Oh man…where to start?
All the stress and complications of house buying has finally kicked in as we’re eyeball deep in paperwork. To be honest, it doesn’t feel real yet even though we’re almost done with everything; it’s like we’re in some level of hell where we keep signing and scanning paper work but nothing ever comes of it.
Oh, and we haven’t started packing yet. x_x
In light of our moving, I started looking for boarding facilities near by the new house. Spot can stay where she is at now because its on the way to and from work but going to see her on my off days would be a bit of a drive. I found out from my trainer that the place she boards at had a spot open which would make for easier lessons, and the best part is it’s only a 5-10 minute drive! It has all the amenities that I want: horses are out 24×7 with access to stalls, fed good quality feed, clean and organized, trails, hot water wash rack, and a covered arena. The place I am at now, we’re definitely missing some of those things.
I stopped by the potential barn and was able to talk to the BO about boarding details, and he asked if I could bring Spot over for a “sleep over” as there were problems with past horses. The BO had to ask the past 3 horses to leave because they were either terrorizing the other 2 horses in its pasture or destroying his barn, so he’s a bit nervous about the next horse. There would be 2 geldings that would be in pasture with her; a retired 22 year old roping horse and a 10 year old pleasure horse. Both of these horses have never had problems with the other horses kept with them and when I met them seemed like a pretty chill bunch.
Spot has been in pasture almost her whole life so she knows how to handle herself in a herd and behaves accordingly. She’s a more of a dominant mare and higher on the totem pole but she is not mean about it. We’ve had her turned out with mares and foals, geldings, yearlings, and she has always been great. In fact, before I bought her she was in a herd of about 25 with nary an issue. So, I was pretty sure everything would be fine and dandy.
We brought Spot over on Friday and turned her out with the other two geldings. Everything seemed to be going well for the first hour, but then the older gelding started to chase Spot around would chase her back to the fence line if she came up closer to him and the other gelding. There was some bucking and biting but I figured it was them trying to figure out the pecking order. The BO said he would keep an eye on them so I left since things seemed to be settling down and said I would come back at dinner.
When I got there that night, Spot was standing at the very far edge of the fence. The BO told me that the older gelding was chasing Spot away from the food that was put out. The BO puts out several piles in different areas of the pasture but every time Spot would come up to try to eat, he would try to kick her and chase her away. When I went out and to check on her she trotted up to me and put her head into my chest. Now, Spot is not a cuddly type of horse, so this was pretty surprising until I started to check her out.
I was shocked…she had a huge swollen bite the size of my fist and lots of kick marks, probably about 8-10. I burst into tears seeing my poor mare all cut up. I mean, Spot has gotten dings and scratches when out in pasture, but I had just never seen her cut up like this before.
What worried me was that the older gelding had hind shoes and my worst nightmare is a broken leg from a kick. The owner of the gelding and BO says they have never ever seen the older guy act like this before with the other horses. The BO keeps saying that they are just working it out and I should leave her for a few more day so they could figure it out but something told me that this is more than that.
So, we immediately took Spot back to our current boarding facility. I was crying intermittently the whole way back feeling horrible and upset with what happened to Spot. I felt like the worst horse owner in the world.
When we got home I cleaned up her cuts, made sure I hadn’t missed any, and stuffed her full of carrots and treats. I was irrationally worried that somehow she had gotten the spunk and sass kicked out her but after seeing her nicker and gobble treats down like her old self I felt better.
Long story short, I don’t know if I want to board at this new facility anymore due to the injuries that Spot got. The BO says we can switch her into a different pasture where the horses are much more sedate, but I’m feeling gun shy and thinking about leaving her where she is now despite all the perks of the new place. I would hate for her to have to go through the same thing.
Needless to say, it was quite the tumultuous weekend. I need a drink, or a cupcake, maybe several of both.