|literally the only picture I took (The Boy emptying her haynet in the new stall)|
Prairie decided that the drizzle coming down made the trailer look like a much better option than raising a stink about loading - so she hopped right in, nickered a few times to her buddies, and we were off.
The new barn is much smaller (maybe 15 stalls in the show barn?) but very well designed and seems to be very comfy for both the horses and their people.
I'll attempt to take pictures this week so that we aren't relying on my lackluster written descriptions.
Prair settled quietly into her stall and I tried to figure out how to shove all my crap in a significantly smaller (though totally acceptable) tack locker.
Saturday I woke up early and made the drive (50 minutes from home, no traffic - not so bad!!) for a lesson.
As I was tacking up I realized that Prair hadn't been worked in 3 days, and likely hadn't been turned out since Thursday. Seemed like a perfect time to climb on in a new indoor and go for a ride!
She has of course, hauled to this facility multiple times for lessons, but I question how much that really helps quiet the gerbils when they want to play.
Turns out, I didn't have anything to worry about. After one hard look at the big door in the far end, she quieted right down and we had a great ride.
After some lateral work and a few transitions, we began working up over a small course and found some of our current weak spots. The whole course was twisty, single fences and unrelated distances. Prair was really wanting to land and lengthen instead of coming back to me so the first few jumps were "good" but made for an interesting pace.
We focused on circling when I needed to reorganize in order to get the canter I wanted instead of "staying on course." We had a couple nice go's and just about the time I thought my legs were going to fall off we called it quits.
I spent a couple hours bumbling around and chatting with folks, trying to get a better sense of how things work around the barn. People seem to all use barn saddle pads (which get washed!) instead of their own, which was one fun tidbit I figured out. Also, most folks tack up in their stalls.. that was easy enough. And the peppermints are definitely for the horses, not for the kids. :) I'm sure I'll figure out more norms as I go, but I always feel a bit like I'm on eggshells as new barns as I try to figure out what the flow is, what the etiquette is and how things work in a new place.
When I was leaving for the day, I caught sight of Prair out in a turnout (presumably for the first time) with her head 27 feet in the air and her tail totally flagged. I'm pretty sure we'll end up with less turnout overall in this facility so I'm keeping a close eye on her brain does with some different feed and a different routine.
Fingers crossed we see only good things :)