(post by Jason) On the face of it, today’s topic may not at first appear to have very much to do with horses or horse care. But I think our clients, past and present, might disagree. 

Ten years ago today, on a cloudy and showery early spring afternoon Melissa and I were married. We were living on an acreage in central Vermont at the time; us, four horses, two dogs and two cats. I had moved to the U.S. the previous October on a Trade NAFTA visa to take a job with Blue Seal Feeds. Melissa had moved to Vermont to be with me a few months prior after selling her recruiting company and had just survived her first northern winter. 

I don’t think either of us could have predicted all that has happened to us and all that we have created in the past ten years. At the time the future was a completely blank slate. We toyed with the ideas of staying in Vermont, moving to Canada and moving back to Melissa’s home in Tennessee. It turns out that first winter together….short and mild by Vermont standards….made the decision for us. Melissa had never lived north of Interstate 40 in her life and it quickly became apparent that a normal Vermont winter would do her in completely. She was literally sick for six months. I had never before seen anyone who got so cold so quickly that their core temperature literally dropped. This despite adequate (MORE than adequate) clothing! Clearly I had never spent significant time around her family during “cold” Tennessee weather either! 

I took a job with an ag-biotech firm and we moved back to Tennessee in the fall. It was good job and I did well at it but my heart was still set on farming full time which was something I had been working toward in my previous life in Canada. While still in Vermont Melissa and I had talked through a number of ideas for a farming future. We settled upon the idea of starting a professionally run equine retirement farm since this was something Melissa had already has requests about informally. This combined a number of our talents. We leased a part of Melissa’s parents’ farm and decided to give it a go for two years and then evaluate whether to stay in, get bigger or get out when that time came. Needless to say, ten years later we’re still here running a horse retirement farm and we both work on the farm full time. It hasn’t always been easy but we’ve met some amazing people, learned a lot, and had a lot of fun! 

Happy Anniversary to us and a great big thank you to all of our clients! 
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One of the “joys” of farming is the repair bills. We had to replace both of the front tires on one of the tractors. That service call was just shy of a thousand dollars for two tires. Jason tells me that the rear tires on that tractor will be double the price at $1,000.00 per tire, so I requested that he avoid unusually sharp objects with the tractor for awhile.
Cuffie and Norman innocently grazing pre-bath and clipping
Norman chatting with Jo the goat while I bathed Cuffie
 Cuffie clean and clipped (with Norman watching over the stall door)
Norman had lots of hair that needed to go
Norman sticking his tongue out at me. I think that pretty much sums up how he felt about the whole experience.
Maisie was also sticking her tongue out at me while Lily watched
Lily had lots of hair that needed to go
Lily well on her way to being clipped
Lily and Maisie gave me no opportunity to change my mind about done. As soon as the halters came off they were gone.
Cocomo and Lotus were having a big time (Asterik watching)

Gibson and Silver were also playing
Homer and Moe
Blu and Nemo
Elfin and Grand
Trigger and Apollo
Tony and Ritchie
Duesy and Bruno
Hesse and Remmy under the morning sun
the sunrises have been nice lately
Blu, Nemo, Taco, Dutch and Renny waiting for breakfast under a pretty morning sky