In the last post I told you about one major stressor that has kept me away from blogging. Today I’ll catch you up on the rest of the story of why I have been too busy to blog… our new farm!
Selling a farm can be difficult and take some time, being a niche market with limited buyers. Finding the right farm to buy can be just as hard, especially with our list of requirements. Making both transactions happen on the same timeline within budget is nearly impossible… but my husband is a miracle worker and somehow we managed to close on both farms on the same day. I still don’t know how we pulled it off, but I am so glad it is over. It was incredibly stressful and I never want to do it again. Luckily, we now own our dream farm, and have no plans to ever leave!
The farm is located conveniently just a few miles from a main expressway and an easy commute to the city for work. However, the beautiful winding hilly back roads to get here immediately transform into that middle of nowhere backwoods country feel. The farm feels very private and secluded, being surrounded by mostly woods and hills. We can’t see any neighbors. Perfect!
The farm has been neglected and overgrown for many years, after having been through a foreclosure and several owners. Luckily, we are good at seeing past current condition and visualizing potential. While this farm was in pretty rough condition when we arrived, it was obvious that it used to be absolutely beautiful, and we plan to restore that beauty. We have been here just over a month and have been working on it non-stop. Conveniently, my horses are all laid up, removing the temptation to go riding, so I’ve really focused extra hard on farm projects. Win-win: keeps me busy and distracted from my equine woes, and improves the farm, which is quite rewarding.
The horse facilities here are simply amazing. The stable is an old tobacco barn that was given a facelift and remodeled with 10 fancy stalls. Absolutely beautiful, and functional to boot. Tobacco barns are carefully oriented to catch the best breeze, which makes for a very cool barn even in the brutal summer heat. Each stall has either a window or a dutch door, further improving ventilation.
The funny thing is, with this fancy 10 stall barn, that I don’t even keep my horses in stalls! They come in twice a day to eat their ration balancer, but otherwise spend most of their time outside. It is nice to have available though, in case of injury or extreme weather. The dividers are removable, so I plan to give each horse a double size stall since we have 10 stalls for 3.5 horses.
The last stall opens into an enclosed walkway leading to the indoor arena.
Yes, I said INDOOR ARENA. I still can’t believe it! Such a dream come true! There is a huge 70×140 insulated indoor with 8 overhead doors, again for exceptional ventilation and a nice cool breeze in the summer. The footing needs some work, but we’ve already made great progress on it. There is a strange concrete chunk in the middle, I’m guessing from a hot walker, which we are working on removing. Having an arena will really motivate me to do more dressage! For the first time in my life, I’m not 100% dreading winter… I’m still not really excited about the cold and rain, but I think I might tolerate it better now!
There are several pastures, including an 8 acre pasture that we will be rehabbing into a hay field, two smaller pastures, and two dry lots. I am keeping the horses in the 2 acre pasture next to the house, which is on a hillside and has lower quality soil than the rest of the farm. The lower quality grass in that field is perfect for our chubby ponies, and I am hopeful that they can eventually come out of their muzzles here. Our old farm was in a valley with the most rich fertile soil and amazing lush grass I’ve ever seen… it was a nightmare for easy keeper equines! I am so relieved to have a healthier pasture for them. They move around constantly, up and down the hill, and I’ve already seen an improvement in Moxie’s topline and the two chunky girls have trimmed up a bit already.
At the back of the property is about 3 acres of woods on a hillside leading down to a beautiful creek. I’ve cut a trail down to the creek, and we have recieved permission from a neighbor to ride on a huge parcel of adjoining land, which we will explore further after hunting season.
It is pretty much horse heaven. I still can’t believe it is really ours!
Now that we are somewhat settled, and the most urgent projects are completed, I should have more time to keep up with blogging. Hopefully riding soon, too.