Preparing for April

Today, April will be delivered to us from South Carolina. She is a Welsh/Thoroughbred mare, owned by a friend of a friend. Our plan is to lease her so that Sydney will have a horse to ride while I spend some time training Foxie.

While I was riding Monday morning, Sydney and Joel prepared the barn for April’s arrival. We decided to switch around the hay stall and the stall that Smokey has been using, so that April will be closer to Foxie and Misty. First, they moved the hay and the pallets. Joel loaded and unloaded the wheelbarrow with hay bales and Sydney transported them. Joel stacked the bales neatly in the corner stall.IMG_4232


Next, Sydney filled April’s stall with fresh bedding. She put in several loads of sawdust. Looks inviting, doesn’t it?

Sydney also hung clean feed and water buckets and tied up a chunk of Himalayan pink salt for April. She’s excited to have April here and begin riding her!


We can’t wait to welcome April to our barn! IMG_4228


Morning Routine


The girls walk up to the big pasture and bring the horses in for breakfast. Sydney brings Foxie, the lead mare. Misty and LK follow and Smokey brings up the rear.


The girls groom the mares in preparation for their ride. Sunny sprawls on the cool cement floor.


Sydney on Foxie


LK on Misty

Horse-filled Days



Good morning, Foxie!



When the rain finally stopped, Lauren-Kate and Sydney got to work filling the stalls with fresh bedding.


Sydney brushing Smokey


Sydney riding Foxie

Saturday morning, my friend Traci came over with her daughters Lauren and Erica. Sydney and I showed the girls our feeding and stall cleaning routine and they jumped in to help. Afterwards, the three girls brushed Foxie.


Foxie enjoying the attention of three girls.


The girls braided Smokey’s mane and tail.



Sydney taking a short “pony ride” on Smokey



Sydney took over and gave Erica a “pony ride”


Lauren got a turn too


And a closer view


Afterwards, everyone was happy.


A New Day: Easter Weekend, Part II

My daughter and I, along with two dear friends, worked on cleaning out the barn this weekend. The girls cleared out two stalls on the right side of the barn that were filled with old hay and sawdust. One stall will be used to store new hay, and the other stall will be an extra, just-in-case stall. They worked for hours without a break. Do you think they’re excited about horses coming?

IMG_2915Sydney and her good friend, LK.


Last weekend, my husband, a young man from church and a friend’s barn worker installed rubber mats in the other two stalls. My husband, a golfer who does not particularly care for barn work, threw himself into this task and many others in a big effort to help get the barn ready for horses. He is awesome!


My dear friend Karen helped me tackle the tack room, a room that was filled with spiderwebs, dust, dead insects and who knows what else. We took everything out and wiped off shelving and storage bins, cleaned the walls, swept the floor and mopped. Then we gradually put things back in. Now that’s a good friend!

IMG_2919Thank you, Karen! I couldn’t have done it without you!!

IMG_2921The girls clowning around in the messy aisle.

IMG_2942The tack room — orderly and clean!

All of the above was done on Saturday. Karen and LK came back to help us late Sunday afternoon. The girls walked the pasture and cleared brambles from the fence line while Karen and I cleaned out the feed room. When the girls came back to the barn, I gave them a huge tub full of leather tack to clean. They worked until they were done. After Karen and LK left, and Sydney caught a ride up to the house with her dad, who was returning from playing nine holes, I had fun putting up nails and organizing all the barn implements.


IMG_2940I love an orderly feed room!

IMG_2938We laid out a tarp where sawdust for the stalls will be stored.

IMG_2932The barn looking happy!

IMG_2925And almost ready to welcome horses!