It has been a busy two weeks.
The holidays are usually anxiety filled for me. They still are, don’t get me wrong — I really hate the holidays — but at the very least, I’m not getting yelled at by customers anymore. My new position has its own set of terrifying responsibilities but at least no one is yelling at me for trivial shit! So, during the Thanksgiving stretch, I was panicked about getting all my shit done on time at work, house sitting, and MOVING MY HORSE.
Of course, I needn’t have panicked about any of that, but welcome to the brain of someone who is high anxiety! Work mostly solved itself, thanks to said anxiety pushing me into overdrive, and kind words from a coworker who was previously in my position (basically boiled down to: “We aren’t curing cancer. Chill the fuck out”). House sitting was mostly a non-event because that client’s critters are all easy and her clan of corgis make me a happy pet sitter.
Moving Sirius? Definitely didn’t need to panic.
I went up on Thanksgiving morning to ride before heading down to the other side of the state for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. We had a quick ride where he was good, if a little stupid-spooky (not legit spooky because there was nothing to spook at. Fool!). It was a glorious, 60 degree day at the end of November. No better way to spend it than on horseback and then eating FAR too much food with family!
I left that afternoon with my trunk full of my tack again. It was a little bittersweet. I’ve been riding with J and her family for almost a year now, first on Acerca and then Sirius. J and her family have been a source of fun and unwavering kindness the whole time, and it is exactly what I needed after Simba. I’m honestly unsure who’s going to miss who more…J and her family are certainly going to miss Sirius, but we are all mourning the loss of our Saturday morning rides together!
Saturday rolled around and I peeled into my aunt’s driveway at mach ten, tossed myself excitedly into her truck, and restrained myself from bouncing on my seat (poorly, but thankfully D either didn’t notice or was very nice in choosing not to make fun of me because she is a much better person than I am). D carefully backed her trailer into J’s tiny, difficult driveway like a pro, and I tumbled out of the truck and into the barn, probably with all the ungainly excitement of a five year old on Christmas.
I pulled Sirius into the barn and threw his shiny new blankie on him for the drive back to Mason. He side-eyed the hell out of all of us standing around and staring at him. I tossed his shiny new halter on him (working for Dover Saddlery really does have some major perks…) and marched him down to the trailer.
He loaded with no issues, outside of tiny, mincing, HYSTERICAL steps up the ramp and while he was mildly concerned on the trailer and tried to back out on top of poor D while she was doing up the butt bar, he traveled without fanfare.
We got to his new home and D, again, backed into the driveway like a pro. My shiny new barn owner, who is also a longtime friend and longtime house sitting client, A, came down to meet us as I was opening the side door so Sirius could peek out. I refrained from full body tackling her in excitement (which was good, because I am still significantly bigger than she is and would squish her). Moving my horse to this particular spot seemed to be excellent for all parties involved. A’s place is a sweet, private little barn with four stalls that is tucked away from the road and is on top of my very favorite trails on the planet. I am a stone’s throw from D’s farm, and surrounded by coworkers/friends/other house sitting clients. I also totally adore A and her family. It’s going to be very nice to actually SEE them once in awhile, instead of just taking care of their homestead while they’re away!
I backed Sirius off the trailer and he politely, albeit alertly, followed me up to the barn. We walked through the barn to the paddock, and all three of the current inhabitants — Lexi, a Quarter horse ex-reiner; Cherry, a squee-worthy mini mare, and Onyx, a slightly crotchety old Tennesee Walking Horse gelding — called to Sirius. He didn’t call back, but was certainly interested in the filled stalls.
Once I let him loose in his paddock (aka, the riding ring), he did a few laps at the walk. He wandered back over to where I was standing, looked at me, and did the equivalent of a horsey shrug. “Okay, now what?” A brought out a hay bag, but to my surprise, he chose to stand with the three of us as we chatted, calmly surveying his new surroundings. I walked him over to his hay, where he would munch if I was standing with him, but if I walked away, he velcroed himself to me. I took him inside shortly after that, because it was doing a gross drizzly thing and everyone was staying in for lunch hay. He happily stuffed his face in his hay in his stall after touching noses with Onyx, and once I was convinced he wasn’t going to suddenly have a meltdown, I left with D to go back and pick up my car/all my tack to unload.
We were a quarter of the way down the driveway, still in Sirius’ view, when he called out to our retreating backs.
Nope. I didn’t melt a little. What gave you that idea?
I came back to unload my stuff, and once I was convinced he was settled okay, I returned back to where I was house sitting that weekend, a mere two minutes away from the barn. I spent the rest of the evening only checking my phone every five minutes instead of every thirty seconds like I wanted to, and sat on my hands to keep from being a helicopter horse mommy. I succeeded, and also passed out VERY early because I was worn out from being an excited basket case all day.
I rode the next day…which I will detail in a separate post catching everyone up on our rides, because this is long and the ride post will be even longer.