Thursday, September 29, 2011

I made it.

We made it to Texas. It was quite possibly the bumpiest flight I've ever been on. We even had to make a de tour and stopped in Waco for a while to fuel up. It's been a long day.
On a fun little side note when flying into Minneapolis we flew over the Pine Bend oil refinery which was what my little monster was named after!

Busy busy.

In a few hours I am flying to Texas! I've never been so its pretty exciting! We are going for my sister in laws wedding in Corpus Christi.
The day after we return we close on our new home! So let the hard work begin. We are thinking that we can being the horses home at the end of October or early November. I am pretty excited!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gutsy wrangler, huge horse save boy from charging grizzly

This article about a wrangler and her HUGE horse and how they saved a little boy from a charging grizzly is a must read! I had goose bumps.

Gutsy wrangler, huge horse save boy from charging grizzly

Monday, September 12, 2011

living in fast forward.

This new house process has been moving in fast forward it seems. The last time we tried to buy a house it was a nightmare and dragged on and on and on. It’s funny how we had given up the search a few weeks ago and decided that we would wait until spring until we started looking again. Now we will be closing in 25 days! I WISH we could just zip out and bring Piney home the day we close, but we have got A LOT of work cut out for us before we can do that. But we are hoping that we will have the horses home late this fall or early this winter. These next few weeks are going to fly by I can already tell, heck this year has flown by! It seems like just a month ago it was 4th of july weekend. We are headed down to Texas on Sept 29th for my husband’s sisters wedding and then we close the day after we get back. Then the entire month of October is jam packed with renovating, landscaping, fencing, wedding receptions (My sister in law is having a reception here for all that couldn’t head to TX and I am photographing a wedding the day after we close), my birthday, Halloween, turkey hunting, shopping trips to Ikea in the cities, and much more. We are going to be busy.

Friday night we went out and looked at a few things at out at our new farm.(LOVE saying that!) We went and checked some of the fence. It’s all mismatched. A lot of it is down, some of it is barbed, some is no climb fencing, and a majority of it is smooth electric wire. I want to rip it all down and replace it with the electric rope. We are also need to get some gates to replace the one cheap, crappy, dangerous looking one there and the two little 4ft gates that have gone missing since we first looked at the place this spring. The barn…*sigh* is going to be a big project. I KNEW that it was going to be a big project but now that it is really happening it is just becoming overwhelming. There was at one time electricity running to the barn. The way it sits right now I don’t dare turn it on, for fear of burning down the barn. If we plan on having electric fence though we are going to have to figure something out since the fencer is in the barn. The roof is going to be a HUGE project that we think will have to be tackled next summer. We are going to tin the roof so that it will be a lot less maintenance in the future. And of course we need to address the tack room situation hahaha. It is a tiny closet like room under the stairs to the loft….that OBVIOUSLY won’t do! Especially since we have 5 saddles between the two of us and I have enough other horse crap to fill the current tack room 7 times. But obviously the roof and structural aspects of the barn are way more important than my future kick ass tack room. The barn does have 3 stalls but I don’t plan on stalling the monsters. There is a thick shelterbelt and the lean on the barn will shelter them from the elements so I’m not too worried about them being exposed to everything. Of course I say that I won’t stall them now but I guess time will tell if I stick to that plan!
I can’t tell you though how excited I am to be able to look out my window and see my horses. I LOVE that I will let my dogs out and they can run and play in a huge and open yard. The quietness out there is outstanding! I absolutely love the area that we will be living in. I love that it will be our first home.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Arabian Nights.

My arms hurt, my abs hurt, my legs hurt, my hands hurt. I hurt all over but it’s that good pain that you get from a good ride! A few days ago my friend’s status on Facebook was something about going riding. I commented and then the invited me to go along. She is my old riding buddy. But we haven’t ridden together in about 6 years. We met because of horses and horses were our lives but eventually horses are what pushed us apart. But that story is best saved for another day! Today’s story is about my ride last night.

We met up at a small town bar for a quick bottle of “liquid courage” before heading out to the farm. She assured me that the horses were great and I should have nothing to worry about. But me being me I was nervous. I pretended not to be as she showed me which horse I’d be riding. A fat little chestnut mare that the owner used for team penning before she had her baby. She seemed very sweet and she was. My friend told me that she had a lot of get up and go and that I wouldn’t have a comfortable ride until I let her go for a bit. That of course made way nervous. I always get nervous cantering or galloping a new horse…heck I get nervous cantering a horse I’ve ridden before! But I smiled and laughed and pretended I was fine with the thought of galloping away on a horse I’d just met.
The saddle I was using weighed about 17 tons. This was the heaviest saddle I’ve ever encountered in my life! It was about 3 times heavier than my western saddle. The mare I was riding wasn’t very tall, thank heavens but it was still a struggle to put it on her! I did and then put on her bridle, sprayed her with bug spray and hopped on. Deep breath and we were off. My friend had told me that the horse I was riding had allergies and would wheeze and cough a lot but her owner and vet told her that she was fine. We rode for about 10 minutes but decided it seemed just cruel to let her huff and puff so we turned around. I put her back in the corral and then my friend pointed to a little black mare that I was to ride instead.
The little black mare was a devil to catch. She wouldn’t have any of it. It took about 10 minutes but we managed to catch her. Tacking her up was a bit of a challenge because she was a bit prancy. I looked up at her ears and face and then asked my friend “what kind of horse is this?” and she said “Arabian”. I laughed and replied “Oh, great! My ‘favorite’ breed of horse!” we both laughed and she then told me it was the owner’s barrel horse. And I said “AWESOME! A hot speed horse! Can’t wait to go to the hospital tonight! My insurance card is in my wallet, don’t’ forget to grab that for me.” But I hopped on we were off again. We calmly walked out of the yard and then after we warmed up a bit my friend said that she wanted to long trot the horse she was riding but I could lope my horse if I wanted to. I didn’t want to but I figured I would give it a shot since my horse was ready to go and her trot was really, really choppy and uncomfortable. I let her go and she was awesome. Very smooth and easy to ride and then came the part I was worried about, slowing down. I sat back and gently pulled back on my reins and to my surprise…she slowed down. In the back of my mind I wasn’t expecting that. I guess I forget that some horses are actually trained to do what you ask haha.
We got up to a field that had been harvested and dug up that belonged to the owners of the horses. So we were able to play in it. It felt awesome to just let my horse go and have the wind blowing through my hair. I got up into two point grabbed mane and let her go. It been forever since I’ve done that. I suppose the last time I’ve done that fearlessly was about 10 years ago on a completely dead broke ranch horse. And when I used to ride with my riding buddy we would do that all the time but I was filled with fear and it was never fun!
We rode and played for about an hour and a half. I must admit that I was hasty to judge that little Arabian I rode. Being the owner of a Thoroughbred I should know better than to judge a horse based on what some of the breed are like. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Especially since she was two things I generally stay far, far away from. Arabians and Mares. I told my friend that when I come back to ride I definitely will ride that little horse again. Even if she was a bit hot and a bit more firey than my thoroughbred, she was a total doll. She had a very jiggy prancy walk. I felt like we were in a parade most of the time but It was fun. I was very happy with my ride on her yesterday. My body is not happy with me today but I am happy! Who knows maybe my next horse will be an arabian! hehe

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I just got home from riding with my old riding buddy. My body is all kinds of!! It felt amazing to gallop across an open field for the first time in I can't remember when! More of the story tomorrow...when I am not too tired to type!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New home.

Well we were negotiating all last week for a property that we had looked at last spring and we accepted their counter offer on Friday! The property was listed for sale then it was removed from the market this summer. Our curiosity made us drive out there this summer to just to take a look. We saw that there was a construction company trailer parked outside and a realtor’s sign by the driveway. We called our realtor and asked him to find out some information about it. He told us that it was under contract and not currently on the market.

About 2 weeks ago we just happened to be looking at some online listings and saw that the house was back on the market! We had our agent arrange a showing for us and then we agreed that we wanted to make it our home.

The house is an old farm house with about 1700 square feet. She looks like she was being restored but mostly with good intentions. She is going to need a lot of work. The reason it was off the market was that the bank had hired a construction company to dry up and sturdy up the basement. The basement is still super creepy and in need of some more work and A LOT of money which is going to suck…big time. But we were able to get a good deal on the house and property.

The property is 6.07 acres and was one time fenced for horses. The fence posts are all still up but the fence is down or missing. Its hard to see much as the yard and pasture are overrun with weeds that are taller than me in some spots. The pasture also has an automatic Richie waterer, but it’s pretty old and looks like the drinking bowls are pretty rusty. I’m not sure if those can be replaced or if the whole thing needs to be replaced. It has a barn with a lean. The barn roof needs some work especially over the lean. I think we are going to replace the roof with a steel roof since it requires much less maintenance. The previous owners looked like they were trying to fix the barn up though as there are new garage doors on both sides as well as a garage door up in the loft. They also built three brand new box stalls inside the barn. The Tack room is very tiny so we will obviously have to do something about that! My tack has been multiplying by leaps and bounds since the beginning of the summer. Hubby added a new saddle to our fleet making making our grand total number of saddles 5. We have 5 saddles and only two horses…hmm guess we can fix that by getting more horses!!! Haha just kidding.

Up by the drive way there is another little pasture/corral. I am thinking that they had goats, or sheep or maybe mini horses. There is a tiny shelter as well as an old hay bale in the middle. I want goats. I’m really not sure why I want them but I do. I think they are hilarious! I often joke that I want to start a goat lawn mowing business. Especially to help out these realtors that have rural foreclosed properties that tend to get wildly out of control regarding weeds. I’d show up with my herd of goats and let them take care of the property then haul them away to the next place. I think it would be great. Hubby doesn’t think it would be great. He’s pretty much drawn the line telling me absolutely no goats. Sad day.

I also have other crazy ideas for the farm. I’m obviously joking and will never go through with all my crazy ideas but it’s fun to think about the possibilities. The property has 4 grain bins that are too small for farmers to get any benefit from I want to convert them into….guest houses!! Anyone who has ever gone into a grain bin on a hot summer day will tell you that that is the stupidest idea they have ever heard. BUT with insulation and a lot of other work I’ve read that they make very comfortable homes! A lot of these big city architects are taking them and converting them into “green” homes. They actually look pretty cool.

I was joking with my in-laws a few weeks ago that I am going to start an Agritourism business. My guests can come and stay in one of my beautiful ag themed guest bins and spend the day doing farm-y things. Activities would include riding horses, milking goats, tending a garden, canning vegetables, enjoying a relaxing mud bath, taking a hayride to the barn dance that takes place just 2 miles from the farm, collecting eggs, and doing farm crafts like quilting and knitting. My coworker thinks that no one in their right mind would want to go out and stay at a place like that. But I think that with the right marketing a lot of big city folks would love the chance to come and relax on the farm and do farm things! Heck I’d love the opportunity to go and vacation at a place like that! But obviously this will never happen. It’s fun though to think and dream about it.

But back to reality. We are set to close on October 7th. But we wouldn’t be moving in until after we go the house ready for us. One of our first jobs will be getting the pasture ready so that I can bring my horse home and start fattening him up with treats.