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.
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.
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.