Now that I’m here, I have to figure out a way to get Casady, Naughty and Kee out here too. Looking for barns in Boulder County hasn’t been easy (to say the least!), and planning the trip has been a whole new challenge. I’ve hauled 10 hours, 8 hours, and even 20 hours before (on that trip I was 14, though, so all I had to do was ride hard when we got there!), but never have I crossed the country from Ohio to Colorado with a trailer loaded down with horses, feed, hay, AND an entire house full of stuff.
So here are three major problems I’ve had when planning this big move:
1. Affordability: Let’s face it, some things are different out West than out East. My horses are pampered little princesses (and a prince), and they are not used to standing outside in runs. Not that there is a thing in the world wrong with that, and I’m not saying horses in runs are not pampered. My horses just happen to stand in stalls with deep sawdust and rubber mats and go outside for a few hours a day to eat grass. Affording this type of treatment is MUCH easier in rural Ohio, and even cheaper when you live with your parents and your horses live in their field and barn in rural Pennsylvania, like mine did before college.
That type of horse care is not super affordable in Colorado. So, I’ve been doing some major budget crunching, barn hunting and the like before my horses get here.
2. Who stays and who goes: By the end of my college career, my boyfriend and I had accumulated five horses. When I found out I’d be moving to Boulder, the logistics of getting all five of them here (and then affording stalls for FIVE horses) definitely overwhelmed me. I have a wonderful little three-horse trailer with small living quarters, and I knew I’d need to either trade in my trailer or pick two horses to stay home. I knew that the latter option made the most sense. I picked Onyx to stay home, because at 17, she would definitely be the most expensive horse to keep running competitively. My boyfriend picked Peeka, a six-year-old horse he was making into a head horse, to go back home, too, because she wasn’t ready to compete yet and he needed to pick the most competitive horse to come out here. Saying goodbye was painful at best, since I don’t know when I’ll make it back to my parents’ field in Pennsylvania again to see them. I think about both of those horses pretty often. (And I do get daily updates from Mom and Dad about Onyx’s enjoyment of her fan, private five-acre shaded field, and her well-deserved retirement.)
3. The trip: There are so many things that could go wrong on a cross country trip, it can be daunting just to think about loading three horses onto a trailer and saying farewell to home for the unknown. Because it is such a long drive (23 hours from barn-to-barn), I’ve been mapping out motels that let my four-legged friends stay there too, using HorseTrip.com and Horse Motels International. I’ve got my coggins papers ready, and I’ve got the health certificates signed and dated for all three of our critters. Boyfriend and I even invested in a binder to organize all of our papers. (Before, I would lose my coggins on every major road trip and have to call and beg my vet for another copy.) I chose the colors of course, as it is pink and orange. We went to WalMart and bought two big water jugs that we can fill up as needed, and boyfriend is going to start putting a bit of orange pop in the horses’ water this week so they get used to that taste. That way, they won’t be as likely to stick up their noses at water that “smells different” as long as we put some pop in it on the road.
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