I am the owner of a 5 year 9 month old Friesian import from Holland and have had him for the past year. Currently, I live overseas but am originally from the states. My background with horses began when I was 6 years old and horses have been with me most of my life (I am now in my early 30's having had some off time in my 20's from the horse life).
As a 1st time owner now, things are totally different from 1/2 boarding someone else's horse. There is the usual worry about everything as well as it being a huge responsibility. Add the language barrier over here, and some small things have been very hard. For the most part, I learned things by trial and error and it was such a great learning experience.
I can honestly say my Friesian has been an absolute dream and he is so much a part of our lives now. We have had many ups and downs that I could write my own Friesian book. I just love him and only want the best for him therefore I really pushed for a move to be close to him.
That is the quick recap. Now to the question(s). We are moving next month to a new stable from his existing one which I consider to be very professional. I do know someone who will be there at the new place and she said that while it is a great facility, the overall atmosphere is very different (more laid back - less supervision during the day) so we really need to take a more hands-on approach (i.e. being there!)
The relocation is actually in my favor since I will get a lot more riding time but I still have alot of worries about the change.
Example training now (until end of December):
1. Monday - Ridden by Grand Prix rider - 45 minutes with lots of walking in between
2. Tuesday - off, usually with turn out for a few hours each morning but the paddock has been very muddy which leads to scratches in his feathers. Grass paddocks are now closed. Turnout is reduced. He is in a box stall, no window and no walkout. The walker is more of a treadmill which I consider dangerous and not an option for exercise.
3. Wednesday - I take a lesson with same GP instructor, learning basic dressage. I have the entire day off and spend most of the day with him. Unfortunately, this day off may change when we move and I go back to full time work.
4. Thursday - off, turnout as above
5. Friday - visit, trick training
6. Saturday - long hack /or ring work
7. Sunday - long hack or ring work
New location changes:
1. Turnout does not begin until the springtime so he will be in his stall more.
2. His new stall will not be in a high traffic area but quiet with his own walk out to a small area. There will also be another Friesian across from him which I think is great. No grass in the walkout though. Right now, he has no walk out but is turned out for a few hours each day. This is a big change.
3. The riders at the new place are not Grand Prix level but knowlegeable. I have no dreams of competing at such a high level and my existing barn offered this rider as this area of Europe is very well known in Dressage. I would like for my horse to learn alot though. Can I do this myself? Probably not!
4. The walker is actually better at new place and not dangerous in that it looks like a treadmill but an enclosed area.
1. Should I continue with a rider to train him or should I take an additional lesson instead in order to learn with him?
2. I hate putting my horse in a walker as he seems to be too intelligent for it. Does anyone use a walker a few times per week?
3. What do you do to entertain your horse all day? His new stall is not in a high traffic area, is in a corner but it does have a walk out (no grass, just a small area to walk).
4. Any tips to keep your horse from getting bored? Unfortunately, since I do not get to see him alot, he has been acting really studdy to other horse lately which is normal since he was gelded late at 4.5 years. He never oversteps with me and everyone says he just melts when he sees me. I know that my lack of time with him now is a huge issue.
5. I think that he needs a new training regimen that I would like to start when he moves at the end of the year. We will start after he settles in with his new friends.
I cannot wait to be able to see my horse almost everyday!
Any feedback or suggestions would be great.
Thanks for your help.