Saturday, June 6, 2015

New goals, new horizons, new focus

Nothing is impossible in this world. Firm determination, it is said, can move heaven and earth. Things appear far beyond one's power, because one cannot set his heart on any arduous project due to want of strong will. -- Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Life seems to be settling down (finally) we've lived in our new house for a little over four years and in that time my husband and I have changed jobs six times. Four our of six of those jobs took over 40 hours of our time per week away from each of us. Needless to say, we've been busy.

 It is easy to look at our property and feel completely overwhelmed. We bought the property (2.5 acres) knowing full and well what kind of state it was in but we have not really had the time to do much with it.

That's not to say we've done nothing. We added onto the house, built a deck, planted numerous gardens, attempted to get our yard looking good...and we did go through and try to clean up what we lovingly refer to as "the back 40" many time.

We often hypothesize about what the previous owners did back there to create the insanity that resides back there. You probably can't see much in the picture to the left besides a run-down shed but the ground is covered in garbage. Layers upon layers of garbage.

Our neighbors have told us that the previous owners had a steel business and indeed, there is plenty of steel. I can tell they were welding and working on cars in the shed. But that doesn't explain the broken dishes, layers upon layers of glass and rusty is a mess...
You can kind of make out some of the junk. And you can spend hours cleaning up the bits and pieces and not make a dent! It can be quite disheartening.

Last week, I was given some inspiration to really focus on getting things in order: a horse.

Let me back up: I've never really been a horse person. My mom always had horses when I was growing up but they weren't something I was interested in. Somehow, in the last few years, I've found myself wandering closer and close to being a horse fanatic. Last summer, in fact, was my first summer going on regular rides...and it was great. I ride a kindly older horse who belongs to one of my mom's cousins. Her name is Goldie and she is the most matronly horse I've ever met.
Goldie isn't perfect, though. She has pretty problematic feet (founder) and (they think) some form of arthritis. She is a great horse but slow and not always healthy enough to ride. It is sad and I know my days with her are numbered.

Last week I attended an event for a local horse rescue and fell in love, once again, with the horse community. And for the first time in a long time I feel like I've found my passion and my motivation. Let's do this thing! I'm ready for my own horse.

Well...sort of ready. I'm ready to start earning my own horse.

This is a HUGE project that will span over several years. I see it broken down into three big, concurrent steps/goals. I will elaborate more on each later but these are the big goals:

Get our property ready for a horse
  • Clean up "the back 40" -- this will most likely be the longest process and will include heavy equipment. Right now I'm focusing on the things I can do by myself. I'll go out each day and pick up a few loads of garbage.
  • Turn current shed into a barn -- We have a shed that will work out pretty well as a small barn. Each weekend I'll work on that. I think it will only need to be cleaned out, stripped down, and have a roof/siding added. (ha -- "only")
  • Put in fencing

Lose weight
  • Eat less
  • Move more -- this will be facilitated by cleaning up every night 

Learn more about taking care of horses
  • Volunteer to clean out local barns after work and care for horses on weekends for people who go out of town
  • Take lessons
  • Pursue adoption with rescue organization (which is a 6-12 month process including lessons)