Bane of my existence. It's really (really, really) sub-optimal to have three horses with such wildly different needs. If the pocket book was magical and bottomless I would be buying my farm already, hiring brilliant, loving, smart and capable people to run it and end up with a property that was as horse friendly as it was rich in wonderful amenities (cough cough, wine fridge in the lounge, cough cough).
But alas. I have neither the farm, nor the check to write for the farm, nor the amazing staff to help my make dream property function like a veritable Disney Land for ponies.
So, instead I have three horses in three different barns. Prair is at the full training facility with its heated lounge and brass trimmed everything, Gus is at our old facility, but soon to move to a more "retirement friendly" option (read, CHEAPER), and Pia, well Pia is as close to Summer Camp as I can get her. She's with a friend in a great social environment where she gets to be outside most of the time and has to play well with others.
All told, if I left my house in the morning and went to all three barns before going back, I'd be actually driving for at least 4 hours (hence the description of sub-optimal) plus whatever time I actually wanted to spend with the beasts. Really, Pia is the one with the short straw. I see her like.... every few months? Gus gets attention a couple times a week, and at this point I only see Prairie for my twice a week lessons.
|My flight path to get to all the barns.|
So many ponies, so little time.
Gus is the next to move. Since he's no longer paying his bills by being a sometime lesson pony, I cannot justify the $850 in board that he costs ($750 for basic board, $50 for turnout on weekends and another $50 to park my trailer..) Didn't take me long to do the math and then promptly give my notice for him. I was hoping to have a perfect home for him all figured out, but of course, that would be too easy.
My top picks for a "retirement-ish" barn are all full until at least March, which would mean that I would be moving him Feb 1 to a facility I wasn't familiar with and then immediately dashing off to Thermal with no great way to check in on him and see how he was doing(/if he was actually being fed). Therefore the solution (once again) is to impose on my dear friend and send him to her house for a layover of sorts until I'm back in town and can supervise a move to a new, more permanent home.
Tomorrow I'm going to scope out a facility which will *hopefully* be Gus's semi permanent home starting in March/April. It'd still be 20-30 minutes away, but it would be about 2 miles from M2, which increases the odds that Gus will get more regularly scheduled attention. Most notably there is a well established therapeutic riding program that is run out of it and they are potentially interested in using Gus a bit with some of the kids. That part is still up in the air, but if he could be partially leased by the program, it would be great for $$ as well as for Gus.
In terms of Pia. Well, we'll just see. I'm not sure how much longer there is room for her at her current place and as of now I have zero brilliant backups. Frankly I don't even have stupid backups.
Prair is staying put where she is for the foreseeable future and helping the cause by getting herself a really nice half-lease person who will not only help cut costs but will also be able to get Prairie around the amateur divisions this summer.
Our situation is "workable." It's far from ideal, but all the ponies are getting what they need to be happy and healthy, Prair definitely gets a disproportionate piece of the pie, but that's what you get when you're sound and amenable to being stalled and ridden on a regular basis. :)