Equine Kingdom Riding Academy Progress

On May 13, 2010, Matt and Sally Cochran purchased a 7.5 acre piece of property located at 3809 SE School Rd, Greensboro, NC, 27406. This farm will be come their dream farm, given lots of time, TLC, and money!

SCROLL DOWN FOR PICTURES AND PROGRESS REPORTS!!!!

I'm going to have to add another page soon! I'm almost out of room on this page! Enjoy!

See page 2 - starting 11/11/2010

DAY 150 OF WORK - 11/10/2010 - Wednesday
Marked out the area for the posts where the new barn will go! Hooray!

got the area for the new section of electric fencing and gates marked out and measured. Got 6 posts put in, and 3 horizontal posts put in as well - those suckers are NOT moving, I'll tell you that much! It was a lot of work getting that done, though.

Got hinges for the new stall doors, got more buckets and bucket hangars in the mail today.

Chris dug a HUGE hole in the ground (about 15 feet deep!) and buried a whole bunch of tree stumps in it. Apparently, being buried so deep, it preserves them, so they won't rot. Then he got the whole area smoothed over so it looks nice. He also spent a lot of time cleaning up the mess in the pastures - raking up branches, roots, etc and putting them on the burn pile. Ron got to take a whole bunch of metal junk from the area where the new driveway will be, so that helped clear that up a bit, and made a little less work for us.

Got 4 wheelbarrows full of roots and sticks cleaned up and dumped in the fire pit.  
DAY 149 OF WORK - 11/9/2010 - Tuesday
  The dirt pad for the new barn got completed today! Had to dig a HUGE hole out of the pasture, but that has its advantages, as the huge dug-up stumps can be put into the hole and covered up. That'll keep us from having to burn them all!


Got the horizontal 6" boards put on the back of the barn today, plus got the battens started for nearly all of the side of Aislinn's stall.

Got 7 wheelbarrows of roots and sticks picked up and dumped in the fire pit.

Unloaded fence posts from truck.

Went to Lowes AGAIN and got more fencing materials - not sure how much we'll need, but I want to be prepared!
DAY 148 OF WORK - 11/8/2010 - Monday
  Cleaned up a bunch of roots and sticks.

Got the tracks put up on the front opening of the barn!


Got more posts at Lowes, plus more electric fencing materials and fence staples, etc.

Got Misc small stuff done around the farm.
DAY 147 OF WORK - 11/7/2010 - Sunday
  Bought Dublin, one of the boarders' horses, today for use as a lesson horse. Will be changing her name to Gemini, as it's "girlier" and everyone thinks that she's a boy because of her name.

Got lots of cleanup done around the barn. Got several wheelbarrow loads of sticks and roots carried over to the fire.

Went to Southern States and got tracks, rollers, and hangers for the sliding barn doors. Also got two 8' gates, 11 wooden fence posts, and lots of electric fencing tools and pieces for putting in a new section of fence around the new barn.


Got the battens on the back side of the barn completed.

Harvey Friddle (www.friddlewood.com) delivered yet another load of wood - almost $900 worth! Check it out!
DAY 146 OF WORK - 11/6/2010 - Saturday
Got a new huge round bale of hay moved into the hay barn and started.

Got stuff at Lowes.

Got the round pen panels brought in from the road, and hung a swing up for the kids (and parents!) to play on. Got the jetskis covered up.


Looked for sliding barn door tracks at Northern Tools, but they didn't carry them, so we'll have to go to Southern States. 
DAY 145 OF WORK - 11/5/2010 - Friday
Gutters got put up along the front long side of the barn today! It looks fantastic!

Chris got the rest of the area between our two driveways cleared out - and smoothed the ground over & filled in a bunch of holes as well. It's amazing how much open space there is now! However, the neighbors on the corner have a WHOLE bunch of junk on our property - and I mean a LOT - old fence panels, glass, metal, junk, burn pile, treehouse, and lots more. Ugh - will have to go over tomorrow and find out if they'll move everything so we can finish clearing the area.


Got the stuff at the pool burned today - including the HUGE pile of trees that we had stacked there. it took Matt & me 30 minutes just to put all of them in, with both of us working non-stop!

Ron took some of the scrap metal away today, thank goodness! It's just turning up all over the place.

Chris & Ron got the area for the new barn leveled out, by adding new dirt and getting everything smoothed out and packed down. Yay! Not quite done, though - still got some left to do.

Posts delivered!!
DAY 144 OF WORK - 11/2/2010 - Tuesday
got a huge load of shavings delivered today - about 20 yards worth! Chris used his cute little Bobcat to shove them into the shavings stall (thanks Chris!!). I don't think two loads are going to fit in there! We'll have to wait for the second (paid-for) load to be delivered after we get stall mats and shavings put in the horses' stalls.  


Got about 8 more HUGE oak trees knocked over in the pasture, pastures got cleared up a lot.


Got about half of the remaining section of battens done - only about 1/4 left to do on the back side of the barn!!


Got the posts ordered for the new barn! They will be delivered tomorrow. the rest of the wood for the barn is also on its way, being cut. Once the ground is finished being leveled, we'll go ahead and set the posts to begin framing.

Got tin at Lowes for the roof!
DAY 143 OF WORK - 11/1/2010 - Monday
Got about half of the battens on the back side of the barn done, including the corner that's messed up and had a huge gap. Matt got the crunched- up corner of the barn fixed, plus got some cleanup done around the barn.


Chris got the pastures cleaned up a lot, got more stuff burned, and cleared out a bunch more trees from down in the bushy section.


Got two truckloads of roots, brush, leaves, and junk picked up from the former dry lot behind the barn.
DAY 142 OF WORK - 10/29/2010 - Friday
Got more battens done on the back of the barn today, got cleanup done around the barn.


More trees got knocked down, and Chris got almost the entire section of woods down at the bottom of the property cleared! HUGE bonfire, lots of clearing got done. 


Got the two big trees hanging over the barn knocked over! We didn't want the trees with the huge branches hanging over the barn anymore, so they got taken out. One of them crunched up the corner of the barn, but the damage was very minor - mostly just squished tin that was easy to straighten out.
DAY 141 OF WORK - 10/28/2010 - Thursday
Matt got the rest of the front of the barn done! The whole front of the barn is finally complete - battens and all! It looks fantastic!

Since we took the dry lot down yesterday, Chris spent the day knocking trees down back there - he got just about all the marked trees knocked over (actually he may have gotten them all, but it was dark by the time I went back and looked!). He showed me how to take apart/put together an electric fence, and we peeled the fence back and took some of the posts out so we wouldn't have to worry about knocking the trees over onto the fence.

Digging around the roots of a hickory tree.                                                      CHOMP!         

Turnout was interesting today! We moved the watering trough into the riding arena and rearranged things so they couldn't get into anything, then we're doing turnout there 4 horses at a time. We left the fence down for the night since a bunch more work is getting done tomorrow, including a big tree that's hanging over the barn - Chris is going to put a rope on it and pull it over!


A large tree that's in the way of the new section of building got taken out today - it tried to fall over onto the barn but Chris did a REALLY good job of making sure it fell in the correct direction! In fact, it fell onto the concrete wash pad, didn't damage it a bit - the big knot on the tree fell directly into the hole in the concrete pad, and the curve in the tree went right around the two metal poles as if it was planned that way!



It's absolutely amazing how much room there is back there now! I walked up to the corner gate at the far end of the pasture, and when looking back across the pasture, it's phenomenal how much SKY and room there is in the pasture now!

Chris also got the big pile of brush in the pasture burned today - and not only the stuff that was there, but also the branches from ALL the trees he felled today, and a TON of trees and brush from the large area down by the fence that needs cleared.



This is what the area being cleared looks like


Chris got another tree close to the barn  - the one that we had to build Jitterbug's stall around - cut down. It had fun smushing one of the poles on the wash pad. :)

DAY 140 OF WORK - 10/27/2010 - Wednesday
The weather has rained on our work for the last two days!  It's also been EXTREMELY windy - wind gust up to and over 25mph! The good thing about all the wind, though, is that it finally prompted us to fix the roof - when we started out putting the roof on the horse barn, we didn't nail all the pieces in all the way, thinking we'd go back over them later. Problem is, it turned out to be a lot more difficult to walk on the roof than we thought, so we never went back and fixed them. The wind popped a piece of tin up out of place, though, so Matt got up there and put all the rest of the nails in so the roof is nice and firm now - no flapping, bouncing tin anymore!

No tree work has gotten done this week yet, because of the wind and rain. However, Chris is going to start taking down the trees in the dry lot tomorrow. In preparation for this, I rolled up all the wires from the fences, pulled all the posts out of the ground, got all the pieces taken off walls and posts and trees, etc. Now it's all ready to get trees knocked over, so we can start working on our new barn!

As mentioned in the previous post, we are going to build a new 7-stall barn with a tack room - slightly smaller than the one we have now, and it won't have an aisle - instead, the stalls will be back-to-back.

Went and bought an auger and an 8" bit at Lowes today, plus a new gas can and filled it with gas in prep for hole-work! Also got colored duct tape at Walmart to fix the holes in the horses blankets - they may not have any yet, but it's inevitable!

Remember the big pile of dirt and hay where the old hay barn used to be? Matt and I spent the afternoon clearing that up - we filled in all the holes, collapsed all the gopher tunnels we could find, scooped up all the old hay and twine and boards and crap, and put it all in the truck to dump in the fire pit.


A big branch got blown off one of the maples last night, plus lots of smaller branches all over the place. Got that thrown in the fire pit, as well as lots of other trash and junk that has surfaced around the farm over time.


Got another tarp put over the round bales sitting out by the hay barn, got all the horses stalls cleaned, got another load of dirt added to Jitterbug's stall, plus built up the front of Zelda's stall so that it doesn't get water drained into it when it rains.

Since every time there's even the slightest of breezes blowing through the barn, the eraser and pens fall off the dry erase board, I made a little wooden holder for them and put it in the corner for easy access. I also created a money box that will have a hinged lid and a slot in the top for people to drop their money off in if I'm not here and they forgot to pay me, they can drop it off.


Cleaned up the entire riding arena - moved all the equipment to the sides of the arena, set up a nice pattern in the arena with poles and a cones and pulled up all the rest of the baling twine from the arena! Yay! I finally got smart and did it right after a drenching rain.


Cleaned all the stalls twice today! I got smart on this too - when the horses are in their stalls, it's very difficult to clean them because they walk over to the door and try to escape out under the stall guard.  I installed eye hooks in each stall for a tie ring so that they can't just walk out - it worked perfectly for every horse!

Installed two more bucket holders and put an extra water bucket in Mystique and Dublin's stalls., plus hung Prissy's bucket up in the shavings shed, where she's staying for the time being until we get a stall built for Parker.

Got shavings put in Zelda & Enoch's stalls. Got 9 new sets of supplements measured out and stacked for the next 9 days! Also fixed parker's blanket from where she mutilated it by running all over it and tearing it up. :)
DAY 139 OF WORK - 10/25/2010 - Monday
Got new stuff in the mail today!! I ordered a child's manure fork (only twelve dollars!), barn door guards - web guards just like the ones on the stall doors, but these for the aisles!, lots of Vetrap, and a girth extender, a new English girth that matches my show saddle better than the other one, bandage/twine cutters, and another martingale for the next time Prissy's breaks.

I got the Aisle guards put up on both ends of the aisle, got shavings put in Zelda's stall to help soak up the wet from the rain.


Planned out the entire new section of stalls that we're going to build! It's going to be two rows of stall, back to back. It' will be completely enclosed, with Dutch doors on top and bottom for each stall. The middle will be all battens, vertical, so the horses can see/interact with each other and it won't be like being shut up in a big box. There will be seven stalls and a tack room!

got all the lumber specs figured out for that, plus sent off the list to Harvey Friddle, our wonderful sawmill guy.

Got shavings ordered - they will be delivered next week sometime. Got the stall mat dimensions sent in - hopefully we'll get those sometime next week, too!
DAY 138 OF WORK - 10/22/2010 - Friday
Got almost all the rest of the battens put on the end of the barn! that includes both top and bottom pieces.

Spent most of the evening preparing the horses for a show on Saturday at Flintrock Farm.
DAY 137 OF WORK - 10/21/2010 - Thursday
Worked on battens, cleaned up around the farm. got tools organized.

Got outdoor arena lights put up!!!!!


Chris got the section where the new driveway will be cleared all the way over to the other side. There's a huge dip in part of the land - Chris is going to scrape it in so it's more level than it is now.
DAY 136 OF WORK - 10/20/2010 - Wednesday

Chris and Ron came out and worked all morning on knocking trees over and cutting them up. They got probably 15 or more large trees cut down out in the pasture - which made a LOT more area on the ground for the sun to reach the ground! It looks absolutely fantastic! We got a driveway alert system put in so that we know when people are coming down the driveway - kind of an alarm system, if you will. Matt got the oil changed in the truck and got the radiator flushed - hopefully that will take care of it's overheating problem! Every time I haul the horses somewhere, it ends up being too much for the truck and it overheats big-time. Can't have that happening going to all these shows! Got burned motor oil painted on the horses' stalls today to keep them from chewing the new pine wood - which they apparently absolutely love to do! Since we couldn't turn the horses out in the pasture tonight or today because of all the work going on out there, we did a lot of barn chores and horse switch-eroos today in the dry lot, and had to keep them supplied with plenty of hay to keep them happy. Got the rest of the electrical stuff and tools cleaned up, got the barn raked, and lots of other small cleanup stuff. I'll have to fix the hose tomorrow - there is a huge hole in it from getting run over with the truck and tow chain and trees yesterday. How annoying.
DAY 135 OF WORK - 10/19/2010 - Tuesday

Made a hose hanger out of wood so that the hose won't get stepped on, run over, or anything of that matter while it's laying on the ground. We'll see how long I actually take the time to coil it up.


Chris came back out and knocked over the giant oak tree (boy you should see how much SKY there is up there now!), and got a lot more clearing done back in the area going over to our other driveway. Matt and I spent most of our afternoon clearing thorns and small trees out down in the pasture. We got probably over a hundred little trees cut down - most of them anywhere from 2 inches in diameter to 10 inches in diameter.

We used the tow chain on the truck to haul the larger stuff up to the pool to burn.

Yesterday I put an ad on Craigslist for horse manure that people can take for free - and three sets of people came out and got some today! We now have three truckloads less of manure behind the barn!

Got holes drilled in three saddles, for the stirrup leathers. got branches picked up around the farm, from the pasture, and other places as well.

Started getting all the stuff in the barn cleaned up from the electrical stuff this past weekend.
DAY 134 of WORK - 10/18/2010 - Monday
We got the fire started today and burnt all the current junk in it, plus got about 3 truckloads of branches and small trees hauled over to it and burnt. We got to use the new tow chain for the truck, which helped immensely! Chris wasn't here to cut trees down today, so we ended up just working back in the area that he was, using the chainsaw to cut down a bunch of the smaller trees and carry them to the pool to burn. We actually got a decent section cleared out, too!

Got the hoses fixed - put new ends on 4 different ends, plus fixed a massive hole in one of the hoses, got a new nozzle put on, and once everything was hooked up, got it all stretched out and working properly again!


Got a new supplement feeding solution worked out, cleaned up the tack room, got more electrical stuff done such as putting a new sensor on one of the floodlights, putting on switch plate covers, etc.

The new wheelbarrow tire went flat again, so we replaced it with a never-go-flat tire from Lowes - what a wonderful invention! The best part about it is the lettering on the side of the tire that says "Not For Highway Use". haha!

 
DAY 133 OF WORK - 10/17/2010 - Sunday
Finished up all the electrical work at the barn! We now have working lights in the aisle (5 in the main part of the barn, two in the tack room), lights in every stall that are controlled by their own switch, switches that turn on a ceiling mounted outlet at every stall (for fans in the summer!), and a covered outlet at every stall for things like heated buckets and clippers. There are triple floodlights on the corner of the barn, big floodlights on each side of the barn, and a pretty little light by the front door of the tack room.
DAY 132 OF WORK - 10/16/2010 - Saturday
Got the hay barn wired with lights, got most of the outlets and switches put in, and more!!! Thanks DAD!!! We really appreciate all your work!!

DAY 131 OF WORK - 10/15/2010 - Friday
Another day of electrical work! Got all the aisle lights and tack room lights working, got a light put up on the front of the barn, got floodlights put up at each corner of the barn and big floodlights on each side of the barn for extra light. Hooray for having a dad who knows how to do all this! Got more tree knocked down and more branches dragged to the pool.





DAY 130 OF WORK - 10/14/2010 - Thursday
Matt and my father, Kirt Blattenberger (www.rfcafe.com), spent just about the entire day putting lights up in the barn! They got all the light fixtures put up for the center aisle lights and the lights in the tack room.  Lots of wires got run all over the place, and some switch boxes got put in. Almost have lights!!





More trees got cut/knocked down, the brush pile grew larger. We tried to get one of the piles burnt, but it just wouldn't light.
DAY 129 OF WORK - 10/13/2010 - Wednesday

Cleaned up the farm - picked stuff up, moved stuff around, generally made the place look really nice for my parents' visit for the week/weekend.
DAY 128 OF WORK - 10/12/2010 - Tuesday
Finished digging the trench, laid the wire, and filled everything back in.


Finished the side of Enoch's stall.
Cleaned up stuff from the dry lot.
DAY 127 OF WORK - 10/11/2010 - Monday
Almost finished digging the 1.5 ft deep trench for the wire from the horse barn to the hay barn.
Split and hauled and stacked two more loads of wood out at the front of the house. I certainly don't think we're going to run out any time soon!

Hauled all the shavings from the old woodshed out to the new one.

Got the manure pile raked out flat, and got the tin taken down off the roof of the woodshed and taken around behind the hay barn and stacked.

Got the woodshed/old shavings storage shed torn down and thrown in the pool! Chris was nice enough to pull the darn thing down with his excavator - which took all of thirty seconds to knock it completely flat. :)

Got the area where the woodsed was cleaned up of nails and stuff, also cleaned up a bunch of branches and stuff from the area that's being cleared. more tree work got done today, too - lots more trees got knocked down and cut up.
DAY 126 OF WORK - 10/10/2010 - Sunday
Started digging the trench for the electrical wire to run from the barn to the hay/storage barn. Got 14 HUGE 1200 lb round bales delivered, stacked, covered, and put in the hay barn.
Put two round bales in the pastures for the horses to munch on. Got a wire run across the dry lot, splitting it into two sections so Parker can't eat hay ALL day long.
DAY 125 OF WORK - 10/9/2010 - Saturday
Picked up Parker, a new boarder, from McLeansville and got her all settled in. Got hay bales stacked and then moved to a different part of the barn.  Got the porch cleaned up and things organized in the tack room.
DAY 124 OF WORK - 10/8/2010 - Friday
Cut/split/hauled two more loads of wood. Picked up a trenching shovel At Lowes.
DAY 123 OF WORK - 10/7/2010 - Thursday
 Started getting the wood split and hauled from the old rickety woodshed over to the house! Wes split and hauled three truckloads of wood. Picked up all the electrical stuff at Lowes to get our barn wired next week!
DAY 122 OF WORK - 10/6/2010 - Wednesday
Heavy machinery arrived today to knock trees down! Chris let me drive the excavator down into the pasture, and showed me how to snap branches off trees! It was really cool!!

They got a LOT of trees cleared out and chopped/stacked up, and there is a HGUE pile of debris in the center of the pasture now! Gonna have a big bonfire soon!

A gentleman that restores rustic buildings came out to look at the old hay barn, and he's going to take the entire thing down and haul it away free of charge b/c we're letting him have the wood. Hooray!

We got another few layers of battens on the front of the barn today, which covered up most of the big gaps along the front side of the barn. It looks fantastic! 
DAY 121 OF WORK - 10/5/2010 - Tuesday
Duke Energy came today and dug the trenches and laid out the cables for the outdoor arena lights! Hooray - soon we'll have lights so we can ride after dark if we want to!

Someone came today to start cutting down trees - he only cut one down and cut it up and took it away, but that's  a start, and one less tree we have to do ourselves! he's going to use it for firewood.

This is what the treeline looks like now.

We got another 30 bales of hay delivered today and put up in the hay barn

The horses all started wearing their blankets today because it's in the 40's at night here now, and they're getting extra hay at night now too.

Matt started getting the battens put on the front end of the barn today. We also got the barn-width-long 6 inch board put up over the gap in the top & bottom pieces of the boards.

We burned the stuff that was in the pool and went ahead and filled it back up with brush and tree branches for burning again soon.

I started clearing out the area over by the horse trailer where guys will be coming to do tree work/clearing around the farm, and got a lot of stuff cut out. 
DAY 120 OF WORK - 10/4/2010 - Monday
Got the final wall put up on the hay barn today, at the very end - the bay where the shavings will go. Got the walls put up inbetween all three bays, as well as the divider boards. Yay, the hay barn in complete in under two weeks! Go us!!! (yes, the roof DOES slope up a few inches on the end - if you really care, you can ask me about it)


Got the flat tire on the wheelbarrow fixed.

Removed the remaining hay from the old nasty hay barn and put it in the new one! We also got all the tools and hardware moved out of the tack room into the new equipment section of the barn. We got Matt's dog agility stuff from Jeanne's house on Saturday night, and we unloaded it all there this afternoon.


We got latches put up for all three gates this afternoon so the horses can't get into them or the gates can't randomly decide to swing open of their own accord.


COMING UP: Tuesday - people are coming out to start chopping trees down and taking them away (lots of trees getting cleared from our farm to allow for more light to get to the ground to grow grass for the pastures), and Duke Energy is going to dig the trenches and lay the cable for the outdoor arena lights!. We will also get another load of about 100 bales of hay delivered.
Coming up in the next few weeks: lots of trees getting kicocked down/taken away, path getting cleared from one driveway over to the other, stall mats getting installed, stalls getting leveled out, shavings being delievered, old hay
DAY 119 OF WORK - 10/3/2010 - Sunday
Got 200 bales of hay delivered and put up in our new Hay barn!


Got the rest of the back wall put on the hay barn.

DAY 118 OF WORK - 10/2/2010 - Saturday
Got the last two gates put up on the front of the barn. Got part of the back wall of tin put up - about 12 feet worth.


Dug out the entire bottom of Enoch's and Zelda's stalls - they both got flooded with all the rain we had last week, and not only did the shavings get soaked, but the dirt did, too. It took about 25 wheelbarrow loads to get it all out! then Matt and I took a bunch of the dirt from the pile behind the barn and filled in/leveled out Zelda's stall so that water hopefully won't be able to drain into it anymore - we built the level of the floor up about 6-8 inches - 12 wheelbarrows worth!
DAY 117 OF WORK - 10/1/2010- Friday
Got the front half of the barn roof completed today

Started getting tin put up - got the front and side wall closest to the house completed, and got about half of the back row of tin put up on the roof.

Sprayed stuff on Zelda's stall to try to keep her from Chewing on the walls. Switched Enoch & Zelda's stalls so that Enoch gets the corner stall, where he is more social and happier, and Zelda can't as easily reach out and bite passing horses.
DAY 116 OF WORK - 9/30/2010 - Thursday
Got the rest of the back half of the tin roof completed. Picked up the gates from Lowes and installed one of them.

Covered the remaining wood with tarps to keep it from getting too wet. Moved one of the piles of wood so Duke Engery can get to it to dig lines for the outdoor arena lights.


talked to a guy about getting stall mats ordered for the horses' stalls, also talked to someone about getting shavings delivered for the new hay barn.
DAY 115 OF WORK - 9/29/2010 - Wednesday

Lunged Aislinn & Mystique outside in the pouring down rain this afternoon - had to clean up the arena afterwards, but hey - it was fun. ;0

I spent about 4 hours cleaning out the entire tack room, even the locker! Everything is nice and neat and clean and organized now! Hooray!
DAY 114 OF WORK - 9/28/2010 - Tuesday
Started getting the side pieces put up on the hay barn to attach the tin to. Matt got the rest of the vertical pieces put on the roof and started getting the purlins put up. Rained all day Sunday & Monday so we didn't get to do any work.



Picked up branches/sticks from the storm
DAY 113 OF WORK - 9/25/2010 - Saturday
Didn't do any work on the farm today, really - had a HUGE fundraiser for the farm because we're getting arena lights put in and that will cost $2000 over the next couple of years! It will also help to offset the cost of buying all the horses new winter blankets, and buy shavings and winter hay for the horses.
DAY 112 OF WORK - 9/24/2010 - Friday
Got the remaining 2x4x10's put up on the roof, and got about 30 sheets of tin for the roof to put up when it's ready. Started getting the purlins put up on the backside of the barn, and got three sheets of tin put up as well.


Cleaned up the entire barn area, moved boards in to neater piles, swept the barn aisle, etc in prep for the fundraiser tomorrow.
DAY 111 OF WORK - 9/23/2010 - Thursday
Got the rest of the post tops cut off so everything is all even and level! It looks really nice so far. Matt used all the 2x4x10's that we got yesterday and put them up along the roof, 2.5 feet apart. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough - we originally intended to put them 3' o.c., but i changed my mind. good thing Lowes is only 5 miles away!! It seems like we're in there every day buying something or other.


Also got the end of Zelda's stall completed, minus the top piece and the slats to separate her from the aisle.


Put a new latch out for the front gate that is much easier to open/close


Got all 7 stall guards put up, so now the horses can't reach out and bite each other while they're either in the crossties or while they're walking by. Sunday, Zelda reached out to bite Mystique while I was walking her by and Mystique, avoiding Zelda, walloped me upside the face with her head and made my face go numb for about ten minutes. Hence, the stall guards. :)
DAY 110 OF WORK - 9/22/2010 - Wednesday
Had to go get a Sawzall at Lowes today because Matt spent about and hour struggling to get the chainsaw to cut the tops of the posts off evenly (so that they're all the same size). Took the auger back since it didn't work - that was sad. :/


Got the tops cut off of about half of the posts today. Got the entire top middle line of posts attached together with the ridge thingie, plus got some of the stringers attached down along both sides of the barn.


Picked up 30 2x4x10s and 20 2x4x8s at Lowes since I miscalculated the mount of wood I would need for the hay barn

Found out that camelback crickets like to dwell in the barn late at night to jump on me while I'm cleaning stalls. EEEW.
DAY 109 OF WORK - 9/21/2010 - Tuesday
Set all the posts in concrete for the day - 17 in all. Also went to Lowes in the evening and got 2 more posts, plus 2 treated 4x4x16' poles to use for the top of the barn. Came home and concreted the last posts. Also got a cast iron horse bell put up outside the barn for decor.



Finished the gables on the end of the barn!!! yay!


Got more of the last wall on Zelda's stall finished


Ordered heated buckets for winter, stall guards for the stalls, plus more dewormer since I'm almost out.
DAY 108 OF WORK - 9/20/2010 - Monday
Got the last 9 posts treated on the bottoms/ends for the hay barn

Got the bottoms of the holes concreted to set


Finished the front of Aislinn's stall

Finished Prissy's stall front

Got the top "Roof" put on the sign out by the road

Put up signs for the portrait fundraiser out by the road


Got the stumps/sticks for the bushes out by the road cut out

Put all the posts in for the hay barn, minus the two that I didn't get - apparently, I miscalculated when I measured out the hay barn and I made the "hay" part of it for 32' instead of the 24' I intended. Oh well, more room for hay. :)


Started putting up the final aisle wall on Zelda's stall


Finished the slats and frame for Prissy's stall


Started filling in one of the broken concrete sections on the wash pad with new concrete
DAY 107 OF WORK - 9/19/2010 - Sunday
Scraped out/levelled in front of Jitterbug's stall where the door keeps sticking

Finished the front of Enoch's stall & started Aislinn's


Carried two round pen panels out to the road for a sign display

Set up new jumps in the riding arena/cleaned up riding arena


Put dressage cones/letters around arena for use during lessons
DAY 106 OF WORK - 9/18/2010 - Saturday
Replaced the top board on Jitterbug's stall and completed the slats/feeding hole on the front of her stall


Got more holes widened for the hay barn

Got Part of Enoch's stall front completed


Got battens put up along front side of barn

Had a horse show all day in Summerfield
DAY 105 OF WORK - 9/17/2010 - Friday
Got holes widened/deepened for the hay barn & put posts in to measure

Put fly strips up in every stall around the barn

Put the Equine Kingdom sign up out by the road! Looks fantastic!


Got all the branches from the cut-up tree hauled into the burn pit

Cut down the HUGE bushes surrounding the telephone pole out by the road - it was blocking seeing the sign as you come into the driveway

Day 104 OF WORK - 9/16/2010 - Thursday
Worked on widening/deepening holes for hay barn

Concreted the posts for the sign out by the road in to set/dry

Chainsawed/chopped up the big ugly stump out by the wash rack

Cut a tree down

Sharpened 5 chainsaw blades
DAY 103 OF WORK - 9/15/2010 - Wednesday
Finished the slats on the front of Mystique's stall

Picked up a wheelbarrow full of sticks/rocks from the pasture

took 2 loads of wood over to the new log pile by the house

Put the bandage roller up in the tack room


De-cobbwebbed the barn

Swept tack room, rearranged feed & stuff

DAY 102 OF WORK - 9/14/2010 - Tuesday
Got the rest of the barn area cleared up and nice-looking.

Made 4 post holes wider so posts can fit better

Painted the bottoms/ends of  8 posts with sealer in prep for putting them in the ground


Finished the fronts of Dublin's stall and Mystique's stall - slats and feeding holes.

Sprayed 2 gallons of Pasture Pro around the back field by the woods

Hauled 6 wheelbarrows of split wood and small logs over next to the house for easier access in the winter

Got one wheelbarrow full of junk and sticks and rocks picked up from the pasture
DAY 101 OF WORK - 9/13/2010 - Monday
Got a bunch more battens put up on Zelda and Dublin's stalls on the outside of the barn.

Got the inside front bars put on Zelda & Dublin's stalls, almost to completion.


Picked up a  bunch of wood scraps around the barn, cleaned/raked barn aisle.

Got the last load of wood delivered for the barn, and all the wood for the hay barn delivered!


Picked up sealer for the wood posts, concrete, new sprayer for the pasture, and OSB for the ceiling of the tack room.
DAY 100 OF WORK - 9/12/2010 - Sunday
Put battens up on the front side of the barn - on Prissy's stall and part of Zelda's stall.


Started stacking wood up by the house for firewood for the winter.


Hung fly strips up in the barn in each stall - flies are getting worse.


DAY 99 OF WORK - 9/11/2010 - Saturday
Split some of the larger logs for firewood for the winter. Our intention is to move all the wood from the current place in the woodshed over to the house so we don't have to walk a long way to get it in the winter. Besides, we want to tear down that ugly little shed ASAP!
Spent the day at a horse show!
DAY 98 OF WORK - 9/10/2010 - Friday
Finished the last pair of crossties - put rope clamps around the tops instead of knots.

Put up the thermometer and a horse welcome sign


Fixed the gate to the riding arena.

Picked up rocks/sticks from the pasture
DAY 97 OF WORK - 9/9/2010 - Thursday
Fixed the latches on some of the stall doors that were sticking due to settling of the barn/wood.

Finished digging the post holes

Cut a big chunk off the old dead tree next to the wash pad - ugly sucker!

Cleaned up the wood and stuff in front of the barn so it looks more presentable.
DAY 96 OF WORK - 9/8/2010- Wednesday
This afternoon was spent preparing a fenced in area to turn into a dry lot for Jitterbug and Zelda, who are both too fat for their own good. :)


We got a bunch of posts pounded into the ground, strung up highly visible wire for the top and bottom wires, and strung an electric wire for the middle wire and put power to it.


We moved the fence charger from the riding arena to the new dry lot. We got all the junk picked up out of there as well, before putting the horses out for the first time. We also got an old barrel cut in half to use for the horses' watering trough for the time being.


Part of the evening was spent preparing dimensions and plans and layout for the electrical portion of the barn completion.


Someone came this morning and picked up the odd metal stuff around the farm - the old truck cap that was sitting behind the hay barn, the metal poles from the field, the broken round pen panel, the barrel full of metal, and an old wheelbarrow and other metal pieces that had been sitting next to a tree for so long that the tree literally grew AROUND the wheelbarrow!

Where the Truck cap and the metal barrel and old round pen panel and other metal used to sit!
DAY 95 OF WORK - 9/7/2010 - Tuesday
Remember all those piles of stuff we raked up yesterday? we picked ALL of them up today! Some of my students came out and helped again today, and we got a HUGE truckload of leaves, sticks, vines, and more raked up and put in the pool. Matt and I then spent the next three hours raking up MORE stuff and putting it in the wheelbarrows and throwing it in the pool. The really funny thing is that while Matt was digging more postholes this afternoon, the stuff in the pool started burning all by itself!


 Apparently, when we burned the stuff in the pool last week, there was one or two embers that never burned out, deep down below the ashes. Putting a bunch of new stuff on top was all it could take, so it started eating the new stuff! We had the pool half filled anyway, so it wasn't a bad thing except it smoked a LOT!! that was highly annoying, especially while we were riding in the evening.

We got the area around the wash pad mostly clear, and got lots of obnoxious little small tree trunks cut out from where I keep tripping on them! We also started getting a big tree trunk right in the middle of that area cut out, which was nice.

Once we get the entire area back there cleared, we're going to fence it in and build a small two-horse shelter and make it a dry lot for a couple of the horses so that we can board a few more horses on a training basis.
DAY 94 OF WORK - 9/6/2010 - Monday
Typical of me on Labor Day, I worked all day! We continued to water and dig out the post holes for the hay barn - we got 6 of them completely finished, out of 16. the other 10 are merely started.

The manure pile got raked out flat instead of being in a bunch of lumps from where we dump stuff to begin with - we hope to burn some of the manure after it's completely dry.

Two containers of Pasture Pro got sprayed this afternoon on the newly bush hogged pasture, in hopes of keeping the nasty weeds from growing back! Let's hope it works like it's supposed to.

We got one full truckload and one full wheelbarrow load of sticks, weeds, and vines picked up from the pasture, and dumped it all in the pool to burn at a future date.

Several buckets full of rocks got picked up out of the pasture and riding arena and got put around the base of one of the trees in the barn pasture.

Using the chainsaw, we cut down two large, dead sections of a tree in the pasture, just leaving the nice part of the tree there. We got one of the HUGE stumps from one of the trees we cut previously cut down, and cut three more sections off of the oak tree that fell several months ago.

We got the last three sets of jumps completed today and taken out to the riding arena, so now we have six sets of jump standards, plus the old jumps out there!


Started raking up a bunch of the junk behind the barn and current hay barn - leaves, sticks, old nuts, etc. We got about 20 piles of stuff built up!! We also got some vines and junk pulled out of the trees.
DAY 93 OF WORK - 9/5/2010 - Sunday
Matt and I didn't do any REAL work today, because we had a lot of other stuff going on, but our wonderful neighbor Keith came over and bush hogged our pastures for us! There were several VERY large clumps of stuff out there that were so thick that we just couldn't get through them, and he came out and mowed them over for us with his big ol' tractor. THANK YOU Carrie and Keith!!

DAY 92 OF WORK - 9/3/2010- Friday
Today we completed and got three sets of jumps out in the riding arena! Yay!

Since we moved here, there is this VERY annoying half of a blue barrel in the riding arena that we couldn't get out, because two TREES had grown up through the holes in the bottom of it. I finally got tired of it, and Matt kindly came and cut it out with the chainsaw today. If only it would cut through wood as easily as it cuts through plastic!
Spent a good bit of time nailing in boards around the top of the barn (usually we just nailed in the ones that we could reach and saved the rest for later!), and got a few more gables boards done.

We dug a few more post holes, or at least got them started, and filled the holes with water to soften the ground. It hasn't rained for nearly two weeks, so the ground was really hard.

                                                                      Watermelon growing!
I got the entire tack room cleaned up, organized all the tools, swept out the room, and got everything straighten out and in its proper place. it looks so nice now!
DAY 91 OF WORK - 9/2/2010 - Thursday
Started getting the bases for the jumps cut out, and drilled a few more holes. Otherwise, we pretty much took the day off other than taking care of the horses and riding.
DAY 90 OF WORK - 9/1/2010 - Wednesday
Had to run a bunch of errands today, so I picked up enough materials at Lowes to make 6 sets of jump standards! I drilled some of the holes for the jumps - 3" apart, starting at 12" high from the ground and going to 6" before the top of the posts. It's harder than you'd think to drill those things in a straight line!
Since the lighting in the barn is slightly dim when trying to clean out stalls, I purchased two more lights and put them up over Jitterbug/Enoch's stalls, and Dublin/Zelda's stalls - it is so much brighter now!
Matt got more done on the gables - it's harder this time than it was on the other end, because they're higher up than the front end of the barn, due to the slope of the ground.
We also got the ground in front of Aislinn's stall graded better so that her door opens all the way instead of getting stuck on the dirt about halfway open.
DAY 89 OF WORK - 8/31/2010 - Tuesday
Today another section of the gables on the end of the barn got put on. We got the last wall of Prissy's stall put in, which was about 5 feet tall.

Other than that, not much was accomplished other than that I jumped Mystique over a 3'6" jump! Did that lots of times. And Aislinn, one of the new horses, and her owner, Allyson, jumped 2'6" for the first time ever!
DAY 88 OF WORK - 8/30/2010 - Monday
Matt got some of the gables put up on the end of the barn today, got some more misc stuff done around the farm. We also got the stuff in the pool burned! We got the window put in in the tack room of the barn, and I got shelves put in for the horses' supplements, above the grain bins so they're convenient.

DAY 87 OF WORK - 8/28/2010 - Saturday
We got a lot of cleanup work around the farm done today, more sticks and stuff picked up. Lots of rocks moved from the riding arena/pasture, rearranged the riding arena, etc. Got a big bunch of poles picked up out of the pasture that were hiding under a huge chunk of weeds.
DAY 86 OF WORK - 8/27/2010 - Friday
Since I got four new chainsaw blades yesterday, we decided to put them to good use today. We got two stumps cut down (small ones, sadly), the big oak branch at the end of the barn, the long dead tree that the horses keep having to jump over or go around, the remaining tree in the pasture, plus lots of smaller stuff. Unfortunately, the new chainsaw blades didn't hold up very well and I had to return them and get new ones - which will hopefully work much better than these did.  We also got three more post holes dug, about two feet down for each one.
DAY 85 OF WORK - 8/26/2010 - Thursday
Some of my students came out to help weed the pastures this morning! We got most of the rest of the lower pasture weeded, but we have a whole bunch of BIG chunks of stuff to clear up, too. I got a HUGE part of the fenceline cleared out - from the upper pasture gate, all the way about halfway to the woods - which is probably 200 feet!


There was a LOT of thorns and small trees and low hanging branches and stuff. I took 3 whole truckloads of branches, and weeds and thorns and stuff taken up to the burn pool. I tried clearing out part of the massive tangle of thorns and vines along the fenceline going from the gate up to the corner by the barn, but after about 30 minutes of fighting with it and only clearing about a 3 foot section, and even then only the top 3 out of 5 wires, I gave up! I'll leave that for another day.


While cleaning along the top fenceline, we cleared a large pile of old boards and gates and even found an old round pen panel pieces that we took up to put in the growing pile of scrap metal found around the farm.

Matt spent his time this afternoon building slats between Mystique, Dublin, and Zelda's stalls - so Mystique can no longer reach over and help herself to Dublin's grain!

We went to see our neighbors' miniature horses! they're SO CUTE!!
DAY 84 OF WORK - 8/25/2010 - Wednesday
Stephanie and I spent the morning raking up a huge area behind the hay barn, extending up on the area that Matt and I cleared out last week. We got a full truckload of leaves, sticks, small nuts, junk, and vines and stuff picked up (and managed to catch some pretty bad itchies while we were at it, in the form of poison oak!)


We got two more post holes dug for the hay barn, picked up 2 wheelbarrows full of sticks and weeds around the barn and behind it, too.

Prissy, Zelda, Dublin, and Mystique all got favored with brand new feed boxes today, and the latch on Aislinn's stall, which has been hard to close since things are settling (and I'm sure it doesn't help by how much she kicks her stall door!) got fixed.
DAY 83 OF WORK - 8/24/2010 - Tuesday
Picked up 3 wheelbarrow loads of sticks and branches and stuff behind the barn.
Took one wheelbarrow load of concrete pieces out to fill in the big hole in the woods.
Nailed in the siding boards at the end of Aislinn's stall

We put halter/lead rope hooks at each horse's stalls, put horse lights up in the tack room, plugged in horse lights and horse lamp. I got the box full of stuff I brought from the house unpacked and put away. We put up three sets of crossties in the barn aisle! yay!


Again, I had to fix the riding arena fence.
We got the area for the hay barn/shavings/equipment barn marked out, and I got half of one hole dug. They need to be about three feet deep.

We got another set of slats built, this time between Enoch & Aislinn's stalls.  And a very exciting thing too - there are now feed boxes in Jitterbug, Enoch, and Aislinn's stalls! No more hauling buckets around for their food and having to open the doors to pick up the buckets that they knocked off the hooks!



I got an entire wheelbarrow load of small tree stubs cut down behind the barn - how annoying! It looks much better now though.
DAY 81 OF WORK - 8/23/2010 - Monday
Again, another disgusting hot & humid day. Matt finished the fronts & tops of Aislinn & Mystique's stalls so they match the rest of the ones in the barn.

We also got a "frame" put up around Jitterbug's stall, and got a set of vertical wooden slats put up between hers and Enoch's stalls so they can't reach over to both each other. We got all the posts marked at the same height and got them cut down to size so they don't look awkward and off.
DAY 81 OF WORK - 8/22/2010 - Sunday
Today we got a bunch more weeds pulled, and Allyson helped  - we got nearly a quarter of the lower pasture cleared up in the corner by the barn! It looks SO much better!

We also got a bunch more low hanging branches cut down so they're not in the way anymore. We got the rest of the junk pile cleaned up finally too - moved the big metal locker around behind the barn where we can use it for storage, dumped all the concrete pieces into a big hole in the woods we found that we're going to fill up and cover, and moved all the metal pieces into one big neat pile of tin roofing and siding pieces.


I re-did the fencing around the pile of metal and the still-good pieces of wood and metal, so the horses can't get into it and hurt themselves, and we got a bunch of stuff thrown into the burn pool for our next bonfire.
DAY 80 OF WORK - 8/21/2010- Saturday
Pulled even MORE weeds today - 2 truckloads full. Good Grief!!
DAY 79 OF WORK - 8/20/2010 - Friday
Pulled MORE weeds today - 1 truckload full.
Also got an electric fence put up around the riding arena fence because the horses keep running through it.

DAY 78 OF WORK - 8/19/2010 - Thursday
It was disgustingly hot and humid out today, so all we got done worth mentioning today was shoveling the entire trailer full of shavings from the trailer into the shavings shed. I can't WAIT to have a building to put all that in other than the rickety old building it is now! Yuck!!
DAY 77 OF WORK - 8/18/2010 - Wednesday
Our neighbor Stephen helped me with some of the chores today - we helped me cut down some of the low hanging branches that we always have to go around when we're riding, we finished weeding the round pen and pulling up a bunch of thorn bushes. We weeded two large areas of the pasture - BOY is it getting old! and there is SO much still left to do! Got two truckloads done today.

I also had to fix the riding arena fence - AGAIN - and this is definitely NOT the first time it's happened! This has been going on since the new horses (Jitterbug, Aislinn, and Zelda) have arrived - I wonder who the culprit is, or if they're daring one of the other horses to walk through the fence? hmm....


We went and got another load of sawdust and wood today - this is our second to last load of wood for the barn! All we have left to get is battens! Now we just need to go ahead and get them put on the barn. :)

The bad thing is that the truck overheated and we had to run the heater full blast all the way home - in 95 degree heat! Ugh! And the wheel to our trailer snapped off in our sawmill guys' driveway...so much for that. :/

Improvised keeping the trailer up off the ground                        Dead grass in the driveway! yay!
DAY 76 OF WORK - 8/17/2010 - Tuesday
Today we got the rest of the fenceline between the pastures cleared out, plus got almost all the rest of the weeds pulled from the riding arena, which looks SO much better!

Matt and I spent an hour or two raking out the area next to the hay barn, pulled up a bunch of small weeds and trees and vines. Matt also, using the chainsaw, cut down all the old cedar fenceposts around the farm - there were three along the fenceline between the neighbor's pasture and the riding arena fence, and one by the hay barn that was in the way.

The horses have been having a lot of fun breaking through the riding arena fence, whether the gate was open or not - so I keep having to fix it all every morning! I had to fix about 6 different pieces this morning. How annoying!

We got 4 whole truckloads full of leaves, sticks, branches, and weeds picked up out of the pastures today. You'd think, with all these truckloads of stuff, that there wouldn't be anything left in the pasture! I guess having sat here for nearly 8 years means that a lot of junk has collected....
Also got a bunch of the scrap wood picked up from around the barn where it's been collecting, and stacked it up neatly. Actually, it's not very neat, but at least it's all in one place. :)
DAY 75 OF WORK - 8/16/2010 - Monday
I finally got around to clearing the other section of riding trails out today so students can ride on them. There were lots of thorns and low-hanging branches on the trails, so it was nice to finally get around to getting them cleared out.

Matt and I spent several hours cleaning out the pastures again - we got three truckloads of weeds, sticks, and branches picked up and thrown into the pool.
We got the entire round pen weeded out so it's nice and clear now, and cut down the tree that was growing in the center of the round pen as well.

We also pulled weeds along the other side of the riding arena, and started clearing the weeds and little trees from along the fenceline that separates our pasture from the neighbors', and I got another 2 gallons of Pasture Pro sprayed around the pastures.
DAY 74 OF WORK - 8/14/2010 - Saturday
After finishing lessons this morning, Stephanie and I spent 3 hours pulling weeds along one side of the riding arena. Thankfully, we got the majority of it finished over there. I sprayed another 2 gallons of Pasture Pro on part of the area that we finished weeding, and another 2 gallons in the horseback riding arena.

After weeding, Allyson helped me hang bookshelves in the tack room for all my horse books. We got two layers of shelves put up - they're so nice looking!


Matt got the metal and wood cut out from around the window in the tack room so we can get the window put in at some near- future date.

Allyson and I spent several hours this afternoon working with the horses to get them into the trailer. Zelda learned pretty quickly how to get in, and we spent about an hour with Aislinn.
DAY 73 OF WORK - 8/13/2010 - Friday
Got 3 wheelbarrows full of weeds pulled from the pasture today. We also got to round pen moved out into the pasture, since all the horses are now in their own stalls in the barn!

I also got two wheelbarrows of sticks & wood junk picked up out of the pastures.
DAY 72 OF WORK - 8/12/2010 - Thursday
Today we got another truckload of weeds pulled up from out in the pasture. Matt finished most of the front of Aislinn's stall before he ran out of boards to build it with!

Because we've been having so much trouble with water running down into the horse's stalls, I shoveled a bunch of dirt down into the hollow walls between the outside walls and the kickboards in the horses stalls.
DAY 71 OF WORK - 8/10/2010 - Tuesday
Even with having three hours of camp and 2 hours of lessons today, plus the regular care of the horses, we still managed to get a lot done today. I got the new hose and connections all set up, get all the lights put up in the rafters so we're not fumbling around in the dark - even in the tack room!


(check out all the dying weeds around the wash pad!)

I got two more blanket bars put up, graded the entrance to the barn and used the dirt to fill in the wall behind Zelda's stall where the water always leaks in, too.


I sprayed another 2 gallons of herbicide on the pasture, filled a wheelbarrow with sticks and logs and weeds from the pasture, and pulled up a bunch of dogfennel as well, and threw all that in the fire. I also got the arena fence fixed where the horses literally just walked through it (the wire is more of a visual thing and not for actually stopping them from running through it  - it's not very strong).


I'm making it a goal to clean up one wheelbarrow of sticks/rocks/weeds per day, and spray one container of herbicide per day - that way it's not TOO overwhelming of a task, but it'll all get done a little bit at a time.
DAY 70 OF WORK - 8/9/2010 - Monday
Matt got Jitterbug's stall finished today, plus got another stall front done - Enoch's. I sprayed another 2 gallons of herbicide and pulled a bunch of weeds. I also used about a gallon of roundup mix to spray on our driveway to kill all the grass growing in the gravel - it looks terrible!


I also went to Lowes and got lime for putting in the horse's stalls, another 50 pound box of nails since we're almost out of the ones we have, bug spray, more bar and chain oil for the chainsaw, and a 3 prong outdoor outlet adapter for putting up lights in the barn.

The weeds are dying! yay!

I also went to Walmart and got some light reflector housings, a hose "Y" piece and another 50' hose and nozzle to put out to the wash pad, floodlight bulbs, extension cords, and a clock for the barn. I got an atomic clock with a thermometer on it to put in over my desk so we know how hot it's getting out there. :) I also got some roundup and some more weed killer stuff for around the house, and to try to beat back all the overgrowth down in the pasture - the stuff in the woods, mainly.
DAY 69 OF WORK - 8/8/2010 - Sunday
Today we got two more stall fronts finished and the blanket bars hung. Matt got a little more grading done, and I did a bunch of research on creating and hanging sliding barn doors.


I also got another 2 gallons of herbicide sprayed on the pasture. There are visible results from Saturday already - most of the stuff I sprayed is dropping/wilting and dying! It looks so much better already!


We also got to go ahead and return 27 sheets of the metal we got from Lowe's for the roof, since we ended up WAY over-ordering. that was a nice $450 back on the credit card!

Matt got a nice bench built, too - it looks really good and gives us a nice place to sit!
DAY 68 OF WORK - 8/7/2010 - Saturday
The siding on the barn is finally complete! Minus the battens, but still - it's closed in all the way around now! In addition to getting that finished, matt also got the back wall of Enoch's stall closed in with the 2" thick kickerboards, and got the side of Jitterbug's done and half of the back of it.


The other day I got some herbicide stuff at Southern States to spray the weeds in the pasture with. I sprayed about 10 gallons of it today - I got the whole barnyard pasture covered, and part of the pasture around the riding arena done. It was a lot of work, in the hot sign! It took much longer than I would have liked, but hey - I don't have a tractor or any way of spraying it other than by hand with a 2 gallon sprayer. Hopefully this is the only time I'll have to do this.

Weeds before

I also got all the rest of the horses' bucket holders put up in their stalls, and banged in all the protruding nail ends so that the horses couldn't hurt themselves.

the pool started getting refilled again - I spent a few hours loading up junk from the pasture - HUGE weeds and polk salad junk, sticks, logs, and a bunch of branches that I cut off the last remaining tree that we hadn't finished cutting up yet. I also got a large section of low hanging branches along the fenceline cleared.


And, as usual, stalls got cleaned twice, and every one of the seven horses got ridden today!
DAY 67 OF WORK - 8/6/2010 - Friday
Matt got more siding finished (it's ALMOST done!!! we got a drainage ditch (a temporary one) dug along the long front side of the barn to help divert water away from the barn, since right now it's just draining down into the horse's stalls and soaking them.


Also got some grading done in the barn aisle, and of course took care of the horses for the day. Taught about an hour of lessons, and then had stuff going on in the evening elsewhere.
DAY 66 OF WORK - 8/5/2010 - Thursday
All the scrap metal is gone now! a couple of people came and picked it up this afternoon - it took them nearly 4 hours to get it all packed up - but it's ALL gone!! I got some junk cleaned up around the farm, took care of the horses, and Matt got some more of the siding done, but other than that, not much got done because it rained most of the afternoon and evening.
DAY 65 OF WORK - 8/4/2010 - Wednesday
We got the back side of the barn finished today - the siding anyway. Not a whole lot actually got finished on the barn, but we picked up 6 more bags of grain and some other stuff like a soil tester and weed killer for the pasture to kill some of the junk out there.


I moved my desk out to the barn, and organized all my Equine Kingdom paperwork and business stuff out there. I got the markerboard filled out with the calendar, and spent several hours cleaning the barn and stuff.


I clipped Enoch, Prissy, Dublin, Zelda, and Jitterbugs' muzzles, ears, bridle paths, and eyes/jaws. I also got their Manes pulled/trimmed so they look a LOT better and are SO much cooler on their necks! That was a lot of work, though.

Jitterbug and Enoch with their new haircuts, wearing their new (properly fitting) fly masks!

We also burned all the stuff that was in the pool today - and I found out that manure burns!
DAY 64 OF WORK - 8/3/2010 - Tuesday
Matt learned how to trim horses' feet today - something that I already knew how to do, but can't quite handle because of my back. We did figure out how to work as a team, though - Matt holding the horses' feet and me doing the trimming/rasping! It works quite well, actually.

We're SO close to being finished the outside of the barn! We got the last part of the barn secured with the 1x6's today, and a few more siding pieces up, but not much more than that got accomplished today. I had a lot of lessons to teach, and lots of cleaning stalls to do and cleaning out water buckets and such.

My wonderful parents ordered a whole bunch of really cool stuff for me from my wishlist - and a bunch of it came today! I got bell boots for Zelda, a new manure fork, a new bridle for Zelda, dewormers, Mare Magic, a new lunge whip, a saddle rack to put saddles on while I've got extra saddles on while I'm teaching. Thanks!!
DAY 63 - OF WORK - 8/2/1010 - Monday
I spent most of the day sorting wood and metal out of the junk pile. lots and lots of stuff got thrown into the burn pool, and a huge pile of scrap metal got stacked up to be sold/taken away by some lucky person on craigslist. All the good wood that can still be used was put in a nice pile by the fence, and the smaller pieces of tin got stacked in a neat pile.  I used temporary fencing to partition off a section of the area from the horses, so that they could graze on the overly-tall grass around the stuff that got cleared out - they did a pretty good job, too.


I also got the bulletin board and marker board hung. Matt got the rest of the siding on the long side of the barn finished, plus the entire end on Mystique's side of the barn. We also got a huge awkward limb from an oak tree cut down, got it chopped up and added to the wood pile, transferred a bunch of other logs over there, and I spent an hour or so picking up about 5 wheelbarrow loads worth of small sticks and junk around the farm - mostly in the woodsy area we're clearing out.
DAY 62 OF WORK - 8/1/2010 - Sunday
Matt and I rode this afternoon, and got a lot of misc stuff done around the farm, mostly cleanup of the big junk pile outside the barn that just looks absolutely gruesome. I also took a bunch of old bricks that were laying in the junk pile and lined them up along the edge of the barn to help prevent water from going down into the stalls (the idea being that it will hit the bricks and run down the bricks down to the end of the barn) so that the sawdust in the horses' stalls don't get soaked.
DAY 61 OF WORK - 7/31/2010 - Saturday
Today our friend Ben came over to help matt out for a few hours. They got the rest of the doors finished on the horse's stalls. I got stall plates put on the new stalls, and raked the aisle and got everything cleaned up.



DAY 60 OF WORK - 7/30/2010 - Friday
Ethan and Matt not only got the rest of the roof finished off today, but they also finished making Dublin & Mystique's stalls! The kids in camp learned how to clean stalls out, and since we have roof now, we went ahead and put shavings in all the stalls. The kids painted the horses in camp today.

DAY 59 OF WORK - 7/29/2010 - Thursday
Our good friend Ethan came over today to help Matt put the roof on the barn - they got about 3/4 of the way finished in the morning, plus  then Matt got up there in the evening and did another few sheets. I had camp all day, so I didn't help with the barn today. :)
DAY 58 OF WORK - 7/28/2010 - Wednesday
Got more grading work done, plus cleaned up the tack room.
Picked up another load of lumber & shavings.

DAY 57 OF WORK - 7/27/2010 - Tuesday
Matt got the last stall, Mystique's, graded nearly halfway through. I got all the horses' stalls cleaned/stripped, just in time for it to pour down rain all over them and turn them into a soupy, sloppy mess. Ick!

We stood all the tin we're going to need up against the sides of the barn this afternoon, in preparation for it being put up on Thursday morning. Matt needs to cut 30 of the sheets, and last time we tired to mark them to cut them when they were wet, it didn't work out so well. So we're going to let them dry this time! the barn looks really funny surrounded by time on three sides, though!


Matt got up on the roof to see if he could put the roofing up by himself, which he found out he could - he got three sheets put up all by himself in less than 20 minutes! Pretty impressive.

While Matt was working on the roof, I started sorting through the junk wood pile and throwing the bad stuff in the pool to burn, and putting the good stuff in a nice pile by the fence.


The remaining junk to be sorted through

We also FINALLY got that stupid chicken coop torn down today! Our neighbor, Stephen, had a lot of fun knocking it over with a sledgehammer the other day, but we dismantled it and threw the pieces in the pool to burn today, so it's finally cleared out!! Now we don't have to worry about the horses getting hurt walking by it.


The second side of the Equine Kingdom Riding Avcademy sign got traced and painted tonight, so it's all done and ready to be hung up! Now all I need to do is get a couple of treated posts and some concrete, and it'll be ready to hang in the front yard!
DAY 56 OF WORK - 7/26/2010 - Monday
Ahh, what a great start to the week! We got Enoch's stall siding installed, so now he has shade from the sun!


I got Prissy's stall front nearly finished, with all the vertical boards put along the front of her stall. I also got her blanket bar installed, and her stall name plate put up!


Jitterbug and Zelda moved into their stalls and both got name plates and bucket hooks for their water buckets. Aislinn graduated to the current largest stall, and got a bucket hook and a metal gate for the time being, until we install a real door for her.



Enoch and Prissy got their stalls cleaned/stripped and new sawdust put in them - although I have a feeling that will be in vain, because we're supposed to get a LOT of rain this week, and that will just soak the shavings. Oh well, it's better than them standing in pee/mud/manure!

I got the inside barn wall of the tack room covered with vertical siding boards like the outside- it looks fantastic! Eventually there will be a bench here for people to sit on.


I also hung the tool holder so we have somewhere to store the manure forks, shovel, and other tools, and hung my Equine state and liability signs up.


I raked the whole barn aisle, and Matt did a little bit of grading on it as well.

I spent about two hours today cleaning the tack room, which now looks AMAZING!! Everything got cleaned, grain bins got moved and refilled, the whole room got swept and organized.



Matt also finished the front side of the barn, minus the battens - doesn't it look fantastic??


We moved a bunch of the long 16' boards onto some of the other piles of wood, plus cleared up a lot of small junk scrap wood around the farm that was in the way and unsightly.

Put up a KEEP GATE CLOSED sign!
DAY 55 OF WORK - 7/25/2010 - Sunday
We only had two hours to work today because we had a lot of other commitments, but we got three stalls doors built and hung! So now the only horses that don't have a real stall are Dublin and Mystique!
DAY 54 OF WORK - 7/23/2010 - Friday
Matt got a large part of the last stall graded, plus we got two more walls built for the stalls, leaving a total of only 4 stall walls left to finish before ALL the stalls are done! Got bucket hangers put in Enoch's stall, since he now has a box stall across from Prissy.


Lots of lessons and camp today, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to work on the barn.
I DID, however, spend about an hour mowing back where our future circular driveway will be and made a decent amount of progress.
DAY 53 OF WORK - 7/22/2010 - Thursday
Today we chopped up that whole big tree in the pasture by the arena. We left part of the trunk for the time being, as a cross-country jump because it's in a pretty good condition for that. We got all the branches taken up to the pool to burn, plus took all the logs up to the wood pile to stack up there. I used the weedwhacker to chop up a whole bunch of small trees and HUGE weeds out in the pasture, and Matt took it and chopped down a lot of the tree weeds that have been growing out there, out of control. It was a long, hard, hot day of work.
DAY 52 OF WORK - 7/21/2010 - Wednesday
Got a lot more work done today since it actually didn't rain! Not only did Allyson and I get a lot of work done with Aislinn, including riding her, but I also found time to lunge Mystique, teach 3 hours of day camp, and do a lot of work around the farm.

Today I got about 6 fairly large trees cut down with the chainsaw (all by myself, no less! no help from Matt!), got them chopped up, got all the branches dragged to the pool to burn. Matt cut up one of the trees that we had cut down in the pasture quite some time ago, so that's finally gone. I also built a door for Prissy's stall, installed it, and put a latch on it - one down, 6 to go! I started doing a little bit more work on some of the other stalls, but didn't get real far. i was really tired. I did, however, get Enoch moved into another one of the new stalls - now that Prissy's stall has a real door on it, the round pen gate is now available to use for Enoch's stall.

I also got a bunch more bridle brackets hung, and got all the fun little decorations put up above them, and got all the horses' name tags put on them. I also had to sort out, clean, and put together two bridles - one each for Jitterbug and Zelda.

DAY 51 OF WORK - 7/20/2010 - Tuesday
Today, AGAIN, it poured down rain all afternoon, so we couldn't do any work. This morning, Matt spent an hour or so raking out a huge pile of dirt that we dumped in a low area behind the barn - dirt from grading the stalls. We also got a few more boards put up in one of the stalls, but that was the extent of what we did today because of the rain. 
I finished one entire side of my new Equine Kingdom sign today!

Jitterbug got ridden in her first lesson today, plus I rode her, and taught 5 people in lessons this morning.
DAY 50 OF WORK - 7/19/2010 - Monday
Matt finished grading the last stall this morning, plus cut a line down the barn aisle so water would drain better. We got more bridle racks hung in the tack room, plus did a little organization.


Matt tamped down all the fence posts we put in really well, plus used screws to screw all the posts into the rails so they won't fall out onto our heads while we climb through the fence. Don't ask how we know that this happens. :) 
I rode Jitterbug today, plus taught camp in the morning.
DAY 49 OF WORK - 7/18/2010 -Sunday
Another very productive day! we got another stall nearly completely graded, plus got almost four more stalls nearly all the way framed in! They don't have doors yet, but that's coming!!
 So now we have 5 box stalls almost complete. Too bad the horses don't have a roof over their heads yet!
DAY 48 OF WORK - 7/17/2010 - Saturday
Other than cleaning up the tack room a bit and caring for the horses and teaching lessons, not a whole lot was accomplished.  But it was a busy day of lessons and a baby shower to go to, and besides that it rained really hard most of the day. Matt got the day off. 
DAY 47 OF WORK - 7/16/2010 - Friday
We got another tremendous load of wood delivered today - Harvey Friddle, our sawmill guy, hauled in a huge trailerload of 16' and 14' boards for us - what a job that was to unload! Matt started getting more of the siding under the eaves on the tack room, and I got a good 20' farther into the woods where we're going to eventually put a circular driveway in. I must admit, it's actually starting to look pretty good!


DAY 46 OF WORK - 7/15/2010 - Thursday
Cut a lot of trees down today with the large pair of clippers, and started filling the pool back up with branches/small trees and brush. We went and picked the new horses up today and spent most of the afternoon getting them acquainted with their new home. We also moved the round pen panels out of the barn, because soon we will be adding real wood in for stalls, and besides, we needed three more temporary stalls for the new horses.

DAY 45 OF WORK - 7/14/2010, Wednesday
Picked up another load of lumber today, plus finally got the tin for the roof. Also got gate latches and hinges for the doors inside the barn. Got the second door put up inside the barn, on the other end of the tack room. 

We acquired three new horses today - Zelda, my new Quarter Horse mare (formerly Lady, who I used to teach on back in the day), Jitterbug, a black Arabian mare (formerly known as Black Beauty), and one of my students, Allyson, bought Aislinn, a dapple grey Quarter Horse Mare.

We had a really bad storm last night - it knocked over a large oak that looked alive to the glance, but when inspected closer, revealed that the bottom was rotted nearly all the way through! It literally missed my riding arena fence by less than an inch. :)


Got the Equine Kingdom logo printed onto a transparency, then used the projector and traced the outline onto my freshly painted board, then painted some of it in. Still got a long way to go!
DAY 44 OF WORK - 7/13/2010  - Tuesday
Still the tin hasn't come in. we did some more grading work today, plus put some more boards up in the barn.
My little pepper plants are growing!


Cut a 4x8 piece of OSB in half lengthwise to make two 4x4 foot boards to put my Equine Kingdom sign on. Got paint for them, and painted each of the pieces white with two coats of paint.
We got a few of the boards put up for another stall, and got more siding put up as well.

DAY 43 OF WORK - 7/12/2010 - Monday
This was one of the absolutely most productive days we've had in a long time.  Matt and I, together,  finished grading the inside of the end, single stall. We got 2" thick boards cut and put across the 12' length of the wall, then the 8' section on the front, where the door will go. We had to dig out the ground a lot to get them level, and the back ones we left slanted because the ground slopes slightly.


We got the rest of the front wall of the barn finished with vertical boards up to the bottom of the first truss.


We got the back of the barn extended another 10 feet or so, plus the last few boards put alongside the single stall that we were working on.


Since Prissy will get to live in this stall for the time being, I went ahead and put up her bucket hangers, and put shavings in the stall. It's not finished, but it's close!!


I went around an hammered all the extended nail points down so they won't cause hazards to the horses. We got the door hung today and also got part of the upper eaves wooden pieces put in place. A board will be running across the whole front of the barn to cover up the small gaps between the boards, and to make it look more uniform.


We moved the round pen panels from next to the barn over to the hay barn, and got Prissy's stall dismantled because of her new stall.
DAY 42 of WORK - 7/11/2010
We went and picked up a trailer load of shavings, and a truck and trailer load of wood - nearly 100 pieces, and a lot of it was 12' boards, some of them 2" thick - those were HEAVY! We brought everything home from Stokesdale and unloaded it, then had friends and church committments to take care of, so no further work got done other than caring for the horses. 

This is a small fraction of the wood we picked up, and this is after we already pulled all the 2" thick boards off the top to fill in the 12' section in the back of the stall.
DAY 41 OF WORK - 7/10/2010 - Saturday
Today, sadly, we didn't get a whole lot done outside. I took care of the horses and taught lessons, spent two hours cleaning up the back porch and organizing everything so we can actually find the stuff for the barn that we need, and we built a front door for the tack room! We didn't get it put up until later, but here's a picture of it on. 
DAY 40 OF WORK - 7/9/2010 - Friday
With Tim Dixon helping us today, we got a LOT done!! Tim spent the WHOLE MORNING shoveling dirt out of the stall where I used the pickaxe to chop it up! That was a LOT of work, and I got some pretty impressive blisters on my hands, even though I was wearing gloves.


The Graded Aisleway                                                     The Graded Stall

While Tim was shoveling dirt, Matt and I worked on putting more siding boards up - we got the entire back wall of the tack room covered, as well as the little "jog" out to the wider part of the barn. The pictures don't show that part done, though, as it got too dark to take pictures by that point. We also got two stalls lined along the back walls with the boards we'll use to attach the siding boards to.
 

Matt also got the wall of the inside of the tack room covered - that is, the part that faces into the barn. Maybe tomorrow we'll put doors up! (again, don't have pics yet)

Really exciting - today while pickaxing up the dirt in the stall next to the tack room,  I dug up an entire clutch of turtle eggs! there are ten of them total - one was broken, but we're going to see if the rest will hatch.
DAY 39 OF WORK - 7/8/2010 - Thursday 
WE GOT SIDING STARTED TODAY!!! we got the whole front of the tack room covered today, minus one board that has to go underneath a pipe and kinda has to be special fitted. We just didn't want to take the time for that today, so we'll do it tomorrow. It looks soooo good!

The very first board in place!!            Matt carrying the second board            Fitting the second board

I got a bunch more ground chopped up, and Matt started shoveling it up and hauling it to the low spots around the farm. Still got a long way to go on that, though, but no biggie - it'll get done.



The completed front of the tack room! Well, sort of - we haven't gotten the top boards or the battens put on, and we're missing a board under the pipe, but hey - it's a start!


My newly fixed barn steps - not permanent, but good enough till I get wooden ones built. :)
DAY 38 OF WORK - 7/7/2010 - Wednesday
One of our good friends, Tim Dixon, came over today to help Matt work on the roof and such - they got the rest of the tack room closed in with OSB, plus got the remaining roofing up. We only had about 6 sheets left, but they got that put up, and also got the roof cap area fixed and put the roof cap on - yay! That should make the rest of it fairly easy.


I got some ground chopped up so Matt can haul it away in the wheelbarrow - more grading. I had camp while the guys worked this morning.
DAY 37 OF WORK - 7/6/2010 - Tuesday
I honestly can't remember what we did today - I think we finished putting up saddle racks, and got some more grading done, got a wheel added to the gate, and a few other small random things not really worth mentioning.
DAY 36 OF WORK - 7/5/2010 - Monday
What a tiring day! We picked up the first load of lumber for the barn today - rough cut lumber, that is - a whole lot of it!


We also got a load of shavings/sawdust for the horse's stalls once they're done. 
We didn't know until this morning that we were going to get shavings today, so we moved some of the firewood over in the shed and closed in one side of the firewood shed so we could put shavings in it - and not get it all wet! We used wood that I've had sitting around doing nothing at all for over 3 years - I figured even though it looks pretty awful, it's going to serve it's function one more time as keeping water out of the shavings. this building and the current hay barn are both going to get torn down either later this year or next year, so I'm not worried about how bad it looks right now - I just need something functional.


Our wheelbarrow inner tube got destroyed yesterday somehow, so we had to take the wheel off and get a new inner tube. I also got another wheelbarrow today - a bigger one, for cleaning out stalls.
DAY 35 OF WORK - 7/4/2010 - Sunday
Again, we spent the entire day cutting wood - this time mostly with the chainsaw. We cut up over 30 trees - most of them smaller, but with several really large ones thrown in! you can actually see the ground now - even though a lot of it is covered with shavings now. We more than tripled the size of our woodpile - and it was already big to begin with! we have another truckload to get up, and two more trees to cut up, then we can start partitioning off the pastures for the horses.


I started a garden today - beans, watermelon, tomatoes, and yellow, orange, red, and green peppers.
DAY 34 OF WORK - 7/3/2010 - Saturday
Today was spent getting all those awful trees cut up out in the pasture - mostly getting the branches lopped off, loaded on the truck, and hauled up to the pool to burn. We took 4 truckloads of branches - and I'm talking piled high, packed down, over the top of the truck full. that alone took all day to do - on top of teaching lessons all morning and taking care of the horses.

Enoch was grazing on one side of the arena and then realized i was paying attention to the other three, so he galloped over to see what we were doing. :)

 
DAY 33 OF WORK - 6/30/2010 - Wednesday
Matt finished the purlins for the roof this morning in prep for finishing the roofing on Monday. A large part of the rough-cut lumber for my barn is completed and will be ready for pickup on Monday as well.


My day was spent not only teaching morning and evening lessons, but I also got the majority of the tack room organized - saddle racks, bridle racks, polo wrap holder, locker, grooming tools, and a lot of other misc things. There is still a long way to go, and the new addition of the tack room isn't even finished yet - it has no walls except for one - but that will come soon enough!


It's been really nice being able to just walk out my backdoor to go check on the horses or feed them. Their feed has increased since I moved them here -over the last week I've worked up to feeding them nearly double what they were getting before, to try to get some good solid weight on them. They're not overworked by any means - only a few hours a week - but they just are having a really hard time gaining back the weight they lost from winter. 
DAY 32 OF WORK - 6/29/2010 - Tuesday
Completion of this day saw the main area of the tack room nearly completed, with bracing boards being put in, OSB being put up, and a lot more small things. We got the main gate to the barn pasture put in, and I even made and put up a cute little side gate for one end of the fence.

(yes, I now the gate/fence looks crooked - the ground is VERY sloped here and it made putting the gate up extra hard)

We got saddle racks put up  in the tack room, and I got a decent amount of stuff moved out there from the house.


I also taught morning and evening lessons for the first time since last summer!
DAY 31 OF WORK - 6/28/2010 - Monday
The only major thing we got accomplished was finishing sinking all the posts for the post-and-rail fence in the ground and getting the end posts concreted into the ground. The only major thing we got accomplished was finishing sinking all the posts for the post-and-rail fence in the ground and getting the end posts concreted into the ground.  I went with one of my students to look at a horse for sale, so that took up a large part of my afternoon - it was a lot of fun looking at a new horse and made me want to get another one! So very soon we may see the addition of a new lesson horse to Equine Kingdom....

the girls with their new fly masks. Aren't they great?

Today was also the first day I got to ride in the new arena. I rode Mystique out there and she was absolutely perfect and loved being out there with so much room!
DAY 30 OF WORK - 6/27/2010 - Sunday
 Equine Kingdom had its first birthday party and riding lessons today! We spent most of the afternoon after work preparing for the  party - Matt mowed a path in the riding arena because the grass is so tall, we got the picnic tables moved over to the party area and decorated, got a whole bunch of junk picked up out of the barn area and pasture, and a lot more. The birthday party and lessons went off without a hitch, and the horses absolutely loved being in the new riding arena, with all its generous space!!


The horse trailer has a new home!
DAY 29 OF WORK - 6/26/2010 - Saturday
 Today we moved the horses! I got out to the old farm around 10:30 am and started loading up the truck with all the equipment from my riding arena - that was a LOT of work! I found a huge black widow spider and her egg sack and squished them to kingdom come because they were plotting to bite me.
Allyson, Sandy, and Rex came and helped us load stuff up around 12 - we had to take down saddle racks and bridle racks, carry out the grain bins and the locker and saddles and extra wood we had lying around. We had 4 horses to load up and get situated. Mystique was a bit of a brat - I was bragging about how I've never had any trouble loading her, and of COURSE she decided today was the day to change all that. I was, however, loading her into an unfamiliar trailer - one very generously loaned to us by Michelle Stone - the owner of the farm I moved from. Mystique whacked her head on the top all the way running backwards out of the trailer. We had to load Enoch on it first before she'd go in and stand still. After that she was just fine - and when we got to the new farm, she didn't want to get out!


Once we got to the new place, we took the horses out and turned them into the new pasture - fully expecting and anticipating watching them run around and explore the new field, but no - they walked in and started eating grass! we had to chase them around to get them to even move away from the gate.


We got all the arena equipment set up in the arena, and it looks really cool!


Overall they settled in really well, though - we brought them in for the night and put them in their new "stalls" under the barn and gave them new hay and water in their buckets. That was pretty much the extent of our work on Saturday.
DAY 28 OF WORK - 6/25/2010 - Friday
Today we spent getting ready for the horses' arrival on Saturday. We got most of the rest of the fence put in, got some more OSB put up in the tack room, and moved the round pen over to the new farm and set up stalls in the barn. I also ordered a bunch of stuff I'll need for the farm, such as more buckets, barn hardware, cross ties, stall plates, blanket bars, saddle racks, etc.
We also got the gates put up for the pasture - one at the top of the pasture near our other driveway, and one at the entrance to the pasture from the barn.
DAY 27 OF WORK - 6/24/2010 - Thursday
It actually looks like we got something done today!! We've finished putting up over 1/3 of the tin on the roof. We hit a few problems, like how the boards the guys put up don't go up far enough to the peak of the roof so that the ridge cap has something to nail into. We're going to have to slide some boards in and attach them to the trusses.

We also didn't put nails through the tin in every purlin, figuring we'll go back and do it later - but now we're wondering if that wasn't the smartest idea we've had, since the tin might dent when we walk on it. Not that big a deal, considering it's not gonna stay perfect forever, but still - it looks so fantastic the way it is right now. :)

A little more got done on the tack room today as well - we got some more wall boards secured, and matt got two more sections put in on the post-and-rail fence.
I brought a lot of tack and equipment home from the barn today, to put in my tack room when it's finished.
Today I also found out that apparently, I am a complete and total wimp when it comes to walking around up on trusses and roofs. It's not eh height or even the idea of falling that bothers me - it's the fact that there is no way to balance and the stinkin trusses are four feet apart and with nothing but open space between them!
DAY 26 OF WORK - 6/23/2010 - Wednesday
We would have gotten a lot more done today if we hadn't been surprised by a freak summer thunderstorm! We have completed almost all of the main part of the tack room now, but not the new addition.  I learned how to use a Miter Saw!

The truck has mostly been unloaded, and we slid metal roofing pieces up on top of the tack room so we had somewhere to "hide" from the rain.
We got one of the gates put up too, at the entrance to the pasture by the riding arena.
I ordered a whole bunch of stuff from State Line Tack today - buckets, stuff for the tack room, hardware, fly masks, a new martingale (prissy broke hers), and a bunch of other stuff. Fun Stuff.

The gates, water trough, and grain got delivered today! I took the trough out to the pasture, but the gates will have to wait for another day to get put up. I also planned out where I'm going to put a temporary fence for Sunday when the little kids come for a birthday party - don't want them to be able to get to the lumber and nails and junk sitting around - that's just an accident waiting to happen!
DAY 25 OF WORK - 6/22/2010 - Tuesday
We spent the few hours we had today working on getting walls up in the tack room. We got one wall completed. We also got the big hole in the tack room floor fixed - not perfectly, but it actually looks pretty good with what we had to start with and work with.

DAY 24 OF WORK  - 6/21/2010 - Monday  
Framed in the sides and floor of the new addition to the tack room, knocked out part of the existing tack room wall to lead into the new section, cut boards and screwed into the floor.

We had to sort through our entire "used" boards pile and find boards that would work for the tack room - then hammer all the nails out of them, mark them, and cut them to the right size. It was a lot of work, but the end result looks really nice, and it was really easy to get everything nice and level. I learned how to use a new tool today, too - a saw that I'm not sure the name of. I've also finally mastered using the really powerful Craftsman drill! Whoo-hoo!



We also cut out a section of the tack room floor where the boards were rotten, and added a few new pieces underneath to strengthen the floorboard joists. We'll add new boards in to match up to what's already there so it looks right.

Matt got another row of purlins put on the roof.

Our biggest single purchase yet - bought 130 sheets of tin from Lowes, 20 sheets of OSB for the tack room interior, LONG pruner, nails, drill bits, gutters, vents, shims, 100' of hose, a shavings shovel, and a lot of smaller random things - this total purchase come to over $2,600! Yikes! All I can say is it's a good thing I've been saving my money for a long time.
Also got locks, clasps, and some tools at Walmart - ~$70 worth of hardware.

Ordered 3 14' gates, 6 bags of grain and one bag of dog food, and a 100 gallon stock tank from Southern States - total of around $450.
DAY 23 OF WORK - 6/18/2010 - Friday 
Got most of the rest of the purlins put on the roof.
Picked up a lot of small stuff from the area next to the barn so it wouldn't get mowed over.
Mowed a large area next to the barn.

Moved wood all to one pile and covered it so it won't get rained on & ruined
DAY 22 OF WORK - 6/17/2010 - Thursday
Burned all the huge piles of branches, etc in the pool.
Put together both picnic tables and stained the tops/sides.
Put in 4 sections of post & rail fencing.

DAY 21 OF WORK - 6/16/2010 - Wednesday 
Bought 150' of post and rail fencing at Lowes, bought 2 picnic tables to assemble and stain. Fencing was $300, tables were $200.

Got about 1/4 of the purlins put up on the roof to put tin up.
DAY 20 OF WORK - 6/15/2010 - Tuesday
Cut down another 15-20 trees in the pasture, knocked off a bunch of branches, loaded them in the truck, hauled them up to the pool to burn.  Cut a lot of lower branches off the magnolia tree to burn.
I learned how to use a chainsaw today!!
DAY 19 OF WORK  - 6/14/2010 - Monday
Hauled branches from the pasture and put in pool. Cleaned up area around barn. 
DAY 18 OF WORK - 6/12/2010 - Saturday
Terry and Jerry arrived really early this morning and started work on the bands running around the top outside of the barn. While they worked, Matt slept off his graveyard shift job and I worked on clearing out more undergrowth from beside the barn and yard. I had to leave around 10 to go teach lessons, and Matt got up then and went out to work on cutting up trees.
 

Several good friends came to help out as well - and collectively, they got a LARGE area completely cleared of undergrowth, got trees cut down, filled up the burn pool, and helped put trusses/stringers up.
 

About mid-day, they started getting the trusses up. The first one took them a while, but with that many people helping (eight guys!!!), things went fairly quickly. By 5:30pm, all the trusses were up and braced and pretty darn solid. I could have swung hand-to-hand from them and they wouldn't budge. :)


 

Matt got up on the roof and cleaned the gutters out, lots of trees got cut up for firewood, and things are starting to look pretty nifty  around here!
 
DAY 17 OF WORK - 6/11/2010
Matt did more grading on one of the stalls today, and figured out a better, faster way to do it, so he got a lot more done.


I spent the better part of the evening weedwhacking the entire yard because the grass is too tall to cut with the lawnmower. THAT was fun, let me tell you. My fingers felt like things were crawling on them by the time I was done, but boy does the yard look a lot better!
 

The trusses were delivered today, along with all the wood that we will need on Saturday to get them up - lots and lots of 2x4's!
 

We also went and picked up 120 bales out of the field - good friends of ours bought a farm not far from here and hayed their land, and offered hay to us for a really good deal that we couldn't refuse. We got our little hay barn completely packed - you can barely walk into it! We're going to stick with square bales for the time being until we get a building put up for round bales.
 
DAY 16 OF WORK - 6/10/2010
Today we tried to level the posts out - it was a pretty busy day, otherwise. Didn't get far on the posts, decided to wait until Saturday when Jerry and Terry Davis are coming out to help. Matt got some more grading done, and I got some branches dragged to the burn pit.
DAY 15 OF WORK - 6/9/2010
We got professionals out here today to give us instruction about putting stringers (bands) around the tops of the posts for the trusses to sit on. They're coming out Saturday morning to work for a few hours, if we don't get the trusses in by then, on getting things READY for the trusses. if the trusses are in by then, they will stay and help get them up and secured.

We also went and picked up some more wood for construction, although it turns out we pretty much got the wrong kind, so I'll have to take them back and get the right kind.

Matt and I spent a large part of the afternoon figuring out how to get the tops of the existing posts up level with the rest of them - and leveling everything out perfectly. It was HARD!! What a pain in the neck!! At least we got to use our new 8' ladder, 100' extension cord, and new screws! :)

Pooped Puppies after a long day running around
DAY 14 OF WORK - 6/8/2010
Tuesday wasn't a very work-related day, other than getting materials. We took back the few posts we didn't need, along with 12 unused bags of concrete (thanks so much to the guys from Lowes for unloading them for me!), 4 2x10x10' boards and a bunch of smaller misc stuff. I also went ahead and bought roofing nails, nails for the barn, and exterior screws for working on the roof this coming weekend - hopefully. And did I mention I bought a new shovel, so two of us could work on grading the stalls at the same time? gee, what fun!

Hooray, today we ordered the trusses! The barn ended up being significantly longer than the original quote - by about 15 feet! Apparently my truss guy didn't recall the fact that I said I was building an extra stall onto the end. However, ordering 4 extra trusses, as well as making them a foot longer, only ended up costing me $1500 (almost EXACTLY!) for 15 trusses! I think that's pretty good - much better and easier than us doing them, and probably a LOT safer in the end, too.

Since we burned up the stuff in the pool on Saturday, Matt crawled down INTO the pool and cut down all the trees that were growing in it - there were a lot more than we thought! We then managed to load the entire thing back up with brush and branches that have been cut since then, and it's ready for burning again.

Since Matt worked late the night before, I got up about 2 hours earlier than he did and spent the morning cleaning up other stuff - including the large screened in porch off our house, which has sadly become quite neglected from all of our hard work on the farm. I put a lot of tools away, cleaned up the barn/construction area, picked up sticks and junk from all over the yard, cleaned out the carport and the truck and the car. Boy, you wouldn't believe the mess it's EASY to leave when you're busy working on a huge project like a barn!! I'm normally nowhere NEAR this neglectful in caring for things.
DAY 13 OF WORK - 6/7/2010
This Monday was BUSY - Matt and I spent literally the ENTIRE day setting posts in concrete. We messed one of them up quite significantly and then couldn't get it back out of the ground. Thankfully, it's a barn, not a house, and it's not going to interfere in any harmful way to the structure of the barn. :/ However, when the barn is finished, you may see a very slight "bow" on one side of the barn due to a post being set out about 3-4 inches too far. oooooooops.

Part of the Barn Aisle!

It is amazing how hard it is to mix concrete, level off ever single pole, make sure it's in the hole the right depth, and then get the concrete in the hole. We did this for nearly 40 poles - I think the final total was 38. We were absolutely wiped out by the end of the day.
 

Barn poles all set!!                                            Uprooted Water Line in the Barn
DAY 12 of WORK - 6/6/2010
Sunday we didn't have a ton of time to work, because of church and other commitments, we only had from 2pm to 6pm to work. However, we used this time wisely and used the auger we rented to finish digging the rest of the holes in the ground (albeit a bit off in some cases) and we put all the rest of the posts into the ground. Matt got a little bit of grading done by hand with the shovel - the inside of where some of the stalls are is too sloped right now and has to be brought down a little bit.
 
DAY 11 OF WORK - 6/5/2010

Today we actually had people come out to help us! Quite a bit got accomplished today - we spent our first "real" money on the farm - about $450 worth! We rented an big hydraulic auger ($112) with an 8" bit, 12" bit, and a 2' extension piece because we had to go down so deep for the big poles.
 
Matt and Grandad goofing off           Ben digging marking holes with the post hole diggers

The day started out with just marking out all the poles' placement very precisely so the building would be square. Matt took the top pole of the middle peak poles, then used the chainsaw to cut them down to level with the other posts. They're not entirely precise, but they can be cut a little bit more later when we're ready. Matt and Ben got the tin pieces out of the tree root that had grown around them.
 

We jacked up the tack room, knocked out ALL the rotten boards, places supports underneath them, put new bracing boards across the posts, and put bracing boards across the entire end of the tack room so that we could then bolt the tack room to new, 6"x6" posts to hold it steady, since currently the tack room is only resting on cinder block - since it will part of the entire structure of the barn, we wanted it to be a little bit sturdier. :)
 
 

Brian and I made a run to Lowe's around 12:30 to pick up 30 bags of concrete (love that my truck can easily haul 2400 pounds of concrete around with no problem!), a pickaxe, an 8' ladder, metal cutting blades for the Skillsaw (for cutting tin for the roof), and a bunch of carriage bolts and a drill bit extension. Then we went to pick up the hydraulic auger from Grand Rental Station in Greensboro. The wonderful people there let me pick up the auger about 30 minutes earlier. If you rent the auger from 2 to 4pm on Saturday, you get to keep it all day Sunday at no extra charge, and return it early Monday morning. They let me take it at 1:30, which was really nice. We went and picked up pizza for everyone for lunch, then headed back home to get to the "real" work.

I had to leave to teach lessons all afternoon, but the guys stayed and worked- they got all three 8"x8"x12' post holes dug and the poles put in!

They also got three corners of the tack room supported with 6"x6"x12' poles, bolted to it, and everything. The "easy" stuff comes tomorrow, digging the smaller  holes that are already all in line, and then if we don't get to it tomorrow, we'll set the posts in concrete later this week while we're waiting for the trusses to arrive - which will hopefully be by next weekend!
 
 


Shortly after Brian and I left for Lowes and Grand Rental Station, the guys lit the stuff in the pool on fire - and it went up like it was soaked in gasoline (which it wasn't)! It's now burned ALL the way down to the bottom, and we'll be able to refill it and burn again.
 

Tomorrow's agenda: get all the holes dug for the poles before we have to return the auger!! :)

The junk pile now:
 
DAY 10 OF WORK - 6/4/2010

Matt spent a large part of the afternoon levelling off the ground inside where the barn will be laid out.  Some more brush got dragged, some of the lines for the barn poles got laid out, but other than that, it was a pretty busy afternoon doing other things - I had a lot of lessons to teach, etc.


Our posts, minus the 8x8x12 and 4 of the 6x6x12's

 
Sparky found a root                                                  Sparky chillin on the dirt pile
 
What's down there??                                                        Isn't he so handsome!!
DAY 9 OF WORK - 6/3/2010

We took yesterday off to rest and rejuvenate, and we had a lot to do elsewhere as well. Today, however, we're back on the job full-blast. I finished the riding arena today, all three layers of fence railing AND the "gate"! It actually looks like somewhere to ride now! The completed size is somewhere right around 100' wide x 210' long!
 

Matt finished taking the roof off the barn, and getting the lights and electrical wire down.


The remaining brush and small trees around the barn got dragged to the burn pile, and a bunch of low-hanging branches got lopped off as well so we don't keep hitting our heads on the way to the arena. Our wonderful neighbor Robert cut our front lawn for us - how kind! so now the grass isn't impassibly tall. Now if we could just clear the area around the barn....

Matt cut down the tree that was hanging over the roof of the barn, because it was interfering with where the trusses will go. Speaking of trusses, our rep from Builders First Source came out this morning and got his numbers and drawings. Unfortunately, he said he would prefer to wait until the new posts are set before he orders the trusses to be made, just in case the measurements are just a little bit off by a few inches.

Speaking of posts, we got them in today! Three 8x8x12 posts, eleven 6x6x12 posts, and twenty-four 4x4x10 posts arrived this morning at 9:30 am! I'm really excited - our first material is here! and we don't' even have to pay for it until the end of June!
The puppies were having fun playing outside while we worked.
 

All the tin pieces that were leaning against a tree close to the barn got moved, then that tree got cut down (I hate tulip trees!), chopped up, and the pieces put in their respective places. We also got all the firewood pieces picked up from the pasture, plus a truckload of brush and branches and other junk. We stacked almost a cord of wood today! and there is a LOT more to come! (it doesn't look like a cord in the pic b/c it's not - the rest of it is on the other side in bigger pieces)


After removing the roof from the barn, Matt wanted to check the condition of the ground around the posts in preparation for putting new posts in on Saturday, so he raked a bunch of hay up and carted it to the burn pile. He also removed a whole lot of bricks from the barn, unloaded all my metal t-posts (that we pulled up from the groometown Rd farm the other day) in preparation for putting up new pasture fences, and added a TON of brush to the brush pile.
 
DAY 8 OF WORK - 6/1/2010

This day was spent on several different projects - I spent a lot of time lopping the smaller  branches off the felled trees so that Matt could cut the larger parts up into firewood for our woodstove for the winter. While I did that, Matt again used the chainsaw to cut up a lot more wood - most of which is still out in the pasture!

We also got all the posts pounded in for the riding arena - at the expense of a HUGE knot on my head from where I "missed" the post on the downward thrust and slammed the Post-pounder on top of my head. Ow. So that was about 60 posts pounded in, and I got the bottom layer of wire on for the fence piece surrounding the sides. Matt used the brush whacker tool to lop down all the nasty little maple trees growing around the arena.

Lots more branches and small trees got dragged to the burn pile, a lot of metal and junk was cleared away from the hay barn area, which will become our sitting/party area because it's so shady and pretty. This will, of course, have a lot of mulch, border stones, and picnic tables added.


Included in the junk we found was an old, buried mattress that was so heavy with dirt we had to drag it with the truck, lots of plastic baling twine (definitely NOT bio-degradable!), bottles, cans, half a plastic barrel, part of an I-beam, an old squished wheelbarrow that fire ants had taken up residence in, and a lot more. Yuck!
 
Nasty Old Mattress                                       Hydrangeas in Bloom

I also got a quote on trusses for the barn - another one -this one was $2,000 less than the last one! A representative is coming out here tomorrow morning to get more exact measurements and see what it is exactly that we need.
DAY 7 OF WORK - 5/31/2010

Today we got to play with the chainsaw! After taking saturday and Sunday off to go camping with some good friends, we were ready to get back to work today. Matt operated the chainsaw while I dragged branches and small trees around and cleared vines away. I got to do all the pointing "I want that one, that one, and that one cut...and when you're done, do that and that one...."
 

We got over 50 small trees cut down, and at least 4 that were over 14" in diameter. I don't like those ugly Tulip trees!! Yuck! We're leaving almost all of the nice hardwoods, like the oaks, maples, etc - but pretty much everything else is coming out.
 

We didn't get anything more done on the roof today, but I did find something amazing - a HUGE (15-20 feet on each side!) concrete WASH PAD for the horses! It has been, incredibly, buried underneath layers and layers of dirt, leaves, Virginia Creeper vines, logs, broken branches, and small trees and weeds that have been growing over it! I found the edge of it while pulling out vines, blackberry bushes, and small trees by hand - I hit the edge of it, and it wouldn't budge, so I cleared away the debris and found the wash pad! It's amazing!! All I'll have to do is add a few rubber mats to it and create somewhere to tie the horses, and voila! Wash stalls!
 

I also cleaned up an entire wheelbarrow load of JUNK - broken bottles, crushed aluminum cans, old junk, and SO much more! it was sooo gross! I got the whole wash pad area cleaned off, shoveled a bunch of dirt into holes and low areas of the barn, and a LOT more today - all in all, pretty productive work for only a few hours! (it started rained about an hour after we got out there today)


The view from the side pasture up towards the barn now that everything is almost cleared:



We also got the riding arena marked out - using a long line, corners, and lots of little flags that my father generously got for us (along with the chainsaw and weedwhacker and crowbar and just about everything else we've used on the farm so far!), we measured and marked a 100'x200' riding arena! Since it rained today, we're going to wait until tomorrow to go ahead and put them all in - it'll not only mean the ground will be softer to pound the posts in, but it also wasn't very pleasant walking in wet grass (it rained, remember?), especially now that it's actually started growing. :)
   
DAY 6 OF WORK - 5/27/2010

Today we got the trusses torn down off the tack room, got all the tin taken off the main barn, plus some of the truss pieces. got a lot more trees/bushes cleared out and dragged too the pool, plus miles and miles of Virginia Creeper vines. Yikes.
 
Matt also helped me drag a whole bunch of the junk around the farm into a big pile - old metal barrels, chicken wire, wood, twine, random pieces of metal, and a lot of other nasty stuff that will someday go into a big dumpster - after the barn and riding arena are built. Right now, I think we're trying to break some kind of record for biggest pile of junk! some of it can be reused, but a lot of it is just junk that will have to be hauled away.

Pictures of what we've gotten done on the roof so far:
 
DAY 5 of Work - 5/26/2010
The fourth day of work didn't feel very productive, although Matt got most of the roof torn off of the tack room, got the rest of the walls torn off, got a bunch more stuff cleaned out/cleared out of the barn - mostly little stuff that was overlooked for clearing up the rest of the bigger stuff like boards and poles.
I was able to cut a lot of smaller trees down, both around the barn and in the pasture. A large part of the area around the barn is now completely clear, except for leaves and little junk.
Two large piles of brush got dragged to the burn pile (which is actually an old pool set down in concrete!) and burned today. Still a LOT left to burn up!!


Roof removed from the tack room!


Our "junk" pile is growing exponentially....


Other side of the tack room roof - only the vertical truss pieces remain!


this is the BEFORE picture of the stand of trees I Knocked down today - trust me, it's a lot more impressive when there are leaves all over it. :/

This is the AFTER picture - I took out all but four of the trees (they were too big to cut with clippers)


Another area of trees I cut down at least 30-40 smaller trees - sadly, I couldn't get the bigger ones down. Gotta wait for Matt with the chainsaw. :)


Donkey chillin' in the pasture next to ours. :)
DAY 4 OF WORK - 5/25/2010
Didn't get a whole lot done other than a few panels ripped off, lots of brush dragged and cleared.
Day 3 (of working on the farm, not living here) - 5/21/2010
Day 3 was mostly spent pulling trees up - I realized that it's easier to pull up most of the smaller trees (6" to 6' tall) by hand rather than cutting all of them with the clippers/pruners. Matt dismantled all the shelves in the tack room/shed while I pulled up trees. We also went to Lowes and got a lot of information, plus pricing and ideas for barn building.
The area next to the barn is cleared all the way to the fence now! There are huge brush piles all over the place - I'm looking forward to getting them all dragged into the "pool" and burned to get them out of the way. :)

It's a little blurry because it was getting dark when I took this, but this is the area we've cleared


From the chicken coop thing - barn is on the left and the fence is right there through the trees.
The brush right at the bottom of the picture is all downed, it's just in a big pile that needs to be dragged away


This is probably the best picture I got of this area today. This picture makes the area we cleared look big, but trust me - it's a LOT bigger.


View from the fence to the barn - lots of brush, lots of leaves


View of the nearly-empty tack room! and the nice cleared area. :)
DAY 2 OF WORK - 5/20/2010


Tack room/aisle area BEFORE


Tack room/aisle area AFTER. The roof on the shed overhang is torn down, most of the siding is off, and the door is off.


Day 2 - This is just SOME of the junk we pulled out of the shed that will become the tack room!




This is what will become the main barn - this is the BEFORE picture

DAY 1 OF WORK - 5/19/2010


This is the roof of the shed on the side of the barn that we tore down


Matt carrying the last pole of the day
Day 1 of barn deconstruction ended with 3 sides of the barn cleared, all the junk taken out of the barn, and the shed on the side knocked down and cleared out.


Day 1 - pile of junk/material we pulled from the barn


Day 1 - got a lot of undergrowth cleared, but sadly not quite back to the fence yet. still got a LOT of work left to do.

DAY 5 OF WORK - 5/27/2010

Don't have any pictures yet, will post them tomorrow.

Today we got the trusses torn down off the tack room, got all the tin taken off the main barn, plus some of the truss pieces. got a lot more trees/bushes cleared out and dragged too the pool, plus miles and miles of Virginia Creeper vines. Yikes.
Matt also helped me drag a whole bunch of the junk around the farm into a big pile - old metal barrels, chicken wire, wood, twine, random pieces of metal, and a lot of other nasty stuff that will someday go into a big dumpster - after the barn and riding arena are built. Right now, I think we're trying to break some kind of record for biggest pile of junk! some of it can be reused, but a lot of it is just junk that will have to be hauled away.
More to come soon!

There is currently no projected date on when we will be moving the horses to this location. We have to get the tack room and riding arena built, and pastures/gates put up before we can move. Hopefully it will be by the end of June, but we'll see how it goes!