Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Ray of Sunshine

I was having a slightly morose day yesterday, as I was feeling a tad stressed about everything that has been going on lately.  I almost blogged about it, but then I determined to make the best of it and give it a little perspective.  It never fails that once I take a step back and really evaluate the big picture, things fall into place as being slightly smaller and less complicated than I typically imagine them to be.

My night went really well - smooth sailing at the barn, then a really fun puppy class with my golden and Robyn and her rescue pup.  I determined to get a good night's rest, and look at things with a new perspective this morning.  And what a gorgeous morning it was!  The birds were chirping, and there was the tiniest hint of springtime in the air when I let the horses out, even if it was still a bit chilly.  I realized today that daylight savings' time is only a MONTH away!  March 11th, 2012 - I am living in anticipation of that day!  It is amazing, the time constraints that daylight put on my life.  I cannot wait to have more of it.

So I decided to try to organize my list of priorities and projects, instead of letting them swim around aimlessly in my overtaxed brain.  Most of it is farm-improvement related, rather than riding goals, but I feel like those projects are the pressing priority because once the major things are done, they won't need any further maintenance.  Then I can move on and focus 100% on my riding goals.

My first goal is to finish subdividing the farm and adding additional fencing.  I am still working on the actual plan for where I want the particular fencelines and gates to go, but I have determined for certain that we will be putting in one more paddock.  Along with that goal will come the need to clear more timber.  I received official permission to completely clear trees, grind stumps, and plant everything to the left of the middle fenceline at the farm to make separate paddocks.  This will give us three paddocks surrounding the existing grass pasture, not to the mention the area in the front that can be re-set as a spare grazing area as well.

My second goal was actually inspired by Robyn.  She mentioned needing to practice an actual dressage test, so I am scheming up a plan to get a "real" dressage arena economically set up at the top of the field.  Since we are nearly out of daylight savings time, we only have a month left of needing to ride in lights, so I would like to move the existing temporary arena to the back field and put in an actual dressage arena with boundaries and letters.  I would like to do this in correllation with the re-fencing project, because fencing in the back field arena will also allow us to close it off for seeding, which will be coming soon.

I am hoping to have the above projects completed this months, with the exception of maybe the dressage arena, depending on how much it will cost.  I also want to start spreading our composted manure on the first two fields I am planning to seed, which will most likely be the mare field and the big field.  The goal is to have them pre-fertilized, tilled if necessary, or aerated, and then seeded by early March.  I want to allow both fields a full eight weeks of rest before putting horses on them - especially the mare field, since it will be newly established grass.

The third project will be to expand our gravel driveway.  I am still debating the necessity, since we are just around the corner from escaping winter.  We might be able to get away with not doing it, but only the next couple weeks will tell us for sure.

It doesn't seem so huge when it is all laid out on paper.  But the trick to everything is being able to balance the finances to make it all come together.  I found an incredible deal on the polyrope fencing, and two huge boxes arrived yesterday, full of polyrope, insulators, and splicers.  I start picking up miscellaneous t-posts this week - 20 here, 20 there, from some great connections we have made.  The rest will have to be purchased at the cheapest place I can find.  Then comes the trial of figuring out the best way to extend the existing electric fence to where we are hoping to get it to.  It will more than likely involve installing another gate, which means another trenching project.  There are all sorts of hiccups you tend to find along the way, as these projects start to come together. 

Riding has been difficult to squeeze in lately, which is frustrating, but somewhat expected this time of year.  With the rain, the new boarders moving in, and Robyn's surgery, the last week has been a bit of a lost cause as far as serious work goes.  I am hoping to set a few showing goals soon.  I just discovered a cross country clinic at the end of the month that is with April's former owner.  It would be really cool to take her, but it is pricey.  I would be happy to pick a simple dressage show or combined test just to get out and about at this point.

That's the majority of life at the farm.  I am looking forward to more rays of sunshine in the days to come.  Here's to tackling projects and finding motivation to plug on through!!!!!!

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