Thursday, October 10, 2019

Starlight Lane Farm est. 2019

We're finally FINISHED!

20191006 Autumn and SLF_37

Well, mostly. No project is ever truly finished. But beyond settling on a happy organization scheme for all things (something that always takes me a good year+ to decide for any space I occupy), Starlight Lane Farm is no longer "under construction".

20191006 Autumn and SLF_40
Those chevron back doors tho...
20191006 Autumn and SLF_41
I definitely don't hate 'em
20191006 Autumn and SLF_52
LOL to Griffin's slow feed net on the ground in his frustration of having to deal with it.
And yes, Grif is now the isolated one when in the dry lot. Q has decided to test the waters of bully and was laying into him pretty good. Everyone is REALLY happy with this new arrangement though! #winning

September was a whirlwind month. I attended three weddings and traveled to California for work during the month. So, while things were moving forward with the farm, the time I had available to write about them was minimal. I had every intention of updating about our progress again within a week of my former post (on Sept. 5), but we all see how that worked out. 

Following my last update, the exterior stall doors were finished and I installed latches.

Bottom halves + latches + no more temp tape blocking the doors SUCH A LUXURY
Double doors and latches; this was temporary until I could figure out a way to latch the top doors from the inside to prevent walking around every time I needed to open/close doors
Latch for the top half of the door is accessible from inside the barn. I'm a fan.
This way, I can open the top door then easily access the outside latch

The shingled area under both eaves was completed.

I cannot explain to you how nice it is to see a finished exterior when I look out my doors/windows from the house

The final pile of topsoil was spread, seeded, and mulched. 

Observe the pile of topsoil (left of center) growing grass
And now it's gone!
I was super motivated and seeded and mulched the area immediately after the soil was spread

The dry wall was hung, we waited forever for the mud to dry, and when it finally did, I painted and started nesting as soon as the paint was dry.

Wall one up...
Wall two partially complete...
BOOM. All dry walled and awaiting extra coats of mud to finish
A nice space!
Painted! I mixed two neutral colors Dave had leftover from other jobs to avoid buying any paint. Ceilings are BITCH to paint. Oof! But as soon as I was done, I put up my saddle racks and the bridle rack. WHAT A LUXURY.
Interim version of the space. Feed area to my right, tack in front.
Medicine cabinet and shelf thanks to my Dad!
IKEA towel bars behind the door. Still have one more I can put up...
I love that they all collapse back along the wall to allow the door to open
No too shabby! And I love that the mirror helps bounce light within the space.

After that, all that was really left was to lay the wood floor - something I knew wouldn't happen until after my trip to California - and get my fence installed - something I wanted to complete before my travels.

And so, in the days leading up to my trip, I spent close to 25 hours building my fence. I had a mentor for about 7 of those hours, but the rest were solo. This fence has been A Problem over the past few months. Due to the nature of everything involved, I'm not going to go into the details on here. Suffice to say, when the dust settled I was left spending more time and money on the damn thing than was necessary. But hey, at least I learned a new skill?

Gate separating the two pastures.
Top line of the fence
Gate into pastures from road
Brace assembly... Look really closely and you'll see two monarch chrysalis
Close up of the chrysalis. We've had one hell of a monarch year. The caterpillars built chrysalis EVERYWHERE. I had to relocate so many! Fortunately, most of my relocated ones hatched!
Happy little paradise.

It was beyond satisfying to turn the horses out to pasture for the duration of my time away from home. They were so happy to be out of that damn dry lot. I never, ever intended for them to have to be in that dry lot for that amount of time without the freedom to graze or move about at liberty. Ugh. Even in the winter months they won't have to spend 60+ days exclusively in the dry lot!

Once I returned from California, I got right to work laying the wood floor. Dave gave me a quick tutorial on all things and I dove in. The end result isn't perfect, but I learned yet another new skill, got to utilize some flooring that would have otherwise gone to waste (it's been sitting in the basement for 10 years lol), and I have a gorgeous little tack and feed room as a result.

A hot mess, but also, more than halfway done!
Talked Dave into helping me with the final row of flooring which was a bit trickier than the rest
Still need to trim the windows and the wall where it meets the floor, but eeee!
Awaiting the final row of boards in this photo

Finishing the flooring was the last piece in the puzzle. It knitted things together so well and I couldn't help but grin really huge as I stood staring at the floor, the tack room, the aisle, the stalls, the barn. My dream as a reality.

Looking down the aisle! Gotta get the remaining sheet rock outta here, but beyond that - she's DONE.
Looking down the aisle from the opposite end
I expect these double doors to remain closed most of the time. I'll likely park my wheelbarrow down on this end, too.
Eeeee! Still have a lot to accomplish in here, but I'm really pleased with the space.
Just needs a few more touches...
Happy happy happy
Center stall (Q's)
Stall across from tack feed (Grif)
End stall (Stan)

Since finishing the flooring, I've basically had a perma-grin on my face. I have set about making lists of all the things I want to accomplish to further "nest" and settle into the space. It is still, and will continue to be, a work-in-progress, but all of the big pieces are in place now.

And MORE tack/feed room photos. Redundant, but TOO BAD.
I eventually want to put a futon where the chairs are and a low bookshelf below the right window
Next week I also plan to put a counter over the feed cans to combine supplements etc.
I built little rolling caddies for each feed can to make them lots more mobile and minimize scratches on the floor.
Scratches are inevitable and I'm totally cool with them happening, but I'm gonna minimize the likelihood where I can.
The pile of nonsense in the far corner is the result of zero organization and 100% a shove-things-in-one-area mindset

It feels pretty surreal to look down at the barn daily and see a "completed" picture. What's more crazy is knowing that the endless "to-dos" revolving around finishing the thing are accomplished. Sure, there are little organizational things to address, but those are the kinds of things I've always expected to fall slowly into place as time necessitates.

My brain finally has time and space to ponder conditioning ride and soft competition goals again. It's so nice to shift my mindset back toward riding instead of the perpetual "create, construct, complete" thought patterns that consumed me during the past year of planning and executing this endeavor. There will always be work to do now that the horses are home, but having the extra burden of building the damn thing off my plate is really refreshing.

My favorite view right now...
It's just so pretty!
Hacked his mane off this week. Just couldn't stand it long. Oh well.
Sunset dog walks with Staniel. Can't wait to watch the seasons change from between these ears!

Realizing this dream and watching it come to fruition has been, well, a dream come true. While I felt certain I would bring my horses "home" at some point in my lifetime, I never imagined it would be when I was 30. There simply aren't enough words to express how unbelievably grateful I am for this opportunity and the reality that is having my horses at home.

I can't thank my husband enough for helping make this dream a reality. He took a simple sketch and turned it into something so beautiful and beyond my imagination. He made the long process more stress-free for me than I ever imagined, too, something I am really appreciative of.

I am also insanely thankful for my neighbor, Dan. Without his encouragement, guidance, and kindness, this entire thing could not have happened. I will never ever forget the ways he helped me to make my biggest dream a reality.

And so, the barn saga is coming to a close. I'll certainly post updates on the tack/feed room as I finish it up this winter and settle into the space more. And, per the request of several, I will be scheduling a video post for tomorrow!


  1. Amazing!! It looks so good and you should be very proud. Congrats!!

  2. Wow - it looks so incredible!! I love the tack room. It was nice before the flooring, but the floor really made it look amazing. I think organizing your own tack room is the most fun. Mine needs an overhaul...after looking at yours!

  3. Awesome!!! I've been on the lookout for this post.

    I love reading that you're allowing a year to get everything just right. Approaching that milestone now on the house project, and was feeling a bit guilty it had taken that long.

    Also - transitioning from the project mindset is tricky, but I imagine you'll find (as I have) that it's replaced by a joyful confidence - you can tackle just about anything now. Congratulations!

    1. I've learned I can't rush organization. I'm happiest taking my time 😊. And you're so right about the joyful confidence bit! I dont hesitate to get things done lately. It's kinda amazing.

  4. 😍😍😍😍😍 love everything about this! (And I too am enjoying the "not quite totally complete but also not under rampant construction stressing me TF out feelings" haha)

    This is SO AMAZING 🥰

    1. Saying goodbye to those stresses is kinda the greatest thing.

  5. Gorgeous!!! Congrats on seeing this dream come true!!!!! Love the fact he dry walled and you put flooring in the tack room. It looks lovely.

    1. I'm pretty happy it's dry walled, too! It is gonna be the greatest she shed lol

  6. It's stunning! Congrats on it finally being "done"!

  7. Replies
    1. Maybe you already mentioned and I just forgot, but what are you doing for manure management?

    2. I will have 3 separate piles composting on the old haul road. So far so good!

  8. I am SO FREAKING HAPPY for you!!

  9. It looks stunning! How exciting, you must be absolutely thrilled.

  10. I've been looking forward to this post forever- Everything came together so nicely and now you can enjoy the dream every horse girl has wanted. Wishing your family and the ponies many happy years at Starlight Lane Farm :D

  11. This is so wonderful to read! I have been curious how you have been doing. Your barn is gorgeous and I love that you have fulfilled your lifelong dream. There is NOTHING better than looking out your house windows at your horses!!

    1. Seriously nothing better! And yeah...I didnt mean to leave everyone hanging so long 🙈

  12. So exciting and gorgeous!Your tack/feed room…swoon!

  13. Absolutely and completely STUNNING. Wow!

  14. so happy for you, it's beautiful <3 thanks for sharing this creation and journey with us!

  15. It's absolutely STUNNING! Congratulations!! <3

  16. Eeeeee it is BEAUTIFUL. Congrats on making dreams come true!