Saturday, July 11, 2009

Riley's new home: Option C Farm (OCF)

Well, I picked Option C -- the barn 15 minutes from home and work, and literally two minutes from Harv. The pictures included in this blog entry are Option C Farm. Yes, it's toney digs, but the critical thing is that this barn has what Riley needs. If you don't recall the choices I blogged about, this barn has a worker who lives on the premises to help with hand-walking and hoof care.

A tour of OCF and visit with Riley

It's clean, well-managed, my vet boards there, and it has paddocks of varying sizes (starting at .3 acre) in the event Riley does get paroled early. But what's the real reason he's there?

Stop stalling!
My horse will spend most of the next two months in a stall. OCF's stalls are larger than the other options, the windows to the outside are larger, and they have grates all the way around so that the horses can "talk" to their neighbors. Also every surface is covered in metal -- two other cribbers at that barn don't wear a collar, so Riley may not have to either. We'll see. If it doesn't help him psychologically, it'll help me psychologically, anyway.

Anyway he is all moved in, and although I had worried about his behavior after all that confinement, he was a champ from hauling to stalling.
He settled in great, made friends with his neighbors, and was eating and drinking in a few minutes. I was made to feel welcome by staff and boarders, many of whom are older female dressage riders just like me. The dressage trainer asked me about Riley's breeding, and it turns out she bought her horse from the same farm Riley came from :-).

Okay, there was one bad moment. There were two empty stalls at this facility, and he ended up in the one where both buddies on either side were on night turnout. Riley watched them get turned out -- actually saw them running in the pasture out his window. Bob and I were a few stalls away talking to another boarder, and we heard a loud crack -- he kicked the stall pretty hard. Jesus. Riley, stop torturing your hooves! This morning he was moved across the aisle so he won't have a view of the pastures, and his buds on either side go out during the day, at different times.

I told a friend of mine about Riley's hoof, the mysterious cause, and the long road to recovery. She said "I know from experience, you are going to have to make some people unhappy in the process of getting him what he needs." Ahh, wise words. The vet is coming back next week to re-radiograph the hoof. Think some good thoughts in our direction!


  1. Beautiful place! The indoor is beautiful too, wow, loving it. Do they board horses there for reasons other than medical/recovery? That indoor is just too nice for only hand-walking.

  2. Forgot to add...WOW, outdoor is amazing as well. Geesh! Haha. The stalls are really nice and I love the windows with the fans.

  3. It looks lovely! And as for boredom breakers...grab an old half gallon milk container with a twist off lid and drill holes in the bottom that are just bigger then the size of grain. Throw in a handful of pellets and he will spend a good chunk of time trying to get his snack out. My horse Gen was on full stall rest for over 6 months. I have lots of other fun cheap ideas to try and keep your baby entertained. I am glad you chose this option and I hope things work out!

  4. Looks like a good decision to me - the nice stalls should make his recuperation easier. Any possibility of ulcers with the cribbing (I've heard there's a possible association - not necessarily that one causes the other) and stall kicking when upset? Also, a horse stalled 24/7 is at high risk of ulcers.

  5. Thanks for the tip on the bit -- I have a jolly ball but he keeps throwing it over the stall. He'll certainly work for a treat...

    And yes, that lovely indoor (felt footing) is used regularly by riding boarders. I'm the only one walking my horse around, I'm sure.

  6. The stalls look very nice. Can I move into an empty stall? Seriously? Forget my horse, I'll live there!

    Hope Riley enjoys it there. I bet it'll be much easier on you and Bob with the boys close to each other now.

  7. nice digs. Personally,I would never move out ;P

  8. Holy *&^%$ that's an AMAZING place. I am so jealous, I just want to board there! Great choice IMO...

  9. Beautiful farm and the best option of the four. I'm glad you picked this one. It will make Riley's recovery much easier for you.

    Hope the radiographs show more good news than bad.

    When my youngster had a mysterious abscess, the vet thought the end of his coffin bone had been affected. He and my farrier got together to use the x rays to assure the shoeing angle was just perfect and, after more examining suddenly found the occult abscess not at all where they feared. Perhaps you will have some good luck too!

    I'll say an extra prayer for Riley.

    Noted other's comments about ulcers. If Riley cribs, it might be a good idea to try the ulcer medication. One of my vets was sure cribbing and ulcers were related. I have info about the medication if you want to contact me via email. (

  10. What a lovely yard. And (considering the time of day) so tidy too! I LOVE the window fans.

  11. Great decision. Do hope it all goes well for Riley and you from now on.

  12. The barn looks like just the place to assure Riley a speedy recovery! I will be thinking good thoughts for both of you.

  13. GORGEOUS place! Glad you found a barn that meets his needs!

  14. Love the facilities, the bright natural light for the stalls in the daytime. The windows in the arena might prove to cause 'spooks' or window watching while working inside...the way out is that way!


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