Sunday, September 12, 2010

Moving Day

This weekend was an exciting and very busy weekend for us. We moved the first group of horses to the new farm. The Big Boys made the trip together on Saturday and they travelled in style on a big, shiny semi. We wanted them to have no period of separation at all to minimize stress and it seems to have worked. The day went better than I would have ever predicted.

Our shipper pulled up at 10am sharp, and by 11:20am the boys were grazing in their new pasture. It did not even take an hour and half to get all of the doors open, the ramp down on the trailer and the stalls configured to get ready to start loading horses, get everyone loaded, close all the doors on the trailer and put the ramp up, drive to the new farm, open all the doors up and get the ramp down to prepare to unload horses, and finally unload everyone off the trailer.

I was so proud of my boys yesterday. Every single one of them just walked right on the trailer without a moment of hesitation, backed into their stalls, and stood quietly while we continued loading horses. It has been a few years since a lot of them have been on a trailer for any reason, so we really had no idea what to expect from some of them.

Chance was the first horse on the trailer. I picked him because he is so quiet and always a gentleman and I knew he would get us started off on a good note. He did not let me down as he marched up the ramp and onto the trailer. All of the boys followed his lead.

Once everyone was loaded, the ramp was up and all of the doors were closed the boys hit the road. They had a short 30 minute ride to the new farm and they unloaded as quietly as they loaded. I thought I was going to have the opportunity to get some fabulous action shots and video as they ran around exploring their new digs. By the time everyone was unloaded and I turned my camera on they were grazing - and they never stopped grazing. I did not get one single action shot! Given that the Big Boys are so active anyway we were fully prepared for them to be a little worked up and crazy but I am certainly not unhappy that they acted like it was just another day and nothing was all that unusual.

We hung around for a few hours waiting for the big panic to come but it never happened. I left after about five hours and Jason stayed until almost 8pm. The boys had a couple of night checks by our help after Jason left and the only reports we received were that they were grazing quietly. Jason was at the farm bright and early this morning and reported that the boys were grazing happily when he drove up. They ate their breakfast and went back to grazing. When I spoke to Jason at noon today he said they were still just as calm and quiet as they could be.

Needless to say we are more than thrilled with the uneventful move!

Ivan walking quietly onto the trailer

My horse Hoffy getting ready to load

Thomas and Homer waiting for their turn

We had the boys in our small cattle corral while we waited for the shipper. My dad helped us out a lot by opening and shutting the gate as we took horses out to load them, and sitting with the ones left behind to make sure they didn't get worked up. He then helped us unload horses by opening and shutting the gate for us and keeping an eye on the boys in their new field while we were unloading. Good help is invaluable - thanks Dad!

Leo getting on the trailer
Elfin was the last horse to load
Jeff, our shipper, sweeping off the ramp and preparing to close everything up on the trailer

Chance, Ivan and Homer hanging out on the trailer

And they're off! The Boys pull out of the farm and hit the road.

30 minutes later they pulled into the driveway at the new farm

And a few minutes after that they were all grazing in their new pasture; we would see curious heads come up and look around between bites of grass.

But after one run from one end of the field to the other they never got too excited again and I hadn't even had a chance to grab my camera before they settled down to graze.

Tony and Baby checking out the run-in

Homer and Grand (Elfin behind them)



Levendi and Leo

Thomas really likes Jason and he often comes up to the fence when Jason is around. They always look like they are having a conversation. I asked Jason what Thomas had to say and he said that Thomas approved of the new living arrangements.


Apollo, Hemi, Leo, Levendi

Apollo and Leo
Homer and Chance quietly hanging out; note Homer's signature crossed legs in the back. I often see him do that when he is resting a leg.

Grand with Ivan, Apollo and Hoffy in the background. The area between the fence, water troughs and run-ins is completely gravelled. We do love our gravel around the traffic areas!

Grand licking the empty feed bags hoping for dessert.

Levendi, Elfin, Leo, Hoffy, Ivan, Apollo


Leo and Baby

Baby and Grand

Levendi, Ivan, Apollo

Hemi and Chance


Sylvia said...

That is one sweet ride! I'm proud of your boys, too :)
Are their plans to build a house there for you and jason? (sorry if I missed that)
Nice work everyone!

Vivian, Apollo's Mom said...

This is so exciting! I am just thrilled that the Big Boys made it so uneventfully to their beautiful new home. They all look very contented! Happy Homecoming!

Funder said...

Congrats!! I can't imagine the logistics you're pulling off. So impressive. :)

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Everyone is so comfortable because you made it so for them! You are great horse caretakers! Are Mina and Jo riding in the big trailer too? Tee hee.

Anonymous said...

Uneventful is very good in my book - glad everything went so smoothly! Hope Lily will still be able to groom over the fence with "her boys" Levendi and Thomas - but if she can't I'm sure there will be other boys to flirt with!

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Hi Melissa & Jason,

Looks like the boys moved well for you! They are right at home. I'm sure it will be strange for you to look out and not see them there at your old place. Did you start on your new home? I must have missed that post?

PhunnieOne said...

That is wonderful that they settled in quickly. Although I must admit, I was prepared to see some awesome action shots. Especially since you get some good ones when all you do is rotate them to another field.

If you don't mind me asking; how many acres is the pasture they are in? It seems like a large group.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Sylvia, Jason and I do plan to relocate ourselves and all of the horses to the new farm. We're working out the details on our own living accomodations right now. It won't be featured on the blog, all of our money is going towards horse facilities! Jason likes to joke that our house will feature a lot of tar paper (at least I HOPE he is joking . . . not actually sure . . .)

PhunnieOne the pasture the boys are in at the new farm is about 45 acres. It is about 5 acres bigger than the pasture they used to be in.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Funder I forgot to add that as my Dad and I pulled into the driveway at the new farm at 11:10am, exactly an hour and 10 minutes after the shipper had rolled up at the other farm, I said to him "we'll have the horses unloaded in ten minutes. I can't believe we moved these horses in an hour and twenty minutes." I had assumed that we probably wouldn't have even left yet, much less be done with the move in that time frame! The boys were VERY good to us!

cheyenne jones said...

If I didnt know better, I`d say you all had worked for some logistics company!!! fantastic job!

PhunnieOne said...

I love the way you allow the horses to be horses and give them plenty of room. And not try to maximize a buck by trying to ram as many as possible onto your acreage. By the time I can own a horse and it will retire you probably will be yourself. lol But it gives a benchmark to look to.

RuckusButt said...

Wow, you guys are moving faster than I thought (pun intended). Looks great! I bet you will be happy to be on the same property with everyone again, I imagine the next several months are going to be extra hard with traveling back and forth each day.