This past June, we celebrated two years on the farm… Our Farmiversary! To celebrate, my very talented sister, Kelly Michele, came out to do a photo shoot. I had a blast with Lil’ Miss, the dog and the horses. A lot has changed in two years, and I wouldn’t trade this crazy adventure for anything.
Year one… we had no idea what we were doing…. Not that I do now, but I have learned a lot. There is a steep learning curve when you own a farm, and there is no way to prepare yourself for that, besides jumping in feet first.
Year one brought me Roo…. The 4 yo OTTB gelding with a crazy eye. A friend of mine bought him and brought him to the farm as a resale project. Well since then, I’ve bought him for myself for a dollar and tried to sell and lease him out multiple times… but that horse keeps on coming back. Kasey LOVES him… So I’m hoping, ok praying, that 13 yo Kasey, and 16 yo Roo will make an amazing pair, and hopefully pack around beginner novice together…. A crazy horse mom can dream right?
Year one also brought me a new love…. CHICKENS! Who knew these odd decedents of dinosaurs had such funny personalities! We got chicks, we lost some, some got bigger, and we lost some bigger ones to the foxes. We built our own coop! And discovered how amazing fresh eggs are.
Year one also brought snow… tons of snow! And with a half mile long driveway… our first snow storm was an insane adventure that involved both of our vehicles and our tractor getting stuck. Thankfully my dad knows a guy… But I’m currently plow shopping.
Year one brought heartache… I started this business with my husband and a good friend. What happened between the three of us is a long story, best told over dinner, email me, we can go out and I’ll tell you all about it. But the short version is neither my marriage or friendship was strong enough to live through the beginnings of starting a business. It’s ok! Don’t be sad for me. That experience taught me so much! And not only made me a stronger person, but it made me a better business women.
Year one brought rumors… RUMORS! Ugh… Don’t do it. Gossip is fun, don’t get me wrong. I am a horse person after all and there isn’t much better then getting together with your girl friends, chatting about your horse, your man, and barn drama. But that’s where it should stay, conversations between friends. Vicious rumors spread online or between strangers are harmful. Hate is never the way to solve a problem. And to lay the biggest rumor to rest… I have never, and will never abuse any of my animals.
Year two… the learning continues! This year was harder on a personal level, but as far as the farm is concerned year two was a blast! New horses, new people and a whole lot of adventure.
Year two brought a new instructor… I am an Eventer at heart! And I am so lucky to live in such close proximity to Olympic and 4Star athletes! Sometimes you even see them out, in regular people clothes, like they are actually human and not Eventing Gods. But I was recently introduced to the jumper world… and it has been fun! I’ve become braver, I’m starting to jump bigger, and starting to allow my horse to move more freely underneath me! We traveled, we showed, we even won some money! But most of all we had fun.
Year two brought shows to the farm… I hosted my very first horse show at the farm. And it was pretty successful! I gave away a lot of ribbons, prizes, money and met some amazing people.
Year two brought divorce… Yes, this topic will keep coming up. But do not feel sorry for me! Getting divorced has changed me in a way I could only imagine in a short amount of time. I feel free! And the farm is better off because of it.
Year two also brought new friendships… I have opened myself up to new friendships this year. And it has been so amazing. In a short amount of time I have met so many amazing people. These people have given me new adventures, and showed me the boarding business can be so much more then just horses.
Year two gave me Elvis. I don’t how to tell you how much this pony means to me, my farm, and Kasey. I am so thankful for Michelle at RG Equine for giving us this pony. November will mark a year with him, and in that time he has carted around therapy kids, taken Kasey on trail rides, and given students confidence. I have seen this pony barely pick up a trot with Kasey on his back and then next day pick up a gallop with a more advanced student. He is my heart pony and he has earned his forever home here at Red Bell Farms.
Currently we are in the beginning of year three. I have accepted that Roo is probably staying for awhile, so he is starting to earn his keep. One of my more advanced students has started riding him frequently and they are doing very well together. Elvis is doing amazing as always, and Kasey and him did excellent at their first show together. Ponch, an old friend, came home! Kasey has a favorite chicken, and we expanded our chicken run to 10×16 feet. I’m continuing to grow new friendships, I’m working on renewing some old ones, and I’ve gone on some good, and some weird dates.
Year three is just getting started as we head into the fall and I can’t wait to see what next. This is my piece of paradise, and I can’t wait to celebrate my three year Farmiversary.