Banjo playing in the water near our new barn.
The other day, I was working my rescue horse, Banjo, in the arena, when I thought back to when we first moved to a barn with an indoor arena Hobby Horse Farms. Sometimes, barn changes can be difficult on a horse. But Banjo really enjoyed that first move.
We're no longer at that particular barn, but our experiences there were very enjoyable. Maybe one reason the move went so well was that Banjo was really starting to trust me.
It was a bright spring morning a few years ago that I moved Banjo from a small, private barn with big fields and no riding arena to a professional facility with two large outdoor arenas and one heated indoor arena. There were also the hustle and bustle of sporthorses being exercised and trained in the arenas, and being moved around the barn area.
To back up, when I adopted Banjo, he was terrified of everything. The first time I took him into an indoor arena, he was so scared, he shook all over. By the time I moved him to this barn, he'd come a long way. But I still wondered how he'd handle all the activity, and unfamiliar sights and sounds.
As it turned out, Banjo handled the move very well. The first time I took him into the indoor, he walked around calmly. He was a little worried about the concession stand in the corner, but he didn't shake or snort. What an accomplishment for my big boy!
Banjo did have to learn to work with other horses around. When there were equines around, he thought it was time to socialize, as he was used to doing in the pasture. In his own sweet way, he wanted to meet all the other horses, even when he was under saddle. So at first, I had to keep reminding him that we had work to do.
We spent a lot of time exploring the facility and making new friends (when appropriate). Banjo's best friend was a big bay Warmblood. The two played in their turnout pasture every day?running, rearing, and bucking!
In a group setting, Banjo often looked after vulnerable horses that were smaller and older than the rest of the herd. At this barn, the horse lowest in the herd was a small, older Arabian named Gem. Banjo made it his job to ensure that Gem got a chance to eat and wasn't bullied by the more dominant horses.
We both loved this barn! We especially enjoyed wandering over to the little nearby reservoir to play in the water and going for gallops in the big field behind the barn. I guess you take the horse and girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the horse and the girl!
Another bonus of this barn was that they had a great little schooling show every month. At that time, Banjo and I were working on our jumping. I was looking forward to the day when we'd be ready for our first jumping show!
If you want more information on rescue horses or you want to locate a rescue near you, please check out AHomeForEveryHorse.com. Equine.com and the Active Interest Media Equine Network have joined forces with the American Horse Council's Unwanted Horse Coalition to launch A Home for Every Horse Project.
This project helps find homes for America's 170,000 to 200,000 horses in need of care and shelter.
Here's how it works:
? Begin the search for your next equine partner at AHomeForEveryHorse.com. You can search horses waiting for homes at nonprofit shelters across the country. Browse by rescue horse, or find rescue organizations in your area.
? Visit the site's "Services" section to learn about your local rescue organizations. Find out how you can volunteer, donate, or simply spread the word.
? Look for upcoming stories on EquiSearch.com related to horse rescue.
If your 501(c)(3) rescue organization would like to join the Home For Every Horse Project, call (866) 467-7323, ext. 100. Equine.com is a part of Active Interest Media Equine Network.