Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Moving the Farm

A few weeks ago, I was contemplating how to move a farm.  Today, it’s half-done, but it won't really be home until the horses are there.

A glance out my living room window will tell you we weren’t planning to move.  Just 30 yards from my house sits a beautiful 140 X 70 arena, fenced with wooden rails and a straight, red gate, filled with 450 tons of  sand, perfect for training youngsters.   Just a year ago, I gave the contractor the “go ahead” to construct it.   Not the action of someone planning a big move. 

Likewise, if you consider the three acres above our house that we just finished fencing last fall, you wouldn’t expect that we would be moving this spring. 

But we are.   Things change, sometimes quickly!

We always considered this 11-acre farm to be an intermediate step, when we moved in, nearly 8 years ago.  We knew we wanted more land, away from the busy road.   But we literally put blood, sweat and tears into this little place, making it as perfect as it could be for a small horse farm (never did beat the mud).  

But the road just keeps getting busier, and with each passing truck, I considered it more of a threat to the safety of our horses.

Sure, they are secure behind good quality, Horseguard electric fence, but there is always the possibility of an escape.  In fact, it happened not too long ago.  An unusual set of circumstances allowed a cheeky mare (that would be Biltrite Smokin Dee, a well-constructed and athletic, bay tobiano paint with the temperment of a Roman candle) to come in early and unexpectedly from the pasture, find an open door into the barn, then another to the road.   Of course, I was hot on her heels, trying both not to pressure her to run in the wrong direction, and to herd her back to safety. 

She crossed the road twice before I caught her, and my stomach still knots up when I think of the beautiful little mare with her white tail flagged up in her innocent excitement as the cars slowed down to let her pass in front of them.  It could have ended so differently.

It was my fault that the doors were open, so no excuses, but if I'm going to make a mistake, I would rather there not be a busy road in the mix. 
My fear of the road was the prime mover, but the other pieces had to be in place as well.  Sometimes, when you know the time is right, the right door opens.  At about this same time, my husband, who has sought and called my attention to potential horse farms on-line ever since we moved here, mentioned a 109-acre farm he noticed on Craigslist.  Craigslist!  Can you believe it?  

Well, it had plenty of land, 30 acres of it in crops (mostly hay), was on a quiet road and the house was set back for privacy.   The pastures are already fenced.  The house is small (which suits us now) and built recently with a dry basement.  There are at least 4 water spigot near the pasture.  WOW.  (Sometime I'll write about our tribulations with getting water to the horses at our old farm, and you'll understand my excitement).

Fast-forward 5 months, and it’s ours.   We’re moving.  The tractor and brush hog are already moved, thanks to movers who really do know how to move everything (they probably would have shoved the horses up there in the van with the legless kitchen table and the tan couch, had I asked).   I’m orchestrating the installation of cable, satellite internet (it’s that remote) and of course, the four mares and one gelding who will soon be living in horsie heaven in 10 acres of pasture, with hay fields just over the fence, ensuring them good eats all winter.   And it’s on a road so quiet that you can hear the occasional car coming from miles away.

It’s not perfect, but it will get there.  We still have lots more blood and sweat – and I’m sure a few tears – to give to our new home. 

Off we go!

1 comment:

  1. Moving the farm is much better than buying the farm. Great post with many useful links.