One of reasons we wanted to move out of our adorable little Suburban Chicago house was because we wanted more land. Our little .25 acre lot had been preened, gardened, pruned and maintained as much humanly possible. So, in our next place, we set our sights on a bit larger project.
Anyone who knows me knows I’ve always loved horses, and I’ve always thought maybe, just maybe, I’d perhaps one day be lucky enough to own one. Yet, the cost of boarding long term ($250-500/monthly) just wasn’t (and still isn’t) an option. Let alone the cost, I don’t want to make it a big event to go riding (carving out time, driving to the facility, working on their hours/terms, etc.) Like others, I’m sure, I’m still under this illusion that having a horse on my own land might mean casual trail rides and spontaneous outings.
So, when we moved out East in search of a place to spread out a bit, we put room for horses on the short list. And when we found this property complete with large barn? Well… it was nearly a slam dunk.
Except when the barn was used for a few dozen head of cattle, not two backyard horses. To make it work, we’ll need to to support part of the underside, which is bowing from years of use, and we’ll need to build stalls.
Outside, we’ll need to enclose pastures, and eventually work on getting an arena staked out for more schooling/practicing. That involves grading the area and bringing in better footing.
But, while we’re waiting, planning, and getting quotes for what we can’t do ourselves, we’re getting back into the saddle. Literally.
We’re both taking lessons down the road from us at a small stable. To save money, we’re doing every other week (Me one week, Jed one week), and right now it seems to work — although, I confess it may not for long. A bi-weekly lesson is just enough to get me excited and the weekly waiting makes me pretty impatient.
I’ve also hit up a few garage sales, bringing back some sweet finds on the cheap. Grooming tools for $1 apiece, water buckets for $2 apiece. Even a solar-powered electric fence charger… $10.
So we’re preparing. In a measured, cautious way. But hopefully sooner than later, we can start seeing — rather than imagining — our *own* horses munching grass in the back pasture.