Now that I fully admit I am a dreaded barn hopper I must also admit it wasn't all bad. In fact far our nomadic years were pretty dang awesome. I learned a few positive lessons along the way.
1) Dickie did not die of stress or even act remotely put out by the moving. His sanity has been my biggest worry in the moves but it turns out he doesn't care. You can load him and then take him for a ride. The day he moved to new barn he took trainer for a ride outside and hardly looked at anything. He just seems happy to go wherever his people are. You can turn him out with new horses without a fuss. He just gets along. He reads a herd and never seems to get himself into trouble. New stalls are exciting places to explore. As long as there is food and the people are nice Dickie is up for anything.
2) Six barns means meeting six times as many cool people. I have made so many awesome friends over the last three years. Last week I was judging myself for being a big flake. Then I looked at who I would have to give up if I skipped any one of those barns along the way. I wouldn't give up one person. Two of my besties came from the barn overrun by the jumping maniacs. Another bestie came from crazy lady barn. Trainer and I were only acquaintances until I went to crazy lady barn. We bonded there and she officially became my trainer there. The place I just left had a fantastic group of adult riders and a cool event trainer who introduced me to the awesomeness of Doctor Who.
3) Trying out such a wide variety of facilities helped me narrow down what is actually important to me. In the beginning I thought all I needed was an indoor for me and turnout for Dickie. It just happened all my previous barns had trails, and outdoor, and an indoor. It wasn't until I was at a barn with only and indoor that I realized I go crazy stuck inside. I now know I would rather have just an outdoor and trails than be stuck inside. Yes, I know it is oregon and I'll get wet. This girl needs to feel the wind in her hair even if it means wet breeches.
4) I learned I can tolerate change and even have some fun with it. I'm normally not someone who finds it hard to make friends in my everyday life. I moved a lot as a kid and I'm the employee who thrives wearing multiple hats. When it comes to barns though I like everything to be the same. My work can be unbelievably stressful and so I want my barn to be predictable. However, it has been exciting to visit different facilities and meeting people of all disciplines. The last few years showed me change can be fun. I've been able to learn something new each place. Dickie and I didn't just survive the changes we thrived.
So there it is. Barn hopping isn't all bad. In fact it's been pretty dang good for us. That said, we are ready to put down roots and stay put.