This weekend was bittersweet -- Ruby came home from Arrowhead Creek Stables
(that was actually written about the old facility, they recently moved right down the road
). I'll be doing quite a bit of traveling over the next two months, and when I sat down to think about the logistics of how much I'd be gone (aka not riding), trying to make up work days at the barn around the holidays, plus the fact that I have a perfectly functional lighted arena at home (providing it's not buried under a foot of snow), it just seemed like it was time
Keeping her at ACS was never meant to be a permanent thing -- 2.5 years ago I moved her out so I could ride through the winter, and just never brought her home. Why would I? The care was exceptional, working out there kept it affordable, and I adored the camaraderie -- riding with other people of every discipline kept me always learning and having fun. Those are also the things that made it so very hard to leave. One of the hardest things about keeping horses at home for me is not having a "barn family" to give me that kick in the pants I sometimes need to stay motivated.
|Gonna miss this fabulous group of people (didn't get everyone in the picture, but like 2/3, haha)|
But between the realities of having my own set up (that while not boarding quality nice, is certainly adequate for me), and knowing that we need to pinch pennies not only for the upcoming trips, but also hopefully starting construction on our house next year.... It just made sense. So I gave my notice at the beginning of November (the barn owner and I had talked it over several times since the barn moved this summer, so she knew it was coming eventually) -- I was originally planning to bring Ruby home Thursday, but with the barn's holiday party on Saturday, it worked out that she could stay a few extra days and we could be part of one last evening of shenanigans.
|Like wearing matching santa hats while she mugged everyone for cookies. |
And of course since the barn is only a mile down the road, I'm sure I'll still swing by when I see cars, or ride up there on nice evenings once we have more daylight again. Still planning on being #teamACS and hanging out at shows, snapping photos, and resuming our Friday night auction parties.
|Our cute lil' Christmas bags with homemade cookies, a personalized face brush, and then another small grooming item (mind was actually a tack sponge, but I just snapped a photo of someone else's lol)|
I'm sure Ruby will adjust to "slumming it", as DH and I have jokingly been referring to her return. She'll miss the cozy insulated barn, giant turnouts, and higher quality of care, I'm sure ;) but I am a little relieved to make another step towards simplifying my life and having all the horses back in one place. DH knew when she was coming home, and we had a few tasks on the "honey do" list in November to prepare for her return -- she'll be in one of the dry lots alone until I figure out how to juggle the turnout groups, so we got a round bale dropped in it and fixed one of the spare heated troughs.
|Bittersweet loading her up yesterday morning!|
The other big project I wanted to finish before her return was re-leveling the stalls. We have rubber mats in our stalls, but we bought them used and so they don't all exactly meet up like they should -- periodically we have to drag them out of the stalls, break up the "hills" and fill the "valleys" with lime. It's a dirty, backbreaking job, but a really satisfying feeling when it's all done! It also helped us empty our shavings bin, so DH can make a run up to the mill today to refill it before the weather gets crummy again.
|An "after" photo, although this stall wasn't too bad to start with. It's been empty since we sold Tres and Topaz almost 2 years ago.|
|Another "after" -- should definitely have taken a "before", this stall was a hot mess. |
|A "during", haha. Breaking up ridges of shavings and pee-soaked lime that basically turn into the consistency of cement. Gross.|
|This was about the time he told me he was done -- I'm a horrible taskmaster though and made him do half of the last stall... haha. So we got 3.5 stalls done. And honestly the back of Cinna's is pretty level so we can probably just skip it for now. |
|Ruby's freshly leveled and bedded stall!|
|I also grabbed a few more trash cans in town so all the feed has it's own (labeled) can -- decided I should make things easier for our farmsitter!|
|I also hung the matching stall guard for Ruby and moved the other one across the aisle for Jack. |
I'm exhausted and a bit sore today, but it makes me happy to feel like the barn is all ready for winter! Or you know... more ready than it was? The to-do list is never ending, but having my horses at my house brings me so much satisfaction. Even after a day of backbreaking work!
|*All the heart eyes emojis*|
If the current pattern of weather continues, we'll probably never even get snow :PReplyDelete
So happy to hear that Ruby has come home! :D
Have you looked at the forecast? My radio show said flurries on Friday 🙈 hahaDelete
aww that is very bittersweet to leave the boarding barn - but it must also be pretty awesome to have all your ponies in one place now! that picture of Ruby and Cinna is too sweet for wordsReplyDelete
It was really hard! 😔 I'll miss everyone out there so much, and the care was fantastic -- and the convenience of the new location was perfect. But it's nice having her home too. Hopefully I'll get to maintain the best of both worlds by making it up there for the open arena nights the barn is gonna start hosting ☺️Delete
I think you broke HJ 😂ReplyDelete
He'll recover, he always does 😎Delete
It is tough to leave a wonderful barn/barn family but simplifying life is a good thing. :)ReplyDelete
You know how it is! But isn't it wonderful to have a place that you love so much it's hard to leave? Much preferable to moving your horse because a barn is a bad fit ☺️Delete
So bittersweet! But how wonderful to see all of your lovelies at home every day. I love the photo of Ruby and Cinna together <3ReplyDelete
It's my new favorite photo <3 I wish it was taken with something other than my cell phone, but oh well, haha. When I turn them out together for the first time I'll have to make sure my big camera is out!Delete
It is. But every ending is a new beginning!Delete
Aw, so bittersweet but it'll be so nice for you to have all of them at home!ReplyDelete
There's definitely something to be said for having everybody in the same place!Delete
Is it bad that the biggest take away from this post for me is that you don't have teal stall guards?! hahaha Glad you are so close you can keep up your barn friendships without going too far out of your way. Looks like it'll all work out great!ReplyDelete
😂😂😂 I've gotten that comment on both FB and IG too haha. Tragically, these were on super consignment sale at my local tack shop, so frugality won over matchy matchy. I figure if they don't destroy these, perhaps they can have some nice Kensington ones in the future? 😁Delete
Bittersweet certainly, but having them all in one place is SO much easier! Congrats on having everyone home!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I think I'll get used to the convenience pretty quickly. Hopefully you get to enjoy the same thing when your beautiful Badger comes home at some point? Backyard barns for the win! 😀Delete
Definitely sad and happy, for different reasons. But on to another chapter!ReplyDelete
Definitely excited for this new chapter! Assuming I can squeeze in some riding in between travels lol.Delete
I used to have to pull mats and re-level flooring when I ran a summer camp riding program. I don't want to do it ever again. If I build from scratch I'll probably do a porous concrete or something solid underneath the mats.ReplyDelete
Yeah like if I could do it over, I wouldn't do this 😂 at least the mares are reasonably kind to theirs so it's mostly the geldings stalls that need heavy work! And we haven't done it in a few years, so we were due.Delete
Your place is so cool!ReplyDelete
Thanks! Come visit 😎Delete
Our stables' stalls are not as nice (and clean and level) as yours - love itReplyDelete
Haha thanks! Sometimes I mentally cringe at posting photos with the poop-stained walls (that no amount of scrubbing helps!) but what my stalls lack in attractiveness, they make up in safety -- and now levelness! And when you're DIY on a budget, you gotta do what you gotta do! Even if it means three different kinds of wood walls in a single stall 😂Delete