Monday, December 10, 2012

The day we met the future

I've been told more than once that I have a bit of the flare for the dramatic. This is true, for certain- but it's also more about the way I retell stories then my actual emotions. I like to give a lot of detail and let folks into my head a bit during a story.

All of this is to explain the title of this post. "The day we met the future"- we all meet the future every day unless something catastrophic happens. For us, this year has been a series of efforts to get our dreams into reality. It's been a year of stopping all of the talk of what we want, and getting there instead. This started with gutting an old farm house, lead to building a business and planning and having a wedding. Now it's converting the farm to draft power and working to get Kim on site full time. A lot of people spend their livest posting images or statements of things they want on social media- and that's good. Putting what you want out into the world can't hurt anything. But at some point, we all become responsible for actually making the future happen.

So despite having limited knowledge, and very controlled resources, we took a trip to VT to look at a pair of dream horses. It was a Sunday, we were tired and kinda nervous about looking at horses without a more experienced person to accompany us. But they were only 3 hours away, and we also really just wanted to give it a go. We felt ok about a preliminary look based on our good livestock sense, and some horse-specific prep through research and the Cold Antler Farm workshop.

The girls were in a winter paddock with a few other of the farmer's horses, eating some hay. They were short, stocky and completely disinterested in the new comers oggling them from the fence line. Joshua, the farmer and his wife met us outside. After a quick tour and a view of some of the equipment they had up for sale, we headed over to the barn to see what the pair could do.

Admittedly, we were trying not to fall in love. Kim and I have this habit of deciding we need to do something and then honing in like a laser beam to the exclusion of everything else until we have obtained a goal. It's a blessing and a curse- because when we fall- we fall hard. So we were doing everything in our power to find fault with this pair of horses.

And they are animals--so there is no such thing as perfection. Joshua hadn't worked them in a few months due to some work and family obligations, and one of the mares was a bit rowdy while being harnessed up. Nothing unmanageable, but clearly a girl with a desire to Go. But once they were settled in their gear and attached to a forecart though they were all business.

Kim and I were both able to drive the team easily. The pair obeyed our every command despite our inexperience and were amazingly strong. Sunny, the aforementioned rowdy girl was all snorts and manners once she was hitched. Then we sat down over coffee to talk business.

The deal we were offered for the pair and some much needed equipment was a good one but we still needed to think. We took a few days, and Joshua called to check in. Someone had made an offer on Sunny, but he wanted to keep the girls together. I told him we would get back to him. It wasn't an easy decision, and we called around to several advisers about whether or not we should make an offer. But at the end of the day, we knew it was the right decision. I wrote up a manageable contract and sent it on it's way to Joshua. We needed to still be careful about finances and not over commit. If it worked with Joshua, it would work for us.

And then we waited.

Joshua wrote us back and with some minor changes the contract was fine and the horses are ours. It's funny simple and amazing it all played out. It's just another business contract- but it's so much more. It's two farmers spending years dreaming of trail rides and days following a pair of horse butts in furrows. It's late night conversations and spread sheets and calculators. But it's also just possibility. It is not being afraid to go ahead and do it. Because even if you mess up, you tried to make it happen. 

We met our future, and now there is much work to be done. We've already started converting some pasture into horse friendly area. The run-in shed has been cleaned and a new stall built. And it's still a few weeks away before the mares arrive. We've scheduled 5 months of driving lessons, and reached out to experts willing to work with us. The 2013 season will be horse powered!

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