It took us three trips to get the entire family to Fort Polk from Statesboro, Georgia. The kids and I moved first, tackling a 14 hour drive in two days. Ryan followed about a month later–he had to finish out at Ft. Stewart. To get the house, we had to move in by 15 November. Then, a few days before Christmas, I took off in Bertha Blue Due hauling the gooseneck to pick up the critters.
It was an adjustment for Chip, Wynni and Gretchen. Chip left behind his buddies, Owin & Blackjack; Wynni left behind her girlfriends, and Gretchen…well, Gretchen is one special chicken. She shunned the guineas and promptly moved into our attic.
Winters in Lousiana aren’t too bad, but between the rain, short days, hours at the office, and a baby, I didn’t ride much to say the least. I brought along some hay, but it quickly dwindled, and finding a good source of quality horse hay down here proved impossible. I became incredibly grateful for Standlee compressed bales, beet pulp shreds, and alfalfa pellets. Farriers were another issue altogether. We’re still working on finding a good one, and it’s a sore subject right now.
Being a science nerd with a B.S. in Animal Science, I had already researched feed dealers in the area and was lamenting at the lack of what I deem quality feeds. I’m going to eat my words, though, because I am completely impressed with Purina nutrition. Our local Slagle Mall (they have very broad definitions of malls down here), the combination gas station, feed dealership, hardware store, post office, Uhaul rental, restaurant, and grocery store, carries Purina feeds. Without getting too technical, I’ve always snubbed Purina in favor of Seminole and Triple Crown feeds because I felt the ingredients were sub-standard. However, Chip’s coat and hoof quality are amazing, and he’s building lean muscle quickly and efficiently. He looks amazing, and the grass hasn’t even fully come in yet.
I think that about catches us up through the winter. Blog 3 will discuss our training goals and plans and my desperate attempt to regain fitness.