Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's not the middle of nowhere but it's a start

Yesterday we sat down with our real estate agent and signed a bunch of papers and put in an offer on a "house in the woods". It's not out in the middle of nowhere by any means but it *is* in the woods and quite beautiful. It's in a town outside of Seattle called Woodinville, which many now say are the suburbs but we like it out there so even if it is the suburbs, I don't think this particular house will feel like the suburbs we can't stand - manicured lawns, cookie-cutter houses, sterile, dull plants and faux-nature.

It doesn't have enough land for us to keep horses, but it's close to where I board my horse so that is fine with me. We'd need at least 5 acres for me to comfortably keep horses and we can't afford that unless we go up to Skagit County. And it is a compromise because if we moved out to Skagit County or unincorporated Snohomish County above Monroe my husband would not be able to keep his current job because the commute to downtown Seattle would be too horrid. It's really very exciting. As in so exciting I've been feeling like shaking like one of those little min-pins for the last 24 hours.

I realize to many that it is absolutely insane to move out of such a "cool" city that "has so much" as Seattle, to a town that no one outside of Western WA would have even heard of, but we're actually very happy about it. For us, Woodinville has a lot more than our neighborhood in Seattle. It has trails through the woods, a salmon spawning creek in our backyard, wildlife (hawks, eagles, deer, coyote, etc), cleaning air, way less crime and way better schools.

Sunday I went out to ride my horse with my friend, Megan and Rocky and their horses. We were going to go on a trail ride but nobody who wanted to go has a trailer so we wouldn't have to ride the horses out on the road and my horse is just not a safe horse to have out on the road. She is so jiggy and won't stand still, I know it's a huge gamble that she wouldn't jig her way right into a passing car. Especially because there are no "bike lanes" up that far north so you have to share the lane with the passing cars. The other horses probably would've been fine, in fact Rocky road her horse a mile or so on the roads to meet us, but her horse just walked and stood quietly and was much safer.

As it was, we rode our horses out to the pasture and to the dead-end rode on the other side of the farm to see how far I could take Girlfriend. She was prancing and trotting the whole time even though I wanted her to walk and if we all stopped she would start turning circles and dancing sideways. Thus proving she is totally not safe on a road with a cars. So, we went to the end of the road to see Rocky off before she rode home and everyone's horse was standing around in a circle and Girl kept jigging and circling and backing up and jumping up and down. At one point Rocky said, "She's so amped up but you're so calm," and I said, "Well, what choice do I have?" So, it showed that I've gotten better at staying calm in a tense situation where getting stressed out would only make it worse.

Part of her being so riled up is she's in her Spring heat. But in general I think the nice weather and other horses just made her excited and want to run and play. When we got back to the arena we played musical horses and Megan and another girl at the stable, Bella took turns riding Girlfriend. I rode Bella's horse Kadie but she was just wearing a halter and lead rope so since I didn't know her it was hard to steer her. I could do it but we didn't have the communication built up for it to work for us to ride with just a halter.

I also rode Megan's horse, Atlas, which was really cool. Seven months ago he was a wild Mustang out on the range in Oregon so he is by far the greenest horse I've ever ridden. At first it wasn't going so well because after a few minutes he got mad at me and just stood his ground. All half-ton of him rooted into the ground with an irritated intent of not moving a muscle. Sheryl happened to come out to see what we were doing and coached me through how to get him going again which ended up working out well. After her suggestions he was actually pretty easy to ride. It was also exciting that I am only the third person in Atlas's life that has ever ridden him. Bella was the second, just before me. I almost didn't ride him because I didn't think I had enough experience but with a little coaching from Sheryl I actually did pretty well!

Atlas is definitely my favorite horse at the barn next to Girlfriend. And I think it's because he is so sensitive because he was feral for his first 3.5 years. Even though Girlfriend was domestically bred as a race (rodeo racing) horse they both have the same extreme sensitivity, nuzzly affectionate nature and they both have a wild streak. Megan thinks for my next horse that I should get a wild Mustang but lately I've thinking for my next horse I'll get an off-the-track Thoroughbred because I am so used to riding a hot horse. And they don't come much hotter than mine.

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