All the Pretty Horses

Need to come live with me. Well, maybe not all of them, but some of them do. We’re hoping to have our boarding business starting in the fall of this year. We currently have one boarder who has been with us since fall of 2013. I’m not 100% sure how many we will take on, but we don’t intend to board so many that we run low on grass. As all horse people know, grass is the most important thing ever.

A Soft Spot for Stars-All The Pretty Horses

Sometimes we have freeloaders. 😉

Currently we have three fields by the barn where the herd lives. The smallest is really too small to keep a horse on for long, but Copper and the donkeys are in there this winter because he needs to be grained separate from the mares and have as much access to the hay as possible, plus there wasn’t any grass for him out in the field regardless to what field he was in. The middle field beside it is definitely double, possibly triple, the size of the paddock that Copper is in. The third field or the “far field” doubles the middle field in size. I would post a screenshot from Google Maps to show the size and all, but I’m paranoid that someone would be able to use it to find the farm address, and that is pretty creepy. So you’ll just have to try to decode my poor explanation of the layout of the farm. 😉

Here are some pictures of the field that we are not currently using. I can’t wait to have the fence finished so we have more room. This field will more than triple the overall size of the farm, plus this field has a creek running through it as well.

A Soft Spot for Stars-All The Pretty Horses

This is the view of the property towards the hay barn with my back to the field where the horses currently live.

A Soft Spot for Stars-All The Pretty Horses

The middle of the largest field. There’s a lot of room to the left of this shot.

A Soft Spot for Stars-All The Pretty Horses

Hay barn in the center of the picture. Owners whose horses are in this field will have the option of a feed/tack room in this lower barn in case they’d rather hack in the field than lead their horse all the way to the main barn.

Speaking of barns, we’re very fortunate to have two. We intend to use the lower barn for most of the hay storage. My horse trailer is currently stored here. The main barn (the blue one) has three stalls, water, and electricity. We are updating/improving this barn as quickly as finances allow.

A Soft Spot for Stars-All The Pretty Horses

Hay stored in the indoor over the summer last year so that it wouldn’t get rained on until we were able to store it.

For instance, our big investments for 2014 were to establish a driveway to the new entrance to the main barn and to get new, energy efficient lighting in the barn. We accomplished both of these successfully! As you can imagine, pictures of a gravel driveway aren’t particularly interesting, so we’ll move on to my favorite improvement, the lights!

Lights! I love lights! The picture on the left below was taken when I was trying to ride Copper after he got home from G’s. Obviously riding after I got off of work at 5 meant riding in the dark. 😦 However, thanks to my wonderful stepfather and grandfather, all of my new lights were installed right before Christmas! Not only is this helpful for riding after 5 in the winter, but now if we want to work with the horses after dark in the summer because of the heat during the day, it is an option!

A Soft Spot for Stars-All The Pretty Horses

Lights, glorious lights!

There are so many projects that I want to do in 2015. The main thing that I’d like to accomplish inside the barn is to widen the riding area to include the long bay (see hay photo above, bay on the left). Currently the barn measures 96′ x 60′ and has a 84′ x 36′ area in the center of the barn for riding. Including that bay in the riding area would enlarge it to 84′ x 48′. As it is now, you can work walk/trot, but the current width makes it challenging to canter. The second half of that project will be getting footing in the riding area. I haven’t had footing in the barn previously because, as you can see above in the “after” portion of the photo, I use the indoor as a run in during the winter.

That leads to my other project for 2015. I want to have run ins in every field that are large enough that the horses can get out of the weather, plus eat hay in during the winter. I’ve been on Pinterest looking at run in ideas all winter and have found several that I’m interested in trying to build.

A project of a lesser priority is to concrete the tack room floor and the cross tie area plus a wash rack area behind the barn. This is something that I can easily do without in 2015, but if it happens, it happens.

These projects will be pretty expensive-mainly the footing and the run ins, moving the wall is free-so I’m not sure how much I’ll be showing Copper this year. My priorities have to be healthy horses—->barn improvement/breeding Paige—>showing Copper.

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