Hello, friends! Long time no write! I thought that since 6 months(!!) have passed since our first post, I should get another update out to you. Where to start…
The last 6 months have been a lesson in patience, flexibility, adapting to the unexpected, and a reminder that you should ALWAYS listen to your gut when it starts talking to you! Without going into too much detail, our barn construction progress was set back significantly due to a project manager who turned out to not be a good fit for the job after all. It took us a while to recognize it, longer still to admit it to ourselves, longer still to confront him with our concerns, and longer still to finally honor our intuition, overcome our reluctance to “start over,” and cut things off with this builder so that we could finally move on to a new more competent team and start seeing some much needed progress on the property. Losing months of time entrusting our dream project to someone who was not up to the task was an effective learning experience for sure, albeit an incredibly disheartening, humbling and frustrating one.
But now for the good news! In the last 6 or so weeks since hiring an awesome new building team and essentially starting over we have seen more progress than we did in all the months leading up to that decision. We have gotten the permits we need. We have a septic system designed and ready to be installed. We have a fence almost finished. We have a new and much improved building design. We learned that we cannot tap a well because we are, as luck would have it, in a tiny void between aquifers, but we have decided to install a rainwater collection system to hopefully help us rely less on city water. As hard as it was emotionally to call it quits with the first builder and go back to the drawing board with someone new, we now wholeheartedly know that we made the right choice and are feeling MUCH more confident in all aspects of this project moving forward.
“SO WHEN ARE YOU GETTING THE DANG HORSES?!” Our goal is to have horses on the property by April. While the barn will not be complete by then, we are comfortable having horses there once we have the essentials of finished fencing, water service, shade/wind shelters, and feed storage. We have had a couple of changes to our original herd. First, Will’s current owner up in PA has noticed he has begun to show his age a lot, and has made the very wise decision that he should not go through the stress of the long journey to Texas as well as the process of trying to adapt to the climate change, change of home, etc. As sad as we are to not get to bring Will into our Unbroken family, we fully agree with this decision and would prefer for that sweet old boy to stay comfortably and happily where he is! Second, and more sadly, Impuls (my late aunt Ann’s horse who still lives up in Delaware) had a sudden and severe colic episode in mid-January, which in a matter of only minutes led to the only humane decision for a horse of his age - to peacefully euthanize him rather than put him through an agonizing trip to the O.R. and a surgery he likely wouldn’t recover well from. While this event was sad indeed, I believe it happened in the best possible way in that he was in his familiar home with the people he’s used to, he did not suffer long at all, and it was much better this way than if he had made the journey to Texas and this had happened on the road or right after his arrival. I believe this was the least traumatic scenario for all involved, especially Impuls. Impuls has been cremated and portion of his ashes will be coming down here with Melody so that we may have a little piece of him here, since he and Ann were such a part of the inspiration and catalyst to finally start this business.
In much happier news relating to our herd, our newest development is that we will be keeping COWS in addition to our equine friends! After exploring multiple avenues for renewing the property’s Ag exemption status, we have worked out an arrangement with Kristie Wehe at Mockingbird Farm to keep four small Murry gray heifers and a bull. But not just any bull – his name is Mini Moo, he is a miniature jersey/Murry gray cross, he is shy and sweet, and we could not be more excited to welcome him and his little gray harem to Unbroken! Kristie has expressed that she would love for them to become less skittish and more comfortable around people, which presents a really cool opportunity for us to practice some of our Natural Lifemanship connection work with them. Different species, exact same concepts! What started as just an idea for a way to keep our taxes low has turned into what we believe will be a wonderful and unique addition to our ranch and our practice. Our plan is to get the cows to the property by March, before the bringing the horses over.
Those are all the big points for now! Hopefully my next update will be to announce breaking ground!!