Settling In

Olivia   September 14, 2018   30 Comments on Settling In

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.


Nilla: This is not California

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.

terrible picture, but this is the huge box stall each horse got

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.

Literally the first thing Nilla did when I turned her out

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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Arena with a pond view. #blmmustang #horselife #barnlife

A post shared by Olivia @ DIY Horse Ownership (@diyhorseownership) on

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.

30 thoughts on “Settling In

  1. Teresa

    Your place is stunning. I know the relief of finding a hay supplier! I’m glad it all worked out. Buying all those things at once though. ouch.

  2. rooth

    Poor Shasta! Ugh, so much anxiety with not feeling settled and not having your things there but I’m glad the horses are well. Love all that grass!

    1. Olivia Post author

      Thankfully, we’ve got our stuff now, though half of it is still in boxes and we can’t locate specific items, but it’s here somewhere.

  3. Emily

    I used Brookledge to move May from NJ to KY. It is PRICEY, but they made moving her the easiest part of our move, by far. Glad to see they took such good care of your horses too.

  4. Kym Calvert

    What a wonderful adventure you have ahead of you! I hope you will look back at this early stage with a smile on your face. Take lots of pictures of each stage you reach. You will always have them to remind you of what you have accomplished!

  5. Megan K

    oh my god everything looks gorgeous, and nilla catterpillaring around in the grass is hysterical.

    for what its worth, I would have my priorities in the same order. f the dishes! there’s trails to be explored!

  6. martidoll123

    Brookledge were who I wanted but they shot me down (one horse, not that far a trip, I get it) I think they do long hauls more. BUT so glad they got there safe and sound and happy (Well kind of happy Shasta BEHAVE). I love your place. I envy your hay since I am still doing the eternal search for decent damn hay. I am thinking once my inlaws leave i am going to head to KY for some hay. It has to be better than this shit here. LOL

    ENJOY! I look so forward to following your adventures on the east coast now!! YAY

    1. Olivia Post author

      I actually don’t love the quality of hay here. Everything is just mixed hay. They hay old fields and whatever is in them is what you get. Clearly a lot of horses live in this area and do just fine on it, but I miss beautiful grass and alfalfa and oat hays from out west.

  7. Sari Maydew

    Wow, your place looks amazing!! We’re (supposed to be) moving later this year … I’m not sure how we’re going to organise getting the herd over, but at least the place we’ve got is set-up and ready and we can just chuck them all in a field if needs be. I LOVE Nilla’s pasture. What a great view.

    1. Olivia Post author

      Having the pastures set up definitely made it easier. We knew we could at least house them and worry about the details later.

  8. Stacie Seidman

    That’s so stressful having the horses arrive so soon! But you’ve made it work. Your place looks gorgeous! Sounds like things are slowly falling into place. I’m sure you’ll be settled in no time! I can’t wait to see more photos!
    Hope Shasta is feeling better soon too!

    1. Olivia Post author

      Every day gets a little more settled, but I really need to get back to unpacking. We finished the kitchen and most of the bedroom and I was kinda like, eh, I could live with this and stopped unpacking, but that’s not a good long term solution.

    1. Olivia Post author

      We didn’t have a couch either for a while – we had to folding camp chairs. But we found a couch on sale over labor day weekend and bought that.

  9. the_everything_pony

    Your new place looks absolutely stunning. I’m glad the horses are having a blast! Even though you don’t have a lot of things quite settled yet, I’m sure it’s a HUGE relief that you have the horses, they’re happy, and you know they’re safe and sound. Perhaps not Shasta – I’m really hoping she’ll start to feel better and be better too! This sounds like such a great adventure for you two – difficult and expensive, but a good adventure 🙂

  10. jess

    Their eyes must have bugged out of their heads with all that green grass! Good thing you thought ahead with muzzles. Are you planning to take on boarders at some point?

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