Farm Update

I have been meaning to do more Bella updates, but have been so busy outside that I haven’t had much computer time. There’s rain in the forecast for the next few days, so maybe some blog time soon? Here is a quick update of some of the things we’ve been doing around the farm:

These days I feel like my life revolves around weeds. I had no idea just how much weeding would need to be done. In fact, prior to actually living here, I never thought about it at all. But between a sand arena, a giant dry lot and a long gravel driveway, everywhere I look is weeds, weeds, weeds. Normally this wouldn’t bother me so much from an appearance standpoint, but the effects of the weeds are what worries me. They have giant root systems which are not only eating up all my footing and screenings, when they are pulled they are pulling out the dirt below with them. Which means they are removing my good footing and replacing it with dirt. Which means I can slowly see my dry lot turning to mud!

Old hay spot – Before
Old hay spot – After

Our dry lot is huge and definitely one of the main things I loved about this farm. Although North Carolina isn’t very wet, where you have horses and you have dirt, mud is inevitable. With the giant dry lot, no matter how hard it rains the horses always have solid footing and it drys almost instantly. It also means that even on the wettest of days, I can still play with them at a walk on the dry lot when the arena is too wet. It’s been such an amazing feature, I don’t even want to think about losing it. We wouldn’t be able to afford to replace all of it, so right now the plan of attack is to minimize the damage and maintain what’s still in good shape until we can afford to replace some areas of screenings. The old owners threw hay in a few places and those areas are now complete dirt, so those areas need to be dug out and filled with screenings. Besides that, I am hoping we can just maintain there rest. Needless to say, I have been on weed mood 24/7 for the past few weeks.

More weed free areas (no before pics, but you get the point)

Another old hay spot turning to mud 🙁

We have also made a small few investments which are making a world of difference. Last week we bought a cart and a drag for the lawn mower! The cart has already earned it’s keep: hauling heavy-ass muck tubs around and we used it to cart all of my jumps and barrels from the trailer to the arena. Definitely going to be a huge help! The drag is a simple chain harrow which I hope will help keep the footing soft and even, as well as maybe reduce some of the weeds? We shall see….

Matt has been helping me with the weed thing (seriously, it’s all we do), but also has been working on landscaping. He pulled out the ugly random bushes and made us actual flower beds. Yay! It is certainly starting to feel like home! (Pictures to come)

We absolutely love our new mower, so much I think I will do a review on how wonderful it has been for a small farm. Mowing our grass doesn’t take long at all, we’re actually spending more time weed eating the fence lines and around tough-to-reach places. I think eventually we could use a small push mower, but just another thing to add to the list…

Pinky doing what she does best….nothing.

Daily I’ve been cleaning the poop out of pastures (which is quite the effort but totally worth it) and trying to squeeze in time with both girls. Both have been absolutely wonderful. I love the changes I see in Bella and need to make time to blog about them this week. Estella and I have had a few rides here and she’s been fantastic, which makes me the happiest ever.

Farm ownership isn’t easy and most certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. There have been more blood, sweat and tears than excepted, but I know part of that is simply adjusting to all the new things to be done. It means I have a lot less time for anything other than farm work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is so much purpose and pride and joy that comes from having your sweet ponies in your backyard and caring for a home that you love so much. Matt has been such a huge help, there aren’t words to describe how much I appreciate him. I know this all started as my dream years and years before I even met him, but he has embraced it as his own and loves everything here just as much as me (well, almost 😉 I get some strange satisfaction from picking up poops). It’s exhausting, it’s expensive, it’s never-ending, and it’s everything I have ever wanted. There is nothing that could replace all the ponies kisses I get every day and all the time Matt and I get together (even if it is hating weeds together). I may be out of energy but my heart is so full.


11 thoughts on “Farm Update

  1. Your place is so beautiful! I hope to have my own place soon too, so this was a very helpful post 😉

    • Awe, thanks so much! It took a whole lot of work and a lot more prayers, but it was absolutely worth it! I’m sure you’ll get your dream, too!

  2. Do explain the dry lot… what is it and how do you keep the mud from forming in there?

    I feel your pain with weeds!! I feel like no matter how much we mow and keep up on it they are faster! I am about to take a healthy doce of roundup to my arena bc I can’t seem to keep them out ?

    • That’s unfortunately what I am going to do, too. I am going to try vinegar as well, I’ve had a few people recommend it!
      If you look through my photos you can see there is a giant (like bigger than my small dressage around) area in front of/around the barn that is all screenings. It looks like they first put down rocks, then screenings, then drainage rocks in some areas. So it’s like a compacted, hard ground. When it rains, the water builds up in some areas where it’s low, but thanks to the good base it drains really quickly and never gets sloppy!

      • Ahhhhh ok… I’ll have to eventually look into some materials ? Right now I’m half way done putting stall mats in Henry’s paddock to help keep the mud away from his princess feet lol

  3. On your vinegar suggestion, you can try a mixture of vinegar, dawn dish soap, and citric acid. Recipe that I use here:

    The dish soap and d-limonene from the citrus-peel infused vinegar helps strip the cuticle from the leaves, allow the citric acid and acetic acid in the vinegar do its thing. On its own, the acid in vinegar can’t break through the leaves of the weeds to kill them.

    Another piece of advice, which I’m sure you already knew, is to get to the weeds BEFORE they bolt. You don’t even have to pull them up — snipping or weed whacking them off at the base and then spraying some of that home made weed killer down will help kill them down to their roots. That way, worms etc. will do all the work of replacing that dead root system underground and you won’t be pulling dirt up to your dry lot!

    Weeding is NEVER ENDING, but we have an even bigger problem… gophers!!

    • OMG I HAD NO IDEA WORMS WOULD WORK FOR ME! Even in the sand arena??? Either way that will be a HUGE help for the dry lot! Going to check out that link now, thank you thank you!!!

      • Well, you won’t be adding worms! But they are doubtless there under the soil already, and when those roots are dead and start rotting they, and bacteria, will take care of the rest. The main point being that you won’t have to rip up roots and bring dirt up from the bottom of your dry lot to the top!

    • Oh awesome I’ll check out the link too… thanks!!

  4. Every blogger that posts about wanting their own farm for one horse makes me giggle a little. There’s SO much work in it that isn’t readily apparent. Working full time and attempting to maintain my 26 acre farm takes a lot of time…riding is never as high on the list when you own your own property I’m afraid. WEEDS are the doom for all of us though. I have to spray my fencelines soon…

    • I totally understand this! It’s funny to me that when I boarded I went to the barn to play with Ellie EVERY single day, and now it’s been over a week since I’ve played with her and she’s in my backyard LOL! It is a ton of work that’s for sure!

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