Getting started on setting the gradeThe frost laws are up and the equipment can move.  What a wonderful thought.  We couldn’t get started on leveling the ground for the barn until the frost laws were removed.  They were up on Monday and the excavater was here on Friday delivering his dozer.  He spent most of Friday and Saturday moving the dirt to make sure the grade was level with the arena.

Personally, I didn’t care.  But the builder had this great idea.  Connect the arena with the stall barn so that if the weather is bad I can bring the horses into the stalls to dry off, then, move them to the arena without going into the bad weather.  It will also keep the snow and mud out of the travel area.  So, the new stall barn and arena have to be at the same grade or the idea won’t work.

 

Working on the gradeOf course, I give lessons on Saturday morning.  I figured the horses would be okay since we use our tractor around them all the time.  Ooops!  The dozer is louder than the tractor.  When he was leveling the dirt next to the arena wall, I could feel the vibration.  Although we didn’t get any spooks out of the horses, they were a bit on edge.  For safety, everyone rode on lead-line.  That made the riders (and parents) feel better as well.

Moving the dirt

 

With the grade ready, now all we need is the material for the barn to get started.  That should be here shortly!

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We are excited!  This winter we decided that we needed to bring our horses home.  For eight years we have been boarding our Haflingers next door.  Okay, in the country, next door is two parcels or about a quarter mile away.  The barn is good and solid, but the trek over is getting more difficult, especially when we get dumped on with snow, or like this year, snow over ice!  Plus, our therapeutic riding program is expanding.  The fifteen minutes that I need to change horses between classes could be done in five if they were living on our land.

So, we are spending our kids’ inheritance, and contracted to put up a stall barn next to the arena.  There won’t be any camera’s, we won’t be on tv, no one will be shouting “Move the bus!” but what we hope is that the community will get involved and help us with some of the other work that needs to be done – like putting up new fences, lights, plumbing, building stalls, and all those other things that I haven’t even thought of…but will as the project goes along.

We are planning to do some of the preliminary work done in the next week or so.  The contruction people will be here at the end of April to start building the stall barn.  After that will come the fencing and everything else I mentioned.

Arena in the fieldI know this scene will change.  Soon the stall barn will be along the length of the arena and the horses will be in the pastures.  I hope to capture the activities and progress and post them here. 

If you live in southeast Michigan, come on over and join the fun…otherwise, check back periodically to see our progress.  Nothing like a little barn raising to get the folks together!


My husband and I watched the program last night.  It was great that Extreme Makeover could do this for the Luther family.  Their dedication to the therapeutic riding program was evident, and what Ty said is so true.  People who give to others don’t usually give to themselves.

We are glad to see they have been given a new beginning and the means to continue their work.

And what she say is so true, about doing it for the smiles and hugs. 

At our facility we have seen miracles happen…not instantly, but over time…first words, balance regained, new skills, and greater confidence.  All from a weekly hour lesson on a horse! 

 I would encourage anyone looking for a way to give back to your community, to find a therapeutic riding facility and volunteer.  It will change your life forever!