Tuesday 27 September 2022

Let Sleeping Bears Lie

 Nothing new on the property front. The machine doing all the work for the ring and landscaping is still waiting to have the part replaced. I'm getting more and more anxious about that because Sophie comes home in 3 days and I'd really like to have a perimeter fence installed and construction equipment gone by then!

I have an interesting story from this morning for you though!

It's one of my travel/office days which means I need to feed Bridget breakfast no later than 6am. It's the time of year again when 6am = not quite dawn. Somehow it not being totally light yet makes me feel like I need to be quiet and stealthy so as to not bother the neighbors. So, we parked the truck in the laneway behind the barn and I ran up to the barn to feed. Just as I'm getting up beside the barn to B's stall door, something very large makes a big snorting noise pretty much under my feet and jumps up in front of me. First thought is Bridget has somehow escaped and I've startled her, then the shape isn't right so I'm thinking giant dog. By the time I realize the dark shape I'm seeing is the outline of a bear and the noises it's making also indicate bear, it's already brushed past me and run off in a panic. 

Which, OK, we do see a lot of bears around here so having one on our property isn't out of the norm at all. I'm cool if he's cool. I get that I didn't have a flashlight and wasn't making much noise and bears deserve a cozy place to sleep undisturbed. I feel a little guilty for scaring him so bad. I appreciate that he dodged me when he jumped up and didn't run into me.

But I have so many questions. Why was he sleeping there of all places? Also Bridget was napping right on the other side of the gate without a care in the world. I know she's used to them, but you'd think she'd keep half an eye out and not share nap time with him. Google tells me bears do tend to sleep and night and can have a routine as far as where they like to sleep so I'm thinking this isn't the first time.

Anyway, I think we can add a motion light for that side of the barn to my wishlist. I also need a good flashlight. Also, I kind of want to get some wifi out there and a camera set up so I can see what exactly is going on at night!

New barn security! A non scary reenactment for you ;)


Wednesday 21 September 2022

It Has Begun

 I feel like my posts are pretty repetitive the last month. "Here's all the things that happened on the property Volumes 1 - Infinity." 

I guess if you like checking out property improvements you're in luck? If you're here for the pony updates, I'm sorry for the lack of interesting content but there's not too much longer to go until my focus turns back to them! Only 10 days until Sophie comes home and I'm aware I haven't updated as far as future plans for Bridget and pony foals.

B busy doing yard maintenance, as always. I've owned her forever and I still can't believe how easy she is. We've had a ton of machinery and things happening this week and she just ignores it all and happily munches away on whatever corner of the yard I put her in that morning. She's hilarious, because she knows once I start packing tools up at the end of the day she needs to go back to her paddock, so 99% of the time she puts herself back in for a siesta until I come back later at night. I just need to open and close gates for her and she sorts the rest lol

Anyway, this week in property updates:

A new manure bin almost complete. Google tells me this should hold 6 months of two horses (with no bedding). Thats...a lot of poo. 

My little shrubs I planted in the spring are becoming established.

The machine arrived.

And I learned how to build a proper drainage system.  I'm super grateful I didn't have to hand dig any of it and my neighbour provided the required on the job training. I would have thought the pipe going downhill would have been good enough, but apparently it needs to be on a 1% grade and the perforated holes face DOWN, and my 90 degree fittings I bought don't meet inspection requirements,  but 2 45's do?  Anyway, he's a gem and he's never allowed to move.

Sadly, the machine broke down on day 2 and we're waiting on parts. But look! Drainage is installed and I have materials delivered. We're all ready to level and finish the sub base for the ring. Those are my new fence posts in the back of the truck awaiting installation. I've got the rails stained and ready to go. Fingers crossed we'll still have a fence and ring by month's end but this delay might make it stretch into the first week of Oct.

I'm aware I'm going to run out of time to build Sophie's shelter before she gets here, so she's going to have to share with Bridget temporarily. They've previously shared a paddock and shelter when I boarded elsewhere so I'm not too worried about it, it's just more convenient to be able to separate them at least part of the day since they have vastly different calorie requirements (and also B, although very tolerant of Sophie,  prefers her own space)

There is a 40x60 paddock attached to the barn, which sadly is considered quite spacious for two ponies to share in this part of the world. Ideally Sophie will have her own identical set up before winter comes.

Luckily the existing barn is big enough for them to share temporarily as well. For now they'll be sharing what I had intended to be B's foaling stall.

The other two paddocks I have are fenced, it's just the second shelter missing. As long as the weather holds they'll still be able to have their own spaces in the day. They'll also have free run of the back field once the ring base and fence are in. For now I'm kind of focused on getting the ring usable as my priority - Sophie needs regular exercise more than she needs her own shelter lol


Sunday 11 September 2022

This Week In Ponyville

I had a week’s vacation and I really could get used to the lifestyle. I was at the barn for most or all of it. I did responsible adult things like brushing ponies, feeding them excessive apples and telling them how cute they are. It was difficult, but I persevered.

On the more practical side of things, the hay stall is full, I’ve painted and stained everything wooden in my immediate vicinity, put new sand down in the front half of B’s paddock for winter, the manure bin is nearly constructed, the trailer is cleaned inside and out, and I feel like I’ve spent our life savings at the local building supply store. 


Fascias installed and stained

Perimeter drain for future ring acquired

Bridget going above and beyond mowing soon to be filled ditches

I checked in on Sophie and she’s doing great. I swear she has grown up (and out!) lately. I’m curious to measure her height and weight again. I have a feeling she’s going to finish right around 15hh and not so much the pony height we thought. Pony hooves are getting due and our farrier is out of commission, so she might be slightly taller than normal. It looks like I need to be a temporary DIY farrier again…all I can say is that’s not a hidden talent of mine and let’s just hope our farrier is feeling better ASAP ;)

Long time no see!

Anyway, on the ‘getting the machine back in’ topic, fear not! I had hoped to have a start on the ring this week, but I just ran out of time. I had a meeting with our friendly machine operator neighbour this morning and he’s going to get the last of the leveling and drainage in just as soon as we coordinate a day we’re both free. I’m hoping next week the magic will happen and we’ll have a ring base and perimeter fence in by month’s end. 


Thursday 1 September 2022

Feeling Like I'm Off Track

 I feel so disorganized right now. I got a message yesterday from the farm where Sophie's at asking if she's staying into Sept and my first thought was "I'll figure that out when it gets here" then I realized it was Aug 31 and Sept is here and they probably think I am the worst owner ever.

In that theme, I  didn't even take any pictures of Sophie last weekend, so here's a friendly Bridget instead.

I could in theory pick Sophie up at any time, and honestly my vote was to do so. G being the voice of reason then pointed out ring base is going in this month and there will be extra people and machinery around needing to get in and out of our place and I'm going to be super busy working on the final push to get everything done. So, the decision is that she stays on her all inclusive vacation possibly until October 1st. That feels like forever away, but I know the reality is I'll be sitting here in 4 weeks wondering where the time went.

A fully fenced pony paddock. (The electric wire across the middle isn't staying, B's been in the dirt part at night because I needed to keep her from eating 24/7 while the grass is still so lush) There are two more same sized (30'x70') paddocks to the right of this one, the furthest is getting a run in shed this week so the girls can have their own spaces at night.

Bridget is currently enjoying a couple of weeks off then she'll be back to some easy hacking for a bit. I'm grateful for what we did get out and do this summer, but it got me so excited for more that now I feel pretty down about the current situation. It's the same kind of feeling I'm struggling with in general right now...things have just felt harder and more complicated than normal this year and I've been stretched in every direction...most of it necessary, but not directions I find overly rewarding.

Painting things is rewarding tho

Rubber mats in the barn rewarding also

Success! B approves of the newly refreshed interior. B actually loves this barn so much I'm considering putting Sophie in the other paddock with the new run out shed instead (was supposed to be for B and foal originally)

In so many ways, much of my hard work of the last year is paying off - I am so close to having both girls at home and having a place to ride on site too! Now is not the time to be discouraged. Still, I'm finding the final push with the delays this summer kind of exhausting - I just want to be in that future place where I'm riding in my ring and taking regular lessons and I can make some pony and riding related goals a priority. Despite making big accomplishments outside of the horses this year, they remain my big focus and I very much feel like time is ticking away and I'm falling ever further behind with them.
I'm sure they have zero regrets about pasture life, though.

Anyway enough with the less than helpful mindset. I'm aware I have a lot to be grateful for. I am starting a week's annual leave time tomorrow and have a long list of property improvements to work on. I do love that stuff. 

I'm very lucky to have a certain palomino pony coming back home in T minus 30 days and I hope to have a ring constructed for riding her in. That's barely any time at all so I'd better get to work!