arena. I’ll also have a coverall arena, one that I can work in in the winter. It goes without saying that I’d have a cross country agility course on the grounds itself.
I’ll have a barn with eight stalls – four will be for my horses, three will be for boarder horses, and one will be for the occasional overnight visitor. The stalls will have a central walkway, with sliding doors. And they will open into spacious individual paddocks. And the paddocks will open into a pasture area.
I’ll have a fairly large tack room. A conference room/yoga studio/horse resource center will be attached to it.
Pasture management – I’ll have the pasture divided into sections – NCRS will supply the fencing that is going to make rotation possible. A creek will run through at least two of these sections. And there will be trees in the pastures, which will provide ample shade. I will have to harrow the pastures at least once a year so that the manure decomposes. The compost facility will be like the one we have now, except the stalls will be longer and shallower. I don’t know if it’s going to need a roof – I might use a tarp and tires.
I’ll get a female milk goat and keep the chicken count down to three. Most definitely, I’ll build a chicken tractor, so that the chickens can be outside in the summer months. And oh yes, Ryder will have her sheep. Just three. That will be all we’ll need. I’ll sell the wool.
The house – it will have southern exposure – that is to say that there will be lots of windows on the south side of the house.
I’ll give lessons, following the format that I’m following with Dick. My clients will have both money and time – the sessions will be three-four hours in length. I’ll start with individuals and then move to working with groups. We can use my horses or theirs.
So yeah, this is what I’m thinking. Build it and they will come.
My thoughts on the above were first prompted by Pete and my early morning outing with Raudi and Hrimmi. We were just going to go around the loop because this is what we always do, going one way one day, then another way the next day. But when we got to the Jim’s Road Trailhead, Pete suggested that we instead go up Jim’s Road and do Siggi’s Trail. I then said to him that this decision attested to the fact that we’re flexible human beings. Otherwise, we’d have felt compelled to do the loop because this is what we always do.
We were a short ways up the trail when I let Hrimmi off-lead. She spent the remainder of the walk racing about and kicking up her heels. It was fun seeing the snow fly under her hooves. We’d begun keeping her on line because previously, she ran off and grazed. Today she kept fairly close.
More and more my bond with Hrimmi grows. I guess that this is because her training/education has now begun for real. Previously, our only interaction involved getting from Point A to Point B safely. I think that she’s going to be fearless, like her buddy Jokla. I am looking forward to seeing the two Pintos being ridden together.
Additional thoughts were prompted by my next working with Dick and Jokla. It was a long session – went from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. We continued to do what we’ve been doing – relaxation exercises with Dick, and body work with Jokla. Dick then worked with Jokla on going over and around obstacles. The best suggestion that I’ve given Dick was to stop between obstacles. He’s been doing this and it’s worked quite well. She’s gotten increasingly more relaxed as the individual lessons have progressed. This had me thinking --- how can a horse know what one’s expectations are unless one works with it? I was the one who did her early training – so in my mind we’re picking up where we previously left off.
I now call Jokla “My Big Babo.” I used to call Mr. Siggi “my dweezil hoss.” Both are terms of endearment. I am kind and patient with Jokla – I think she’s beginning to associate me with being relaxed.
Now tomorrow (there is always tomorrow, unless one is either comatose or dead) – Both Vickie and Dick will be coming over. The plan is for me to first set up the agility course, so that Pete can make a video of Raudi and me doing what we should be doing so well. Claudia (a dog agility trainer) had remarked that the first few takes are usually the best because the horse is then fresh. What she didn’t say, but is equally as true, is that the second time around one is better able to foresee what changes they might make in the course layout.
I (for example) was first using two sawhorses parallel to one another – this was the required narrow thing obstacle. Then I changed it prior to our making the first video. I instead placed two barrels side-by-side, next to the fence. Raudi was not afraid of either narrow thing – but she did noodle around some when I went to using the barrels. I could not use the sawhorses because the dimensions weren’t right. Then this afternoon, as I was putting stuff away, I had a brilliant idea, which was to put the saw horse ends on overturned feed buckets. Yep, this is going to work.
Hopefully I’ll also have time to get a ride in tomorrow. We’ll see. Build it and they will come. This is now my current mantra.
Next: 44. 2/13/14: The Great Baboo