Pretty sure Poet thinks this is the weirdest horse show ever! But we’ve been at the new barn for a week now, and I thought I’d write a quick update about how he’s settling in.
If you remember from “the” injury from this year, Poet likes to kick stall walls to display his displeasure/impatience. So on night one, he was put in a stall we all thought he’d do best at. Euro doors he could hang his head over, and access to a stall run. In Poet fashion, he hated it. I got out there and saw him pretty wide-eyed, circling and calling a lot. We moved him to a stall in the main barn, where he can see a neighbor on each side. He liked this a lot better, and immediately settled and began eating. And to keep me on my toes, he’s not kicked once since he’s been here. Did he learn something from limping around for a month? Probably not, but regardless I’m happy he’s keeping four on the floor for the moment.
New trainer worked with him the first few days, and I got good reports back. She is tough, which I love, although I’m sure Poet is a little less convinced. She demands respect on the ground, and wants them forward and straight at all times under saddle. On night one I saw her work on the ground with him on the ground a little bit and got sent videos of the first ride. While she does not waver in what she expects from the horse, she is soft and kind and rewarding with the release of pressure when they make the right choice. Love to see that.
I’ve had three privates (omg! luxury!) since I moved, and the focus has been very back to basics. I’ve been rehabbing Poet all myself for the past few months, and knew there were some holes to be filled. The biggest difference is that my idea of a good trot was a lot different from her’s, whoops! We’re really working on getting him to carry himself and move. It takes a lot of work (I have since ordered some small spurs), and both me and Po are pretty out of shape. But we’ll get there. It just takes time.
He needs to build a lot of strength back, and I’m still a little unsure if there isn’t a vet appointment in our future to look at any physical issues. He’s not really wanting to step under himself naturally. That’s something I’ve always been aware of, but with everything that’s happened this year I’m being extra cautious to keep an eye out for any physical issues that need addressing. For now, we’re going to see how he looks with the new program and re-evaluate in 30 days. He’s a little mentally and physically sore right now from all the changes, so we’re keeping rides short and productive while he adjusts.
Overall, I really love where we’re at and my decision to come here. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the big, grassy turnouts at our old barn. It has the best turnout in the area, and I knew that I’d have to compromise there. Poet does get out every day and they’re keeping an eye on what works best for him personally, but I can read his mind a little and he’s like, Okay so like where is my real pasture guys?
And of course, it’s a big adjustment for me to be in a quieter barn full of new people. I never saw a stranger at my old barn, and loved the social atmosphere there. So yes, I miss that. But my friends are still my friends, and I remain confident this is the better decision for me and my horse’s partnership right now.
To focus on the good, I love how organized new barn is. The designated tack cleaning station delights me. And the ring? My god, the ring! The footing is amazing. New trainer complains that it’s too dusty and is waiting on new sprinkler parts, but I’m still oooo’ing and aahhh’ing over how great the footing is. Poet is way more willing to move out here, and I think that is largely due to how much better his feet feel on this footing.
The care is also really great. They really want what is best for my horse, and ask me a lot of questions about him and his needs. He gets to live in his Back on Track products over night now, and I have access to a Theraplate… which is a fun new toy for us. Truthfully I don’t really understand the benefits or the science, but I will gladly try out anything if it can make my horse feel better. Poet tolerates it really well, although lets me know that he’s not a fan of settings over 80 yet (it goes to 100).
To sum up, everything seems on a good path. I still feel like we have a lot to prove in the coming months, and am a little insecure about my own riding/being so out of shape and where his training is for his age. But hey, all I can do is focus on the future and try my best to get to where I want to be. It’ll all come together, or it won’t, but we’re doing what we can right now. I’m excited to see what the future holds.