My good neighbors' daughter has been looking after our animals since she was a teenager. Now she's a young lady and still takes care of my animals and our house to give us the chance to see my parents in America.
Isabel has an elderly black Hannoverian mare that she keeps in a village 20 km away, despite the fact that she lives next door to a boarding stable. I always found that sad, that she cannot look out her window at her horse, but she says they are all messed up there. She would never put a horse there, and I learned long ago that they don't want anything to do with me. The local farriers call it a goat war barn.
It was wonderful to get to see Isabel's boarding barn, finally! A typical barn in Germany, built into the available hillside, in layers, terraces. There were normal homes scattered between the horse farm property, just built around. With the stench of the manure pile, I feel bad for those people.
I got a tour of the place, as we caught Arabella and this other big dark mare from their field.
It was so muddy, already, and the horse fields were full of manure, I don't know if they ever remove/spread it.
The mare stable was an odd structure with 4 stalls and a tack room. There was a faucet with hot water for making mash!
The stable stank like....well, have you ever been in a 200 year old horse barn that has never had the stench of urine and feces cleaned out? It's the kind of stench you get used to if you're there every day. I'm sure the boarders don't even notice the smell, and I know I went home with it on my clothing.
Isabel admitted they shut all the windows and doors in the Winter to keep the horses warm and the automated waterers from freezing. Her mare was kind of nasty, she snapped at me and pinned her ears while being groomed.
Isabel said that the barn would be busy because the horse scale was coming.
I couldn't help myself, I laughed and said how stupid I think that is, the practice of paying someone to weigh your horse regularly. I asked, "Let me guess, you even have a horse weight passport?" Yes.
They say it's critical to know how much wormer to give the horse. I give the entire tube every time, based on my vet's recommendation (it's always better to give slightly too much).
In all these years I've never needed to know exactly what my horse weighs. Vets learn this on their first day of school, so they can give the correct amount of medication.
I found it weird that someone put their horse on the scale with a soaking wet Winter blanket on. Wouldn't that weigh something? The horse scale team, the people who bring the scale from barn to barn, didn't even say anything, they just wrote down the number.
Also, some of the weights were off by a suspicious amount based on how the horses looked and their last weigh-ins. Some boarders were discussing that and I said, "When you noticed this, did anyone test the accuracy of the scale?"*shrug*
Anyway, the people at her barn were nice; they invited us to join them for coffee and it was a great experience to just hang out and talk horses. It's been a very long time.
I told them that I finally understand why she drives so far to see her horse. That little community is worth it.