things worth waiting for

Horse Shelter prep:

clearing out stumps, trees & brush

checking ground levels

a few sturdy oaks remain

hazy wider view of shelter site
(taken from our house deck)

Connecting the Barn & House:

grand dogs inspecting the first section prep
(complete with puddles)

stamp of approval

day one: first section poured
second section formed up and ready

day two: second section done
third section formed up & ready

day three: poured & drying
let the three-wheel barrelin' commence!

7 days of curing & more backfill and we can drive on it

Next steps: pushing more dirt around, back filling, framing the horse shelter flooring and then my guys will pour the pad. Our horses might even have a shelter within a couple weeks! Maybe. 


late summer projects

I am calling this post "late summer projects" because it doesn't feel like early Fall. We find ourselves stuck in yucky late mosquito season, I mean summer season. Our endless flooding rain eventually stopped, and was promptly followed up with a second invasion of mosquitos. This crop is tiny and vicious. They make doing anything outside less then fun. Regardless, we have been working on miscellaneous projects & chores around our place. You can't let the blood sucking flying pterodactyls stop all progress!!

Here are a few of the more interesting things happening, or about to happen, around our place. In no particular order:

Koda doing his part to clean up spilled hay.

Brad put up around 200 small bales of second crop.
Somehow I wasn't around when it came time to unload it,
and boy do I feel guilty!

There is another half wagon of what we consider bad hay.
We found sand burrs growing in one area, so we baled clear of it.
Those things are nasty!!

Our barn storage/work area is getting put to good use.

The large ply board above is to finish up the tack room ceiling.
As soon as it cools off a bit,
more things will get finished in and around the barn.

We are starting to use the area behind the barn.

Nothing too exciting.

I lunged Koda a couple days just a few twirls at each gait, both directions. Found out it's really hard on my torn shoulder.
Koda doesn't need to be lunged, but it's a quick way of getting him to move out and listen.
 He was a good boy, in the deep sandy dirt.
As soon as the mosquitos die down,
I plan to put out a few obstacles & hop on.

I got my craft on and made a sign for inside our house.

After seeing a few signs for sale with these words (or variations of) it made me think of how frequently we find ourselves saying "this is us".

The backstory:
We spent 8 glorious summers vacationing with our kids in Colorado.
During the daytime one went to hockey camp, the other to horse camp.
Brad & I rode the mountains with our ranch friends.
It was heaven on earth.

A time in our lives none of us will ever forget.

I was so bummed every time we left what felt like home.
We talked about moving West some day, but that would be impractical.

Fast forward to today:
Brad & I get asked why/how we came up with ______ on our land.
It's our version of a mountain homestead. We can't move the mountains,
but are including whatever gives us "that feeling" as much as possible.
It's as close as we will ever get to living near mountains, and we love it!
Hence the sign "this is us".

I have the perfect spot to hang a sign,
but the styles for sale just didn't fit our home.
This sign feels like us. I had so much fun handcrafting!
I've decided to make our three planned barn signs myself.
All I need is more scrap wood (hint, hint)

The driveway between the barn and our house is our current project.

I look forward to not stumbling over random rocks in the dark.
I'll be going so fast, tires will be smokin' on my poop filled wheel barrel!!

It is scheduled to be poured this week, unless it starts raining again.
Yesterday it was raining, and it's in the forecast. Sigh.
A horse shelter is in the near future.

The bid came in, and I'll quote Brad "I can't build it for that".
Our son was disappointed when he heard we weren't building it ourselves.
Instead it will be built by the same guys that did our barn shell.
It will match our barn exterior.

It is going right in front of the trees on the right,
and will be done before Winter (yippee!!)
Before it can be built, Brad needs to finish prepping the site.
There are stumps to remove, a pad to pour etc.
Our son may change his mind lol!


last show of the season

There hasn't been much to post about, unless you want to hear about our horrible weather. The past few weeks can be summed up in two words: rain & floods. Better said, historic flooding. The water destruction is sad. No one around here is prepared for flooding, and not insured for it. People have damaged & lost homes, business and even lives. In the middle of a Midwestern city. Whodathunk? Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be over yet. The flooding isn't very far from us, 15-30 miles north & southThankfully it hasn't affected us personally. 

Much of what has been taking up our time lately is outdoor maintenance. No major barn updates to share. We have gotten more work done inside our house. Pantry shelves are up, along with additional closet shelves. Half the toilet paper holders are now up too, important stuff. Lol!

As for horse related news, Brad & Cierra just finished competing in their last show of the season (yesterday). The AQHA WI State competition was stiff. Ranch classes were some of the largest of the show. Open Ranch Riding had 17 on the second day. The judging however was pretty bad in general, especially the first set of judges. I can't hardly stand to watch anymore. If it wasn't for supporting Brad, I wouldn't! You know the judging is whacked when a rider is placed at both the top & bottom of the same class. It happened consistently, with different riders. I know it's all part of it, but no thank you.

What counts is that Brad is happy with his progress, and with Cierra's. I feel differently about hers, but regardless they make a great team. His progress is amazing, such a different rider. It's been fun watching him develop over the years. 

Cierra is so sweet, absolutely love her. I haven't seen her since early summer, and still she left her hay to give me an intentional kiss good-bye.

I posted ride video's below, if you are interested. Different patterns, different days. Brad & Cierra also competed in Ranch Conformation, don't recall their placings other then they were all over the place. 

Day One Amateur Ranch Trail (placed 4th, 4th and 6th out of 9)

Day One Amateur Ranch Riding (placed 6th, 8th, and 9th out of 9)

Day Two Amateur Ranch Trail (placed 3rd, 6th, 7th out of 12/13)

Day Two Amateur Ranch Riding (placed 7th, 7th, and ? out of 15)