do, like buy a horse trailer, buy a manure trailer, buy a tractor, buy a utility vehicle, buy hay, cry about how expensive all of those things are, and collapse in an exhausted heap. Of course, the horses didn’t really care much about being ridden when there was fresh green grass to eat and pastures to gallop around in.
We did manage to get hay delivered and we found a supplier for the winter, which was a huge relief. I was pretty concerned about that. Especially when the hay supplier that was recommended to me initially didn’t have enough hay available for us, but then one of his clients decided not to stay for the winter and we’re getting her hay.
The boys and Nilla are loving their new life. Since they’re not used to grass, they’re wearing muzzles, but they adjusted to that really quickly. The boys gallop around in their pasture and are really enjoying themselves. Nilla never lifts her head from the grass unless it’s to roll.
Shasta, on the other hand, has been a complete wreck. She injured herself – again – right before coming out here. The vet wanted her on stall rest, but if we keep her in while the others are out, she will spin and hurl herself against the walls of her stall screaming the entire time. We have been putting her out in a little paddock right between Nilla’s pasture and the boy’s pasture. She couldn’t care less about Nilla and instead has spent her time wearing a track into her paddock pacing the fence edge and screaming every time the boys aren’t immediately next to her fence. We finally had to call the vet to get sedatives for her. That seems to be helping.
After our stuff arrived, we quickly found enough tack to ride. We were eating dinner out of cake pans because I hadn’t found the dishes yet, but we had saddles! Because they hadn’t been ridden in weeks, I lunged Levi first.
My husband had no such concerns and hopped right on.
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We only rode for a few minutes in the arena before heading out to explore the trails.
It’s still pretty hectic around here and I still don’t have a tractor or a manure hauler (or a lot of things I need), but every day feels a little more settled than the last.