It’s official: as of Saturday I’m now living out at the barn full time! The barn owners and 3 of their horses left for their farm in Florida (a little jealous right now since cold front is about to blow through here and drop us down below freezing) on Saturday morning, and I swooped in as they were pulling out.
Trying to pack for a months-long stay was kind of interesting. I took it as an opportunity to prepare for living in the tiny house. What stuff did I REALLY need? Clothing and shoes especially. Honestly I need way less than I actually own. All the clothing I brought (aside from jackets, which are hanging near the door) fits easily in the closet and a couple of drawers in the dresser. I’ve decided to limit myself to using one shelf in the pantry, and just a few dishes/pots/pans etc. Mostly to see just how much stuff I actually need, vs how much stuff I’ve accumulated back at home. If I don’t use it over the next 5 or 6 months, do I really need to own it? Probably not. I packed what I feel like are the necessary essentials, so now we’ll see how that works out.
I kept myself pretty busy on Saturday, getting settled in. I turned the horses out, unpacked my stuff and put it all up where I wanted, then went to move and set up my jumps. They’d all still been sitting behind the storage barn right where we unloaded them the day before I moved the horses. In reality they all need some repair and paint, which will be a winter project, but I still need to be able to jump in the meantime. So first I loaded up fillers and poles, then drove out to Henry’s turnout (the biggest, flattest space) and started plotting out where I wanted things.
Which took me forever because I went out there with no plan and thus was completely indecisive. Once I had the poles set, I went back over to get the standards. By this point I was kind of glad that I only have like 6 jumps. Moving them all by yourself is a real bitch. But now it’s done, and we jumped them (boy is Henry really excited to find himself pointed at a jump again). The field that I put them in is right up next to the road and someone driving by yesterday stopped to watch us jump… I think I might become a bit of a neighborhood spectacle.
Then of course when I was cleaning stalls, the lawnmower that pulls the manure spreader got stuck in park. Because naturally, day 1, something has to happen. Luckily I’d already done most of the stall cleaning by that point so I just left it there and figured the SO could fix it the next day when he came out. It helps having a mechanic around sometimes. And fix it he did, in like 5 minutes, using one screwdriver. I figured it would be simple and I would feel dumb, and I was correct on both counts. He showed me what to do if it happens again, but hopefully it won’t. I’m a lot better with horses than I am with machines.
Saturday night I went and got groceries, which was the last big thing on my to-do list for the weekend to get settled in. It’s funny, it takes me pretty much the same amount of time to get to the grocery store now that I live 9 miles away as it did when I was 2 miles away. Country roads vs city traffic. Much prefer the country roads. And now that I’ll basically be living as a single person 5 days a week for a while, I got perhaps overly excited about being able to eat whatever I want again. The SO is mostly vegetarian, and before he came along I existed pretty exclusively on variations of chicken. As you may imagine, it’s been tough finding things we’ll both eat. But I stocked up on chicken, and I’ve had it 2 nights in a row for dinner. Also really looking forward to having breakfast for dinner again, which is something the SO just did not do, but I love. I bought turkey bacon for that exact reason. I also don’t have to cook if I don’t want to… like if I get done in the barn late, I could totally just have cereal or a sandwich for dinner, because I don’t have to consider anyone else. I definitely didn’t appreciate that part enough when I was single and yes you’re right it’s kind of sad that I’m so excited about it now.
My favorite part, though?
It’s stalker heaven.
I can see my boys whenever I want, just by looking out the window. Even in the middle of the night, because there are cameras in the barn, I can pull up the feed on my phone to check on them without even having to get up. Not that I’ve done that. Ok yes I’ve totally done that.
I can blanket them how I want. I can feed them how I want. I see them every single day and can observe every little nuance with their condition or behavior. I know how much they eat, drink, and poop. I see their attitude and demeanor. Taking care of my own horses is a dream come true. It’s a time constraint, sure, and it ties me to the farm in a way that gives me a lot less freedom. Given my 1.5hr round trip commute to work, fitting everything into the weekdays is going to be a bit tricky. It’s a totally fair trade to me, though, and one I don’t mind. If I need to change something, I can just… change it. After so many years of compromises with boarding, I LOVE being 100% in control of their care, and it’s worth the work or whatever I have to sacrifice to make it happen.
Of course, tonight that cold front is blowing through, so maybe ask me again in a couple days after I’ve been rained on and frozen solid like a popsicle. Just kidding, it’ll be fine, I brought 3 jackets. I’m ready.