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January 7, 2016: Build it and they will come

“Build it and they will come”
Shoeless Joe

I wrote a dispatch based on the above quote a number of years ago. Have now come full circle. A good way of looking at it, I mean, it sounds better than my saying “I now am repeating myself,” and is also more accurate because now the context is different.

“Build it and they will come,” indeed. This is coming to be. It’s partially circumstantial. Brit and Gregory, the owners, have requested that I pay a $100.00 a month instructor fee. But I have yet to be paid by anyone for any of the lessons that I’ve given. And I don’t have any money on hand to use for paying this fee. So They are giving me a two month grace period to build up a clientele before I am to pay the monthly fee. I sure understand their predicament. They make maps for oil companies and now the oil companies are closing up shop. This is in itself sort of scary because it means that economically, things are going to get worse before they get better. Brit and Gregory are two of my best friends in the entire world, and I am hoping that somehow, they find ways of making a living and also keep the arena going.

Today Pete and I began working on the option of building an arena in our backyard. We have chosen the site – it abuts on neighbor’s land – they have given us permission to encroach upon their space. This is incredibly generous of Dick and Lyska.

Today we began the physical labor portion of this project. Pete took down a tree with the chainsaw and I carted the wood to the parking area, using the manure sled. I also gave the horses some branches to gnaw on. It was fun work in part because it was such a beautiful day. The sun was low in the sky and cast a gold light on the adjacent hill.

Pete had been working for about two hours, and I’d been working for about an hour when I heard a loud crunching sound. I looked up and saw a female moose on the other side of the branch brush pile. I told Pete it was there – we both backed off – I took some photos before breaking for lunch. We resumed work afterwards. The moose had wandered off a bit, to the far side of the brush pile. She expressed no concern about our being there.

Pete cut up the trunk of the tree with the chainsaw, and I hauled out more wood on the sled. We will pile it up in our woodshed and use it next year. I’m not a big one for cutting down trees, nor do I enjoy altering moose migratory pathways. I hope that we don’t have to put fencing up because this will most surely change their pathways. Not a good thing because this means that they will have to expend more energy to get from point A to Point B. The arena will be in a sheltered grove, so fencing might not be necessary.

Build it and they will come. As I was working, I got to thinking that I would like to teach day-long workshops, using our horses. My model would be the Icelandic Horse Farm in Vernon, BC. I will charge $100.00 a day – in the a.m. we’d do human and horse body awareness exercises, and in the afternoons do agility and leading exercises. Pete suggested that the following day we might have the same people bring their own horses. Coming up with a lesson plan will be easy. For this to come about, I need what I’m getting, an arena.

Build it and they will come. The analogy to Shoeless Joe’s situation – he needed to and did build a baseball stadium – is entirely fitting in relation to my situation.

Next: 8. 1/8/16: A Conversation with Ryder

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