build-a-barn ~ fresh air

Well, it got me. I had been surrounded by sick people with every kind of symptom since before Christmas. I got some kind of stomach virus. After day four of being glued to the recliner, I couldn't take the lack of stimulation anymore. I knew I shouldn't, but Brad was working out at the land alone. Who was I going to contaminate out there? He was already exposed. So I got ready & loaded up the grand dog. It just about wiped me out. But I headed out anyways. Perhaps, some fresh air would do me some good...

When I arrived, Brad was:

working on the saloon & bathroom doors

he got the electrical sides of the paneling done on the bathroom walls

Sorry for the strange perspective. I only took one photo. Looks like the bathroom door is on the floor, weird! What can I say, I wasn't feeling well. That's my story & I'm sticking to it! 

We also measured the bars. That photo didn't work very well either lol. The bars are round, and I couldn't get the tape measure in between the small space. When I held the tape measure in front of the bars, the photo made it look like it measured out to wider then it did. You'll just have to take my word for it.

To answer Shirley & Lorie's question on my last post about the distance of our stall bars, the bottom bars are little less then 1.5" apart. Mini foals might be a concern, but we won't have any. We might temporarily board the bottom up anyways, just for peace of mind and so a little one doesn't bonk their head into metal until they get their legs.

After a closer look, the bars are slightly different widths on the top vs bottom. Top stall bars & window grate distance between each bar is 1.75" 

Jameson helping Brad check the bathroom door swing

I used to walk our woods several times a week, but for whatever reason I haven't made it out to our woods in forever. I asked Brad if he would be willing to take a break, and go for a slow walk with me. I wanted to feel & see what the woods look like again.

We walked around the horse pasture, and changed cards in our game cameras...

it's fun getting muddy
I had to stop for a break a couple times. I zoomed in from the bottom of the pasture, looking at the barn and wishing the horses were here. You must be sick of seeing barn pictures, and I miss our horses!! I was in no shape to ride, and didn't want to get everyone at the barn sick. After this week, we will get back to a regular horse schedule. I hope.

winter barn view

It was unseasonably warm, close to 50F. We almost turned back, but what I longed for was our pines...

feel the wonder
Taking that walk and getting fresh air did help. It took a few more days of laying low, but I am completely better now. Being sick sure reminds a person to be grateful for healthier days. 

Wishing you all good health!! It is truly the key component to everything else in life.


build-a-barn ~ stall parts

We purchased our metal stall parts from Classic EquineWe didn't choose them at first because lets be honest, they are expensive. However, I am a firm believer that in most cases you get what you pay for. We felt stalls was an area worth paying for quality, plus we fell in love with their latches!!

Initially we were set on metal grates vs bars or wood panel. Our boys currently live in full front grates, and we really like them. We love that we can see their entire body, with good air flow. I don't recall why, but we decided to get half & half. Bars on top, grates on bottom. I think because I thought the shavings would stay in better? We learned bars & grates for all practical purposes are the same, including durability. After more thought, we decided all bars would look better. We didn't fancy up our stalls with things like yokes, or gold knobs. We opted not to put in dutch doors. Our boys have them now, and all they do is scratch and press on them. We went with the standard black, although they have many colors.

The only decorative thing we added, was a wood strip along the center. I thought it would balance the shaving guard on the bottom, and make the stalls blend in better. It gives a place for possible name plates, or maybe even a strategically placed hanger. Although I'm not a fan of hanging stuff off of stalls. 

Here are the parts, we are super excited!!

stall fronts & side partitions

stall front with areas noted

stall partition (upside down) for the double stall

It will swing to one side & latch.
The bottom half will be wooden boards, like the rest of the stalls.
The double partition is leaning up against the tack room.
The double stall will be just beyond it, to the right.

8 sliding stall doors

stall window grates
(you can see the sturdy, easy to use latches)
You may notice we do not have grain windows. We opted not to get them, so our autowaterers could be strategically and more economically placed. One water pipe comes up in-between and feeds into two stalls. Except for the double stall, it will not have an automatic waterer. It may have limited occupants anyways, we couldn't justify the cost. With sliding doors and waterer placement, a grain door just wasn't possible. We work with our horses to not be grain monsters, so it won't be an issue.

As long as I'm doing a barn update, here is the current status of our saloon:

Brad has paneled the front & outside wall!

It is going to take a while to get the stalls up. They have to be measured, set up and bolted. Brad is going to need help, they are heavy!! Before that happens, the rest of the electrical needs to be done, so they aren't working around them. 

The wood boards for the side partitions have to be figured out, purchased and installed. Eventually we will need to buy the waterers, get those installed and put the shaving guards & decorative pieces on. Never a lack of things to do!!

...imagining the stalls...


build-a-barn ~ excitement is growing

Today is the day! Guess what is arriving?? 

No, not the horses. Close! Something for the horses. 

Every equine barn has them. They cost an arm and a leg. We thought looong and hard about which direction to go, down to every detail. We've used various types for many years, and visited a newer barn to take a closer look at theirs. Over the span of a couple years, we've talked with various vendors at Midwest Horse Fair.

We had these things picked out, but that companies customer service turned out to be nothing short of rude. So we went with a different better manufacturer. We were looking for quality, longevity and safety - and I am happy to say the company we purchased from has been awesome to deal with! 

Any ideas?? I've made it pretty easy to guess.

It seems like we picked them out a long long time ago. I can't wait to see what they look like in person! It will be even more fun to see them installed!! 

Our barn is never going to look empty, like this again...

our grand dog Jameson
running around the soon to be filled space

Of course, nothing will compare to when we can actually use them!! I am SO excited for this major step in building our barn!


changing of the years

Brad & I closed 2017 out quietly, and welcomed 2018 in much the same way. This has been our MO for many years now. It's a good way to reflect & recharge. This much I know.


SO much happened in our world this past year! We worked hard to get closer to living our dream with our horses, especially Brad. No need for a recap, it's all right here. 2017 wasn't all good, the overshadowing stand out calamity was my horse accident on July 30th. It changed my our life forever. I can only hope the future will include getting back to doing the things that made me happy inside & out. It's been sooo long I forgot what yoga, trail riding, target shooting, helping out at the land with machinery, and snowmobiling feels like...

Everything and anything still makes my shoulder hurt. Including sleep. Even little stuff like getting dressed, sends me up the pain scale to a 10. Chopping vegetables, scrubbing pans & vacuum cleaning are even less fun then they were before. Can you say demotivating?!! I try to keep in mind there are much much worse things. I'm just crabbier & needier, more often. Sigh. Pain does that to a person. I absolutely despise being needy!! Well, unless it's needing my morning cup of coffee :)) which Brad has made & delivered for almost 30 years! Have I ever told you how much I love him?!

I spent the last half of 2017 working on
torturing my arm exercises/stretches most everyday. In my case, pain is gain. If that was really true, I would be swinging from the rafters by now. It is very possible that surgery will still be needed to return to "normal" function, or closer anyways. It's all based on my mobility & pain tolerance. I am trying one more steroid injection next month. Jury is still out. 


High on my list of priorities for 2018 is letting go of the ridiculous amount of "stuff" in our current house. It *must* happen in order for us to move. Let me tell you this moving thing is going to be a huge gigantic ordeal! Wish me luck. I am going to need every ounce of it!! 


I will also be taking a trip of a life time this year. Alone. Not really alone, but it's going to feel that way without Brad. An opportunity came up that was very reasonably priced, with a group of good people. I will be doing something I've wanted to do ever since I was 15, and saw my first Northern Lights. I am going to ~ live my dream ~ of seeing (hopefully!) a colorful Aurora Borealis overhead in a favorable location! I'll be joining 14 other photographers in Alaska!! I know most of them from our annual Minnesota weekend photo workshops. I've only seen the Northern Lights twice. Once when I was 15, and once in MN. I hope to change my story...

The decision wasn't made lightly, and comes at a less then ideal time. Pretty sure Brad is tired of being asked to travel to a frozen tundra to do something he has no interest in, and encouraged me to just go. There will always be reasons not to. I'm not getting any younger, and my shoulder injury is a daily reminder of how quickly life can change. So, here I am about to go WAAAY out of my comfort zone!! Yikes! 


I think it's safe to say 2018 will be a *huge eventful year* for us, full of change!!! Bring it! I am ready!! Well, except for the house thing lol. It's time to finish this gigantic building/moving undertaking we started. 

There is no time like the present to continue living, and dreaming! Sooo many more things I want to do, once we get settled. Thank goodness all this change isn't happening all at once, that would be even more overwhelming then it already is. For me, it's always been about the journey anyways. Cherishing the steps that bring us closer. Even the hard ones. It makes everything that much more special. Thanks for being part of my journey, it wouldn't be the same without you!!

view from our deck door....someday....