By Finley Habenicht
Grand Times Eventing

We boarded Aleta at Kibler Shamrock Farm al year, while our other horses and donkeys were at our house.  My mom bought her young horse, Dodger, around the same time we got Aleta and with so much going on, we felt it would be a good idea to wait to bring her home.  So after a summer of planning, refencing paddocks, ordering supplements and getting Aleta's feed needs met - she's home!

 aleta home b

While we aren't going to put Aleta out with Dodger and Theo yet, they met over the paddock fence and over the fence in the pasture.  There was very little drama. At first, she was very concerned about the donkeys - she trotted all around with her head and tail up, but by the next day she was obsessed with Riley and herds him around the paddock.  He pins his big ears at her and she looks away embarrassed!  I didn't realize what a difference it would make having Aleta at home, I knew it would be fun - we've jumped everything on our property and gone on a few trail rides already, but there is a lot of work bringing a third horse home.  A LOT more poop, longer time to feed, walking horses in and out for turn out.  We used to just open the stall doors, but since the boys and girl aren't pastured together yet, we bring them in and out.

Another thing that has changed is that I am in middle school now, I started this week.  I am enjoying it.  I think it'll be some hard work, but I like all my teachers, friends and my schedule is really great.  I will definitely have to get better time management skills though, I am a bit slow moving in general - my mom compares me to a snail - I just like to take my time!  So I am trying to figure out how horses and homework and chores all fit in during the week.  Luckily my mom works from home so she does a lot of the work too.  We work well together ... most of the time!  lol

aleta home a

Aleta and I are finishing the fall at maiden, going to a few War Horse events and then trying for a few jumper shows.  We plan to move up to BN next year and I think we are ready.  We've taken our time, truly know and trust each other, as well as knowing each others "bad" habits.  I think this past year, while though in some ways, taught us both a lot and made me a better rider because of it.  I am looking forward to Aleta being in my backyard so we can continue to grow and become even better partners.  Her personality is funny and already we are seeing things at home that we didn't maybe notice as much at the other barn.  She was a diva at Kibler though and has managed to keep that title here!