April 10, 2024

Ivan's Story, or Horse Bloggers are Awesome

On the one hand, I'm still not riding super regularly and life is crazy, so I think I have nothing to blog about.

On the other hand, I'm neck-deep in buying a horse facility and welcoming new boarders to the co-op, and that's almost a more interesting adventure than whatever Connor is up to these days.

Shedding. He's up to shedding.

So let's catch up, shall we? Meet Deb and Ivan. Ivan is only in my life because of this blog, and it's a beautiful story.

Deb has been a fixture at this barn for over 15 years, often being in sole charge of both her horse and the BO's horses for long stretches of time. After a couple of years off of owning horses due to life changes, she told me she was ready to come back, and was horse shopping. 

First look at each other on a soggy West Virginia morning

Her ideal horse would be an Arabian (she's always owned them), a grey (she's always liked them), something that is happy to putz around on the state park trails and maybe dip a toe into endurance with (she's always loved endurance), and something that is safe enough for a retired woman to ride alone when the rest of us are working during the day. 

But her budget was more OTTB territory, so that's what she was looking at until I put a call out to some bloggers to see if anyone knew of anything safe and quiet and cheap that was available, and lo and behold, Austen knew Liz knew someone who was trying to rehome a 12 year old grey Arabian gelding with lots of trail miles and a few endurance miles because they were retiring and getting out of horses. It could not have been more perfect.

Power sliding my truck and trailer around a switchback up a West Virginia driveway

For my part, as soon as Deb said yes, I knew I was going out to West Virginia to get him. Both because I wanted to see Liz, and because I've always had an irrational anxiety about hauling through the mountains, and I knew I just needed to DO it. This was the perfect opportunity.

Hello from the top of the world. The only mishap ended up being my truck throwing a CEL here that went away when we came back down closer to sea level.

So we road tripped. And conveniently got there about 15 minutes after Liz's new Corgi puppy got delivered:

"What year is it? Where am I?"

We spent a wonderful afternoon and night with Liz. Good food, good people, a wonderful Appalachian small town. And of course, a puppy to entertain us.

Little puppy, big world.

Side note: I think the bathroom stall latches at Liz's local microbrewery are secretly a sobriety test.

The next morning, we all went out to get Ivan and head out. After an uneventful 8 hour trip, he was mildly colicky when we got home, but nothing some electrolytes, banamine and soupy chopped hay couldn't fix.

Meeting the natives the first morning

He has since settled in beautifully, cheerfully occupying the low man on the totem pole position in the herd and charming everyone he meets, including his new owner.

Ivan would get about two weeks of being the new guy before our other new resident showed up...


  1. Wow, what a small world indeed! How cool that you got to meet Liz, I've been hoping one day that our paths cross as well.

    1. Very small world indeed! In all the best ways.

  2. I just love when the stars align so perfectly! Congrats to your friend, and to you for getting your barn filled up!

    1. Thank you! We are not quite full but we are as full as I want it to be. It feels good!

  3. Yay! It's so fun to have another barn owner blogger!

  4. New horse, meeting Liz and a puppy?! What a perfect combination.

  5. How wonderful for all involved! Welcome Ivan.

  6. I can't express how happy I am that this worked out so well. I love our blogger world of connections.