Well, it has happened again. Once again, SFD is looking for a home base.
We have been here before. McKinley Hunt, our last home, came with an awesome landlord, Sue Brown. Shortly after we moved in, Sue decided to retire and build a house in NM. The sale of McKinley prompted our move to Red Bridge, which, by and large, has worked out very well. That is, until now.
As most everyone knows, our landlord passed away in late December. His widow and son-in-law have been doing a great job of keeping the place up, but she just doesn’t want to live in that big house without her husband. I can’t say as I blame her. So Red Bridge is on the market.
As of now, we don’t have a deadline, but I’d rather be pro-active than re-active. I’ve been running numbers, comparing available facilities, making my pro-and-con lists. Each move has given us better facilities than our last home, and I expect nothing less this time. Red Bridge has some wonderful strengths, and we’d like our next home to have those strengths, plus a bit more.
The shopping list gets clearer with each move. We need:
An indoor and an outdoor
Larger, better ventilated stalls
Not too far from my main-line clients
Heated bathroom, preferably with a shower (I can live without this, but I REALLY like not crunching with sweat if I have to do something after my rides)
A variety in sizes and topography in turnout (some small, flat spaces for the hotter horses, a hilly pasture for weak-stifles
A place to hack out and do conditioning
An apartment for my most-awesome-groom, Lynn
Be priced so I don’t have to charge an arm and a leg for board
The I-wish-I could-have-everything list includes automatic waters in pastures and easy stall watering, logical tack room-laundry-grooming area set-up, and is designed so we never need a wheelbarrow or hose, but I think that will have to wait.
So that has been my last week or so, talking to people about facilities, looking at spreadsheets, comparing facilities.
On the horse front, the rehabs are coming along really well. Colonel, the old guy who survived a nasty puncture wound and subsequent hock surgery, is beating the odds and coming back. Venus started light work this week (YEA!!! YEA!!! YEA!!!), and the therapeutic ultrasound has worked miracles in the thickness of her injured tummy muscle.
The competition horses are knocking my socks off. Adding hill work in the springtime always makes horses more forward, but Eclipse and Secret have really benefited. Both of them had all of the technical stuff for their levels, just needed a bit more fitness. The hills gave them uphill, suspended fitness. When I ride, it feels like I’m bouncing on a kid’s jolly ball, and I grin as much as a 4-year-old. Eclipse came through a tough workout Friday with more gas in the tank – a marked improvement from last year.
We have another spring schooler at Red Bridge this weekend, then Sunday we hit our first recognized show. I’ll post pics next week.