Apple Jacks’ Leaving Day

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Last but not least Apple goes to his new farm.

Apple was rescued from the auction lot in New Jersey.  He came to us like the other rescues, not knowing a thing about him. It took us a while to discover what an amazing trail horse he is.  He has to lead but he is a fearless leader. Nothing spooked him and he would go through or over anything I asked.

One time we were riding through our friend’s woods and got turned around as to the direction we needed to go to get back to the barn.  I gave Apple his head and he guided us out; without a second thought we were back on the trail.

Apple as been half leased for over a year now by an amazing kid. She started doing lessons with me and gradually got so good that she was doing lessons on Apple. It was love at first ride.  Apple is a little speed rocket in the ring.  Just the challenge she needed.

So her family agreed to buy Apple from me when I finally sold the farm.  This day came in April.  I had other plans that Friday evening so could not be there.  This is what her mom sent me with the leaving day pics.

Hey there! A few pictures for you from Apple’s move day yesterday. Sorry we missed you, but also understand you not really wanting to be there. He did well. A slight hesitation in his step just before getting into the trailer, but after that, he walked right in and made the trip down the road just fine. We stayed at the new farm with him for a couple hours last night, and then Lauren was right back there at 9am this morning to make sure all was well. He has some good friends already, including another appaloosa! So far so good!

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Visiting Casey

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Casey the Wonder Pony

Last month I received a message through Golden Spike Farm’s Facebook page from a girl who used to ride Casey apparently they called him the wonder pony.  She was glad to have found out where he ended up and how good he is doing.  Social media is a crazy world where it is so much easier to make we can make connections.

As part of my getting ready to leave PA I decided to take Casey’s new owners up and visit him and them.  Casey is doing so good and is spoiled rotten by his new family.  It was good to see him, go for a ride around the ring and say good bye to the old guy.


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The other purpose of the visit was to deliver to them my dining room table.  I helped them bring their old Kitchen table and chairs out to the curb for free pick up.  Then we decided to sit at the table and proceeded to pretend to eat, drink and wave at cars.


What’s Happening

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So it has been a while since my last post.  I am so crazy busy with trying to go from a 10 acre farm full of stuff to a 2 bedroom condo.  That is a lot of stuff to find a new home for.

I grateful for my Saturday morning rides.  At least I am getting on once or twice a week to clear my head.  I seem to be taking more pictures lately.  I think I am trying to capture memories as my next life will be quite different.

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Recently I proclaimed my personal hash tag to be #neveradullmoment.  The Farm never lets me down on that one.  So I go out to the barn to feed after work to fine George and Heather in the wrong pasture by the main barn.  IMG_1205The gate was busted open into George and heather’s pasture.

Warlock was in Heather’s stall. Strange scenario. IMG_1207Not sure how or why one of the three main barn horses broke the gate latch and opened the gate between them.IMG_1206

My Parents are in town for Easter and to help with the packing and sorting.  This past Saturday was another beautiful day for horsie selfies and my mom came out to say hi.

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Other good news… Otis found a great home!  He is going to be a spoiled rotten fur baby for a wonderful couple.


We were telling them about Piper and how she is doing great but has basically lost her vision and hearing from old age. I had made the hard decision that it would not be fair to take her across country.  I was thinking she maybe too old to find a new home for and there are not many people willing to take on an old lady. Otis’ new family asked to meet her and said they would be willing to take her if I can’t find a local home for her.  I feel such a sense of relief.  Of all the good I have done fostering dogs this past year has come back to me 10 fold.  Karma!

What’s your story?

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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.


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…



Goodbye Sunbun

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After being with us for almost 4 years we said goodbye to Sunbun.  Check out this arrival post here.

He is such a good boy and will definitely be missed.  Especially his treat face… he tilts his head sideways, stretches his neck and puckers his lips whenever there are treats around.


This slide show is from his leaving day.  SB’s mom said he is doing good in his new farm and was a good boy during transport.

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A Calf Runs Through It

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So the other day I look out my office window (upstairs of my house) to see people walking through my woods.  A showing was here at the same time so I popped my head out to find out if it was them.  The individuals from the showing spoke to those walking through my property.  They said a calf escaped from a neighbor’s property and was running through my farm.

I went to feed that evening to find the horses still freaked out about the intruder.  I called them for dinner and they wouldn’t  come up.


So I walked a little closer


They were all just staring at me. I have never had them not want to come up for dinner so I walked out to them.


Finally Apple was like “oh hey Mom,  OK I trust you and will follow you back to the barn for dinner”

IMG_0047But Chex needed a special invitation.  I had to walk back to get him, he was getting upset everyone was leaving him but was still too freaked out to go with them.

IMG_0049They all successfully came to the barn to eat dinner but it took a little while even after that to calm down.  I had no idea they would be that upset by a little cow.

The next morning all was well on the farm and I was feeling nostalgic for the farm and realizing the beauty of it and that I was leaving it all behind.  I took these pictures of George with the morning sun coming up behind him.

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Updates on the re-homed

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Cuervo is loved by his new family in NJ.  He seems to be fitting right in and doing really well.

CuervoCasey is enjoying semi-retirement, as he doesn’t have to do lessons anymore.  His new owner could not be happier with him.  He is best buddy is a grey named Ricochet. The two graze side-by-side, hang out in the same stall, and when one is taken from the other, they whinny and pace to get back together.

image1 image2Bilbo and Frodo are taking their time settling into their new home. They are being a little head strong and skittish for their new owner.  She was having trouble moving them from from one location to the next so she tried a training flag.  They flipped out when they saw it and tried to kill the flag like a dog would.  She said it was pretty funny and she had never seen anything like it. Luckily they have each other because the horses and cats on the farm are scared of them.  Hopefully they all will warm up to each other.


Away you go Warlock

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Chex and Warlock are father and son they belong to my neighbor.


Warlock has been with us since he was two and was broke to ride while here.  Unfortunately he is just not being utilized they way he should be so on Saturday he went to Rachael’s Rebel Ridge Farm for additional training, finishing and fine tuning his manner.  (He was getting a little pushy on the farm.)

This is what Rachael had to say about his arrival “Yesterday, Warlock was brought down to Rebel Ridge Farm. Warlock is a 4 year old Arabian Paint cross who will be trained for a few more months to get some extra miles on him.
He was first introduced to Rugar and Dalton over the fence and then they were all put out to pasture together. As you can see in the pictures, Rugar was a lot more interested then Dalton.”

Rachael thought Dalton remembered him from when Dalton used to live at GSF.

So Dad Chex is left behind.  He seems to be coping fine.  Yesterday he came over to help me and we snapped a selfie.


Dreams of Nash

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Last night in that half awake half asleep state I thought of Nash. He was walking beside me breathing on my hand.  This was the way we always walked.  I had my right hand on his lead and his nose was up against my hand.  I could feel his warm breath.  I have  had a few horses through out my life but I never felt as connected to one as much has Nash.  Maybe it was because I truly rescued him and he came from an abusive past that he felt safe at GSF and knew he was home.  The grieving process is interesting, I have had a blessed life with out a lot of the loss of those closest to me, but I can honestly say I am still grieving the loss of my Nash.

This past Saturday after we finished working on the new fence my friend’s and BF surprised me with a beautiful collage of my favorite pictures of Nash.  I feel truly grateful to have such awesome pictures of him taken by Judy and given to the farm as a donation to his hernia fund.  (Here is the original plog post about it.)  The pictures captured his heart and I will treasure them forever.

We were all coming up from the back field.  Bringing the ATVs and Tractors back up to the barn.  They were all acting a little suspicious as the BF was trying to intentionally slow me up and not rush through the barn.  He had me “help” put the tractor away (he didn’t need any help). I heard him check with my friends that they would meet us on the other side of the barn.  As I walked in I noticed all of them gathered at the far end of the barn.  I knew something was up, but for the life of me couldn’t figure out what.  Then they presented me with this:WP_20141020_16_08_03_Pro__highres

I could not believe they had all done this for me.  So quickly after his passing and it even included his name plate from his stall door.  I was so blown away that tears started streaming down my eyes.   They all came in for a group hug and I noticed a glimmer of tears in some of their eyes too.  Thank you all for this beautiful gift!  I will treasure it forever.  I look at it every day as it hangs on the wall beside the front door in the great room.

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