I really thought that heading into Fall, with its shorter days and less outdoor friendly weather, we would be less busy here at Horse Haven. That is just SO not the case! If anything, our herd members have become even more committed to the health and well-being of our horses. Their real dedication is only now becoming obvious to me, and I am overjoyed. It is hard to describe how great it is to have our people come to the barn in the rain and cold, walk into the aisle and ask “Who needs some work today?” They check the log to see what horses have had what activity lately and then they work with the ones that need the attention that day. I thought people would be inclined to come out and work with their favorite horses, but that is not what is happening. Instead, everybody seems to have embraced the welfare of the herd as a whole. Sure, they still work with their favorites, but first they see what needs done and only after that do they move to what just sounds fun. Frankly, it’s thrilling.

In other news, we have a new horse in the herd! Yes, you read that correctly. We have a new equine member and she is a real jewel. Her name is “Shazam” and she comes to us via Donnell’s sister Sharon in Moses Lake. Shazam’s owner Renee was looking for a new arrangement for her to get more attention than she was able to provide.  Bingo!  Perfect fit for us, because that’s what we do!  Renee brought her to us two weeks ago and she’s been settling in ever since. She is a beautiful bay Quarter Horse. She is very tolerant and has a long history of being friendly to and accommodating of multiple riders. She has plenty of get-up-and-go, but she only turns it on when you ask her for it. The rest of the time she seems quite willing to take a leisurely pace if that is what you want. She is a rare find and we are grateful she made her way to us. And in what can only be serendipity, we happen to have a saddle that fits her! If you’ve followed some of our other blog posts, you’ll realize this is no small feat.

As wet settles in to the Pacific Northwest, we have to make some changes around the property. We’ve closed off the grass pastures to save them the wear and tear of hooves in mud. We are still using the play field when it isn’t raining, but we keep it to a walk or trot. No happy gallops through open spaces again until next spring. We still take the horses outside the arena for strolls around the rest of the property on good days, but most of our riding is in the arena now. And that means we get to learn to share arena space, and we usually have at least one other person to ride with, which is exactly what we wanted all along. So while it might seem like shorter days mean a shortness of fun, it isn’t turning out that way at all. Yes, some things are different at this time of year, but much to our welcome surprise, the things that matter are still the same:  our horses and our community.