Today was the big day – Mom hauled Murphy down to Hugo, Minnesota and we introduced him to his new home: Lakeview Farm.
I've never boarded a horse before – I've always mooched off my parents and kept my gelding up in the Brainerd Lakes Area – so this was a big step for me. I had to find the right mix of "must-haves:" pasture board with a lot of room to roam; a laid-back environment; indoor/outdoor arena; access to trail riding and (hopefully) the ability to bring my beautiful German shepherd with me.
Enter Lakeview Farm in Hugo, MN. Not only does it fit all my criteria; all the people I've met thus far (and I've met quite a few) are absolutely great. Very nice people who just love their horses and want to enjoy them to the fullest. Perfect.
Also, everyone who met Zada loved her today – except the paint pony in the gelding pasture (Poika), who didn't know WHAT to think of this weirdo dog with the big stick in her mouth – and she got along very well with the myriad of other dogs present.
Is it a big, fancy "show barn"? Nope. Do I care? Yup. As in, I did NOT want to be part of one of "those" stables. I plan on showing Murphy in open shows but the last thing I wanted was to be part of some snotty group of clicky ladies hell-bent on putting on a fashion show instead of just having fun with their horses.
He's now comfortably ensconced in his new pasture: it's "only" about ten acres but once he gets used to all the rest of the bachelor herd (aka The Geldings) he'll have approximately forty acres to run around in...which is exactly what I wanted for him. I believe horses need to be horses – and what horses inherently want to do is roam and graze and move freely, instead of being confined to a stall.
In fact, after I walked in with him (all the other geldings were out) and led him all around the fence line, I let him go and he just hung out, checking everything out with his ears. Then, after a couple of new friends had been introduced, he felt comfortable enough to roll.
The owner of Lakeview Farm – Marla – is a hoot with a fabulous personality and a love of horses...well, of all animals, really. Her cat (only one of seven I've met), her dogs (a Doberman, an ancient border collie mix, some other spaniel breed and a giant golden retriever), and her horses are all very friendly and people-oriented animals. With 200 acres to roam around on, they truly live the good life.
What a good boy :) Can't wait to head out tomorrow and ride him around in the arenas and maybe on some of the trails on the property...so glad to have entered this "farm family"!