It came down to this: the easier option with less long term potential or the one with more potential but much more work needed to get there.
Since I quit my job and ran away to the circus last winter, I decided that I couldn’t take six months of winter anymore but I also know I can’t take six months of summer. So we started looking for property in the mid-Appalachians. Three trips and about 20 properties later, we were down to the first one I looked at that I still liked and one fresh on the market. Since we had accepted an offer on our place in Vermont it was decision time. At this point you’re probably thinking that your links got switched and you’re wondering why I’m telling you about my real estate problems on Eventing Nation. But as soon as I realized the horse metaphor in the houses, I knew which one was right.
#1 is a chunky, short strided Irish Draught gelding. He’s only foxhunted so he’s not quite perfect for eventing but he’s safe, quiet and comfortable. It’s the right kind of place in the right location but it doesn’t really do dressage and it’s scope is limited. It’s move in ready with a cute little barn, nice three- oard fencing with a run-in, a flat ring with nice stone dust footing. But the property is a little small, and a big chunk is wooded and on the side of a hill.
#2 is a 9-year-old, war horse OTTB mare fresh off the track with all the athletic ability in the world. She’s got some questionable x-rays but she’s still sound after 65 starts so really, you can’t break her. She’s done some steeplechasing so you know she can jump and she’s already had one foal who’s successfully competing. It’s more land, open pastures and has a new barn. But there are no stalls, no fencing in some fields and barb wire in the others (since the neighbor’s cows have grazed it for as long as anyone can remember). The giant shade trees are black walnut which made us panic briefly but the county extension officer assured us that he’s never had a problem with them and horses. There are five outbuildings including the chicken shed, the farmstand and the original outhouse that went with the house when it was built in 1804. This horse can do everything but it’s going to take a lot of time, skill, energy and creative thinking to get her there.
So, which one do you pick?
Have you been reading about my difficult horse? Do you remember that I taught middle school? Of course we put in an offer on potential. I am an eventer after all. You can check it out on your favorite real estate website — 4975 Orange Rd, Radiant, VA. Oh and we’re looking for naming ideas: The Makings of a Farm? Winging It Farm? Potential Farm? A Little of This a Little of That Farm? Is there a good idiom in English or some other language that means we’re figuring it out as we go along?
So Area II, you better get ready for us. Let us know where the cross country schooling and un-sanctioned events are in Madison county. If you spot an unfamiliar pretty bay mare being a dipstick about something, It’s probably Kissa and me.