Red is now out for about 3 hours a day with the herd, and seems to be enjoying it very much. Pie is still confined in a pen, and I had been hand grazing him - we'd made it up to 15 minutes. But, oops! When I checked him last evening, he had a digital pulse on the lateral side of his right front foot - no heat or ouchiness but the pulse is a warning sign. No more grass for him for a while - we've been having a lot of rain and the grass is profuse and rich and his system - customized for the sparse grasses of Montana - just can't take it. Fortunately, this morning, even with no meds, he had no pulse. I'll be waiting at least until July 1 to start hand grazing him again, but the timing will depend on the weather.
I like my barn in many respects - the owner is very nice and accommodating, the stalls in the little barn I'm in are very large - 12'x14' and the little barn stays cooler in summer and warmer in winter - it's an old converted concrete block dairy barn that is partly below ground - and the turnout is very good - large pastures and 7x a week all day turnout except in the very coldest or hottest times or when there's ice.
One of the things that's nice about our barn is that there's an indoor - the barn I came from didn't have one, which was a major negative. The outdoor arena isn't anything to write home about - it isn't level and is partly sand and partly grass. The negative about the indoor is that it's small - less than 60'x120', and when the hunter/jumper trainer is holding lessons, it's hard to find room to ride except for dinking around on the rail, which I don't much enjoy.
But during the summer, the h/j trainer has no lessons on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. So guess when I'm planning to ride? We'll be doing a 4 days on, 3 days off schedule for now - Dawn may do 3 days on, 4 days off. On other days, I'll just enjoy grooming and interacting with my horses - there's more to life than riding. When we ride, I'll be able to set cones and poles, and use the whole arena. And on days I don't ride, I'll have time to do some other things . . . today I took a really nice one-hour walk . . .