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**arena!!**

May 27, 2013

morningarena

this is what i see in the morning when i walk out behind the horse pens after feeding:

a beautifully fenced 354 X 130 foot arena!!

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pinch me!!  i must be dreaming!!

but let’s back up a bit, back to how this arena came to be.

with our herd now grown to seven members,

only two of which have been trained for riding,

we had a real need for a safe and secure riding enclosure–

especially since we have elected to train four young ones ourselves.

although we originally considered a smaller size,

the reality is that with seven horse and lots of family and friends

it made much more sense to build it big enough to meet future needs.

two things allowed us to construct this wonderful arena in only two days:

1.  discovering noble fence panels in an online search for arena materials–

their system is solid, safe, attractive, and virtually maintenance-free

once installed.  after talking to an owner of the company who engineered

this system, i was convinced that this was the way to go.

i can wholeheartedly recommend them after finishing this project!

2.  (but #1 in our hearts!) charlie and jan from parnell’s irish cobs, aka the irish rose!

not only have we been blessed to acquire six of their wonderful horses,

we have now embraced them as extended family members and are

twice-blessed to have their assistance on projects that benefit these

treasured creatures!

charlie and jan were gracious enough to load up their bobcat skid steer

along with its 8 inch auger and motor on down for fencing day!

it took a while for us to mark off the fence lines and get a system

going with our work crew and the materials,

but once we got going it was actually pretty fast work.

all of our moisture this spring, along with the fact that we have fairly rock-free soil,

made it easy to drill the fence post holes with the skid steer.

the land slopes more than i had originally thought, so we opted

to step the side panels to accommodate the slope–  perfect!

here’s the crew on day 1:

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of course it’s necessary to gather for a meal at day’s end!

we completed two sides that day, so we took mother’s day off

and reconvened on monday to complete the rest.

here’s day 2:

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after we got the last corner closed up we were eager to let the horses out

to inspect the project that they had been watching in earnest supervising!

we did a complete cleanup and then charlie loaded up the skid steer.

two full days of back-breaking volunteer labor and look at this face:

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you can’t ask for better friends family than these people!

we were making bets about how the horses would react–

half of the votes were on sunny being the first out of the gate

and the other half were on si gaoithe,

with everyone in agreement that dear timid rose would bring up the rear.

we anticipated that they would dash wildly about before settling down to graze.

when all was ready, we opened the gate…

imagine our surprise when **THIS** happened instead!!

we couldn’t help but just watch them enjoy what we referred to as their “promised land”–

we had been promising them for nine days that being confined to only their pens

was going to be SO WORTH IT!!

and it WAS!!

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as the sun began to sink in the west,

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we simply had to celebrate such a major accomplishment with another family repast,

this time outdoors to the accompaniment of one of our most gorgeous sunsets ever!

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the next three are real grainy, since it was dusk and these were taken with an iPhone,

but the colors of the lingering sunset were ever changing and begged capture!

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so now in the mornings when i walk down the drive to the west,

i am so happy to see this:

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but i’m not the only happy one…

whenever a move is made towards the gate, well…

the line forms here:

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gratitude abounds here in wonderland!

peaceful memorial day weekend to you.

********

little disclaimer:  some of you might be thinking that this looks much more like a pasture

than an arena, and right now that’s true.  eventually we will have it turned and leveled,

but given the lush spring grass that we are blessed with we are giving our overachieving

mowers first opportunity to clear the ground cover.  then in a few weeks we can bring in

a tractor and have the ground turned.  if we didn’t, there would be seven horsey heart attacks–

and two donkey attacks as well.

can’t have that, can we?!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Laurie permalink
    May 27, 2013 9:18 pm

    omgosh!
    little chubby donkey!!!

    this is SO beautiful — the help, the land, the horses!

    your paradise fills me, too . . .
    xoXO

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      May 27, 2013 10:31 pm

      i am always so keenly aware of how fortunate i am to live here as i do! it reminds me of the saying “it takes a village”, as it is so much more than what i could could ever accomplish alone. i have learned so much in the past year and am doing my level best to live into what i am learning!!
      xoxo

  2. May 28, 2013 2:33 am

    so wonderful….the smiling faces….the hard work….the horses turned out into the promise land…. i am so happy for you….your dreams coming true….

    *love*

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      May 28, 2013 3:26 am

      dreams coming true is right, for us AND for the horses! they have spent many hours out there over the past two weeks and are getting sleek and sassy! (fitting…)
      should be sending something your way this week, whenever i make it to the post office!
      xx

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