7.21.2017

too much of a good thing

Rain is a good thing. Except when you get too much, too fast. This summer the Midwest is all about storms, and hard rain. The kind that gutters, rivers and sewers can't handle when it comes down all at once. We don't have flooding nearly as bad as some other area's in WI, but it's still prevalent. The storms seem endless. 

We get water in one area of our current unfinished basement, when the hard rain hits just right. Basements of those living closer to rivers are completely flooded with multiple feet of water. There are many cancelled events. I always feel for the animals that can't help themselves out of situations. 

In our future house without a roof, we have our own lake developing...

basement view

starting the endless squeegee job
at the drier end

what doesn't come in through the open windows,
drips down to the basement, through the floor

Our second group trail ride date is rapidly approaching. The reserve we were hoping to ride at is under water, and trails are closed. More storms forecasted for this weekend, and heat warnings continue. Below is a screenshot they posted from one of the roads along the reserve. It looks like we will either have to cancel plans, or try to find open prairie type trails away from rivers. Sigh. 


There is a lot more happening in our world then rain. Hope to share a barn update sooner then later, before it gets too far along. Not that being far along would be a bad thing!


7.10.2017

a ride in the woods

Drum role please...we went on our first trail ride of the season!! It really does deserve a drum role, I honestly didn't think we would get out on the trail this year! After our visit with Cierra's breeder, we wanted to do something together again before her intern from Australia leaves the States. I suggested a trail ride, and who'da thunk - it actually happened! 

We drove from opposite directions, and somehow pulled into the park one right after the other. Couldn't do that again if we tried! The weather was perfect, flies a bit pesky in spots - but over all not too bad. We've never ridden together, and it was sweet how everything worked out so very nice! 

On the trail: Brad (riding Cierra) Ashley (riding Prince, a 3 year old from her breeding program. The grulla colts stud, now gelded from my recent post) her 8 year old adorable daughter, Natalie (riding Smoky, an amazing pony) Brandi (riding King, a retired Outrider) and new (to us) a college intern from France, Mat (riding Dixie, Natalie's buckskin horse). Enjoy a combination of Brad/my phone pics taken throughout our 3 hour ride:

Koda's view of us heading out
(Prince, Smokey, Dixie, King, Cierra)
(Smokey, King, Prince, Dixie)
Smokey

water break
(Me, Koda, King, Cierra, Dixie, Prince, Smokey)

after a long climb, the terrain opened up to beautiful prairie
(Koda's ears, Cierra, King, Dixie)

Koda led across the bridge at the first mud water crossing
while the group watched Cierra try. Koda & I were also unsuccessful.
Only two horses braved the downhill deep mudslide,
King followed by Prince

Prince in the thick of the mud water crossing
Prince trying to help Cierra at the second water crossing,
after she had jumped it in hand. It was a no go.

Koda had crossed multiple times with no problem and
helped his sister ride through it a couple times.
Brad did a great job, and ended successfully.

(Smokey, Dixie, King, Prince)
nothing beats a peaceful ride with good company
(King, Dixie, Koda, Prince, Smokey)
Brad & I do not normally ride with a group, it is usually the two of us. We were pleasantly surprised how well our horses did with their new friends, especially the pony. A first for us. You know how little kids are, they ride all over the place and break "rules" about space without fear. She learned a lot, and took guidance in stride. That adorable little duo was our favorite thing about the trail ride. They can ride with us anytime.

It was such a refreshing change of pace. Reminded us, we need to stop and smell the woods more often. We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch together before heading out, and made hopeful plans for one more future trail ride before the interns head back to their respective countries. 

7.05.2017

never ending layers

It's been pretty uneventful around here these days. Work, work, and more work. We spent the majority of the long holiday weekend - you guessed it, working on the land.

Remember the hay we spread all over our house site last Winter? It was spread thick to prevent frost from sinking deep, so we could get digging early Spring. As Winter came to an end, that stinky hay mess got pulled off and piled to the side of the building site. It kept breaking down, and became an even stinkier mess. It was far enough away that the huge pile went unnoticed, unless the wind was blowing just right.

We are getting our septic system put in this week. The hay and some of the weeds 'er dirt piles, were in the way. So your's truly got the lovely job of moving the hay. One stinky grapple bucket load at a time. 

I used a rented trac bobcat, while Brad ran the other one doing various things. I quickly found out I really like tracs, better then wheels. Have you ever tried picking up loose hay? Yea, well - it's frustrating. I finally got the hang of it, and was determined to move the entire pile myself. I was hauling it around the dirt piles, down the hill, and around the corner to the other end of the field. Piling it up to ferment, then eventually get spread. It was a bit of an obstacle course, but I had a great radio to keep me company. Good thing too, because it took me the lions share of the day to move that pile!

It was peaceful at times...


heading down the hill with a full load

boring at times...dangerous at times....
Brad had a hay bale smash the window/door on his bobcat.
Thankfully he did not get hurt!!

...and down right exciting at times! I came up over the hill, and couldn't believe my eyes! Stopped me in my tracs, literally. You might want to turn the volume down and zoom in a little to see what I saw...while I was jamming to whatever was on the radio :)



video


Doesn't show up very well on here, but I saw a doe & her twin fawns in our designated horse pasture! One little brown & one glowing white baby!! Albino's are a novelty around here. Now the neighborhood is on the lookout for the new baby! We have three that I know of: a young buck, an older buck (we've never seen him) and this new little one. Isn't he/she cute?!!

I thought I would never finish moving that darn hay, but I finally got it done. Even if it made for a long day, it felt good to be helping with the never ending layers of work that need to be done.

6.25.2017

pasture dreams

After we sold first crop alfalfa, Brad promptly tilled & seeded the horse's future pasture. We planted a custom seed mix, with no Timothy Grass. Nemo is allergic to it. 

Every time we are on our land, I look out towards what will be the pasture and try to imagine what it will be like...to look out the window and see our horses. Every day. To take care of them. Every day. I miss that. We long for it. It is our dream. 

You have no idea (or maybe you do) what a dream come true being together will be...you know, when our horses are in the land photos. It's been so looong awaited.


view of pastures from our house-to-be
We plan to have two pastures, so we can rotate. Two acres each. Below is what we've discussed to date for the pastures. Same photo with yellow designation added. 



(L-R) The arrow shows the recently planted pasture running north-south. The dotted line shows approximately where the dividing fencing will be. We plan to have a bordering path between the pasture & the rest of the alfalfa field, for access from the barn to our trails. 

The debate is ongoing as to where the auto-waterer & (south facing) shelter will be. On the near edge, in the middle where the two pastures meet ? or closer to the barn is always ideal ? Either way, it will be a duo-purpose shelter/water with swinging gates for access to either pasture. 

What a predicament, how to best access the lower pasture?! One of my pet-peeves is "run in alley's". I will NEVER have one (said with heels firmly dug in). No offense to anyone who has one, they just don't work for me. We have yet to decide which shelter/water placement is the worst of two evils. 

What to do? what to do? In the meantime, I'll just keep dreaming...