Tuesday, November 30, 2010


And now it's the end of November...where does the time go?

We spent Thanksgiving with family in Atlanta.  I thought I would enjoy the break from feeding and exercising horses.  Instead, I found myself having horse-related nightmares, as I often do when I'm away. I miss seeing the guys and girls first thing in the morning, all of them eagerly waiting for me to dump food in their buckets.  I enjoyed being with the folks, but I'm glad to be home again.

Suzette has gone to live for a few months at a nearby barn which specializes in eventing, also known as horse trials.  These competitions involve dressage, stadium jumping and cross country riding, providing a thorough test of the horse's stamina, fitness and talent.  Suzy Q, as I call her, entered a schooling horse trial recently and did beautifully in dressage and stadium jumping--she came out tied for first place.  The cross country course did not appeal to her, however, and she dumped her rider at the 2nd jump.  No one was hurt, but I was disappointed--I'd wanted her to use her brain and not simply react, as she is prone to do.  The younger daughter will be working at the event barn and will get a lesson six days a week with Suzette, so they'll both come back with a lot of experience to call on.

I do miss that bright white head in my pasture, though.  At least the daughter still comes home every night.

Work has started up on the barn once more.  The walls are as high as the windows on three sides out of four.  Then they'll get the stone headers lifted into place above the windows and doors, the walls will top out at 12 feet and then--tah dah!--the second story can commence.

Why 12 feet, you ask?  To keep rearing horses from slamming their heads against the ceiling.  You never know when an equine will decide to get a taller view of the situation, so we're providing plenty of room.

While the bottom floor of the barn is built from concrete blocks (CMUs, or concrete masonry units, they are called in the profession,) the second story is built with traditional wood framing.  I'm told the work really goes quickly, once we get to that stage.  I'm not sure if we'll have a roof by Christmas, but I'm sure early in the New Year will give us a completed shell.  I'm really hoping to be moving in by April 1st. 

Wish me luck!


Monday, November 8, 2010

November Catch-Up

I realize that once-a-month blogs are not compelling.  Now that the clocks are back where they should be, I hope to improve my record.

First, a link:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/  This is another photography contest on The Pioneer Woman's site.  Her readers have submitted animal photographs and...oh.  So many beautiful horses!  So many adorable dogs!  A few spectacular cats, plus a hamster, a baby pig and quite a few sheep.  Plus a mysterious polar bear and a cheetah that will give you chills.  Amazing shots of beloved creatures.

My barn has lain fallow for the last month while we waited for stone lintels.  Lintels sit over windows and doors to support the wall above the opening.  Nowadays, steel can do the job quite nicely, but we wanted the historic look of stone.  At last report, the stone was due to be shipped on Friday.  (Please, please, please...)  I'm hoping the lintels will arrive early this week and we can get back to building!

In the All's Well That Ends Well department:  Yesterday, my horse trainer-in-residence (also known as the younger daughter) went out with TBone for a little drive.  According to her report, they took a corner too sharply, the carriage tipped and she jumped out to avoid being spilled.  Somehow, during that maneuver, she lost the reins.  Before she could retrieve them, TBone took off on his own.  Picture our pony with a fairly big carriage behind him, reins flapping at his heels--oh, and Christmas bells on his harness because we're working up to the parade--trotting and then cantering along by himself!  The trainer tried to run after him, but you know that wouldn't work.

TBone ended his madcap adventure--Safe, thank goodness!--by the fence of Abby's pasture.  Our winded trainer claimed the reins, climbed back onto the carriage and drove him around again, including taking that corner without tipping this time.  Meanwhile, I sat in church, totally unaware.