Friday, July 29, 2011

Barn Shopping

I have been looking for a new barn for a couple of weeks now. First I made a list of all the barns I could find, and then the dear husband and I spent a weekend doing drive-by shopping. If the place looked like it might be a possibility I made a note of it. If not, I crossed it off the list. This past Sunday we actually visited two barns. One has possibilities, and one is completely out of the question. I realize that I have a long list of wants and that I am probably going to have to compromise. I just haven't figured out yet what I can live without and what I cannot.

There was a time when two available stalls would have been enough for me. Not anymore. I've had the horses for a few years now, and I've learned a lot in that time about what horses need to be healthy and happy. First and foremost they need a safe and secure facility with good feed and clean water. Secondly, they need caretakers who know about horses. No amateurs need apply when it comes to being a good place for my horses. The horses being healthy, safe, and well-cared for is the most important thing.

Of course I want it to be affordable. I am getting dangerously close to maxed out with what I can afford to pay. It definitely limits my choices. If I could afford to pay more I could get the second item on my wish list which is proximity. If I had only one horse I could have proximity. I have two horses. Looks like I'm going to be driving a ways to and from whatever barn I choose. I can live with that. CEC wasn't exactly in my backyard.

I want my horses to have turn-out. When I first bought them I was in a barn where there was no turn-out. They spent everyday, all day long, in their stalls except for the hour or two they were in work. I didn't know any better. When we moved to CEC the whole concept of turn-out really made me nervous. I was terrified they would get hurt...and sometimes they did...but they were happy and I could tell they were happy. I finally came to the realization that they were horses and they deserved to live like horses if I could manage it. So, turn-out is a big deal for me.

I want them to have a roomy stall with good bedding. I want a decent sized arena with good footing. I don't like dark and gloomy so good lighting is essential and there must be good air circulation. I want a safe place to store my tack. I want someone to put on and take off blankets when I can't. I want mud control, fly control, good drainage, and the manure pile to disappear on a regular basis. Part of any boarding experience is the social aspect. I like having barn friends to ride with. I like young people and I like having a few people closer to my own age too. Having trails to ride would be an added plus, and last but not least I want to be able to continue working with my trainer.

So...was I able to find all this or did I have to make some compromises. What do you think?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Today my heart is broken

Rest in peace beloved Poko...we will miss you always.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011


A few posts back I told everyone that Sarah and Bay had competed in our Arabian regional championships and that they did well. I only had a cell phone picture to post. This past week Sarah mom, Judy, gave me a dvd with a few pictures she had taken over the course of the show.

Because the show was over the 4th of July holiday the DH and I were very very busy. That's a time of company from out of town and rodeo after rodeo after rodeo. We managed to make it out for the rides, but on the day of the championship we had somewhere we had to be by shortly after 5:00 p.m. So, we had to load Baythoven up right after Sarah's last ride and head back to our barn. Sarah stayed with everyone else to find out the results in her classes. In main ring classes and in a lot of the sport horse classes the winners are announced and ribbons are awarded before they ever leave the ring. That is not the case in dressage. Every test has to be ridden and scored individually before the outcome is known. Hence, there is no big presentation unless you can stay and wait through everyone else, and even then there are scheduling conflicts,and you may have to wait until the end of the show before there is a ring to use and people available to present your ribbons. So there are no grand photos of Sarah on Baythoven wearing his ribbons...yet...we will be having a photo session in August to get those championship photos. In the meantime we have these :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ch ch ch ch changes...

I hate change! Especially when it comes to my horses and their living situations. We got an email last week that informed us of a barn meeting to be held last night. Of course there was a lot of speculation about what news the meeting would bring. Turns out our full-care barn is going self-care.
Arrrggghhh! We have 6 weeks to find a new home for the boys if we decide that self-care isn't going to work for us.

I have loved being at this barn. It is well kept and the arenas are great. I like the other boarders. I love the trainer. As a matter of fact the only thing I didn't like was the drive out there. Sometimes I tended not to go because I didn't have time for the drive out, the grooming, the ride, the grooming, and the drive back. I never had to worry about my horses. There was always someone around to watch out for them.

So...I am looking at my options. Did I tell you that I hate change?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My dear friend Joanne Collins has taken many beautiful pictures of me with my Boo. Today I post a picture she did of her boy Excel. He will be sorely missed.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Short trip to the gorge

The DH's mom came out from Idaho to visit her sister for the week. They made a road trip to the gorge where the DH and I met up with them yesterday. We had a great time sight-seeing. I've never been to the Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington before yesterday morning. The view from the deck was fantastic.

We visited Bonneville and saw rainbow trout and giant sturgeon.

We had lunch at Multnomah Falls

and did a short hike into to see Bridal Veil Falls and Latourell Falls. Both well worth the short walk. It was a little much for Mick's Aunt with her bad hip, so she opted to wait in the truck. Of course we worried about it being to hot for her but apparently it was just the right temperature for a couple of short naps.

We ended the trip with a drive through of Hood River and watched the windsurfers for a bit. It was a hot and dry wind they were catching but they all looked happy to me. All in all it was a great day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What I have been doing with my summer

There is a reason I have been awol for the past month. I have been talking about refinishing my kitchen cabinets for quite some time now. I did a little research and decided I'd most likely have to paint them. One evening a little over a month ago I was telling my son-in-law what I planned to do. I thought he might give me some pointers since I knew he had painted the kitchen cabinets in a rental they had lived in a few years ago. While I was telling Dave about my plans my grandson Dom was listening in. Dave asked me what the DH thought about my plans. I told him that I it was my opinion that he didn't really believe I would do it. My grandson piped in that he didn't think I would do it either...that was all it took. It's taking a lot longer than I had anticipated but I've been working on it. I started with the built-in t.v. cabinet in the family room. Seemed like if I really messed it up it would be a lot less expensive to fix that then it would be to replace the kitchen cabinets. This is a shot of the cabinet once finished.

I should have a shot of the the first bank of kitchen cabinets by the end of the week.

St. Paul Rodeo on July 4th

Spent July 4th at the St. Paul rodeo! Beautiful day and had a great time. My friend Joanne used her little point and shoot to take these photos.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Congratulations to Sarah and Baythoven

I have been awol for a bit. So much going on and so little time. I had to check in today though because we had our regional championships July 1-3, and I wanted to share with all of you that Sarah and Baythoven participated in their first regional competition together and came away champions in JTR training level and JTR first level. They worked hard for this and I am so happy for them. Especially since they had to miss the state OHSET competition because I opted not to send Bay due to the EHV-1 scare.

This isn't such a great photo. I took it with my cell phone but it will have to do.