Saturday morning, it was time to leave. I'd already packed all my tack and supplies from the farm into the trailer dressing room and the only things left were the jumps/toys. It took me a while to figure out how to fit them all in the back of the truck, but eventually I got them all in there.
It was sad to say good-bye to the barn owner; she really helped all our horses heal physically, and I don't think Royal would have turned out as well as he did if he wasn't in good health. You can be the best trainer in the world, but if your horse is not feeling good, you won't get nearly as much done. I really owe her a lot, and it was hard to leave. I've left the other two barns under very bad circumstances (Last Chance Farm* decided to stop taking care of our horses, and Third Reich Stables* threatened to shoot them), so leaving was a very necessary no-brainer. This was different, but I think it'll turn out alright in the end.
*Names changed to protect me from the crazy.
It was a short drive to the new place, and Royal seemed pretty interested in his surrounding. I walked him around the pasture, and he seemed pretty relaxed, sneaking a bite of grass every ten feet. After our little circuit, I turned him loose. The other horses were very interested in this newcomer.
We opened the gate and the only one who went through was Coco the old pony. He and Royal got to know each other.
And decided that they were alright with each other.
The other three horses were not so sure what to do about the new boy. Two of them are Arabian mares. Now, I love Arabians. They can be so smart and quick thinking, but also so skittish and flighty. An Arabian, most of the time, is a great problem-solver. The other times, their problem-solving strategy is to run around REALLY FAST until the problem goes away. And that's how the three decided to try to solve the Problem of the Unfamiliar Horse. It proved unsuccessful.
Royal haz a confused.
Eventually, my sister was able to catch Gabby, the four-year old, and put her in the pasture with Royal. She decided to maintain her distance, but didn't seem to bothered.
Eventually, Xena and Bandit were herded into the pasture, albeit with some fireworks. Gabby decided to join them while Royal and Coco stuck together. Bandit (the boss hoss) made it very clear he didn't want Royal near his two mares, and kept himself between Royal and them.
Eventually, Coco wandered back to Bandit and the ladies, leaving Royal alone.
They all hung around for a while, then decided to go back into the woodsy area.
They then came charging back, with Royal deciding to take a short-cut through all the trees. It was really cool to see his cantering around, bouncing over all the logs and branches. This proved to be a bad idea, though, as he got a nice long cut on his butt, behind the hip (Sorry, no pictures). It seems pretty superficial, but ugly. For the rest of the time I was there, he was content to hang out around in the herd. They haven't accepted him in yet, but there haven't been any bad fights. We had some thunderstorms last night, so maybe that'll speed it up.
I think he'll be very happy.