Why start a horse boarding facility in the middle of a pandemic?
We started 2020 full of hope, planned vacations, horse shows, LIFE! And then boom - COVID hit and we were isolated as was the rest of the world. So, why did we decide to build a boarding facility THEN? Perhaps we are a bit crazy, perhaps we love ponies too much, perhaps we needed something to fill our lives with so we didn't go REALLY crazy, and perhaps a bit of it all! (Did I mention how much we love our ponies? BC WE REALLY DO!)
Is there ever a good time to build a boarding facility? I don't think there could be - it's hard work and a bit of a dreamers game! Probably not the best time when lumber prices are high, but eh we gave it our best shot. We worked with some pretty great people who helped us build our dream and put every day and night sweat equity into the barn, and ended up with something pretty special!
And so we just did it, arena first and then on to the barn. A small barn but I had some really big goals in air flow, health of the horses and happiness of the horses and their owners! And chandeliers - I needed chandeliers! I imagined long summers sitting on the barn porch looking over the massive elm trees and watching the kids after lessons play on the (soon to be hung) tree swing and climb the mulberry tree and gobble down mulberry snacks! Having a drink after a long ride with friends and laughing at the horses being silly in the field! We didn't have a huge amount of land so I had to utilize every square inch perfectly! We spent all our time outside our regular jobs building, planning, painting, you name it... we did it! This barn was more than just a facility - it would be our horses home, our getaway, and it was dreamy.
I probably don't have to mention reality hit after week 6-8 of every night at the barn till midnight, and our home was a mess, and no clean clothes - but who cares - it's COVID so we wore dirty clothes! The cost of all materials went through the roof - but what do you do when you are 1/4 a way through an investment... you just keep going... and that is what we did! We just kept going! Day after day, night after exhausting night, as the $$$ racked up and we could see no light at the end of the tunnel and prayed for help, we just kept going. (can you hear the Finding Nemo theme "just keeping swimming, just keeping swimming", bc that is all I could hear!)
And now, FINALLY there is light at the end of the tunnel. The barn is done and beautiful! I can't be happier with how it turned out and neither could the horses who love their huge 4x4 dutch windows and mesh stall fronts! The arena is done... although is any arena actually DONE? I say no... it's always a work, and rework, and then do it again after an Oklahoma rain storm that drops 6 inches in an hour!! The turnouts are DONE! Albeit right now they are pure mud until Spring when grass finally grows... but the fences are done! 2 pastures are done and we are on to the third and the loafing sheds are going up! And so now there is light.
So why do you build a horse boarding facility in the middle of a pandemic... perhaps its just what we do?!