mind over matter

In the midst of our moving craze, Brad showed Cierra in Ranch at two AQHA shows. I feel bad I completely missed his first show this season. The May venue is two hours away. In typical show world style the times predicted, shifted. I was too far away to make it in time. Sounds like the riding went okay, but not as well as past years. With everything he has going on, Brad hasn't been able to put in the riding time. They did really well in Amateur Ranch Conformation, coming home with all 4 firsts out of 6 or 7 horses. 

This past week/end was Brad's second show. I had our son's dog with me the first day he showed, so I didn't even bother attempting to take photos or video. She is new to horses and horse shows. Our "little horse" is a sweetie and got lots of attention. We are really proud of how she handled everything! It's a huge busy show, with multiple arenas in two pavilions. The horses were at this show Tuesday-Sunday. 

Brad placed & did okay with his rides again. Ranch trail/riding classes had around 12 entries. He continues working on not letting his nerves get in his way. Mind over matter is hard to achieve. Most riders at AQHA shows are so very seasoned, that any little thing puts you out of point placement. Placing is far from the only thing that counts anyways. Brad is having fun living his dream, and that's what's important. I am really proud of him! 

The only other ranch rider from our trainers barn got some firsts & seconds, and came home with a beautiful handmade Dale Chavez halter for winning high point ranch. We are good friends & thrilled for her! 

Father's Day was Brad's second day of showing, and both his rides improved. Our son & daughter came to watch, as well as his parents. This was the first time they've ever seen him ride. 

I shot video with my phone. You'll notice Cierra didn't want to line up on the log side pass for both Brad (& our trainer, she shows her in open classes). Silly girl, I've seen her do this right 100X. He also got docked for inadvertently dropping his rein after the log pull, right in front of the judges. Whoops! He didn't want me to share the trail video. Too bad. I think Brad should have gotten bonus points for gracefully grabbing his rein and continuing on like nothing happened. SO many other good parts to his rides, like his flying change and his transitions are getting smoother. If you are interested, take a peak:

Amateur Ranch Pleasure Riding 

AQHA Amateur Ranch Trail


build-a-barn ~ a few changes

A few things that changed in our barn, after moving:

• Our barn is looking more lived in by the day.

It smells and looks like horses live in it, except for the back half. 

• Brad installed three permanent feeders to the stalls we are using, a couple days ago.

We were using buckets for grain, removing them overnight for safety, which meant rehanging them daily. When they became noise makers, we decided to purchase feeders. I like that you can take the bowl out & clean them, similar to the waterer's.

feeder (L) auto waterer (R)
• Halter holders were added to the stalls.

Cute story: Brad welded 8 horseshoe hooks that sat in our garage for years, way before we designed the barn. We decided to use them as halter hooks on each stall. I painted them, and they turned out to be a perfect fit! Funny how he made just enough for the number of stalls we have. I love it when things like this happen!

homemade makes everything more special
• I’ve discovered our fans are amazing!

At first I was a little alarmed at how large our fans are. You can see them in the first photo, altho it doesn't show perspective of how big they really are. They span the entire aisle, from the edge of the stalls to the edge of the rooms. It took me some getting used to, horses on the other hand didn't bat an eye. I love these fans, they quietly spin slow and keep the air circulating! I highly recommended Big Ass Fans.

I love sitting underneath these fans!

• We have a functioning toilet :))) 

our out house

• Brad welded more horseshoes, this time for hooks to hang brooms etc

I am painting them today. Next on the never ending list is staining the feed area wall, so these horseshoes can be hung and put to good use! 

• I made two boot planters. One from a pair of Brad's cowboy boots, and the other from mine.

my old boots

What hasn’t changed? The long list of things left to do, and the sheer enjoyment of living the barn life!!



For some odd reason I feel like I am glamping. You know, “glamourous camping” as in living outdoors with comforts of home, otherwise know as glamping.

Living on our land reminds me of our annual trail riding trips, up north with our horses. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because we live with our horses in close proximity in both places, or maybe it's the never ending sand on my feet. It could be the peaceful early mornings, or tired evenings spent caring for our horses? 

Stumbling outside in my early morning stupor with fresh coffee in hand, while heading to the barn. Putting on a sweatshirt to ward off the damp dew, would make anyone feel like they are camping. It could be the peaceful evenings spent watching and listening to our horses chew. Up north it's by the campfire, at our land we do that sitting in the barn under a slow whirling cool fan. No campfires here, yet.

When we are up north the poop pile we wheel barrel to is close-by, almost too close. Here I have to wheel the wheelbarrow (most days two trips!) allll the way into town & back, around corners, through sand traps, swatting mosquito's the whole way. The whole time I'm trying *not* to tip the wheel barrel. Most days, Jameson (our daughters black lab) makes me laugh hard as he races and jumps through the winter wheat like Bambi. I mean, bad dog!! No running through our upcoming field of gold. It’s just too darn funny when that dog gets his boogidy boogidy on.

Someday I’m going to haul my camera, or video that crazy dog with my phone. Imagine that...roll-n-balance, slap-n-balance, snap-n-balance, lol! I was thinking, I hope I never have to write a post called "the day the wheel barrel tipped over" cuz you know it's going to happen, and when it does...look out world.

Okay, so our ever growing pile of fermenting nuggets is not as far away as town, but the rest of the post is true. It is down the drive way, past the house, around a corner, down a path and through a sand trap - surrounded by mosquitos, and around another corner. Good grief, I feel like I am crossfit training! 

It appears I've become the official stall cleaner at our barn. I was going to take weekends off to rest my shoulder, but it is one thing I can do to help so that Brad can work on other things. 

Just like up north we have plenty of bugs, specifically mosquitoes. They are horrible here this year!! After morning chores, I head back inside the house and take a loong hot shower. 

Yes, that’s it! This is *all* why I feel like I’m glamping. No wonder this place is starting to feel like home, even when I'm rolling, rolling, rolling... 


new routines & first turnout photos

Our first morning came with our horses home, and it was chore time. Who’s going to do what? and in what order? Gah, everything is completely new!!

Brad & I are working together to figure things out. We know it will take time, and change as our barn & schedules do. For now it’s a bit like “who’s on first? what's on second? and I don’t know is on third”. We are intentionally mixing things up, to keep the horses flexible in their routines. For example, who gets fed first, out first, time of feeding etc I think it's better for them, and us.

Just like chore flow & the horses, I need some adjustment time. I still feel newish at taking care of horses. For those of you that don’t know, Koda is my first horse. I got him when I was in my forties. My horse care experience from
 prior years of riding is limited at best. I did learn some when all four of our horses lived at the family farm that used to surrounded our old house. Thankfully the high horse energy has been minimal. Although we haven't done much with them, except hand walk to/from turn out. Soon, I hope. It's been a long time since I've ridden Koda. Maybe a month? 

Every day things get better, as we all get more accustom to our new routines & surroundings. 


Until the pastures get established, our horses are limited to the dry lot. Thankfully it’s a pretty decent size. First day of turn out, as expected Nemo and Koda quickly explored every inch of it. For some dumb reason I chose to leave Koda's halter on, just incase. I wasn't thinking about photos, but did take a few shots of them exploring their new digs. I was hand holding so not all are sharp, but I included them anyways. 

first release into the dry lot
nemo was really silly


pausing to take it all in
before running to explore again
always with 
grass in his mouth
wasn't long before they completely settled down

Our daughter brought Harmony home that evening. She spent her first night in the stall next to Koda. When Brad & I arrived home from a work function that night, we found them glued next to each other.

In the morning we turned Koda & Harmony out together first, and once we knew they were good Nemo joined them. I stayed up at the house, and shot photos from our deck. Sometimes it's better for Brad to deal with our daughter where Harmony is concerned. 

Harmony (L) and Koda (R)
released together for the first time in years
they ran down together, to share hay 
Harmony (L) looks so fantastic!!
Sure hope we can keep her looking & feeling good.
She is a nervous nelly and gets stressed out easily.
Nemo checking Harmony out
Koda wants no part of their discussion
Harmony sending Nemo a reminder

uneventful conversations

Other then one Harmony double barrel in the air, there was no drama. Nothing. Nada. 
It was very obvious the horses remember each other. It is so sweet to see the three of them together again, grooming each other & trading hay piles and being buddies. 

It wasn't long before I walked past the window and took this photo with my phone of the trio...

(L-R) Harmony, Koda, Nemo