She’s at it again

valentines 2She’s at it again. That same mischievious (in all the best ways) boarder. Valentine’s garland strung throughout the tack room when we arrived home late one evening after a long day gone to a horse show. She even took extra care to make sure our own pics where placed right above our front door.

valentinesI suppose whether you are in a relationship or not, it doesn’t matter if you have a horse (or just love a horse). That’s the most “stable” relationship. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

“There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse” -unknown

You know it’s a good day when…

1. You get a bath


dirty oskarBEFORE

playing 3AFTER!

2. Get out to play with your friends

playing 2


3. Enjoy a nice lunch buffet while out with your friends

playing 4

4. Get a relaxing groom and massage

Romi5. Enjoy a cuddle with your owner


6. And then us humans go inside and wind our good day down with a game of “horsey” war over dinner!

Horse war

“about” paradox

I revised my “about” page. I decided to also use it as my current post. You see when I first started this blog, I didn’t know what exactly to write for my “about”. I did a simple, neat and elusive paragraph. I had wanted to stay very anonymous. I thought I wouldn’t use names, I wouldn’t post pictures of my daughter, I would keep it very ….distant. I am not a computer, technology, social media type of person. And, to be quite frank, it scares me. Well now that we’ve been blogging a while, I realize that no one is really looking at my blog anyways. That is somehow liberating. I had grandiose ideas of followers and …dare I say, book deals….! Ok, so. Anyways. What I have found is that my daughter and I are having tons of fun with this blog, finding a creative outlet that satisfies us, gets us thinking, helps us (particularly me) feel more gratitude for what we have and the adventures we are blessed to live everyday. I have made some online connections with other “horsey” addicts, homeschoolers and homesteaders which I have learned so much from and enjoy keeping up with. Other than that, I still feel we have that anonymity that allows for more sharing. Thus, I have been using pictures of a more personal nature, as well as more honest thoughts and writings. I finally decided to add a more honest bio to my about page and I share that here now.

Raised in a barn 2
Welcome to Barnraised. This is about life in all it’s messiness and all it’s beauty. I moved my family into a barn, literally. It all started with a horse, then became more. We moved into the barn apartment of the boarding and training facility where I initially kept my horse. Our lives have completely changed. 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!

My bio: I have an undergrad degree in Social Work 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, studied, studied. I homeschool in the Waldorf pedagogy and we love it. It’s magical. I ultimately earned a certification in Waldorf Education. 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, basically-you name it, I’ve probably done a little bit of it.

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 moved in and it’s been a whirlwind of learning, growing and inspiration ever since. 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 this path in my life opening up. I truly feel like I stepped into my purpose in life as I teach therapeutic horseback riding to children (and some adults) with a passion I never knew I could feel for my life’s work. It is one of those “Cinderella stories” where the shoe just fit, my two “worlds” collided and I just belong here.

While it might all sound like a fairy tale, I assure you it is not. It is a constant paradox of peace, quiet, acres of horses, nature and being in the moment, a wonderful escape from the rat-race AND it is also hectic, busy, sometimes very loud with never ending work, early mornings, little sleep. It is one moment breathing fresh air and enjoying a quiet sunrise 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!

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!

This moment


Joining Amanda Soule at “Soulemama” in the tradition of “this moment”:

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Resolutions with a twist

Jan 1





A unique way to approach “New Years Resolutions”:  Be productive, go to the gym, attend yoga regularly, get into the outdoors, quality family time. Okay, here we go:


Be productive:  Well, we’ve been in prep mode for some time now. Haven’t posted so much about it because I’ve really just been reveling in the holidays and trying to enjoy the family time when I can. However, behind the scenes there has been a great deal of work. Where we are, our winter’s are milder and shorter than many of yours probably are. But they still come hard, fast, cold and with snow.


The wood is ready, stacked and we are already enjoying it inside on these cold nights. My little girl’s a trooper. She actually made this fun! I think that sounds pretty darn productive, no? Resolution #1 CHECK (in barn speak)




Go to the gym:  Hay is delivered, unloaded and the hay barn is overflowing. That is ALWAYS a very comforting feeling with so many horsey mouths to feed! Resolution #2:  CHECK (again, in barn speak…..hey, who do you think loads up these bales every morning to feed?)



Attend Yoga class:  We have had our first hard freeze. With that, of course, I’ve had my first hard morning of breaking ice in the water troughs. Ahem, fifty of them… With a sledgehammer. I just pretend I’m at the gym…only it’s much easier because I know lives depend on it. And, it’s somewhat like the Yoga class I used to attend before I got too busy doing things (like breaking ice)…stress relief, tension and frustrations out, being in the moment. Absolutely. Resolution #3:  CHECK


Get into the outdoors:  The final birds, migrating off from our little haven. Resolution #4:  CHECK (definetely couldn’t be in a better place-both physically and mentally-to meet this resolution every single day, rain or shine).

Birds 2

Quality family time: Homeschooling, living in this unique and life-changing place, learning so much everyday, my daughter and I both growing and bonding through our horses, working together, playing together, learning to appreciate the little things as well as the big, accepting ourselves as individuals for who we are, um….Resolution #5:  CHECK!!!

Sahe delivering gift


I was looking for something inspiring to post on this first day of the new year. I wasn’t finding it. Although, I did have these winter prep pictures I’d been meaning to get up. Then I decided that part of welcoming a “new year” or anything new in life is one part jumping in head first with wild abandon (as we did when we agreed to move in here and start this adventure) , one part hard work and preparation so that what’s to come happens in an intentional way, and then one part of a big sense of humor. Letting go of perfection and going with what loveliness you’ve got right in front of you.. A little dose of each for a perfect balance. Right?