This is about life in all its messiness and all its beauty…one in the same really.
Originally I was inspired to start this blog when I moved my family into a barn, LITERALLY. It all started with a horse, turned into a calling, then became more.
We ended up moving into the barn apartment of the boarding and training facility where I initially kept my horse. Quite literally living over the barn and managing the facility of 50+ horses. Our lives completely changed.
Since then, that barn that inspired “barnraised”…well, I have moved on and now bought my own barn and started my own “barnraised”. My own terms. “My barn, my rules” as my mentor liked to say. You taught me well, my friend, you taught me well.
This blog follows the fun, the adventure, the beauty and-yes-the messiness and challenges all along the way. Thanks for stopping by the barn!
A little bio: I have an undergrad degree in Education and a masters degree in Counseling. I spent many years working with children and families in different social work and therapeutic situations. I have lived and worked all over the world, specifically in Japan, Ireland and England as well, of course, as many states in the U.S. I then “settled down”, married a good (and -thankfully- very flexible, easy-going and low-maintenance) man, got my contractor’s license and started a construction-type business with him, then had a little girl (Sahalie) that made life so much more exciting. She is seven (at the time of this “about” page). I left my career in social work and therapy to focus on our business and homeschool my girl. I found the world of Waldorf education and have studied it like crazy. It’s magical. Just FYI, we use a combo of the Christopherus homeschool curriculum and un-schooling. Prior to all of this, I have been a waitress, bartender, teacher, traveler, librarian, nanny, foster parent, basically-you name it, I’ve probably done a little bit of it. Update: now she is 9 yrs old and a hard core workin’ cowgirl! She is amazing. And, though we still have a deep love for Waldorf, we have transitioned more into unschooling/natural schooling. There is no school like the barnyard, I tell ya!
I grew up with horses and showing, but left that world during my years of college, travel and career. Then I found it again (through my daughter who loves horses). I rediscovered my love of horses, of the barn life and simplicity. My daughter and I bonded deeply through horses and riding together. We bought one horse, we got a second, I became a certified horse trainer and riding instructor through the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA), started instructing at our local commercial boarding, touristy trail-riding, riding lessons and training facility (where I boarded our horses). Everything snowballed from there and I was offered the opportunity to move into the barn apartment and oversee the place (50+ horses). This would be a lot of work AND a lot of fun. What an experience. So, we rented out our little house and moved into a barn. Yes, many called me crazy. It was a whirlwind of learning, growing and inspiration. I have always known the therapeutic value of a horse, how they teach us about ourselves and force us to grow. I never would have foreseen that path in my life opening up. I truly feel like I stepped into my purpose in life as I now teach therapeutic horseback riding with a passion I never knew I could feel for my life’s work. The shoe just fit, my two “worlds” collided and I just belong here in my own world now known as “barnraised”.
While my original barn might sound exciting, I assure you it was not always so. It was a constant paradox of peace, quiet, acres of horses, nature and being in the moment, a wonderful escape from the rat-race AND it was also hectic, busy, sometimes very loud with never ending work, early mornings, little sleep. It was one moment breathing fresh air and enjoying a quiet sunset and then the next moment of 9 degree morning feedings in three layers of clothes, breaking ice in water troughs, getting out a trail ride of five dude riders (God help us), checking on a colicing (sick) horse, calling the vet, arranging a riding lesson, sweeping up spilled grain and wishing everyone would just go home! Oh, to learn so much through that raw, down-home, barnraised way of life.
When I started this blog, I was torn between writing about…Horses? Homeschooling? Parenting? Life living in a barn? Rambling thoughts? I just let it flow and found myself going back and forth between subjects sort of weaving it all together. This is my place to explore life, relate horses to philosophical thoughts, remind myself of what’s important and have a creative outlet for my daughter and myself to create an “online journal” about our adventures here, as she is always my editor. She and I both take the photos and come up with the ideas. Her artwork and inspiration is included here as well. This blog is continually trying to improve and grow (as am I) so I appreciate any and all thoughts, comments, suggestions and connections. Thanks again!
“If you climb in the saddle, you better be ready for the ride”…