A Weekend With Family

Early last week I came up with a grand plan to take Rio home to my parents’ house over the weekend for some R&R and trail riding. My barn is a ghost town with everyone showing in Houston, so I figured it’d be a good time to get away and enjoy a change of scenery.

My parents live about 40 minutes from my barn, and we keep the horse trailer at their place. To save me time, they offered to meet me at the barn to pick up Rio (yes, my parents are awesome). We met at BYF Saturday morning and Rio hopped right onto the trailer. Somewhat surprising, as he has had some difficult trailer loading in the past. I followed them on the way home and we got there and unloaded without incident.

New horse meets old horse

In order to make sure no one was injured, Rio stayed separated from the other horses, but there was plenty of playing over the fence to be had. It was a truly special moment for me when Rio and Pal met. If you are new to my blog, Pal is my 32 yr old horse from my junior days. We showed through 2nd level dressage and training level eventing together through his late teens. Pal has been in our family 25 years. (Read more about Pal here.) Seeing them together was literally seeing my past and present horse loves come together, and it was really special moment. I learned so much with Pal and we had such a special bond, and now I am getting to a new journey with Rio. So sweet. So emotional.

Pal has cushings these days and looks like a giant Shetland. It’s crazy cute.

Pal said hi to Rio but he wasn’t too terribly interested. Luke on the other hand (who belongs to a dear family friend) was enthralled with Rio, and Rio with him. I was nervous at first that someone would get hurt or a board would get broken, but it turned out they were just playing and no fiascos occurred.

Rio tried to help Luke remove his blanket several times (No blankets were harmed thankfully)
They played lots of Rio’s favorite game- bitey face
Lots of good natured nuzzling also occurred


Unfortunately, my grand plan to trail ride was waylaid by cold temps and a heavy drizzle all weekend. I was also on call at the hospital all weekend and they ended up keeping my busier then I prefer. I wasn’t too disappointed though, I think Rio had a really good time getting to enjoy some new scenery and socializing. His grandma also spoiled him with lots of alfalfa, treats, and attention.

Grandma loving on her hunkiest grandchild

I really enjoyed having Rio at my family’s home where I already have so many wonderful memories. I spent most of Saturday there relaxing and catching-up, reveling in the small things like watching him out of the back windows. It may sound silly but it was super fun being able to text my mom on Sunday morning as asking how Rio was doing. Just knowing I could check in on him at any moment felt good. I miss that aspect of having my horse on my own property. Also having 100% control over them from when you feed them to when you turn them out and for how long was nice. I haven’t gotten to make those decisions in a long time and it felt good!

My Herd of Zebras bag is full of carrots here and Rio is super into it

Sunday afternoon we loaded him back up in the trailer and took him back to Bay Yard. Rio must have thought this was the best trip ever. He got tons of attention, socializing, and turnout time, with zero riding!

Although I was a little sad to bring him back, it also felt right being back at the barn. Maybe someday I will want to have my horse(s) at my own place again (my dad is already trying to convince to buy their property when they are ready to sell), but it’s not the right time in my life for that. Rio is thriving at Bay Yard and he receives the best possible care. The people there are amazingly kind and knowledgeable and I would miss everyone too much to go back to doing my own thing. I do foresee more weekends “home” in our future though, I still want to take him out on the trails!

I call this Rio’s alfalfa face

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  1. You have the best of both worlds, girl! 🙂 I love having my horses at home because that means that my retired horses have a home for life, it allows me to breed some because I can keep the babies relatively inexpensively until they’re ready to go under saddle (*knocks on wood*), and if my training horse ever needs a layup – I save on board costs!

    However, I miss the social aspect – hellllooo weekly lessons at BYF – and my place doesn’t have an indoor so when it’s cold and wet and muddy I’m SOL for riding. I haven’t ridden at home since September due to the crappy fall/winter we’ve had.

    You have to be committed or rich to have them at home though – they still need feed, water, clean stalls, grooming, etc when it’s 107 or -20 outside. It’s on me or someone I hire, and – let’s be honest – my finances draw the line somewhere between “yes you can own horses” and “no you can’t afford to hire a full time employee to manage the farm”. LOL

    1. YASSSSS so much this Rachel! You get what it’s like, because you do it too! Growing up having horses at my house was amazing (wouldn’t trade it for anything), but I remember how much work it is, and how lonely it can be. Horses have to be cared for no matter the weather and now matter if you are sick or have other plans. You mention some GREAT perks though! Power to you lady!!!

  2. Aw, he looks like he is having a blast. I love your hat with the ponytail hole in it. I’ve never seen one like that before.

    1. Thank you Lauren!! I think he really enjoyed it. When I got to my parents on Sunday he was at the bottom of the paddock (away from me) and I called Hi to him. He LITERALLY whinnied out loud and come trotting up to see me. My heart about died in that moment!! I love the hat too- my hubby got it for me, and I liked it so much I got one of my barn friends one as well!

  3. I didn’t realize your parents’ place was so close by! What a fantastic and relaxing weekend for Rio!
    There are definitely pros and cons to keeping them home. I’m finding (after 10 years of having mine home) that my riding progresses faster if I’m in more of a program like at a boarding barn. But I do have a really hard time with not making all of the decisions for our boarded horse, and/or not always knowing what exactly is going on with him. On the plus side, it’s also nice to have some of the pressure off when they’re boarded.
    Rio and you are clearly thriving in your current program so you’re doing something right! How awesome to have both options though!

    1. Very very true! Those are some great points. I agree that most rider/horse combos probably progress faster in a program, but that being able to make ALL the decisions is super nice too! If I ever have the opportunity to slow down at work and not put in full-time hours I think I’d be more open to having my horse(s) at home again.

  4. It’s too bad work and weather kind of got in the way but it still sounds like a great wwekend! Pal is adorable. You and your mom look a lot alike!

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