The hubby surprised me on Thursday by saying that he had the following day off, and wanted to accompany me and Boca to our lesson. I was really excited at being able to get his input, because the husband is a wise man who generally makes very good, reasonable decisions.
Friday was a killer day weather-wise. The temperature was expected to be in the 90s, which is about at hot as it gets in New England, and the humidity was right up there. I was sweating rivulets just getting the trailer packed and hitched and getting Boca spiffed up and ready to go.
We had a nice 40 minute drive with the A/C blasting to calm things down on the perspiration front. The New Barn (NB) is located about 39 miles east of the current barn, bordering on land that that is the gateway to Cape Cod. The area is very picturesque - miles of cranberry bogs and shingled houses with backyard barns. It is a costal farming area, with tons of land and hints of the coastline.
When we pulled down the drive of the barn, hubby was impressed, and thought that they layout and facilities was actually nicer than my current barn, which was interesting, as I hadn't had that first impression.
I was actually half an hour early for my 9 AM lesson. I don't like to be rushed or late for anything, but definitely not while pulling a horse trailer and introducing a horse to a new environment. Also, to me, I should be in the tack at least 5 -10 minutes prior to the start of my lesson. It's a respect thing. A trainer's time is valuable and should not be wasted by an un-prepared student.
Boca, for his part, was a little wide-eyed, but sensible about everything. I unloaded him, tied him to the trailer, and tacked up, while waiting for new trainer (NT).
I don't have any media from our lesson, but needless to say, I worked my butt off while trainer was trying to get Boca to use his. He has this spectacularly massive front end, which he has used his whole life to, in essence, pull himself around. I was huffing and puffing trying to get him to w/t/c without leaning on his massive shoulders and actually use his (as my Polish great grandmother would call it) "dupa".
Trainer absolutely loved Boca, and had many nice things to say. She said that she thought we were not far off from being capable of putting together a quite nice dressage test, which was definitely news to me. She thought Boca looked like 'a fun ride' and noted he was 'quite sensitive'. She had a lot of great ideas on developing him further and getting him fit. She noted how his expression lit up when we started jumping, and how he definitely enjoys it.
|Much sweat. Very hot. Indoor wash stall (!!!)|
It was really nice to get such positive feedback on my horse. I can honestly say I thought she was genuinely complimentary of him, and it was refreshing. That has not always been the case, and it was uplifting to have someone genuinely appreciate him for something other than just his good brain and easy-going nature.
The lesson pretty much sealed the deal. I am a bit of a risk taker by nature and have always embraced change. The facilities are nice, the people are nice. The box stalls are large, airy, well bedded and clean. There is all-day turnout for Boca. The property abuts miles of trails and cranberry bogs. Feed and care appear to be exemplary. There is the opportunity to ride in a program, with someone to oversee our development. And best of all, I can afford full board!
Before I left, I told the trainer I would be taking the stall. She was pleased, and said after meeting me last week, they were hoping I would. Which was definitely nice to hear!
At the end of the day, I gave notice at my current barn. I got the ultimate compliment from the current BO, who is really sad to see us go, but understands us wanting to pursue our goals. It feels good to know that I Boca and I were well-liked, valued members of the community, and because of that, are welcome back at anytime.
So, the plan is to serve out our 30 days notice and move to the new barn the weekend of August 12th. I'm really excited to begin a new chapter in our journey.
And I'm really, REALLY excited to go on full board, and all the time and possibilities that opens up :)