The horses now have about 20 acres of ‘range’
Step by step (mine!) the farm is transforming. From nothing but weeds, areas are being tamed. When I decided to buy the farm, I was optimistic. I saw what it could be and felt I could get it there. Alone. With time. However, when I actually moved my travel trailer down to live there and start working, I was overwhelmed. I walked out into the first area I planned to work on – about 5 acres – and as I struggled through weeds over my head, along a fence line that was broken and hard to get to, I suddenly couldn’t cope. I had thought that 2 days hard work would get it ready. Now I felt like I needed a crew of 5 men! There was no way I could do this!
Luckily, I know myself. I just turned around, walked back to the trailer and took a break. I knew I was right, two days of hard work would get it done. But I had to relax first and absorb what that really meant. It meant two days of HARD work, not a few hours. But I could do it.
That first day, I took hedge clippers and cut a fence line for my temporary posts and electric tape. I started with a weed eater, with an actual brush cutting blade on it – but while it cut those tall, thick weeds okay, they were so big they just wrapped around the shaft. It was faster (have I mentioned I am compulsive?) to use the hedge clippers. Hand tools not power tools. I was determined to get an area set up and I cut a 4 foot swath through those weeds. Got my posts up. Got my tape up. And got it hot. It was back breaking hard work – but I felt good! All for an area about 150′ x 150′. If that sounds small and easy, it wasn’t.
My next step was to enlarge it. That went easier and in an afternoon I had it twice the size.
The next step was to get the whole 5 acres opened up. It took another 8 hours, over 2 days, to do it – but it was done!! What a sense of accomplishment. And I had been right – two days of hard work would have done it. I just wasn’t up to the task.
Below is a photo of the 5 acre enclosure after the horses had done a good job of clearing the weeds. The whole area is not visible – it goes up and over the hill to the left, and there is some that can’t be seen to the right.
To tell you how much stronger I am now than day one – it took 2 days of hard work (4 hour days), in the rain, to get the 15 acre section open. Luckily it was in the 60′s and I honestly barely noticed the rain – though it’s been 2 days since I finished and my boots are still wet!
The important thing is that the horses are happy.
Below is a photo taken yesterday as they stood on the hill directly across from my window. I’m sure that now that they’re out of the manicured pastures of Paris, they feel like wild horses foraging in the wilderness. Though it’s not apparent from the photo – the majority of the area, including that part in the photo, is rich in grass. It’s just long and bent over – I think of it as standing (slumped over) hay. It should take them quite a while to eat it down.
I am surrounded on three sides by the horses’ are and love it. As I write this, the horses are visible out my back window, some of them napping and the others watching over them. It doesn’t get much better than that.