90% There!

I’m sure everyone is getting tired of barn pictures, but right now that’s all I have in my life about which to update.

Yesterday, despite the frozen temperatures, my site prep people (person) showed up to work on the foundation and add screenings.

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Perfection.

During the installation of the barn, the equipment sort of, kind of got stuck and left grooves/divots in the original foundation. Thankfully, Lloyd was able to fix that, and add screenings to the stalls, fix the grading, and add additional screenings around the barn.

The end result? A perfect barn.

We’re so close! I cut the stall mats that needed cutting yesterday and now just need to move in the full sized mats, add Jiminy’s panels, and add bucket hooks. Hopefully everything will be finished in time for Saturday and Sunday’s ugly weather.

These 2 provided absolutely NO help…

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utterly useless.

Virtual Barn Tour

The barn project hit some snags, but on Friday, they were FINALLY able to finish the set up! My foundation people are scheduled to come back on Wednesday to fix the footing at add more screenings/stone dust (4-5 inches in the stall and basically fix the run in area which will be Jiminy’s stall plus add whatever they have left to the outside area of the the barn). Basically, MUD (it should be a 4 letter word) and RAIN (the really 4 letter word) have killed us.

But, bright and early Friday morning, the crew showed up and 5 (!) hours later, my barn set up was complete!

And your 3 part walking tour.

The barn has experienced its first snow as well and looks gorgeous!

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Hopefully all will go well for footing this week! I really don’t want to postpone! There’s a possibility for an actually storm next weekend (anywhere from 2-15″) so I’d like to get everything set up before then! I could make the stalls work as is if absolutely necessary, but the run in… It’s not usable until the ground is fixed… It’ll be close to 40 on Wednesday so HOPEFULLY they can do something…

Ranger Recap: Ride Defensively.

The frigid cold finally hit the Mid Atlantic yesterday in the form of crazy wind gusts and plummeting temperatures (gusts were up to 50mph during the day). Nonetheless, after cancelling last week due to a migraine, I dragged myself off to the barn to see possibly my almost favorite horse ever.

I was warned that he’d be grumpy, angry, and possibly crazy and that the kids can’t work him through that, but I said I was up for the challenge. Now, Ranger is a draft cross. I’m used to thoroughbreds and warmbloods being up. Ranger being up isn’t like that at all. He doesn’t get up, he gets heavy.

I got on and he tried to convince me he needed a nap. So we worked on trotting with energy and eventually I managed a forward trot knowing that everything could come out over fences. My trainer eventually asked me to through in halts and backs. This is when you could tell he was faking as it took everything I had (and several attempts) before I could halt without Ranger pulling his large head to the ground. Eventually, I was able to keep his head up, but the struggle was real…

After a while, we added in the canter which was surprisingly lovely. However it took a few strides to get my body back were it needed to be (why? no idea but I started the ride a bit forward). After 3 or 4 or 5 times around the ring, we added in the in of the outside line on a circle, in an attempt to tire him out before really starting over fences. We did this 6 times, with the first 3 being nice, then I got passive and Ranger NOPED to the outside. See, I came up to the most PERFECT spot on the most PERFECT stride so I didn’t add extra leg and since we had already jumped it, I didn’t use extra hand (both hands to the inside). Ranger saw the inch I gave and took a mile. I need to be on the ENTIRE ride. Ride defensively. On repeat (x2) no issue.

We switched directions, cantered around 3-4 times,  and did the same thing over the outside single on the other side with no issue.

Feeling “warmed up,” we started down over the inside single heading towards the in gate and then were to come around to the outside line in a holding 7. The inside single is the jump that Ranger loves to OMG LAUNCH over because it’s heading home and GATE. Sure enough, right as we turned, I felt him go for the bit, but I was able to tug his head up early and a couple follow up tugs brought us to a perfect spot. It was really nice and Ranger was slightly pissed that I had his number… We stayed way out but unfortunately, I didn’t keep enough outside leg on him for the line and he noped out of it. That was the last NOPE of the night and sort of woke me up… Circling back WITH outside leg, we got down the line in the 7, continued around, did it in a 7 again, evenly woahing at strides 1-3, continued around and did the line again, this time in a 6. And then we got to walk. Finally.

Next, the word “skinny” came up. Since everyone knows how much I love skinnies…. the plan was to approach the inside single from the opposite direction (away from the in gate) and then stay close to the wall to do this crazy awkward inside line of a skinny to oxer. The issue with the line (in addition to the blasted skinny) is that everyone wants to turn too soon and then the horses assume that they’re jumping the outside single vs the inside line which is not the normal diagonal line but off set so you go all the way around the corner and part way around the side before you turn.

So first time through, we started, and another pony was in hacking so I had a bad corner to my jump because she decided to be in her own world so I circled defensively and Ranger had an “oh shit, she means business” moment when I forced him through a tight turn and made him bend… Ha. Our inside single was perfect and then I forced him to stay OUT and wait for the skinny which in turn made the line an easy 6.

Ultimately, we put in all together. Down the inside single towards the in gate (check). Outside line in the going 6 (check). Awkward skinny inside like (check). Inside single away from in gate (check). Could not have ended with a better course.

The jumps may not have all been picture perfect throughout the lesson, but as my trainer said, it was some of the best riding I’ve ever done. I rode defensively most of the lesson because I needed to. If I gave anything away, Ranger ducked out. I had to ride to the base and over or else we were going around. Lol. When Ranger has energy, THIS is how he shows it. But, it was fun too and great for my confidence. A year ago, I wouldn’t have trusted myself that I was strong enough to ride him through everything. Last night? No issues.

Progress!

After days, weeks, and months of RAIN and then abnormally warm temperatures (read, lows just above for nighttime lows), Sunday night was COLD-ish at 25* which meant on Monday morning they semi-successfully delivered…

MY BARN!

It’s here!

The ground was frozen and the top of the pad was too, but, as it turns out, under the surface of the pad…wasn’t. So, I have some repair work to do. I’ve reached out to the site prep people for a quote for screenings and a quote for them to do the repairs (my husband says he can rake and tamper himself, but why not ask?) though I haven’t heard back yet. But…

MY BARN IS HERE!

I was shaking like a leaf the during the entire delivery process.

You see, only ONE GUY is here.

And half of it is via remote control.

And then he got stuck in the pad… (no video or pictures, my phone died). Not that he ever admitted that.

But the BARN IS HERE!

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Once the setup is complete, the sides will actually be attached…

A crew should be here today (this morning) to set it up and attach it together so it’s not yet officially up, but ONE STEP CLOSER!

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You can see where he got stuck under the overhang… But some raking, tampering, and screenings will fix that. But it’s so pretty!

The stalls are in much better condition. I think the one side just took the bulk of water…

VS

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And just because, the dutch doors…

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Now if only it would STOP RAINING! The good thing is this area is now protected… I have mats to go outside the stall entrances too plus outside of Jiminy’s run in entrance (I’m closing the run in with round pen panels) so at least where they enter will be OK). Eventually spring will come and seed and straw will go down (straw my go down sooner too).

Subi’s Pumpkin Molasses Muffins

So you asked for it and I’m FINALLY providing the recipe. It took me a while because, well, I had to write it down. Which required me making them again… The recipe is rather flexible. So, modify if necessary. I do! (If I’m out of an ingredient, I just use something else or a different quantity. It works!)

Ingredients:

5-6 carrots
3 cups oat bran
1 cup flour
1 quart sweet feed
2/3-3/4 of a 29oz can of pumpkin
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp pink sea salt

Grate/shred the carrots. I threw mine in the food processor because I’m lazy and it’s super easy. img_9104

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
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Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl. If you have a stand mixer, you may wish to use that. img_9109

Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing throughly. img_9111

Fill mini muffin pans [I like the silicone ones, they make removal super easy. I use these] to the top (packing tightly). The muffins don’t rise so no need to leave room. I fill with a regular spoon.

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Bake at 300* for 60-70 minutes.  Cool on rack.

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They ARE shelf stable, but I found that after a couple of weeks, I like to refrigerate. I leave mine a little soft so I can stick a pill in the top so they could probably be cooked a touch longer due to the pumpkin. After 3+ weeks, they start to go with the moisture content. But, they do keep longer in the refrigerator.

Makes ~7 dozen. You can cut the recipe to make less.

happy new year? whine without cheese

Just checking in without much to update. It’s been too warm and rainy and the likelihood of this barn ever getting installed are slim to none. My mood is, quite honestly, not all that great either thanks to the weather, migraines, and an unlikely mild concussion.

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Me, most days

Today is my first day back at since before Christmas. I was due back yesterday, but 2 days of horrific migraines made today’s mild migraine feel not so horrible. I’m still not exactly thrilled to be back. The joys of this college town? They cut down half the trees on the south green, put out a bunch of temporary fences, and are about to do some utility work… Yeah. And Saxby’s closed. So, it’s depressing. Sob. I miss Saxby’s.

On a positive note, I did purchase stall mats (I will probably buy 4 more to put outside of the non-existent barn). $26/ea. Yay for price shopping! The one feed store had a massive order of seconds, and, to be honest, they’re all completely fine. I don’t see one thing wrong with them. They were shrink wrapped and everything. So, I bought them. And I’ll buy more. Completely worth it. So much better than TSC $45/mat.

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Kitty fort!

My husband also bought me a feed cart for Christmas! Or rather a utility/garden cart that might be turned into a feed cart. In the interim, it’s being used as a cat fort.

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Happy birthday Subi

On the 1st, Subi celebrated his OFFICIAL 22nd Birthday. Hard to believe he’s 22… Time flies!

I did ride Ranger sometime between Xmas and New Year’s and had a great lesson. But, time has passed and I just can’t remember enough details to actually write about it.

This might be because the next day, I sort of, kind of, maybe got hit in the head by a pry bar… I was in the garage getting soup out of the freezer and a pry bar fell and clocked me in the back of the head… I saw stars, developed a nice black and blue mark, and days later, the right sided migraines began. See, the migraines are ALWAYS there, but they’re left sided. So, now, a week later, I’m dealing with some extra significant migraines (a couple debilitating ones) and concussion symptoms/post concussion syndrome. Because, seriously, this was EXACTLY what I needed.

I try not to use this blog to vent about migraines (which are pretty much a chronic daily thing), but most of the time I can deal. But then I can’t when they are combined with others symptoms or stuff or are more than the usually regular ones… And then when my idiot neurologist changes my abortive medication from a 30 day to a 90 day (at same amount) and I’ve been out of meds with 45 days remaining without notice…

Anyway, hopefully next week I’ll be back to blogging with some enthusiasm! Until then…

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Always watching, always judging.