feeding our horses something new


meow mix hay

(aka Tinkerbell)

double meatloaf grain

(aka Leo & Purr)

Not to worry folks, no cats were harmed or fed and still provide mouse patrol and barn comedy.



We started building our 66' x 144' arena January 2021. This page will have evolving building post links that detail the process.

build-an-arena ~ about that arena and more (electrical, tin, bench)

~ between concrete pours (flooring, approach, mounting blocks, horseshoe imprints, curved wall)

~ here's your sign (hanging fans, 
interior walls, changing decisions)

build-an-arena ~ an even dozen (ceiling)

~ three of these things are not like the others (roof, cupolas, insulation, ceiling)

~ windy days (setting trusses, windows)

~ visible progress (standing walls, removing overhang)

build-an-arena ~
getting real (getting ready, building walls)

build-an-arena ~
hurry up and wait (materials)

build-an-arena ~
one load at a time 

build-an-arena ~ a cold pause (on hold)

build-an-arena ~
walls (pouring frost walls)

build-an-arena ~
footings (pouring footings)

build-an-arena ~
diggin' it (digging for footing & walls)

build-an-arena ~
 here we grow again (plans, thoughts)

build-an-arena ~ site prep (strip frozen site, winter build)

site prep ~ build-an-arena

As planned, our arena was started last weekend. Brad spent two very long days busting up the top layer of frozen ground. The quality control crew stopped by with me each day to take photos of the progress. I kept one eye on them, while the bobcat was whipping around moving dirtTank & Jameson were good observers and stuck close by me. Regardless, they won't be coming with me while others are operating machinery. 

Day One: 

perfect job for a track machine

I was surprised at the size of the chunks

two cones show arena corners, second cone is to left edge of barn

Arena doesn't look very big from this angle,
but ask the guy who worked on it all weekend and he will tell you it is big 

The barn wall will remain as is, door will be raised a couple inches.

parts-n-pieces of the arena puzzle

(drainage connectors, tubes below)

my inspection crew checking things out
Tank & Jameson (L-R)

drainage is crucial, it makes or breaks a building

checking out the building site from the other side

Day Two: 

busting out endless chunks

adding to the growing pile

a larger mid day perspective

(bobcat is at end of arena site)

Monday views of the work that got done over the weekend: 

massive towering pile of dirt for back fill

black plastic covers key spots to help with frost

Build an arena posts will be added to one collective page tab.  


here we grow again

We begin another construction project, tomorrow. Brad is bringing equipment home to strip our sandy dirt. Much to my surprise we are starting our 144' x 66' indoor arena. It will be up by early Spring!! For real. Our son will be digging out the site next weekend. I am still trying to get used to the idea that we are growing, once again.


It is common for scheduled work to ebb and flow in any type of construction, add a pandemic to the mix and projects shift and become more unpredictable. In this case, it worked in our favor. Who knew our indoor would be going up so soon. Not me. 


An indoor has been a far fetched dream of ours for many many years. We've talked about it off/on since we got Koda and Nemo in 2008. Since then we have ridden in and/or seen countless arenas, noting likes and dislikes and asking questions of those that own and maintain them (thanks Arline!). We squirreled away details of what we liked and was practical, to possibly implement on our very own. We do not need anything fancy, but want to avoid the common pitfalls. This build is happening late in our lives, but at least it is happening. Better late than never. Most people our age are scaling down, and turning into snowbirds. Not us. We plan to stay put and thoroughly enjoy our little slice of paradise as long as we can.

arena fans waiting to spin

We had hoped an indoor arena would be part of our original homestead build, but they are expensive and it got put on hold. We recently bumped it up on our endless wish list based on usage. We think we will use it a lot, especially in Winter. Obviously it will allow us to ride year-round, eliminating weather related stop-n-start riding. Koda (and I) will definitely benefit from it. It will also provide a place for our horses to stretch their legs on those dangerously bitter cold or ice covered treacherous days, where turn out is less than ideal. Cierra and her future foal will have a safe place to stretch their legs during earlier days. Ditto should one of our horses require separation or rehab due to injury. I am also holding onto hope that with an indoor arena, Brad will bring his show horse home at certain intervals and continue training/riding at home. He is perfectly capable of it. We've talked about potentially having a trainer come to us for lessons at some point, or even the occasional mini-clinic. 

It would be nice to get to know the new blonde girl that is about to be in his life, and see her more than a few times a year at shows. Speaking of the blonde girl, we got our vets blessing yesterday to go ahead with the purchase of Padame. For a while, it looked like it could turn out the other way. I will elaborate in a future post, once the purchase is a done deal. If you missed it, you can read earlier posts about the worlds longest horse purchase that started on December 1, 2020 here, here and the latest sale pending post is here.

Below are initial drafts of the outside of the arena building. Not too exciting, in WI most indoors are pretty much a shell. The north end is the side that will be attached to our existing barn. The placement/addition of a few things have since changed. We upsized the smaller service door, added a human door and some windows on the south end. Most things have been decided, but not all interior details are finalized. 

Hoping our three barn cats do okay while building onto their safe haven. One in particular dislikes any loud noises (Tinkerbell) and instantly high tails it. She eventually comes backs. If it is really cold, we may lock them up on the storage side. The two girls choose to stay inside on colder days. My hiking buddy Leo still hunts in the snow.

January 5, 2021

climbing his favorite tree on the trail yesterday

I will be documenting the build throughout, just like I did with Build-a-Barn. It will be fun to have something to photograph, and watch as the building goes up! I will however miss the serenity and wildlife viewing of the pasture behind the barn. There will still be some open pasture left, but it will no doubt look and feel different.

January 5, 2021


capturing the crazy

Every two weeks or so our pasture feeder needs to be refilled. Brad has mastered it by himself, and doesn't need my help any more. Most people remove the horses from said area, but not my guy. I guess he likes interacting with the horses while removing the net. Not me, I captured the crazy from the deck...


Not sure if it was because we woke Harmony up from her nap, but our old girl was feeling extra fresh while Brad removed the net. There were times when she was doing her own little dance, repeatedly with all four feet off the ground. Sharing just a few of the many photos. It was funny to watch, and fun to photograph. Of course Harmony wasn't the only one feeling fresh. Lots of herd dynamics going on while I captured the crazy...

Koda and Cierra

Harmony and Koda


Harmony, Cierra, Koda and Brad

Harmony, Cierra, Koda and Brad



Naughty Nemo and Brad


Brad and net made it out in one piece. He opened the gate to the upper pasture to close them out, so he could load the big bale with McBouncy the bobcat. The crazy continued as Brad encouraged them into the upper pasture.

Nemo, Koda, Harmony and Cierra

Nemo, Koda, Harmony and Cierra

Harmony, Koda and Nemo 

Nemo, Harmony, Koda and Cierra


Sometimes you just gotta get out of the way and let them run

Koda, Cierra, Harmony and Nemo

Koda, Harmony and Cierra

Nemo doing his typical laps

the calm after the storm

Nemo, Koda, Harmony and Cierra watching Brad & McBouncy fill their feeder with the good stuff.

Koda and Harmony

Our herd peacefully ended their antics and gathered around together to enjoy the big pacifier. Hay.


sale pending

Today is the day. Padame gets hauled to the vet for a head to toe pre-sale vet check. Soon we will know (and so will you!) if she will be Brad's new upcoming show horse, or if we are back to searching the corners of the earth for a healthier young horse that fits his criteria. 

This is what we requested:

1) Vaccines: Rhino/Influenza vaccine, Lyme vaccine and Rabie vaccine
2) X-Rays: Feet, Hocks, Pasterns & Stifles. 
3) Full Body Assessment
4) Coggins
5) Teeth Exam
6) Health Papers, required by Wisconsin for animals crossing State lines

It will likely take a few days for both vets (hers and ours) to evaluate all of the results, and then Brad to make his final decision. 

We also wanted to make sure Padame had the AQHA 5-panel genetic test done. If not, we would request one of those before purchasing. We found out the test was done, actually one of the five. Her sire is a GBED carrier, negative to the other four diseases. Her dam is negative for all 5. Therefore the filly was only tested for GBED, and unfortunately tested positive. She is also a carrier.

Not gonna lie, I didn't think we should buy her unless she had 100% clean bill of health. However, since learning about GBED (thank you Shirley for sharing your valued knowledge!!) and that it only becomes a concern if bred to another carrier, I guess I am okay with it. I still support the purchase thus far. We aren't buying Padame for breeding, but in reality who knows what the future holds. Brad also contacted our vet, and his response was the same.

My hubby made a good point the other day, this whole long distance purchasing experience has been very educational for both of us. We didn't do any vet check with our four horses. Age appropriate things like vaccines were taken care of, and Cierra was panel tested as a baby before we bought her. We used our own judgement with what we saw in person. Regardless, even if Padame lived close to us she would have gotten a pre-sale check because of her cost and intended use.

I can't wait to see how the vet check turns out, hoping for good news!! Until then, she is officially sale pending...

screen shot from breeders website



tick tock

Time passes. Another year, another chapter. Tick tock, goes the clock. In reality, New Years is just the turn of another day. But it always feels like so much more than that.

I have such fond memories of past years celebrating the upcoming new number. From my youth spent with multiple families and gaggles of kids, to party years and then back to youth spent with families - but this time as adults. Then there were our overnight spa get-away years, that morphed into the past several years. My favorite. Quiet. Home. With Brad and our beloved animals. Soaking up the nature that surrounds us. Dreaming. Sooo many dreams. No reviews, goals or intentions nor good riddance to 2020 here. No one wants bad stuff to linger. It just seems odd to wish time away. See first paragraph.

New Year affirmations are absolutely great to restart the positive. Here you'll find dreams. Yep, pretty much the same thing. I've always been a dreamer, literally. Ask my husband. Ha ha!! My head is always in the clouds, looking up to the sky. Dreaming. Unintentionally. 
I just find myself a-dreaming, until they come true. Many more than I ever imagined, in my wildest dreams. I truly am blessed, and forever thankful. My life had and still has plenty of ugly bumps and bruises, but I prefer to focus on the positive. I am a glass half full kinda gal. Or at least I try.

I've got this guy to keep me smiling:

walking in our wooded snow globe

and these four wild-n-wooly bears:

Cierra, Koda, Harmony and Nemo (L-R)

Our horses have been full of it lately. Especially my dragon Koda. So much for all the earlier hands-on work, and riding. Insert eye-roll. It is the weather, right?! We decided Koda is like a smart kid that is bored in a classroom and gets in trouble. Good grief!! He is 13 going on 3, and it's not just me. I am pretty sure he will never change. Sigh. What a goof-ball!!

SO thankful for Nemo. He is my other steady, when I need it most. Such a very special horse.

The bond between these two...

ohhhh Nemo LOL!!

and then we have our three barn tigers: 

(our lovable big gray cat-dog)

(Brad's cat, always observing her world)

(our warm weather gypsy, who remains 100% silly)

One of my biggest joys this past year has been watching the guy who didn't like cats, love them! We put a cat door in our barn that reads microchips. The girls have "the clicking" down, but our big boy...well, he summons us to let him in the barn. Leo continues to follow us on walks (even with the snow) and requires a lot of this:

Brad carrying Leo on a recent walk

Jameson, our grand dog came back to live with us in November after a year-ish hiatus. Such an intelligent sweet dog, and also the most challenging dog I have ever photographed. 


...and let's not forget Tank. We lucked out big time!! Our big boy turned two December 1st and is so full of sweet personality, and unconditional love. I can't imagine life without him.


Many enjoyable days are spent with these three:

Jameson, Tank and Remi (grand dog)

walking three dogs

As for this years dreams/goals/affirmations, I've written about the upcoming achievable ones throughout my previous posts. Let's just say I am super excited for 2021! Instead of wishing time away let us see what positive things transpire, shall we?!!

Wishing you all a Happy (Healthy!!) New Year's my friends!