Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Preview of the Near Future

Thanks to a week of rain, I really don't have many barn updates. The corner posts are in, but that's about it.

Four 16' 6x6 corner posts sunk ~3' into the ground

Fortunately, with the exception of yesterday, this week (and the extended forecast for the foreseeable future!) looks fan-fuckin-tastic weather-wise and things will hopefully power forward in spectacular fashion beginning tomorrow.


All the same, I did manage to have a pretty fun weekend with more horse time than I've had since Biltmore. In fact, I rode said Biltmore-horse for the first time in 6 weeks. #constructionpriorities

See, on Wednesday evening Q did a Dumb Horse Thing. She wasn't paying close attention to anything more than her grain pan that she couldn't quite reach and managed to thwap her face on the corner of a nailed in 2x6 that has literally been present at this same place for the past 7 years I've owned her.

This was when I noticed it. As minutes ticked by, the skin
pulled back a bit, opening the cut wider. However, I'm opting
not to share those photos since many are squeamish about
images that show more tissue than this.

In fact, I didn't even notice the cut for several minutes! I saw her shake her head in discomfort twice after thwapping it off the Very Obvious wooden column, but I discounted it telling her, "Yep. I bet that smarts, dummy. Should have paid more attention." (Kenai regularly thwaps his schnozz off obvious objects, so I'm a bit conditioned to just shake my head and ignore the clumsy behavior.)

But then, as I walked by Q at a slightly different angle I noticed the cut. I poked and prodded it a bit, which she didn't mind much at all. If it had been on my own body, I'd have butterfly bandaged the thing and called it good. But me being a bad patient doesn't mean my horse should be one, so I called my vet.

I ended up discussing options to stitch or not stitch with two vets at the practice and five people at the barn (why does everyone tend to "just show up" when something like this happens?) plus Austen via text. While stitching it would be best to help keep flies out (the vet said it would only be two stitches), the simpler option was just to keep it clean and keep Q in a smaller paddock with less opportunity to rub it on something.

Knowing my weekend was jam-packed with four house guests and multiple parties each afternoon/evening limiting my ability to drive to and from the barn to check on her, I opted to just bring Q home over the weekend for some solitary confinement and a bit of riding.

"Q! We're building you a barn!"
"This is not a barn. These are branchless trees and rocks and dirt." Q, probably

It was so, so lovely seeing Q as many times as I wanted throughout the day, loving on her, tending to the wound, and being able to swap her winter blankets and fly gear as needed with the weather/bugs.

Yes, winter blankets. Canaan has two seasons, July and Not-July. On Thursday night we were treated to literal inches of cold rain + a steady wind in the upper teens. Despite tree cover, when I checked on Q at 6:15am, she was shivering. So I tossed on a cooler and rain sheet to help her out, then went back out 50 minutes later to swap those for her medium weight blanket which she happily wore until 1pm when my ridge transitions from Scottish moor to mountain paradise.

A moment of partial fog clarity. You can soooorrrta see the barn amidst the fog and glare on the window.

And then, it dropped to 37°F Friday night. 🤷 Welcome to mountain life.

Fortunately despite the weather, Q's cut looked better and better with each passing hour. I'm really impressed with how clean and quickly it's healing! The peace of mind I had from bringing her home to keep an eye on it was absolutely priceless.

48 hours post-injury
5 days post-injury with alu-shield on the wound back in her field with flies
Why no fly mask? Because I don't feel like throwing money away because
I know the other horses would help her pull it off her face and then hide
it somewhere in the vegetation on those 28 acres. I'm excited to have them
home where I can apply fly masks and shoo fly leggings and easily retrieve
them if/when they're removed by the horses.

Additionally, we had a great weekend with lots of one-on-one time and two rides: one conditioning ride of 6.3 miles with 1151 feet of climbing and one dressage ride that I ended by making Q climb the mountain on the road at the end.

Heading down the mountain. The pink strap is a bridle throatlatch I
modified to be a collar for the weekend that had my phone number
on it. With the winds we had and my general distrust of our
almost-domestic white-tailed deer that like to screw around with
everything, I figured it was best to mitigate chance of the temp
 fence failing and her getting out by providing a means for someone to
find her and call me.
All smiles realizing this is going to be my new norm
Trucking through high goldenrod praying we don't encounter a fawn
A pretty stretch of mature trees
Enjoying some views along the way
Can't believe I get to call this home! Or that I can ride here from my house
Pinks are in bloom everywhere
They're so vibrant and beautiful. Tiny but gorgeous
Our house and the barn site from the far side of the ridge. You can see in this photo where my mowed lots begin. They differ
from the golden rod patch Q and I are standing in.

It was so freaking fun to have a preview of what life with the horses will be like in a couple weeks. Seeing them multiple times a day, caring for them, mucking, feeding, and riding whenever I have a few spare moments. I just keep pinching myself to make sure it's real!

Stay tuned for what I hope will be bigger and more exciting updates on the barn next week...


  1. What a gorgeous setting you live in.
    Can't wait to see how the barn and fencing progresses!

    1. I'm eager to see them progress, too, haha. So many small [logical] changes keep happening. It's a fun surprise every day and I have no idea how things will ultimately end up.

  2. yay so glad Q got to come home for a slumber party though I would probably sleep outside with her if it dropped to 37 here. OMG THE HEAT. HA

    and can't wait to see your barn!!

    also glad her cut healed!

    1. I will do my best to blow the cooler weather your way! Your heat sounds like the worst!

  3. gorgeous scenery! Nice that you could bring her home for the weekend! I hope the barn building gets going this week with warmer weather!

    1. Crankin' on all cylinders so far! Should see some BIG changes by week's end.

  4. we drove through WV on the way to not-rolex and I just could not believe how beautiful it was. And we were on the highway!!! How lucky you are for your 'new normal'. The barn looks like its really cracking along.

    1. It's the greenest thing ever around that time of year with all the new growth - I just love it and am glad you got to see it!

  5. oh man those pictures are so luscious and glorious!

    1. Sunny, highs in the upper 60s and low humidity. It's my personal paradise <3

  6. Seriously so jealous and so excited for you!

    Not jealous of that weather though.

    1. Haha, the bad weather is offset by beautiful 70 degree days with low humidity though for so much of summer, so it's worth it. =)

  7. Those posts are very exciting! The weather is looking good too. Carmen came in the other day with a cut on her face and I was all like 'how? you were wearing a flymask!' But she never answered. Then I saw blood on her leg and freaked but it was just a teeny scrape. THEN I saw a bunch of red on her flank and almost lost it until I realized that she had rolled in some wild strawberries and that was the juice.

    1. Did y'all have an amazing wild strawberry year? Ours were off the hook! It was amazing.

  8. Love those pictures! I do miss living somewhere green. That was probably the best aspect about living in the desert - the concrete dried fast, and there was no rain to threaten it getting done. I can't wait to see how it looks! And I'm sure you can't wait for it to be done!

    1. Oh man, I can only imagine how nice the desert must be for construction.

  9. Gorgeous. So happy for you and I can’t wait until you bring all 3 home for good.