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Day 1 – Cross Country

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California or Bust!

img_1616As promised I am blogging about our cross country trip to California.  So much has happened since my last post I have a lot to catch you up on (and I will over this next week) but for now we are starting with the present.

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The day started with a fuzzy head from the night before.  My Friday night Happy Hour friends help me go out with a bang. The fun filled evening included our usual shenanigans: Dancing, Singing, Laughing.  “There ware no tears in Softball.”  There was even an awesome cake and balloons. My favorite singing guitarist had a play list just for me!

Breakfast and lunch  was filled with friends we said see you later not goodbye.  I am not leaving you I am leaving Pennsylvania. There were some tears and big hugs this time.

I went to pick up my travel buddy and he was running late. So we get back to my neighbors house and hook up the trailer.  She’s running a little heavy, glad I have an F250 now.  My whole life is in the back of the truck and that trailer.

The drive started off on a good foot when we missed our first exit.  Hope this is not a fore shadowing of what is to come.

4 1/2 hours in and we have left Pennsylvania, passed through Maryland, West Virginia and are currently in Virginia.

Riley is with us and has 3/4 of the back seat.  He pops his head between us for some love and a scratch.  I had him up beside me on my seat but that didn’t last long as he was blocking the side view mirrors.
Thanks to my friends on Facebook for all the love and wishes of good luck.

 

 

Piper’s New Home

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As you may know Piper is getting up there.  She is almost all the way blind in her one eye (the other eye was surgically removed a few years ago), she has arthritis in her back end (she has a pin in there from a previous injury. She is also now experiencing muscle atrophy around her head.

With all of these these geriatric issues I just knew she could not handle a cross country trip. So I started figuring out what to do with her. As I mentioned in a previous post Otis’ new owners agreed to take her on as their own.  Which was a true blessing and such a relief to know she would be going to a good home where she would know one of the dogs.

So the Sunday one week before selling the farm (and exactly one month after Otis left) Travis and I did the three hour trip each way to drop her off. For us it was like a pre-road trip to see how we would do.  It went fine and Riley came with us for the ride.

When we got there we received a big welcome and met Piper’s other furry family members.  It was so good to see Otis. It was the first time I every had the opportunity to see any of my foster’s in their new home.  He looked so good and happy.

We checked out their back yard and I snapped some pictures.

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Piper is enjoying her retirement.  She is getting spoiled with treats and visits to the grooming salon.

10 days ago I heard from her new owner and she had lost of good things to report.

JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW PIPER IS DOING GREAT. LOVES HER WALKS.

 

SHE LOVES TO BE PETTED AND GETS ALONG WELL WITH THE OTHER DOGS.

OTIS IS KEEPING US ON OUR TOES. WE REALLY HAVE TO KEEP OUR SHOES AND REMOTES OUT OF REACH. WE LEARNED THE HARD WAY.

OTIS GOES TO THE BODY SHOP FOR FOUR HOURS A DAY. HE JUST SITS AND STARES AT THE CAT. HE LISTENS SO WELL . FRED TOOK HIM A WALK AROUND THE LAKE LAST NIGHT AND TWO GIRLS STOPPED AND HUGGED HIM AT TWO DIFFERENT TIMES. HE JUST LOVES EVERYONE.

OUR VETS KNOW HIM BY NOW JUST CAUSE I WORRY. HE GOT A REMOTE AND FRED COULDN’T FIND THE BATTERY SO WE WENT FOR AN X-RAY. A COUPLE OTHER CHECKS FOR ME. HE JUST GOES IN AND JUMPS UP AND LICKS EVERYONE. THEY ALWAYS BRING HIM BACK LAUGHING AT HIM.  HE GOES EVERYWHERE WITH FRED. HE ALWAYS WANTED A DOG TO RIDE IN THE TRUCK WITH HIM.

HOPE YOU MOVE WENT WELL.THANK YOU FOR TRUSTING US WITH YOUR FUR BABIES.

TAKE CARE

 

Ode to Otis

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ode to a dog

I might be sharing my last request to help find a home for my latest foster.  If your are looking for a dog that is looking for his person then Otis is the one.  He is a Shepard mix.  I think maybe Australian Shepard or Blue Heeler.  He definitely has the herding instinct.

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This is his write up:

Otis is a sweet boy.  He is great with dogs and kids.  He is curious about cats and will chase them if they run.  He loves to be petted and will just rest his head in your lap while you rub is very soft ears.  He has the best white spot on his chest that he also loves to have rubbed.  He is showing some characteristics of his herding breed but he knows appropriate behaviors and hasn’t tried to herd me yet.  He is high energy and while he tolerates being in the crate all day I would not recommend this life for him.  He loves going on walks and enjoys car rides.  He is very good off leash and comes back to me when called.  He is also used to being around horses and learned quickly to get out of their way.  He loves to sleep by me all night and follows me around the house all day.  He is waiting for his forever family to share his happy go lucky life with.

Check out his slo mo video to see him in action.

Thanks for sharing!

 

 

More than I could hope for…

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Sunday, February the 14th, started like any other day where I have a showing over the weekend. I woke up fed the horses then started cleaning the house and preparing for the showing.  I was so busy I worked through breakfast.  I am terrible at cleaning,  I end up doing 5 things at once and take an hour to get back to the dusting where I started.

My realtor texts me saying she  has goodies for me and asking if I be there if she shows up a little bit early.   Until that point I didn’t even know she was the showing agent.  Around 11:45 she arrives with the St Joseph statue. It is a tradition in the real estate market to bury him upside down in your yard to help you sell you home.  You can read more about it here.

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My Goodies… the chocolate sauce is made by her family.

The showing arrives as noon, just prior to that I offer to leave the farm as is traditional for the owner not to be there but she says stay, thinking they may have questions for me.  After introductions we sit down at the kitchen counter for about an hour talking about the farm, the horse boarding business, the expenses and income of running the farm.  During this time we learn more about each other.  I am selling the farm to move to California and be closer to my family.  They are a married couple looking to move out of suburban life and follow her dream of owning and running a horse farm.  (Sound familiar?)   I learned that they scoured this website to learn about the farm. They even read about Bilbo and Frodo and said they wanted donkeys and goats!

After our chat they look at the house and the property.  It was a cold day, one of the coldest yet.  We tried to see as much as we could but really didn’t want to spend much time outside.  After we got back to the house they said they are very interested and want to talk about the equipment needed to run the farm.  Can that be included in the sale?  Well I was hoping to sell it separately knowing I needed to make money off of the sale of the equipment to help with my moving costs.

After some chit chat, back and forth  and a couple  side bar conversation, they wanted to know if we could come to an agreement right then and there?  All parties now sitting again at the counter?  I am overwhelmed and in shock… Is this really happening?  Now?  So after some more discussion and coming to terms.  I am offered a deal I should not refuse and I get to pick the closing date.  In return they ask for all the farm equipment to be included in the sale.   I am alone on this decision and it is decision making time.  I look up and ask “Can I call my mom?… Of course I can call my mom… OK I will be right back.”

I go down to the basement and call my childhood home in Miami.  Please pick up… Please pick up… Answering machine.  “Hi Mom… are you there?…”  My mom picks up “Jennifer, what’s wrong?”  You see I didn’t do my usual answering machine message “Hi! It’s me…” in a sing songy tone.  “Everything is fine mom… Maybe really good”  I tell her the current situation and an abbreviated version of the showing story so far.  She said “Go for it, nothing to think about. Plus leaving all the equipment on the farm will save you the headache and hassle of trying to sell it.”

I go back up stairs and say we have a deal.  BUT the story does not end there….

Now on to the paper work.  Yes we signed the selling agreement then and there. We decided on a closing date of May 2nd.  That gives me enough time to pack up, move out and figure out where I am going and when.   I am pretty sure it was my real estate agent who said we need a drink to celebrate.  So I bring out the options: wine, beer, cider, vodka.  I am literally shaking at this point, I look at the couple who is buying my house.  His is running his hand through is hard and shaking his head.  I knew what he was thinking… Same thing as me… I cant believe we are doing this.  So I reach in to the freezer and say “Fireball anyone?”  Well that did the trick. It calmed our nerves and took the edge off.

IMG_0939The new soon to be owners for the farm are great!  Everything I could hope for in the future occupants of the farm. They are keeping everything the same.  The boarders get to stay.  The Co-Op boarding will remain the same.  They will use the same hay and feed vendors.  I learned their daughter was a big part of their decision making process and helped in the search for the perfect farm.  She told me they were in tears when they read my Bio. They will be visiting the farm several times over the next 2 months to meet the boarders and the neighbors.  We are also going to set up some mentoring sessions so I can share all I have learned in this incredible journey of living my dream of owning and running a horse boarding farm.

IMG_0940That evening they invite me to meet their daughter and his boyfriend at dinner.  I said I would love to but first of all I can’t drive because I forgot to eat today and we did a lot of “celebrating” plus I still have to do all the barn work and feed the horses.  They offer to help with the evening farm chores and drive me an hour each way to dinner.

So after blitzing the barn work and freshening up we head off, stopping by their house so they can do the same.  We walk into the restaurant where we are greeted by the owner (who they know) , they tell him the exciting news “We bought a farm and this is the current owner.” He brings Campaign to the table.  I meet their daughter and her boyfriend. They didn’t know who the additional chair at the table was for, but once her mom says we bought the farm, the daughter gives me a big hug  saying I recognized you from your website.

We had a wonderful dinner and great conversation.  I enjoyed all the courses and was so hungry not a bite was left.  After dinner they drive me home, where I crawl into bed my head whirling from the day, the champagne and holy crap I sold the farm…

 

 

Noah’s Bark

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This past Thanksgiving my parents and I were joined by my Goddaughter and her mom (my best friend since Kindergarten).

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We have a lot to be thankful this year but the biggest one is that my Goddaughter successfully completed over 2 years of Chemotherapy for leukemia and is now officially in remission.

It was her first visit back to the farm since the diagnosis and we had a wonderful day.  Riley (my flat coat retriever) was having no part of this rambunctious 4 year old. Which surprised us all because he loves people but we figured out that maybe he was being protective of me.

The one who really surprised us was Kinzer, who I introduced to you in this post.  He is my most recent foster dog and wonderful little Dachshund.  He followed her around and played with her.  We went to the barn and everyone helped with feeding the horses.

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That night we had a sleep over as her mom was getting her ready for bed they were reading a book about Noah’s ark.  Kinzer was already up on the bed with this listening to the story .  Out of no where, she said to her mom this dogs name is Noah.  So based on the recommendation of a 4 year old we renamed him Noah.

But the wonders of dogs does not end there.  Piper (my old lady boarder collie) decided to join them in bed.  She has not been on the bed in over 2 years.  I didn’t even think that she could jump up on the bed anymore, her arthritis has been bothering her recently, but sure enough there she was on the bed with them.

Dogs are wonderful creatures, sometimes I think they know more than we think they do.

 

 

Golden Spike Farm is For Sale

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So this time it is for real…  I have my eye set on the goal and fate is telling me the time is now.

I am moving to just outside of San Francisco, California to be closer to my family.

I am using this amazing Equestrian Realtor located in beautiful Bucks County, PA. Margot McKenna specializes in Equestrian, Farm and Country Property.  She turned my home upside down during the staging process but the end results are amazing.

In the following pictures before is on the left and after is on the right

Bathroom B&A kitchen B&A Bedroom B&A Living Room B&A

Here is the listing description:

Nestled beneath the trees on a private 10+ acre flag lot sits the ultra-cozy log cabin at Golden Spike Farm. This 28 year young custom log home boasts a huge open great room and kitchen and dining area, 2 beds, 1 bath, and a full size partially finished basement. Stone fireplaces stretch from floor to vaulted ceiling in both the living and dining spaces. The very large, wide open floor plan is ideal for entertaining. Master bedroom is conveniently located on the first floor adjacent to a full bathroom. Descend the stairs to a partially finished basement that has been updated with built in closets and cabinets. Ideal for a work space, “man cave”, and perfectly spacious for a private extra living space for your guests. Find a wood stove in the basement as well. Ascend the beautiful open staircase to a loft landing overlooking the first floor living spaces where the second bedroom awaits. Plenty of closet and storage space flanks the cozy second bedroom that is currently operating as a home office. The covered front porch runs the length of the cabin. In the mornings, enjoy your morning coffee overlooking animals grazing just a stone’s throw away, or on a crisp fall evening have a glass of wine sitting by a roaring fire in your built in stone fire pit. Newly built 1770 sq ft garage with large second floor loft space allows for plenty of vehicle and machine parking as well as extra storage space. A wooded brick stone laid pathway leads you to the second half of this delightful property. Here you will find a newly refurbished 8 stall barn complete with feed room, extended overhang for machine storage, water, electric, huge tack and hay loft, and an opposite side overhang serving as a run out for 4 of the stalls. Separate 2 stall run in barn is located in one of the many paddocks, as well as a separate building for dedicated shavings storage, and a 180×80 outdoor riding arena. Are you interested in operating a facility? Ask us about maintaining the client’s horses that currently reside on the property. If you are looking to have your own private cabin retreat and have your horses conveniently located just steps from your back door, then look no further. This quaint gentleman’s farmette truly has it all. Visit Golden Spike Farm today, you will be enchanted. **Private showings begin 9/28/15 by appointment only.

You can view the complete listing here.

Good Bye Sweet Donkeys

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So the farm has been very quiet lately…  We do not hear the sound of Bilbo and Frodo braying any more because we brought them to  their new home last Wednesday.

Loading was fun!  You would not believe how strong and stubborn these little guys are. There was not way we could force them on so it was coaxing with carrots, treats and grain.  After 1/2 hour we finally did get them loaded.

WP_20150805_18_35_39_Pro WP_20150805_18_35_57_Pro WP_20150805_18_36_24_Pro WP_20150805_18_36_35_ProTheir new farm is beautiful and they now have a job: to protect the farmer’s herd of sheep.  So we walked them off of the trailer and into their new pasture of lush grass.  They were very good.  Not scared and not pulling on the leads.  At the time there were only 2 sheep in a small section of the field but they are getting more.  We let them go to eat grass and explore on their own.  The happily walked away munching.

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After a little bit they came back over to us.  Gave me the opportunity to say good buy before heading back home.

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The gentleman who runs the farm was telling us a little bit about the area. They have a yearly fox hunt, something I have always wanted to do.  The best part for me was all the farms have sections of the fence with actual jumps in them so as a horseback rider on a trail ride you have access to all the land in all of the surrounding farms.  Each farm is about 100 acres, can you imagine we could ride for days!

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

~William Shakespeare

Take pains. Be perfect.

~William Shakespeare

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Though she be but little, she is fierce!

~William Shakespeare

The course of true love never did run smooth.

~William Shakespeare

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Lord, what fools these mortals be!

~William Shakespeare

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And yet,to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.

~William Shakespeare

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My soul is in the sky.

~William Shakespeare

Going Bitless?

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I have all these bits from when I was riding as a teen. Two examples are:

  • Slow twisted snaffle
  • Double copper twisted snaffle

I decided this week that I wasn’t going to use these.  They are too harsh and don’t need them.

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Riding Bitless – I found this article that makes a lot of sense http://www.thinklikeahorse.org/index-7.html  I still use bits but try to use the least harsh ones.  So it has me thinking I wonder how Apple would do with a bitless bridle.  He is the one that like to go fast.

Maybe I will try out that bosal I am selling on him.

Summer Clear out – Selling a few things

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Everything is Horse sized (unless noted otherwise) if you need exact lengths I can measure. If you want more detailed pictures let me know. Everything is negotiable and package deals are encouraged

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Halters and leads

Lead line with chains Green and black $5 each
Red halter with lead $10
Blue halter $5
Fly guard attaches like a headband to halter $5 each
Leather Halter with brown and white with lead $30
leather show halter with silver pices $30
leather halter $20

Mini or Foal things

Western cinch 20 inches $10
fly mask foal sized $15
Halter foal sized $10
Western Saddle blanket $10
Brown mini nylon bridle with matching breast plate, brand new $20
Black and Purple pony nylon bridle with matching breast plate, brand new $20

Bridle related

Bosal – braided rawhide $20
Nose band with braided rawhide $15
Cheek pieces of a bridle with braided rawhide $10
Noseband Regular $10
Noseband dropped with matching headband $15
Figure 8 noseband $20
Noseband Regular $20
Western Headstall needs rivets $20
Western head band $5
English smooth reins dark brown $20
English smooth reins light brown $20
Western barrel reins with suede $20

Saddle related

running martingale $20
standing martingale $20
English breast plate $30
leather latigo $10
nylon latigo $5

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