Tuesday 31 October 2023

Uneven Progress


On one hand, I'm Team Leave Them Be and Let Them Grow Up. They've got years before they are mentally and physically ready to do most adult horse things.  

On the other hand, it feels like the Things They Need To Know Now is a broader topic than you might at first think. Also, no pressure, but we're building the foundation for their entire lives with humans. 

With the way our place is set up, I clean paddocks and stalls twice a day. The new guys would like me to know That Is Not How It's Done. So, wheelbarrows, manure forks, brooms, and mostly - us people in their general vicinity - have all been a thing at one time or another. They're already getting pretty good, but I'm mentioning it because it really does feel like we're starting at the beginning. (No shade at the place they came from either! This is a new place with new people and a new routine and they are suspicious baby ponies.)

They are growing so much already

G's is an angel and really coming out of his shell. He's the boss of the two but also pretty laid back and the kind of guy who just wants to get along. So, he quietly makes space or follows us around waiting for scratches. He's the one we thought might take a bit to come around but he's already my BFF. Reggie is less so, he's quite concerned we might steal his food and generally gets a little dramatic, either running around or trying to act tough. Luckily little Bakari/Buck also is setting boundaries with him (in a much more physical manner than I do) so I'm hoping his little brain starts to compute soon :) I kind of figured his momma might be spoiling him rotten and now I'm starting to believe it might be true lol.

Part two of their daily adventure is going out to graze for part of the afternoon before they come back in for dinner. Since neither of them were crazy about being haltered, it seemed like a great idea to incorporate that and lead them in and out the 50 feet (rather than just opening gates), with the intent that halter = good things coming. G's clued into that right away. Mine...you guessed it...not so easy. 

Easily bribed with food and scratches.

I'm able to groom Buck and he's about ready for my farrier. He's obviously not perfect with his feet, but he's polite enough. Tying is a work in progress, as is leading but he's made huge progress and is so genuine. 

Reggie is quite well behaved to lead from place to place, but very much dislikes being groomed and having his back feet handled and is not shy about letting you know it. So again, with the boundaries (which he takes very personally). It's a fine line I haven't found yet but I'm grateful he's not the type to escalate the behavior, he just seems confused as to why I wouldn't like it/bow down to his amazingness and then starts to get really worried. 

Over here keeping it real with the most awkward of all awkward stages. I should not post this on the internet, but also it's going to make an epic before and after one day.

G commented "how on earth did you pick another Sophie just from some foal pictures and a video?!" Which, fair, I can see the comparison with Reggie's current little dramatic self, lol. But really he's wonderful, he just needs some time to adjust to the real world. I have all the faith he's going to be a really good boy. He's still so young. I need to be careful to not mentally put him into a box of 'he's like this' and have it become self fulfilling. So let's say 'he is currently like this' and leave it there. Tomorrow has endless possibilities ;)

Silver linings, had a few opportunities this week to see what a nice mover he is (as he runs away from me in dramatic fashion lol)

 It does put into perspective though just how lovely and easy Sophie is now and how the work at the beginning is so valuable. 

Comes when you call her, like the giant yellow labrapony she is.

Once we get to a place where they are comfortable with the routine I'm going to leave it coasting along for a bit. (To recap: We want to be able to clean stalls while they are eating with minimal pony anxiety, need to be able to reliably catch and lead a short distance daily, need to be able to tie them and handle feet safely a few times a week.) I had visions of getting out and doing things but I think they've had a ton of change recently and they'd both benefit from a bit more of an adjustment period where they can feel confident in what they know.


Thursday 26 October 2023


I've gone totally and completely obsessed with our new additions. I just love them. I'm probably scaring them with my crazy horse lady energy, and no doubt I'll scare you with the amount of 'cute baby pony' media I'm collecting.

Ponies incoming! How was this almost two weeks ago already!

We're coming up to a week sans Bridget and I have to say that as much as I miss her, the vibe around the place is so much more relaxed and easy. That sounds crazy, because B is by definition a pretty relaxed and easy horse and Sophie plus two weanlings should be a recipe for chaos. But, B is also always permanently 'starving' and food competitive and I never did find a satisfactory way of slowing her down enough to make her meals last longer than a few hours (or get her body condition down past a 6). Sophie, on the other hand, ideally has food in front of her 24/7 that she prefers to just pick at when she's hungry. The new guys also just have a large net they can eat from as they wish. Currently I just give them all small dinners mostly consisting of vitamins and minerals. There's no need to pop out there multiple times a day to feed, no one is fussed about it, feeding is kind of a non event now.

Sophie and the new guys also have much healthier relationships and so there is minimal calling or anxiety if anyone is out of sight of the others. So far everyone seems happy in their own space. 

Sophie keeping an eye on her new friends. This whole letting them out to graze thing is new and a work in progress since they're pretty sure they're feral if you show up with a halter and lead and intentions of bringing them in again.

Sophie of course is still herself and far more ridiculous, dramatic, and playful than any weanling colt could think of being. But it's good. She's happy with her new paddock neighbours and settled easily back into having her own space 24/7, and that's all I could have hoped for.

Desperately wants to go out and play with them. I have a feeling she would actually be fine with them, but she's so much bigger it's not safe. You know they're tiny when a 14.3hh GRP mare seems like an absolute giant in comparison :)

I've been riding again this week, and it's been good. Sophie's been good. She lost her brain for a while there last year...maybe we want to say it was an age thing, maybe ulcers, maybe that toxic B friendship, maybe my anxiety, who knows. But it's felt like she's really grown up this summer, both mentally and physically. I'm optimistic we're starting back on a good path and it really does feel like she just gets better and better.

looking for ghosts is always a fun activity though

Finally, back to the babies. Oh are they ever just the most fun things ever. It's so fun how they're already so much their own little personalities. Mine gives off some strong Sophie similarities where there's potential for everything to be a game or get dramatic, but with an added cocky boy vibe. Willing to push and test his opinions, but immediately back to "so sorry, I'm just a cute baby horse, please like me!' vibes every time I need to correct him. Which is daily, he's kind of a little monster at the moment, lol. I think he's going to be the one we'll get out for some adventures first, he's brave and curious and he's also the one I really feel like needs more life experience instilled before he gets big.

going to be so handsome

long legs and an awkward duckling currently :)

The belly is a thing to behold though. One consult with the vet later, he's not wormy and perhaps it is quite literally a hay belly, hopefully to be resolved as we gradually increase protein levels and hay quality for him. 

G's is still a bit reserved. I think that's just him, even watching the two little guys interact he's by far the quieter of the two and more of a think before you act type. I'm getting the feeling he's going to end up the boss of the two, he's pretty steady and self assured and not shy about pushing little Reggie out of his space when he gets too silly. I'm cracking the facade gradually. He loves being groomed so that might be my way in. He does all the things, but also I feel like he might just be internalizing it all, so I'm being very careful to go slowly and not take advantage and give him tons of positive encouragement every time he does a thing. He's still a little worried about G whereas mine thinks G is the best thing ever and I'm the mean enforcer lady. I joke we need to trade, our ponies have chosen differently than us :)
Is a little tank

I hadn't actually seen him move before we bought him, he's really correct and cute. (The breeder is fantastic so I took her word for it :)

Pic from G this morning. About sums it up, mine's like "No worries, just napping" and G's is ready to step away if he gets closer too quickly.


Sunday 22 October 2023

A week of change

 This past week just flew by. 

With the two new boys here keeping Sophie company, it was appropriate timing for B to leave for her lease home. That happened Saturday and is sad and happy all at the same time. Despite how perfectly it’s all worked out and how thrilled her little girl is with her, I’ve had 10+ years of daily Bridget so it definitely feels weird to not see her in the barn. There have been more than a few tears here and there. 

Best pony

In one of those moments where the stars aligned perfectly, a lovely lady who was visiting the area just happened to be an equine performance vet. She had interesting feedback about horses movement in relation to being sore somewhere vs it being a straightness/training issue. A friend of mine mentioned B, she was interested, and so she volunteered to take a look. And FINALLY we have some answers for the minor off/on lameness I’ve been feeling. It’s real, it’s a thing. I’m not crazy. It’s nothing alarming and B gets the green light to keep on keeping on (and was valued at “priceless” for our ‘PPE’ ;), but also it was felt that this is an appropriate time for her to step down and have a lighter workload (we all want her to last forever). So, this is the right decision and I don’t need to harbour any doubts. I can wish I’d met this lady a few years ago, but also can we appreciate how perfect the timing was to meet her now? 

Baby horses have no personal space requirements

The baby horses are doing baby horse things…they sleep, they eat (a lot), and then they sleep again. G’s is a bit shy, but an absolute sweetheart. He’s steady and quiet and just the nicest little dude. He’s good for grooming and handling his feet. Haltering and leading need some more work so that’s something to keep playing with. He reallly wants to do the right thing, he’s just a little unsure. He finally decided to try eating grain last night so I can stop worrying about him getting his vitamins. If you can’t guess I absolutely love him…like G can pick out all future ponies, he chose a good one.

How is he so cute? G has decided Bakari —> Buck and yes I am letting that happen. So, hi Buck(y)!

My little guy is the troublemaker of the two, and also the more opinionated one. He’s outgoing and willing to test boundaries. I say that, but he’s also really quite sweet, just compared to his little buddy he’s a bit more your typical weanling colt. He’s not so much of a fan of standing still for grooming, and we need to work on handling his back feet. I’m very happy with him and think he’s going to be something special. They’re both settling in very well and it’s super amusing to be that they’re happy to be the calming safety net Sophie looks for.

Looking a lot more grown up than his brother

This little guy (Trademark) is going to have the barn name of Reggie…I’m so sorry I forget who suggested it but it totally suits him and thank you for the suggestion. 

Because, yeah, as you can imagine it’s been a tough week for Sophie. She misses B a lot. She’s in heat because baby ponies. It rained non stop so pasture time was limited. She’s having a lot of confusing feelings. Obviously she can’t share space with the boys (she’s weird, and also they are tiny in comparison to her) but I notice when she gets agitated and starts looking for B, one of the little guys (usually Buck/Bucky) goes and stands quietly near her along the fence and she seems be comforted by that. I had concerns they’d possibly match her energy, but so far they’re the opposite and just up the calming vibes. “hey crazy lady, calm down!” They both had higher maintenance moms who were pretty protective so I imagine they’re programmed now to go and be little angels when the mares are unhappy :)

The sun came out today so she went and had a good play (while the baby horses ignored her attempts at showing off, lol) 

It’s a one stride

We’re diving back deep into the world of house renos in hopes of finally moving on site November 1st. So on one hand, it’s been a tough week seeing B off on her long term lease. On the other, there’s so much to look forward to. I especially look forward to getting back to a normal riding (and living) routine. 

The view from the back deck won’t take too much getting used to :)


Tuesday 17 October 2023

They're Home!

One final fence upgrade Sunday morning in a monsoon, because I'm a stresshead.

 It took a week, almost exactly to the hour, but the little guys made it home yesterday afternoon.

We left Sunday evening to go get ponies, and thankfully all the anxiety was completely gone and replaced by straight up excitement. We needed to pick them up at 5am and I actually slept great, unheard of for me!

We met the hauler and loaded them in a dark parking lot that felt like it was in the middle of nowhere (G later said it felt like we were doing a sketchy drug deal rather than picking up a couple of Welsh Cobs - I said that's how we know we got the good stuff lol)

We picked up a little friend with them. A horsey buddy of mine got a paint weanling on the same trailer. Everyone loaded great and were instant buddies, so I had a trailer full of cuteness. 

There was a major accident on the main highway that caused us delays, but not a peep out of that trailer, even with fire trucks and ambulances with sirens immediately beside us. I guess they're super experienced travelers at this point! We actually ended up having to wait 3 hours for the ferry due to the commercial/overheight space being overbooked, so I gave everyone extra water and hay but otherwise they were quiet and content.

First boat ride! Always gives me low level anxiety, because it's a ship that rocks a little and there are all the PA announcements and weird noises, plus the trailer isn't moving, moving if you know what I mean so the horses need to stand patiently for an hour or so. Sometimes they don't handle it well. These guys were champs.

Second boat ride. Getting close to home.

Then finally! Off the trailer and home! Look how cute!




This gravel pile is endlessly fun. 

Already helping out around the place by spreading footing for us. Thanks guys!

Initial impressions - when we first met them Trademark seemed to be kind of standoff-ish and reserved, maybe even a little bit of a stressy guy. Bakari was the addition because he seemed super friendly and chill and I thought might help little Tradey adjust to the world.

Ummm, wrong? Maybe? It's first days, so there is a lot of adjusting to do, but Trademark is currently the friendly and brave one who explores everything, then Bakari follows along behind. I actually have yet to be able to catch little Bakari again (He's pretty worried about it though so I haven't tried too hard either). He's a foodie and likes his scratches, so I'm sure he'll come around quickly once he settles a little more. Just funny to me how much they've changed - I wouldn't have imagined Tradey being the one to confidently charge ahead and show his friends the world.

Anyway, I'm so, so happy with them and so excited about them both.

Sophie also really likes them. Bridget is holding a grudge, though and has not acknowledged them at all. She did this when Sophie came too, but that got awkward fast with Sophie literally right in her face 24/7. I really don't think she likes the idea of sharing 'her' place. The lucky girl gets to go to her new barn next week, so she won't have to put up with my shenanigans much longer :) (also sad face for me because I'm going to really have a tough time with that, even with as much sense as it makes for everyone)


Wednesday 11 October 2023

Countdown is On, Stress Levels Feel High

 The weekend away for the Carl Hester masterclass was great. The masterclass itself was exactly as I expected, which felt a little funny, maybe even a little deja vu. I think that means I've perhaps watched too many of the man's videos. You're not going to get a recap post dedicated to it because I don't really know what to say beyond that he was exactly as charming and insightful as you'd hope, and his eye for horse and rider is of course unbelievable. People were fawning over him exactly as you'd hope they might not, lovely and as amazing he might be :). Would recommend if you're feeling spendy and are a fan. I'm not normally spendy at all, and felt a little like my rock star fandom level was likely much lower than the average attendee, but it was the perfect excuse for a horsey girl's weekend.

Monday morning I got a very exciting text. Baby ponies are loaded and headed my way! (which in reality means as of this morning they're still 3-4 days out...but still!). And proceeded to have a panic attack over the whole entire thing. Why am I like this? I know it's a solid decision, I don't have regrets, I really am excited, but also suddenly it felt 'real' and the amount of work and coordination and things that were changing suddenly felt overwhelming.

Getting ready for their trailer ride!

Bakari is going through an awkward stage, also apparently he's coming with a catch rope because he's feeling like not being caught is fun. His cute little face though <3 I love them both so much already

Trademark is going through an even more awkward stage. Look at his little hay belly!

Shoutout to the hauler who sent pics of them being loaded, along with a little report card. (They were both excellent). He's super about being in touch and giving updates and responding to questions, which is so wonderful.

I'm feeling better about it this morning, aside from compulsively googling hauling tips for weanlings. They're arriving in Vancouver this weekend and then we've got about a 5 hour trip to get them home. Plot twist #1 is a friend has a weanling on the same trailer so he's coming home with mine too. It seemed like a great idea to rideshare but also being responsible for someone else's baby gives me anxiety.

Plot twist #2 is my husband got covid this past weekend and I was kind of counting on him for moral support (and the city driving, who am I fooling). So we might overnight them a few more days in Vancouver until he's clear. More likely we might hit up an amazing friend of mine to haul them home for us. We'll see how it goes and what the hauler's ETA is to Vancouver. You all have probably figured out how great I am at going with the flow and not having a plan (if you're new here, it's not my ideal, to put it mildly!)

I need a fast forward button on my life where we get to the part where they're here safely, B is loving her new home and Sophie's settled and neither of us have an ulcer. 

I've known about this for 6 months, so why does everything still feel like it came up so suddenly? :)


Monday 9 October 2023

Blog Hoppin'

We're currently experiencing a real West Coast fall, complete with what feels like never ending wind and rain. I'm personally a fan of said weather. I'll be craving sunshine and warmth by spring, but rainy days are my happy place for carving out riding and hiking time. It's also time to move the power tools back inside and get renovating that house we have yet to move into. We've set a deadline of November 1st. We'll see...I'm 99% sure we won't have a kitchen. We also will have a ton of work left to do on the house we're currently in to prep for sale or rent, but otherwise we'll likely survive and make the move. I hope?

Riding and hiking (and renovation) time aside, with the ever shortening days it does still feel like an appropriate time to sit down with a cup of coffee and unapologetically slow down a little bit. 

Thank you to Anna at Anxiety at A who has provided just the blog hop I need.

1. If you could create your dream horse, what would it look like?

I'm such a sucker for a bay or chestnut with a blaze. Despite the obvious love of Welsh Ds I have, this last time I was shopping I didn't have any specific breed in mind and found myself looking at Connemaras, a really neat Morgan cross and some pony/warmblood crosses. So, I guess you could say I have a type.

Halcyonia Feature Presentation, Trademark's sire, ticking so many of my boxes

2. Least favorite equestrian brand? 

I'm kind of feeling tired of all the ads for matchy matchy pads, boots, leggings, etc etc for all the brands that all kind of seem very similar. Like if you don't have the fall/winter 2023 'range' of products in 'the color' from 'the brand' you're less than. One of the things about horses I used to like was that if you spent the money you'd get something timeless that should last you years. I'm feeling less confident in that now, everything from saddles to blankets to riding apparel feels like much of it is intended to be a lot more temporary than my budget would like.

3. Favorite horse show memory?

I went to a combined test day in the city and Bridget absolutely showed up for it. Probably the first time I really felt her taking me to the fences and confident about her job.  It was also one of those rounds where every fence came up perfectly. I don't even remember if or how we placed, but after the amount of hard work I put in that round was everything. Beyond that, horse shows have been making me stressy for a number of years now, so I look fondly back at the local shows we went to as kids where I was literally just there having fun.

4. One thing you learned in your youth (or early in your horse experience) that has stayed true in your horse training today?

I got a job at a trail riding business when I was maybe 10, and the owner was super old school but fair. So while we know better about many things today, she was still invaluable as far as teaching common sense horsemanship and keeping things simple but effective.

5. How many horses do you think you’ve ridden in your entire horse career?

It would be a lot more than my riding ability would indicate ;) Right off the bat at that trail riding business we would have been looking at 25+ and then there have been so many lessons, leases, jobs requiring me to exercise horses, etc, all in addition to the horses I've owned.

6. Favorite “Celebrity” horse?

I don't have a stand out favorite but I always like the more unexpected partnerships, like where the kid just never outgrew the Connemara pony and now here they are at the Olympics.

7. Embarrassing moment in your horse experience?

Like the time at a show B smashed into a fence instead of jumping, then stopped to poop on the remains? Or the time I was in a class of one and the judge jokingly said 'just don't fall off" and so I did? :)

8. Favorite stallion in your discipline (or generally favorite stallion if you have one)?

Ugh, tough one again. Not sure I have a favorite. When we attempted to breed B, I went with Stibby Me and Golden State, so obviously I liked them both for her, for different reasons. But outside of that? I think it would depend on if I was fantasizing about eventing or dressage. Whichever the case, as I'm sure you might guess old fashioned chunkier warmblood breeding or a nice Irish horse always appeals.

Golden State maybe not my dream pony but I thought would balance B's shortcomings nicely.

Stibby Me. Just love him, that is all.

9. How’s your sitting trot?

A literal sore point. I grew up riding ponies and horses bareback so it's the one thing I never needed to worry about. Then this year and lower back issues happened so it's posting only for me. Let's hope I can get back to it soon.

10. What are your favorite colors on your horse (s)?

Bridget always had black or navy, then Sophie arrived and green felt like a good idea. Bakari and Trademark are coming to live with us shortly, but being black and bay I think we'll stick to the classic colours and B's hand me downs. So unexciting, I know.

11. What social media do you spend the most time on?

Instagram picture scrolling is where it's at for my attention span. Youtube if that counts - I don't normally watch regular TV so equestrian vlogs are my guilty pleasure. 

I keep trying to clean up my facebook feed but it really does seem like all my favorite people don't bother with it anymore. It's currently a super weird combination of grandma telling me I'll have bad luck for 7 years if I don't like the picture she posted mixed with clickbait facebook ads and constant posting about weird political agendas from acquaintances I need to unfriend.

12. Any horsey books you’ve read recently?

I've been rereading everything Jec Ballou and gleaning new bits of information.

13. What is your favorite online store to buy horse products from?

Sprucewood Tack is the Canadian store I mostly use. Currently Australia is my go to for more unique things - their dollar compares to ours and shipping for some reason is more inexpensive than the US or Europe. I've had good experiences with QJ Riding Wear and Lumiere Equestrian

14. Is there a supplement you give your horse that you don’t think you could go without?

Mad Barn Visceral (an ulcer supplement). Currently that's the only one I'd be worried about missing. I'm not sure it's actually doing anything but Sophie's ulcer situation stresses me out and I feel better knowing I try :)

15. What is your favorite part about blogging

I started doing it to document the journey with Ginger, a welsh D mare I had years and years ago. Getting comments and people actually interested in reading about us actually felt really outside my comfort zone at first. Now I think the sense of having a virtual barn community is my favorite part and why I keep writing. 

For anyone who remembers Ginger, somehow that quirky youngster turned 16 this year! She's still very much treasured by her second owner, doing local jumper and dressage shows and even a bit of eventing.


Thursday 5 October 2023

What Do We Think?

I've been pondering this one for a few years now, probably since the arrival of Sophie.

She's guilty of the mare face now and then. She's very much one to tell you in no uncertain terms if she likes or dislikes something.

Let's use tack as an example. There's a specific girth she hated...like she would pin her ears and show her teeth at it if she saw it. There's one she didn't mind wearing, but once we got going, the buckle placement she found to be persistently annoying (displayed by her bending around to nose or scratch at it whenever we took a break). The ones she likes get no reaction (although she does like to have a sniff/look first to make sure it's one of the 'chosen ones' lol)

She's fussy, but I don't find her overly complicated to be around. She wants you to be happy with her, she is kind to be with, but also she has feelings about many things if you're willing to listen. My one critique would be she can get worked up to the point she's not as respectful of your personal space on the ground as she should be, but we check in on that regularly and her brain comes back very quickly with a correction or two these days. So, the old school trainers might argue she doesn't respect me as leader 100% of the time.

Watch out, mean pony incoming ;)

So, the question.

I've had feedback here and there to 'get after her when she makes that face'. Normally though it's the dog she doesn't like, the inanimate object she associates with being uncomfortable. So, I tend to not mind, it's not directed at me, not a safety issue and it doesn't escalate. She's also my equine goldfish so the nasty mare face can also cycle through interested/happy/bored/tired/looking for snacks etc in 60 seconds lol. After B being so 'meh' about the world it's kind of refreshing to have a pony who's a completely open book.

Because she's also normally the happiest happy pony ever. There's not a lot of middle ground with this one.

Alternately, clicker training has been suggested. The idea being she is rewarded for having ears forward and making a pleasant face when otherwise she might be tempted to do the mare glare.

 I have no doubt I could teach her to put her ears forward all day long for treats and 'good girls'. I'm more doubtful that would happen by 'getting after her' lol. But I kind of feel like we have a decent feedback loop going here and if that means sometimes she looks miserable then that's my cue to listen/try harder/do it differently.

hate that girth, no thank you

How do you handle your mare-y mares with feelings? Am I being too generous?


Wednesday 4 October 2023

Pony Cottage

After years of owning mares, somehow we’ve got two (soon to be) geldings incoming. I know there are plenty of people who have mixed herds. That’s obviously the longer term plan, but I don’t have faith Sophie is going to agree it’s a great idea.  Long story short, at a minimum we needed a bachelor pad where the boys can grow up. We considered more temporary solutions before finally deciding on something permanent.

Iteration 1.0. Slightly too temporary.

By the time we finally had the last construction quote and felt like we’d explored options properly, we had two months until pony arrival. Time was ticking! So, plot twist. Yours truly was going to have to build it because with all the delays we were looking at spring 2024 for contractor availability. Since I’m the person acquiring ponies and needing another shelter, it seemed fitting that I was going to have to do the time for the crime.

I’ve never been averse to a good DIY project, but really home handyperson things are not my full time job, or honestly, even much of an interest. I do it because it's satisfying to make things exactly how I want and also save money. I've yet to meet a horsey person who doesn't have at least some opinions on barn design and functionality and how to save money (in order to purchase more horsey things, obviously). I am one of them, so take my normal level of wanting things exactly how I want them and add in horses and the obsession level gets crazy and everyone but me probably guessed this would be the outcome. 

Anyway, I literally needed a 3 sided shed. That was the plan. Inexpensive, simple to build, and did I mention I feel like I don't have time for anything right now? Or have long term plans of needing two separate pony buildings?  A shed made sense.

So, I put in the footings for said pony shed. And tried not to mind the fact that every time I drove down the driveway I was going to be looking at the side of a somewhat industrial looking shed that in no way would compliment the 1920's cottage sitting right there in front it of. I went to the nursery and bought some nice shrubs and hedging to screen said offensive shed. Problem solved.

But the rebellion continued to slowly progress. Maybe I could add siding matching the house on the driveway side? A little window originally belonging the house followed, which of course needed to be trimmed to match the house window frames. What if the shed had a peaked roof instead? Actually, what if it had the same proportions as the house? Wait! What if it didn't look like a horse shelter at all and instead looked like a garden shed or outbuilding for the house? 

Lol, so here we are. The Pony Cottage is a thing. It's not complete, but it's usable and that's all I need this winter :)

The shingles and trim were two days of my life I won't get back but also now it matches the house and that's satisfying enough to be worth it. The old concrete sink in front was a pony feeder in this paddock for years but is now going to be a planter. I'll take updated pictures (on a not so gloomy and wet day) when the landscaping and finishing touches are done. 

I have rubber mats on order and obviously the tools, ladder, etc need to find a new home. I left it open on both of the non weather sides as they're coincidentally they are also the sides that give clear views of all the horsey areas. This matters to the Sophies of the world who can relax and use the shelter only if they can also see what they want to see :)

A tiny loft. Bookmarked for pony blanket storage etc. Unfinished because long term...the pony cottage is likely going to transition to T's Remote Work Cottage. I've got plans for walls of windows on the two open sides and a little ladder to an open loft space...thinking a nice little book reading hideaway up here.