It appears to be time for my quarterly update. :)
So. As the title implies, there is more upheaval coming my way - has already arrived, mostly. The teacher I've been riding and boarding with got the job offer of a lifetime in Santa Fe, NM. Of course, the job requires that she *live* in Santa Fe ... so the barn we've been at is closing as of the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the new job needed her there like, yesterday, so she's been gone since Jan 31. Her husband went with her, only to have to turn around and go on a long business trip - poor Teacher! So ... at the barn now, that leaves ... um ... me.
I've been enjoying the hell out of being in the working student position, cleaning, feeding, and generally doing barn chores on an intermittent basis. I'm now enjoying the hell out of being the barn manager - feeding, cleaning, tidying, sorting, washing, grooming, turning out, bringing in, handling emergencies, and generally doing work every day. Even on the hard days, like yesterday, it's the best work ever. Granted, I'm tired - physically and emotionally, because worrying about the horses when I'm not right there is draining - and I want a day to sleep until I don't feel like sleeping any more, but it's still the best work.
It's very strange to find myself in the "manager"ish position. I would say that I don't know shit about shit when it comes to running/managing/being in charge of a barn. I would say that with great certainty, especially having seen how TW et al managed the barn in Idaho and how I made (many many many) mistakes there. So far, the learning curve has been steep, to say the least. How things happen, what needs to be done to keep a barn the way I think it ought to be kept, what I can change, what I can't change, what I'd like in an ideal barn, how much work it is to do all of this ... etc. Teacher tells me to not underestimate myself, my knowledge, and my skill - heh. I know what skill is, and I ain't got it. But I don't suck? I guess? All I can think of is MT telling me "you just need miles, lots and lots of miles," and the general fact that I don't know crap. I'm learning. So far, no horses have been hurt as a result.
Of course ... there WAS a scary colic episode with Apollo two days before Teacher left for NM. Stress colic, I'm sure, but not fun. I had to have the vet out and everything. :/ If he hadn't started looking more comfortable when he did, we might have had to haul up to Knoxville to get him into the UTK vet clinic, or we might have been able to run IV fluids at the barn ... either way, super scary. He's fine now, but of course I'm stressing about the fact that everydamnthing at the barn is frozen. Water, pipes, everything. I'm hauling in water, but it's still scary. Especially with Apollo colicing recently. Tennessee isn't really good about burying water pipes deep enough, because hey - it's Tennessee! It totally doesn't freeze here, right?! Sigh. So I'm hoping there will be water this evening when I get there, because the temperatures are rising ... there should be water tomorrow, I would think, and if not tomorrow, Sunday, but I DON'T LIKE IT ONE BIT. NOT EVEN A LITTLE. Heated buckets would be great, but that would require water to put in the buckets. :/
Anyway, yeah. Stress-ville for me with the freeze. The bathroom building is heated, as is the pump house, and it's been tempting to sleep there. Just ... because. Yknow. Watching over horses. (This is one of the things I've decided is necessary if I ever actually run a barn, which is vanishingly unlikely - if I were to do it, I would want to live on site. I hate leaving the horses alone. Even in their stalls, I hate it.)
So yes. The new situation will be boarding with a friend at her house. She has many many acres of pasture, including a flat area that will do nicely as a riding spot. It's got good drainage and is comfortable, and we're talking about expanding into more boarding and generally upgrading things. It's a blank slate, really, and it might be fun to see where we can take it. Lots and lots of room for pasture, lots of room for a home XC course, et cetera. It'll just be a LOT of work. Which I'm happy to put in. (Another thing I re-realize is that physical work is seriously good for me in all ways.) So we'll see. It's hard not to compare things with the barn in Idaho, but that was 30 years' worth of work and investment. And it's still developing. So ... we'll see. I don't know that I have 30 good years in me at this point, but I'm going to assume I do. At the very least, Apollo will be safe, happy, and comfortable, and I'll have lots of space to ride in. I'm buying Teacher's jumps, too, so there will be plenty of jumping. :)
Finding a new teacher ... we'll see. I'll update as I can.
So yeah. That's the info dump for now. More later, as usual!