Saturday, June 15, 2013

Relocating IRIDE

IRIDE has relocated to the mountains of northeast Alabama.  Specifically, to 66 acres on Lookout Mountain, near Mentone, AL.

We have been working on the property to build a stall and pasture for Jelle, and I am happy to report that he is settled in nicely and loving it here in the mountains.

Getting used to the differences in philosophy in the horse culture up here has been a bit of a challenge, but I was forewarned of it with my experience at a stable/summer camp a few years back.  And quite frankly, the quality of the professional equine services has improved since then.
More about the specifics of that later.

I have found that I have about 15-20 acres of good quality hay.  I was quite happy about that, until I discovered the difficulty in getting someone to come bale it for me.  So, my husband and I are cutting a row at a time, and drying and gathering the hay the way I imagine the Amish do it.  The hay is thick and good quality, so the job is not that difficult.  And bottom line is that Jelle has great quality hay that is ultra fresh, organic (we haven't had to fertilize OR herbicide the field), plentiful, and cheap! 

The only expense we have incurred is the diesel for the tractor to cut it, and the personal man-hours of labor for my husband and myself.  Good thing it only takes about 20 minutes for the two of us to gather enough hay for a couple days.  I figure that a bale of this hay only costs us about $2.00 or so.

I have also had an influx of new students from this area (I travel between Chattanooga, TN; Huntsville, AL and Rome, GA during each week for regular lessons).  I am grateful for the warm welcome I have gotten from the dressage community up here!  There are quite a few talented, serious, and committed riders in this area!  I am also pleasantly surprised about the quality horses that they have.  Another thing that surprises me is the number of showing opportunities here.  There are almost 20 USDF/USEF recognized dressage shows within 2-1/2 hour's drive from me between the months of April and November.  That is plenty of competition opportunity for the students as well as for Jelle and me!