Friday, November 20, 2020

Viva Carlos Unofficial Hop: A Proper Barn Tour

Happy Friday!! It's been, hm, a long week. Let's wrap it up with a Friday Foto Finish, featuring a photo-heavy, word-lite unofficial blog hop from L Williams at Viva Carlos:: a complete tour of Charlie's farm!

The story begins with the driveway into the property -- lengthy and beautiful! Charlie lives near its bottom while the riding arenas are near the top. So we spend lots of time on it. 

just charlie's turnout is highlighted here, but basically all grassy areas are used as pasture
The property is enormous. Facilities include: 3 riding arenas, full cross country courses through Modified, plus boundless pastures and woods for roaming and turnout. 

Naturally, tho, all rides begin in the charmingly rustic barnyard. 

 rip Cos <3 <3
This area features an al fresco wash stall (just above Charlie's left ear tip in the previous picture). The water pumps through a cistern and is cold. Hot water can be carried out from the tack room taps but... Yea, bathing is generally reserved for the warm months. 

The barn is an L-shaped bank barn, with Charlie's stall in the elbow joint. There's a heated tack room with faucet and fridge, and a wall of lockers on the short end of the "L." My locker is to the left Charlie's butt in the above shot. 

It's very open, with multiple dedicated cross tie bays, plus cross ties across both aisles. 

Charlie lucked out with the largest stall in the building -- originally designed for a mare and foal. His giant window is at ground level, and he mows a neat little path in the grass lol. Windows are sealed during winter.

star = charlie's stall
There are multiple options upon leaving the barnyard. The bottom-most arrows on either side go to Charlie's turnouts (yellow for summer, gray for winter). Tho the yellow arrow also takes you to the back woodsy route up to the jump ring, or out around the big summer pastures following the red lines in the very first map.

looking down the aqua arrow back to the barn yard
All other lines lead to potential riding areas -- either back up the driveway (orange), out to the xc fields (dark blue), or through the back paths behind the big house (aqua).

Charlie loves going up the paths behind the big house. It's nicer (and safer) than the driveway, and is a more pleasant way to stroll up to the arenas. Plus, there are ponies!!

And sheep!!! Always gotta go check on the sheep <3

No matter which way you go, tho, you can arrive at the riding arenas. 

We do the vast majority of our schooling in the dressage ring. It doesn't get used much for lessons, generally isn't too cluttered tho sometimes there are poles and cavalleti, and has excellent lights.

This ring is used most frequently for the various competitions on farm -- from schooling shows to USEA recognized horse trials. There's a second orchard paddock that moonlights as a grass court, too.

We are very very fortunate to have an indoor. In the harshest winters and weather conditions, it's often the only place to ride. But.... I still kinda hate it haha. They replaced the footing last year and it's wayyyyy to deep for clumsy bronto Charlie.

Before that, tho, we managed to do some pretty cool stuff in the confinement of 20x40m walls!

The jump ring is also lovely, tho kinda more of a hike than the rest of the rings, so we don't go there as often unless I know we want to pop over some stuff. It's got new lights tho, so perhaps I'll spend more time there this winter?

And who knows. Maybe eventually we'll start taking riding lessons again haha... Remember when we used to do stuff like this?!? Gosh it feels like forever ago....

Then there's the cross country fields!! This is an interconnected network of pastures, filled with various fence lines and gates (mostly where all the trees and stuff are) in which our xc jumps and features are spread. 

The orange circles represent ditches (the largest of which also has trakehners), the green circles are various bank complexes, and the small blue circle is the water feature. The larger light blue circle is where stadium is set up for horse trials, and the blue lines are the pathways from Charlie's barn to the fields. The white box is where we typically start the xc course.

And gosh, we love these fields! Whether for just hacking, conditioning work, or serious schooling, we get out there a lot! There are also various access points from the fields into the woods.

So overall, the facilities have a little something for everyone -- from the upper level event riders (of which there are a couple on farm), to the dedicated trail riding contingent... And basically everything in between. 

Tho let's be real, the xc fields are my favorite haha... For the guided tour, check out this super fun flashback to our 2018 novice cross country round!!

What about you guys - what are the highlights at your farm? Anything you prioritize above all else? The facilities, or quality of care? Available training or closeness to home? Or something else entirely? Anybody else want to jump on the bandwagon with an updated barn tour post?


  1. I definitely cannot take credit for this blog hop, but I also can't remember the original progenitor since I had done it way late in comparison to everyone else.

    I love your farm! So much room to explore.

    1. the idea of a house or farm tour is too ubiquitous to say anybody specific gets credit lol. you did it yesterday tho, and i'm copying you today. good 'nuff for me!

    2. honestly your post was timely too bc i've wanted to do one for a long time, but it's such a big farm it felt like, idk, too arduous to try to pull it all together. but. for some reason, today was the day LOL

  2. What a place! So much room, so many fields and arenas!

    1. soooo much room! it's ridiculous to look at all that space and rationalize how anybody could end up with an unfit horse there too lol... and yet it still happens!

  3. As a kid, I rode at smaller places. So I always thought OF was just the most incredible place when we would go there. It's the first indoor I ever rode in :)

    1. And let's be real, even as a grown-up I still think the place is pretty damn awesome!

    2. that's so awesome tho! and honestly, the farm where i learned to ride was suuuuuuper small and insular too (dayspring -- did you ever hear of that place?), and i'm pretty sure their indoor might have been even smaller. we had something like ~30 horses there and everything was very tightly controlled. OF is basically the polar opposite haha, which in some ways i love, others not so much. it's definitely a place with a lot of character!

  4. Your place is my dream. I love the options for riding out. I should do one of these.

    1. ooooh yes -- you should!! honestly i'm esp curious to see how people keep their horses at home. no pressure or anything ;)

  5. I'm going to echo everyone else and say I love all the space for riding!!

    1. it's honestly super luxurious, we're super lucky for it!


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