Friday, October 30, 2009

Sweet Progress

My hubby's friend is between jobs, so he's had a couple of days to work on the barn. Bad for him, but good for us....He will hopefully be back on the road next week with his new job as a tanker truck driver. Pray he stays safe. Those things scare me.

Because our barn is not square and is off-set so I could have larger stalls, TC has all kinds of tricks to make it look better. He is currently adding a little overhang to the front: 1) to help fool the eye so it looks a bit more balanced and 2) to protect the doors he is planning to build.

The left side is being framed up for the 2 stalls. There is a nice big window for one someone to hang their head out of...it may be a bit high for little Tonto, but I'm not complaining. The siding above the small overhang will eventually be replaced with the same siding currently on the right side of the barn. Not sure what color it will be painted when done...I am open for suggestions.



Looking through the aisle:
I can't wait to be able to use it! My dream has always been to have a barn with an aisle. It will be D's job to keep it swept. :)


Future stall area:


You can see the forms where the guys are pouring concrete as I type this...future walls and doors will hopefully be built fairly soon. :)



Another shot from inside the stall area:
(Notice all that grass!)



Below is one of the outside wall footers my hubby poured last weekend:



We have been blessed with plenty of rain and warm weather, so the rye and fescue mix is coming up like crazy. I just pray it continues to grow throughout the winter like it is supposed to. We will over seed with fescue and carpet grass next spring.


The walls are doing their job holding the soil in place. Even with all the rain, there has been almost no erosion. (Thank you Lord!)


Grass is growing on the lower part of the hill as well....this photo doesn't do it justice.



Glorious grass.....



I've been in touch with Filly's new owner and they are both very happy and doing well. I'll have to pull some photos off her website to share. I miss Filly like crazy, but she is right where she needs to be. Her new owner said Filly nickers to her every time she sees her, so I take that as a good sign. :)
Thanks for checking in and I'll post again soon. :)


Monday, October 26, 2009

Photos of Filly's New Owner

In case you were wondering - here are a couple of photos I pulled from photobucket. This is T and her big paint gelding she events and Pony Clubs on. I've seen even better dressage photos of these two, but this is quite nice, so you get the idea!


I believe this was her profile photo when I sent her a friend request. It was definitely a jumping photo and they looked so good!

Anyway, I am thrilled that Filly may have the opportunity to be trained to her full potential. I'd love to see photos of her like this! She is only 9, so she is certainly ready to be put into steady work. I have no doubt T will train her up right. :) The only problem is I'll never be able to afford her price tag if she goes up for sale looking like this!



Filly has a New Home

It all began on October 17 with an innocent e-mail. I am a social networking addict....and I'll admit it. I spend WAY too much time checking my friend's profiles and their photos - especially if they are horse people. While checking out photos on a friend's page, a photo caught my eye. It was a photo of a girl jumping a flashy paint horse. I had no idea who she was, but I liked her horse, so I sent her a message and asked if she'd like to be "friends" since we had "horse" friends in common (3 in fact). She accepted my friend request and started perusing my ba-zillions of horse photos. And of course I was thumbing through all of hers, too, quite impressed with almost all of them! The one thing that really struck me was how healthy and shiny they were. The plus was the ones she was riding looked spectacular!

Then I receive an e-mail that she commented on one of my photos. I followed the link to a photo of Filly. My new friend asks what I do with the cute Filly pony...in which I respond, "Nothing"....and proceeded to tell her everything I knew about Fil...blah, blah, blah (dreams for the pony, how long I'd had her, everything we'd been through, directed her this blog, etc., and how I really needed to sell her, but didn't want to, etc, etc, etc. I really thought this new friend would run the other way screaming, "Okay, okay, enough! Too much info!!!" But she didn't. She continued to inquire about Filly, look at photos and comment on them, and I continued looking through her photos and answering her questions. The more I looked at the photos of her horses, the better I felt.

Finally, she sent an e-mail asking if she could come meet Fil in person. I was hesitant, but agreed. This was really hard. I hate selling horses. I just get too attached and worry about where they are going to go, how they are going to be treated, etc. Filly was my dream pony, but my dreams had started fading with the lack of time, sweet itch, training frustrations, and here lately, the fear of riding itself. Reality was biting really hard. I kept telling myself I could always back out if I didn't like the potential buyer.

T and her Mom came to visit on Thursday, October 22. I was feeling mixed emotions as I awaited their arrival. It would be disappointing if they didn't like Filly, but yet I was scared they WOULD like her and want to buy her.

I had Filly cleaned up and grazing in the yard when they drove up. T and her Mom jumped out and we began chatting about Filly as they looked over her. Their kindness and knowledge put me at ease - I was still nervous, but in a good way! (I believe I talked their ears off with my nervous chatter...)

We longed Filly first, then T gently settled into the saddle.

Filly is approximately 14.1 hands and she has NO muscle what-so-ever. T is around 5'7 I believe.


T was gentle and quiet. I really liked the way she rode Filly with confidence.



T took her time walking large circles and changing direction.


They tried some trotting:

Filly was really good for a few circles, then decided to pull her ugly trick of popping her shoulder and hopping to the side. T just sat deeper in the saddle and kept her left rein wide and right leg on so Filly couldn't turn right. After a few hops, Filly went back on the circle. That is the point I would have gotten off. Filly would have won that battle because she has unseated me too many times doing that. T took it all in stride and quietly worked Filly through it.


T got very nice results:


Filly got a little pat reward:



T has worked with problem ponies and young horses, so I have no doubt she'll have Filly going around nicely in no time at all. She is also an active member of Pony Club, so that gave her bonus points with me. :)



She decided she wanted to take Filly home with her.
She came prepared with a brand new purple halter! (It actually belonged to one of her other horses, but it fit nicely.)


One last photo of the three of us together:

T can't decide if she wants to train Filly for her Mom who is more my height, or keep her for herself! :) Her Mom just lost her beloved horse in September to a ruptured colon. They had a hard time even talking about it without choking up. So, so sad.
As hard as it was watching the trailer drive away with my Filly pony in it, I am very happy and relieved with the outcome. Yes, there were lots of tears, but I loved both T and her Mom and I have no doubt Filly is in the right home now. I believe I made it clear that if they ever needed to send Filly back, they could. I'm not sure what T's plans for college are, as she just graduated from high school in May, but if she decides she can't keep Fil, I hope she will let me know. :) T and I are also friends on the net, so I can check on Filly's progress and see photos any time I want.

I'm not really ready to be on the serious horse hunt yet...I am enjoying looking at ads, but I need to be patient and wait for the barn to be finished before purchasing another pony. In the meantime, I have lots of plans for working little Tonto!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Update

I sold my beloved Filly pony to a wonderful young lady yesterday. Wow, it was hard as hell to say goodbye as we loaded Filly on the trailer and watched her head down the road, but there is no doubt in my mind it was the right thing to do. She can now live up to her full potential and get all of the attention she deserves. Story and photos to follow soon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wishing the Best of Luck to a Friend

An internet buddy of mine is competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover this weekend in TN. Please wish her the best of luck, and most of all, please pray that she is able to purchase her beloved mustang, Trouper, at the conclusion of the competition.
For a link to her blog, go here: Whispering Rains Farms. She has a link to the Extreme Mustang Makeover there.

Bring it all home, A and Trouper!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Barn Progress...YAY!

My hubby's friend came over for a few hours today to work on the barn. This is no easy task, since nothing is square in this pole barn. It's sole function when it was built was to house the old owner's treasures....and he had LOTS of treasures.

Can you see the studs?
(That's my hubby kneeling on the left and T on the right :))

Standing inside the future stall:


Framing up the door:


Inside the barn.


From the aisle looking into the opening for the stall door:



Another view from inside the barn:



Future stalls:


A view from inside the stall through the door:


Future ~14 x 14 stalls (yippee!):

The grass is growing on the hill:

Grass is sprouting up everywhere, it is just hard to tell from the photos.
Dreams are slowly coming to fruition....it is a nice feeling. :)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Busy Weekend

Well, the past two weekends have been very busy, so no horse time was available.

This past weekend I traveled with my parents and my three children to our annual family reunion. My dear husband had to leave on Sunday for a business trip to Vegas, so he missed the reunion this year...and we are all missing him this week. The weather was yucky on the way to South Carolina; lots of rain, but we saw several beautiful rainbows! Promises of better things to come, I believe.

The weekend was supposed to be a complete wash-out, but see, those rainbows were a promise of better things! The weather broke and we had glorious sunshine on Saturday and Sunday for the reunion. The kids had such fun motoring around in the fishing boat. They didn't catch too many fish, but who needs fish when you have cousins to hang around with?


We also went hiking in the woods. I almost stepped on this huge green fellow:

The kids were fascinated by this caterpillar, as was I! I've never seen one this big before! (Thank you to my brother for holding the stick while I snapped photos...)
Notice his yellow horns:

I had to share this photo of the cousins together:
Three of these kiddos are mine, two belong to my middle brother, one to my oldest brother, and the extra two belong to one of my cousins. Got all that?

And yes, my daughter has to face paint with the mud from the lake....
By the time she was finished, she had stripes across her forehead, too. Nice.
While walking in the woods, we came across these delicate flowers. Not sure what they were, but I thought they were neat.
We arrived back home on Monday and found grass on the new terraces.
I noticed today that all of the bare dirt spots now have grass growing on them. We've had tons of rain and very little erosion, thank goodness. Maybe it's the rainbows...

Hoping for some horse time this weekend. The weather is getting cooler, so I know they are beginning to get woolly. Can't wait to see them.
Oh, and no updates on the barn yet. My husband's friend is supposed to spend a weekend helping enclose it, but not sure when that is happening. Hopefully SOON! I'll keep you posted. :)





Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Hill - October 5

Just after the walls were complete, the forecast called for rain. Almost 2 inches of rain. This made me want to curse. A little rain would be great, but come on, 2 inches????????
My brilliant hubby went to Lowe's and found these mats for erosion control.
We seeded with winter rye and fescue, then spread fertilizer before rolling out the mats.


I didn't get a photo of the finished product because the rain was moving in and we were in a hurry!
It rained a bunch; sometimes very hard....all night long and off and on the next two days. We were dreading what the hill would look like the following days.
To our surprise (and relief), there was very little erosion!!

Casey and Stripes checking out the erosion mats:
There is a little washing of dirt onto the mat, but no huge ruts as before.


These ruts were pretty deep, but minimal and easy to fix. We are having more dirt brought in to put around the walls before seeding and covering these areas with mats.


Minimal runoff from the wall:


Minor erosion that will be repaired:

It's actually a good thing that it rained hard so soon after the walls were completed. Now we have an idea of where our problem areas are going to be and the landscaper can help us fix those areas.


Some settling along the walls; to be expected. They will be filled and repaired.

More photos of minor erosion that will be fixed:

Photo looking out from the barn:
(no major washing, if any!)

Below shows one small area that washed. We will have to find a solution for this; probably will have to build a small retaining wall here.


Daisy standing in the washed area. A lot of water from our neighborhood flows through here, but notice there is no major erosion! Hubby placed the cross ties and 6x6's along here to slow the flow until this area can be worked on.


The photo below shows some of the settling along the wall. It is hard to pack dirt around the "deadmen," so this is to be expected.


The rest of these photos show the minor erosion. I know we can't stop all of it, but if we can minimize it, maybe we can keep some dirt on the hill....




Such a huge difference from the washing we experienced before. The landscapers are back today hard at work putting down more dirt. I'll go out shortly to spread seed and fertilizer. Hubby found some cheaper and longer erosion control mats that he will purchase this weekend to put on the lower portion of the hill since we are expected to get MORE rain this weekend!
Keep your fingers crossed that the rye will take and grass can start growing. Maybe by this time next year we'll have Filly and Tonto home!