I relocated to Cardiff in March, but I haven’t lived near to my big Georgey boy since I moved away from Cheshire in August 2015. It’s been a year now since I had the convenience of being down the road from him and I am starting to realise just how much I miss him.
I got George for my 18th birthday and that first year of owning him was a whirlwind. I learnt so much not only about horse ownership but myself. We had our ups & downs as with every relationship but he’s my baby and it’s time I brought him home to me.
Only recently have I started to consider the events that could happen in the near future; George was born in 1997 and at an unknown date next year he will turn 20. I have decided I would like the comfort of having George near to me as should the worst happen I would want to be there with him, reassuring him and knowing that my love was that last thing he felt.
I can imagine moving a horse 150 miles is not easily done and with George’s age and my over-protective-ness I want to ensure I make the best decision for him and not myself. I’ve only looked at two yards so far but they are poles apart. The first was a riding school with dozens upon dozens of people coming and going every day and the second was a gorgeous small yard nestled out in the wonderful Welsh countryside. I suppose you can tell which way I am leaning. But it still doesn’t help me make the decision so I was hoping the following would:
Yes, I’ve created a spreadsheet along with a scoring system for the yards I am considering (there are more but I haven’t yet completed them). But really what I need to get a handle on is whether I think George will settle and be happy. I know he’s currently happy where he is (at least I think he is) but I’m not happy about him being there. I have to make this as much a selfless decision as possible because I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I moved him and he was unhappy.
When I met George he was a little overweight and not being looked after they way he deserved; unfortunately the woman who had him would rather keep herself in cigarettes than keep him in bedding. I had George on loan originally, and saw to him 3 times a week, after a few months his owner announced she was moving abroad and was selling George. Having been ripped off I brought George to his new home in the July before my 18th birthday. As I had never owned a horse before and I knew I had a lot to learn, I chose a larger yard which had a score of people that were always around. Things were great at first but it soon became apparent that George and I were coping fine but the yard was not everything we needed it to be. The other owners spent too much time bitching and the yard owners were more concerned with their profit margins than the horses welfare.
Our next yard was gorgeous:
Jane the lady who owned the yard was wonderful and the horses always came first with her, even if it meant telling an owner off and George loved her. It was also very quiet and tranquil, it was a wonderful to escape here to see George. But as I’ve already said, life got in the way and I lost touch with a lot of the things I love.
The cost of this yard started to catch up with me and I had to find somewhere cheaper for George. As I was no longer riding I found a retirement yard for him and he’s been there ever since.
The yard I went to look at today was beautiful even on a rainy Welsh summers day (though nothing can compare to the above) and there’s meant to be beautiful hacking just down the road, so George and I can spend some lazy Sunday mornings walking through the countryside enjoying each others company once again. The woman who runs the yard is lovely and none of the stables are enclosed so I don’t have to worry about George being stuck without a view and coughing with the dust. This yard also has alpaca’s and given George’s reaction to Shetland Ponies I can imagine he’ll be even more fascinated with these curly haired little guys!
I hope I make the right decision.