Sunday, July 3, 2016

Never dreamed it would happen

2016 began a new chapter and a new plateau for my horse craziness. Scott surprised me with a special  gift for Christmas. It wasn't a 'wrapped in a bow under the tree' kind of present - it was a card with a note (actually a poem) that stated a new indoor riding arena would be forthcoming and built this spring for me. I couldn't believe it. Whatever I wanted. Omg! A dream come true!  My mind swirled with the possibilities. My arms squeezed around this man. The thought that I would have my own place to ride, no matter the weather or time of day or night made me dance for joy. I literally welled with tears of excitement and more love for my hubby (if that's possible) who knows my heart so well and does all he can do to make my dreams come true.  I'm a very very lucky girl. Period.

So the planning began. First a tour through the who's who of riding arena builders in the area, then the thinking and assessing, or more specifically, obsessing over the design. A window here, no here...a big door here, yeah with a big window on top. Dimensions and wall height. What? How much?  Okay maybe not. But can we do this? Or that? Porch, overhangs, cupolas, inside kick walls, roof pitches, lighting, venting...the list of things to consider are endless. I separated the items into lists of the must haves and nice to haves. I spent hours on websites playing with 3D design apps, which were pretty cool to help visualize, even colorize, the design. I surfed the web for door options and just the right weather vane (a TN Walking Horse, of course - and found one!) I read blogs of others who had built arenas and offered tips and hints. I called friends about sand, read two great university white papers on sand technology and dreamed about sand and sand supplements for weeks. I visited a few arenas and tried my best to think which features were most important to me and what I needed to accomplish with walking horses. And I sweated the details on how it would look on the property - I wanted to ensure it blended and complimented the existing house and barn. It had to. It all had to be perfect. And Scott - he just shook his head and tried to keep everything moving forward and within some resemblance of a budget.

We picked the builder, designed the plan, signed the paperwork and we're ready to go by early March. Then it happened. "The permit incident."  And, for the next four months we moved the site twice, and redesigned the building again and again to fit the new site location. Our property has water setbacks and environmental conservancy we had some alterations to make to satisfy and comply with the county for land use.  In April I was hopeful, in May I started to doubt, as June began I just knew the dream was coming to an end. As we considered the last option we got a call from the builder that they gave the nod and we'd be getting the permits!  Whew. (Insert little dance here!). Through the whole emotional roller coaster ride, I decided that I wouldn't believe I'd actually get an arena until I was sitting on a horse and riding in it for the first time.  In the end, I truly believe God works in mysterious ways. I also think someone had his hand in this from above to ensure this was actually placed in the right spot on our property. Scott and I agree that this final spot is actually the best of all the others sites we had considered.
Christmas in July!  The materials are delivered. 

Today, I am sitting on my porch staring at the building pad and the piles of building materials on the site where my new arena will soon be built. The builder is set to begin right after the July 4th holiday weekend and I'm told it will be standing within a few weeks. My hubby said I'd better get back on that little sand project and make my final decision on that now too. So sand dreams are sure to be back with me again for the next few weeks. I still cannot believe this is happening and I keep pinching myself. But I confess I keep playing the rides again and again in my mind.

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