Moving Day

By Terry Golson

I have two homes. The one I share with my husband, and the barn where Tonka lives. For the last 2  1/2 years that second home has been a lovely small stable. Tonka’s care has been excellent. There are only ten boarders, and every one of them are nice and a pleasure to be around. A few have become good friends. But there were a few things that I wished the barn had, and when I came across that at a farm in another town I made the very difficult decision to leave.

Yesterday was moving day. Tonka is used to going new places with me. He can learn a lot about where we are by taking deep sniffs of the air.


He liked whatever information came to him through is nostrils, because he was calm when he looked around.


I took Tonka for a walk around the property to get a sense of where he was, and I let him graze a bit.


Then he went into his paddock. He said hello to the gelding to the left. There weren’t any squeals or dramatics, just a polite greeting.


There was a pile of hay waiting for him.


Tonka is a slow eater and he’d rather be left alone while dining. Although many horses do best in groups, Tonka prefers his own paddock. He likes neighbors, but no one in his space. This set-up is ideal.

After settling in for awhile, I rode him in the indoor ring. This is another reason for the move. The ring is twice the size of the one we left. The more space, the better, for schooling dressage. The footing is perfect. I could feel Tonka get used to it, and then enjoy it – there was an added spring to his step.


But we like to get out of the ring, too,  and there are extensive trails nearby. There’s also this field. Once it’s mowed next week, we’re allowed to ride through it. I’m looking forward to cantering up and down the hills.


Even better for Tonka is his stall. For the last couple of years he’s had to eat his supper while keeping one eye on the gelding next door, who kicked at the wall and made threatening faces during mealtime. Here, Tonka can eat in peace.


He can get to know his neighbor by chatting across their Dutch doors.


Or he can just relax in the sun.

I’ll miss our old home, but I think that this is the right move for us. Tonka seems to approve.

21 thoughts on “Moving Day

  • Lizzie in Cornwall

    Hi Tonka!
    Hope you’re very happy in your lovely new home! Enjoy exploring with Terry!
    Best wishes from Cornwall.

  • Laura

    Terry, I enjoyed your moving day article and the pictures of Tonka. I’m 77 yrs old and I’ve loved horses my entire life……i think the horse is God’s most magnificent creature. When loved and taken care of they soon become your best friend. I envy your relationship with Tonka and can only imagine how thoroughly enjoyable your time with him is for you.

    I live on 13 acres on the Tennessee River but most of the land is a huge bluff and it’s just not suitable for a horse……plus there is no portion of the land that I could ride and when turned out there just not much room where he could roam.

    Continue to embrace Tonka and cherish every
    moment with him……you seem to be the perfect partner for Tonka. so I’m sure he enjoys all his time with you.

    God bless you both!

    Laura Cagle
    Kingston, TN

    • Terry Golson Post author

      It’s important to understand the animal’s ethology, but then look at the individual. Tonka has let me know that he likes to be around other horses, but not in the same enclosure with him. I’d be interested to see what he’d do in a herd that was in a 50-acre field. Alas, that’s not possible around here.

  • Laura Allemand

    Change is hard, but this looks like your new barn will be a great fit for you and Tonka. And having access to those beautiful trails will be really great for his fitness and his psyche (and yours!)!!!

    • Terry Golson Post author

      The trails are not marked or mapped, so we might get quite fit if (when) we wander around lost. The woods are bordered by roads, and I’ve got a mapping app on my phone, but I imagine we’re in for some adventures!

  • Gin

    Good luck with your new accommodations. More trails and a paddock of his own would do it for me.

  • Kim

    Tonka’s new home looks really nice Terry, and he sure seems to enjoy the sun on his face! Don’t we all? Glad the move went well. Have fun exploring!

  • Jan

    So pleased all when well with the move, enjoy your new home and have some great adventures, Also please thank who ever fixed the temp gauge on Hen Cam ( I expect it was Steve ), I look at this every day to compare with ours, Love your blogs as always..:)

  • Judy Marvelli

    Good Luck in the move! Whenever I go by the horse trials in West Bridgewater, I wonder if you are there.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      I only do dressage – I no longer jump. I will be competing at the NEDA Summer show at Apple Knoll in 3 weeks. If anyone is going, let me know!

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