Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moving Day

Today was a very emotional day for me. I woke up this morning at 6, and just laid in bed. I enjoyed the first few seconds of the day before I remembered what was happening today. Ophie's mom and boyfriend showed up at my house around 7 and we left to head to the barn. My stomach was doing the biggest tumbles and I thought that I was going to vomit.

It was a beautiful day! The ground was frosted over, and Denali was happily munching on her breakfast. It made me sad to see her so happy, knowing that she was about to leave her best friends for a new adventure.
Last breakfast with friends.
Being that I was a nervous, vomiting, wreck Ophie's mom and one of the caretakers went and got Denali from the field and wrapped her legs. I couldn't go out. I was so nervous and upset and I know that she can smell that a mile away.

When they walked her down the road I started to cry, but held it together. Here was my horse and my best friend had to handle her because I was too afraid. It was a very odd moment of emotions of guilt/sadness/gratefulness. I helped to put her cooler on her for the trailer ride and finished packing the truck.

The hauler was so nice to Denali (who mind you was totally calm as a cucumber.) He made sure her hay net was ready to go while I got her shipping halter on her (read: Ophie's mom held her while I put her halter on over her rope halter.) We handed her over and he walked her up to the trailer, and she walked right on as if she's done this everyday for her entire life.

Auntie, Iz good girl, momma's crazy. Whatz the deal?

We had her out of the field, wrapped, and loaded in under 20 minutes. I only started crying a few times and we were off. The trip was 100 miles from the rehab barn to the retirement barn. The haulers said they could call us when they got close if we wanted to go ahead. No, no thanks! I made my poor husband drive behind the trailer the entire way, while I yelled at people who got between my car and the trailer. 

Ophie's mom and Ophie's mom's boyfriend helped make the trip go fast and we were there in a little over two hours. We stopped with about 20 miles to go, and Denali was still calm as could be. I was so proud of her! I gave her a cookie and a pat on the nose. The hauler had brought his retired show horse to keep Denali company, and I know that was probably a big help in keeping her calm.

We showed up at the farm around 11am. We drove in front of the trailer and opened the gates. I went back into panic mode and sort of freaked out when the trailer stopped. You can see how Denali handled getting off the trailer below.

I was so proud, and so relieved. What a good, good girl. It was great to see her act like a normal horse. She has never gotten off a trailer so calm. I LOVED the hauler and highly recommend him! Denali usually AT LEAST runs around and is an idiot.  The caretaker of the property took her from the hauler and was so nice to Denali, but still expected her to listen. It was a great feeling of, "hu, I think this is going to be okay."

Denali and the caretaker walked around a little bit. Ophie's mom unwrapped her legs for me (see what I mean, totally incapacitated by fear. Boo.) Denali kept looking out into the pasture to check out the three horses who were there before they took off running into the barn (they thought she was going in there.) The care taker took Denali into her outdoor arena and let her loose. You can see the introduction below.

I paid her board and handed over the contract to the owner/caretaker's husband while she was showing Denali aroun the property. She kept telling me what a good girl she was, and she was! She walked Denali to her stall/run and introduced her t Duchess. Denali wasn't sure if she should kick Duchess or present herself for breeding. She decided to present herself and started to clack. Oh Denali. Duchess was in her stall, and was NOT having this new horse in HER paddock. It was really funny. Here I was so worried about Denali, I didn' think that another horse might not like her. It's usually the other way around. Denali didn't seem too concerned about Duchess, and was slightly interested in Henry the pony. She went around eating the grass.
Look Ma! No mud!

While Denali was settled in I showed her Denali's "essentials." She asked my husband if Denali had a stylist that came with her too. Opps. She does have a lot of stuff, but she might need it! I did take back her Back on Track blanket/boots and her winter coat that would be great if she lived in Antarctica. The owner reminded me that she works in Seattle and can pick up anything that Denali might need.

We were out of there by noon. The owners seemed to want Denali to get settled, and with anxious, babbling me, that's hard for her to do. She was SO GOOD. I was just so proud of her. She wasn't even drugged, but the vet did have us give her some calming homeopathic stuff.

I've gotten two updates. The first one as telling just "how sweet of a mare she is" and the other one that they are going to wait to put her and Duchess in together. Duchess isn't having the new neighbor yet, and they don't want one of them to get hurt. Also, Denali REFUSES to go into her stall. They have the water and food in there, but had to go out tonight to put her water outside because Denali just won't do it on her own. While we were there she went into her stall because we had snacks. I'm glad they are keeping an eye on her. She also didn't get her breakfast so I made up some grain/supplements. She sort of poked it around, but didn't dive in. It was only a little bit of grain since it's new to her, but she didn't seem interested. I hope she ate it!

Overall I'm really happy, and really sad. My friends have been amazing and so supportive. Ophie's mom took a whole day and spent it helping me, and I don't know what I'd do without her. I'm so glad that Denali settled in so well. I'm so glad that I decided to do retirement and not give her away. She is such a special mare, and I love her like I could love no other horse. I think a break is good though. I'm also sad that I won't be able to see her as often. I know that I could make it down there if something happens (GOD FORBID!) I am going to try to go down this week, and in December. I want to at least make it down there once a month, if not more to check on her. I just hope she's okay! It's so hard. I want to send the woman 500 text messages, but I won't. I don't want her to realize HOW crazy I can be. :)

Ophie's mom took some amazing photos today! I will post those as soon as I can steal them from her!
In other news, a friend of mine leased a horse (18 year old Dutch Warmblood) but her horse she bought showed up yesterday. She wants me to ride him for the remainder of his lease. He is boarded at the GWB, and use to work at a therapeutic riding center. I remember him from being there, and I know him from working on Sundays. He'd be perfect, but I just don't know if I'm ready to get back in the saddle yet. I think panic attacks need to stop first. Either that or strong drugs! ha.

Thanks for all your kind words.


Amy said...

I know it was a very hard day for you and I am so happy that Denali made it easier for you by being such a good girl. By the sounds of it you made a fantastic choice. Now you just needs some time to process all of it. I would be so tempted to take the lady up on the offer of the horse to ride. I think if he is used to be a therapeutic horse that he may just be able to be that for you and start to build back you confidence.

Ms Martyr said...

I loved the videos, especially the pony running up first to say "hi" to Denali.

I would think a horse that had been used for therapeutic work would be perfect to help you get your confidence back. The panic attacks aren't going to go away until you confront them. There's some wisdom to the old saying about when you fall off a horse you should get right back in the saddle. The longer you wait the worse (mentally) it's going to get.

eventer79 said...

Oh, I am so happy for you two that it was such a peaceful experience (well, for Denali, haha!). It sounds like you had a wonderful hauler and a wonderful friend by your side for a very emotional day -- anyone who loves their horse find retirement a hard thing!

Oh, and Denali looks fantastic, by the way, her weight and shine are great!

Dom said...

So glad to hear it went smoothly. I've been thinking of you.

SprinklerBandit said...

It sounds like an incredibly excellent arrangement. Good thing Denali got to live out with the herd for so long--she should have developed enough social skills to do quite well in her new place. :-) I'm sure she'll be very happy and I hope you do ride the WB gelding a bit--he sounds lovely.

achieve1dream said...

Well . . . I do have a friend who has to knock back a few before she can show lol. I would jump on the chance to ride a Dutch Warmblood for the remainder of the lease, but I do understand your fear. I really do. It's hard to work through. You can do it though. Hang in there.

I'm glad Denali did so well and that she seems to be settling in well. We will try not to send you 500 comments asking about her, just as you're trying not to send 500 texts. Do please update us on her though. :)