We have completed our first week at the new barn.
And, it is officially a mixed bag.
I haven't written all week, because my thoughts are kind of all over the place and discombobulated. I kept waiting for it to make a cohesive blog post in my mind, but a week has passed and it still hasn't, so this will be word soup.
Boca has mostly settled in. I didn't really expect much different. He's an easy horse. He is easy to handle on the ground, and gets along with most horses. He's made friends with his paddock neighbors and his stall neighbors.
The biggest surprise to me was his total lack of fitness. I spent the first week mostly asking him to walk and jog on the longe. He has as joint behind (fetlock? hock?) that is clicking, the way your ankles or knuckles crack. I spoke to my vet and she isn't concerned. She says she gets a lot of these calls in the spring when horses go back to work. Because it is not associated with a lameness, our plan is to keep an eye on it and see if it resolves itself.
I did get on one day mid week and walked circles and serpentines, plus I walked our hilly driveway without incident.
Yesterday we went to the ring, and Boca was not himself. Ears flat back on his head, he did NOT want to go forward. He was all balled up under saddle, kicking out with both hind legs, half-rearing. I decided to get off and longe him. On the longe he was fine, no soundness issues, ears forward. After he warmed up, I got back on. He wasn't happy, but he was better. We ended with a quiet trot in both directions.
I was really proud of myself for not engaging in a fight with him. I was quiet, sensitive and firm. I worked through it without getting emotional, which is HUGE growth for me. I totally took myself out of the situation, evaluated what he needed, and tried to make good decisions.
Of course now, I am totally freaking out that he is riddled with ulcers from the move, or that he is back sore. My trainer is coming today, so hopefully I will get her input. Right now, it is a waiting game. It could have just been a bad day. It could be any number of things.
I've never been through a winter with Boca before, so I don't have a baseline on what is normal for him. I'm also not in a formal "program" with a trainer, so I don't have someone to run to when I'm not sure what's going on with my horse.
At my last barn, I had a community of friends and peers to bounce things off of. Right now, I am the new kid on the block. Those relationships are not in place, and I miss them.