Just like so many horse stories I read as a pre-teen, I couldn’t sleep last night. I was just too excited to sleep. And I had too many things racing through my mind. So at 5:02 AM, I was wide awake and ready for the day to begin.
You see, today, in about 7 hours, I will be going to meet the horse transport people to pick up my new horse, Plezant. And there is a lot I need to get ready for him to come home.
And I apologize, but I am a little bit OCD when it comes to sharing every single moment of the day. But if you are planning on bringing a new horse home yourself, you might find this helpful. And I know I just posted a blog post about getting ready for a new horse, but I thought you might want to know how the big day went. Which is why I am posting 2 blog posts in one day.
After the sun came up, which is ironic that I am getting a horse on the shortest day of the year, I went out to take Frisby’s blanket off, and give him his breakfast. Of course he was happy to see me. After all, I am the fooder, the one who brings him his endless supply of hay, and grain, and treats.
So with Frisby happily munching on his breakfast, I got to work on making sure Plezant’s stall was ready for him.
Adding extra shavings to the stall, and then I raked out the paddock one more time. I also made sure the light strand cord was out of the way, so he wouldn’t have anything to entice him to chew on it. Who knows if he would play with it. But I don’t want to leave anything to chance.
Horses are like toddlers. If there is something they can get into trouble with, I assume they will. So I try and make everything baby proof, or rather, horse proof.
Since the temperature is still below freezing, I decided to do something productive with my time while I was hurrying up and waiting. Christmas is just about here, and the house needs to be cleaned up a little more than just the regular weekend cleaning. And when I am nervous, or anxious I clean.
So I got busy cleaning and putting everything in it’s place. I cleaned the bathrooms, and made the bed. I cleaned our room, and started the laundry. And this is about the time my husband asked me if I was cleaning the house for the new horse? Which I quickly replied, yes.
While it’s still freezing outside, I decided it was late enough I could go work outside.
One more check through the arena where Plezant will be for the first several hours. I thought since it had been warm that the ground would be easy to work. I thought wrong. The tines of my ground ripper just bounced over the ground. So my thoughts of having a beautifully groomed arena for Plezant to run around on wasn’t going to happen, at least not this morning.
I also removed the uprights for my jumps from the arena. Plezant was a show hunter at one time. And from what his owner told me, he could easily jump 4 feet. I don’t want him to see the jumps as an invitation to jump over the arena fence. So the jumps go away.
I moved in a couple of buckets for water, and filled them up. Along with a little bit of hay in a hay net, just in case he gets hungry.
The morning which seemed to be moving so slow now seems to be on hyper speed. It will be noon before I know it, so I need to get everything done so I can head over to Plezant’s barn! But the time will pass soon enough. And since I was outside I decided to organize my little red barn. It needs it. During the cold, I am not as good at putting things away. And while I am grateful that my husband gets my hay, and shavings he doesn’t put them away. But they are in the barn, which is one less thing I have to do after I get home from work.
I have already bought bought Plezant’s pellets, beet pulp shreds, and treats. And the pellets I will be keeping in our garage so I can soften pellets before his meals. You see Plezant has some dental issues. Being a show horse, I guess his teeth have been floated, and floated, and floated. He still has them, but he can’t chew as good as he used too. One time he had an incident of choke in his past, so his food gets softened down to a mash for every meal.
Plezant seems to be a pretty easy keeper though. He gets one scoop of orchard grass pellets in the morning and evening for his meals. He does get turned out into a big pasture where he has free access to timothy hay, which is one thing I need to get after he gets settled in today.
Thankfully, I have plenty of buckets, and an extra metal trash can to store his pellets in. I am keeping this in our garage, because it will be easier for me to get his meals ready here, rather than going out to the barn, getting the bucket, and the feed, and then adding water to the pellets.
I like this set up in the garage much better.
I have filled all of the water buckets, cleaned the stalls, bedded the stalls, and given the property a thorough walk through, and I think everything is pretty safe, and ready to welcome Plezant to his new home.
One thing that I hadn’t done until this morning was take down Ethan’s name sign that was on his stall. But I did today. I haven’t made Plezant’s name sign yet. I wanted to wait until he is officially here before I made it.
And my husband bought me a new Cricut machine for Christmas which I haven’t even played with yet. But it came with all kinds of vinyl, which I am excited to play with, and hopefully will be doing this evening!
Noon cannot get here fast enough. So I decided to text Plezant’s owner, and make sure we were all good for noon. Lynda and I had spoken about her coming along to partake in the new horse experience, so I texted her too to see when I should expect her. I like having friends around, especially in this situation. I will have lots of time by myself with Plezant, so having another set of experienced eyes is always welcome.
I figured I might as well take a shower, and get ready to go. I do need gas in my car, so I will leave a little bit early so I can drive 5 miles out of my way to put gas in my car. Instead of putting it off, I should have done it on my way home last night. But of course I didn’t.
And I am planning on making a video of this entire process, so I might as well look presentable, right? I took the time to do a conditioning treatment on my hair too. I mean, I am trying to pass the time, so why not.
Only a little longer until I will be going to meet with Plezant’s owner! And I am seriously ready to leave now. But, I still have time to kill. I decided to turn Frisby out for a bit. This way he can go stand in his corner, by his tree, and do what he likes to do most – nap. He is like a guard horse. Some people have guard dogs, I have a guard horse.
Frisby stands at the end of the property, in the furthest corner like a statue. He greets people as they walk by (which is why I put up my sign). And it’s like he is hoping to see a horse or two walk by. Which will probably happen today, because it is gorgeous outside. It’s already 50 degrees, and the forecasted high temperature is 60. Which is awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better day to pick up Plezant!
I decided to check my e-mail while I was waiting. And I see that my latest Amazon order has shipped, and will be here in time for Christmas. That doesn’t matter really though, because I bought stuff for Plezant. I had a gift card for Amazon, so I decided to see if I could find some things I need for our newest family member.
Plezant is used to being tied in cross ties. And from what his owner told me, he doesn’t ‘straight tie’ very well. Meaning he moves around a bit, and may pull if he is straight tied, which is how I tie Frisby to my hitching post. However, I have really wanted cross ties for a long time, but never saw a reason to justify it. But, since Plezant cross ties well, there is my justification.
So I bought cross ties on Amazon. One question I have though, why do they only sell them by the single piece? I mean when you are buying cross ties, you need a pair of them right? So why don’t they just sell them by the pair? It makes no sense to me. But I bought 2 cross ties, and the hardware to put them up. But even the hardware is only sold per piece, so I had to buy two in order to have a ‘set’.
I already have some stall mats which I plan on putting where I will have the horse standing. Then I just have to buy the wood posts to attach the hardware too, concrete to sink the posts into, and dig the deep, deep holes to set the posts into. That will be a project for after the new year. But at least I will have the cross ties now, right?
I also bought a few more slow feed hay nets. Because I feel I can never have enough hay nets! And they were affordable at around $12.00.
I may need to buy a new girth for Plezant. He takes a 56″ girth which is larger than any girth I have. But I do have a girth extender that adds about 8 inches. Hopefully that will work until I decide if I need a new girth or not.
He is coming to me with all of his gear, which is really cool. I love getting stuff, especially horse stuff. So once I get him home, and settled, I am looking forward to going through all of his ‘stuff’.
Well it is finally about time to get going to meet up with Plezant, and the horse transporter. Kind of a horse taxi really. Which is just so cool. I hired a company called Run Amok to transport Plezant to my house. He only lives a few miles away, so it was way more affordable than I would have thought. And I decided to have him transported because, well, I like easy, and this was ultra-easy.
After Frisby had been out for a bit, I put him back into his stall with a full net of hay. I don’t think he minds, as long as he has food in front of him, he seems to be happy.
All right! It is finally time for me to go get my new horse! And thankfully, Lynda offered to come with me. It’s always better doing something stressful with friends right? I am so glad she offered to come with me. Now we just have to over and then it will be time to meet up with Plezant’s owner, and the horse transporter!
Remember how I said I need to go get gas? Yeah, well that didn’t happen. I had planned to stop and get gas. But even though the time seemed to pass so slowly, it had gone into hyperspeeed, so no gas for my car. I hope I have enough to get there, and then get home.
We made it to the barn (yay!) And Plezant’s owner was there waiting for us. She had also collected Plezant’s things to see if I would want anything to take with him. This was so great of her. She had his bridle, with the bit he loves along with a very fancy leather half pad, and his blankets.
While we waited for the horse transporter, Lynda and I piled the goodies into my car. It was like Christmas came early!
And the transporter was running a little bit behind, which was ok because I got to talk with Plezant’s owner a little more. And she shared something really interesting with me. You see Plezant was a show horse. And Karen was a horse show mom. She had supported her daughter through the horse show circuit, and when her daughter grew up and moved away, she still had Plezant.
And while she loves him, very much, he was too much horse for her. She said she knows of a lot of other former horse show moms that have kept the show horse after the kids grow up and begin their lives. And with that, there are a lot of horses that could potentially be looking for homes, with an owner who will love them, give them what they need, and they won’t be too much horse for them. Kind of like me I guess. And honestly, I would have never thought about that avenue for looking for a new horse.
So if you are looking, that might be something to keep in mind. Look to your trainer who might know of a horse like Plezant that needs a forever home. You might be able to find a schoolmaster that has been there, done that. And he (or she) might be just the horse you have been searching for.
I was able to catch Plezant from his pasture, and he was awesome. But getting him on the trailer, well, that was another story. He saw that trailer and was like, um yeah, I don’t think so.
He was not having it. I tried, Lynda tried, the transporter tried, the former owner tried, and no go. It was like one of those Clinton Anderson specials you watch where the horse will not get on the trailer. (Minus the bucking and rearing crazy horse.)
And then about an hour after trying to get him on the trailer, the barn owner came out and said “for 25 dollars for every 15 minutes, $75.00 minimum, I’ll get that horse on the trailer.” Karen and I looked at each other and thought the same thing, but she spoke first, “Yes! I’ll pay for it.” Which was very nice, she didn’t have to do that.
And 15 minutes later, Plezant was on the trailer, and we were (finally) headed home. There were several moments that I thought how lucky we were that it was 60 degrees outside, and not snowing.
About 15 minutes later we were pulling up to my house. And I wasn’t sure how Plezant would come off of the trailer. My neighbor’s horses were out. And when they saw the trailer they were running around like crazy horses! Bucking, and kicking, and snorting. I guess that was their way of welcoming Plezant to the neighborhood.
He came off the trailer like a champ, and while Lynda signed for him, I walked him up the driveway. I wasn’t sure how he would act, so I just kept telling him to be easy, and what a good boy he was. He was definitely taking everything in, but he was a perfect gentleman as he looked at his new surroundings. He never spooked, or shied. It was as if he was listening to me, and looking to me for reassurance. How cool is that?
I walked him into the main pasture area, and Frisby was very happy to see that there was a new horse coming to be with him.
Th way he perked up, and was so intently watching Plezant was awesome. He even called out to him, maybe a greeting? Maybe a hey buddy, welcome to your new home! I don’t know, but Frisby was definitely happy to see him.
I walked Plezant around the arena several times. I wanted to make sure he knew what the boundary was. So we walked all the way around the arena in both directions. And in true Plezant fashion, he was a complete gentleman. When I said whoa, he stopped. When I said walk, he walked. He wasn’t flighty, or anxious. He was just taking it all in. I don’t know how else to describe it.
And then I decided to take his halter off. I had no idea if he would ever let me catch him again or what. But I don’t like to leave halters on horses. I would rather have to chase them around for an hour to catch them rather than they get caught up on something.
Now it was time to introduce Frisby and Plezant. Plezant was locked into my arena, (I am so glad we put in gates last year) and then I put the halter on Frisby and walked him out of his pen. I could have just opened the gate, and let him go, but no, I wanted this to be a controlled meeting. So I walked Frisby out, and told him how good he was. Then we just walked around a bit and made our way over to the fence.
I let them sniff at each other, and then when Frisby tipped his head to me, I patted him and told him what a good boy he was. Then we walked along the fence line, first following Plezant, and then Frisby was the lead horse. And after there weren’t any fireworks, I took of the halter and let them get to know each other.
There was some squealing and kicking, but overall it was very uneventful. Exactly what I wanted to happen.
I put out some hay remnants next to the water . I put a little for Frisby, and a little for Plezant. And when I put the hay out, I made sure to put some directly on Plezant’s side of the fence, as well as Frisby’s side.
And then I decided to leave them alone for a bit, and let them get to know each other. I went inside, but I kept looking out the front door to see how things were going. I can happily report, everything went fine.
The horses had been out for about an hour now, and with this being the shortest day of the year it was time to bring them in. And as Frisby is the main resident, I got his dinner ready first.
Plezant was watching me, and Frisby, and watched as I caught Frisby, put his blanket on, and then tucked him in. Then it was Plezant’s turn.
I had been soaking his feed for about 2 hours, I had no idea how long it would take to turn the pellets to mush. And 2 hours was about perfect. I went out to the arena and let myself in, but I din’t go directly to Plezant. I walked around and let him follow me. My neighbor had come to the fence, and we were talking about the new horse, and wishing each other a Merry Christmas before we parted, and Plezant was beside me and allowed me to pet on him before he wandered off.
I made my way back to the gate and called for him, and he came up to me and I pet him again. I told him how good he was, and how grateful I was to have him here with us. Then I put on his halter, and led him back to his new stall.
I put him inside, and got his dinner. He was very excited to see this. I put his mush into his feeder, and then pet him and told him how good he was. It was cold, but I didn’t know how he would react to his blanket. And even though this probably isn’t the best way to go about it, while he was eating, I got his blanket. He let me put it on him with no fuss, and again, was a complete gentleman.
Once it was dark, I grabbed a couple of treats and went back out to check on the horses. They were both fine (YAY!) I gave them a treat and a pat and went back inside.
The final check in for the night. Again, I brought a small treat for both horses, and gave them a final check. Everything was quite and fine. I turned off the barn lights, and made my way back inside.
Welcome Home Plezant
This was a huge day for me, as I’m sure it was for the horses as well. But with only a few hiccups along the way, everything went fine. I think the most important take away I can offer if you are getting ready to go through this yourself is to have a plan, but be ready to be flexible with that plan. I can promise you that your plan will not go exactly how you want it to go, and you need to be ok with it. Go with the flow. If you have a good plan, and can be somewhat flexible, it will all work out ok. It may not go exactly like you had wanted, but in the end it will be ok.