I thought I would stop writing but I found there is just too much going on “NOT” to write! As a new business owner, I am sure life on the ranch will provide me with many stories. We are in the process of purchasing a ranch up the road in which I will run a horse boarding business while renting the house out to the girls from MSU who take equine courses. We couldn’t have made a better business venture! Please find my Facebook Page “Grace Reins Ranch” and you can keep up with photos and videos and new things happening.
Today, I arrived at the ranch early and found Mika eagerly greeting me. I took a few photos of her and then we took a selfie together. Have you ever tried to take a selfie with a horse? My arms just aren’t long enough!
I have been to the ranch a few times to help the girls who rent the house feed the horses and also clean the stalls. I have been trying to determine between the chestnut horses with dark mane (there are four) and tell them apart and that takes time.
I thought I had the feeding routine down okay with at least the two horses out in the far left field, so before Brittany came out, I grabbed their feed bucket and took them out to Rowdy and Squirt. Rowdy has huge feet! He keeps the front part of the pasture VERY muddy! My Wellies got stuck and I literally had to take both hands and pry my leg up out of the muck!
I made it out to their feeding area and dumped the feed into their buckets and trudged back through the sinking mud. There was one bucket left and since the three buckets were stored in the big bin that holds the ‘senior feed’, I assumed the other bucket was for Betty – the senior horse. I took what I thought was her bucket to where I thought she was in the stall. But I got her and Sonya mixed up. AND the bucket I had was “Tangos”. Luckily, Tango and Sonya get the same feed so it wasn’t really a big deal, but it helped me to learn which horses buckets are in which bin ready to feed.
Whew. I was glad Brittany was able to help me with the rest. I felt ready – but still a bit uneasy about what a few of the horses got in their feed and she let me mix up the evening buckets. It helps to learn ‘why’ and also to do it hands-on.
I got to know Brittany as we chatted on this beautiful spring-like day in January while cleaning out the stalls. I feel like I was finally getting down the routine that I had done a couple of times while watching and it was becoming more familiar.
As Candy, the owner of Brier Creek and I are transitioning for me to be the owner and me changing the name to Grace Reins, (she will keep Brier Creek business and join it with her other farm McCoy farms) I will keep three of her boarders with me and also keep renting to the girls who rent the house. It all works out so nicely!
I will wait to buy my own horse for now as I learn all the cost it will take and see what earnings come in. There is a chance that I may be given the pony “Squirt” though that is yet to be determined as someone in Louisville may take him and had first dibs. I still couldn’t help it – I was excited at the prospect of it and went out to Stateline Ranch and Home in Hazel to get a halter and lead rope for him. If I don’t get to keep him, we will have an extra one or it can wait until I do get a horse.
I also saw a two-seater pine bench rocker that I thought would be great to have outside of the barn. I met a new friend named Linda at the store and she offered to have me come ride with her on her ranch sometime. She helped me get the bench inside my Jeep and I stopped by Jason’s work so he could follow me over to the ranch and help me unload it.
It went nicely on the outside. I could tell I used a few muscles today that I have not used in the last four years when I was writing for the online news. But it was a great feeling!
I joked to Candy and the girls that it almost feels as though Jason and I are coming into the ranch like “Green Acres”.
When we made the deal to buy the ranch, we had just come from church and were in our good clothes as Candy showed us what she was leaving with us at the ranch (before we headed to our house to discuss things). As she spouted off the many things we would need to know – some of it was overwhelming and she could tell that we would most likely have her number on speed-dial for future questions.
Jason and I are not new to farms as we both have been on relatives farms as youngsters and in both of our jobs, we dealt with farmers – but we have never owned a ranch with horses. I have ridden all my life, but always with someone elses horse, so as an owner – it is really different.
We are excited about our new venture and hope that you will follow along as we beginners are learning the ropes!