A couple of months ago I eluded to the fact that my husband, Clay and I would be relocating our horse operation from Regina, SK, to Alberta this year, on my personal Facebook page. I didn\’t make it a big public announcement on My Stable Life because the fact of the matter was, we had no idea where we would be moving to.
Our hope was that we could purchase our own land and facility to run Clay\’s performance horse business. However, after a summer of searching, our options were looking pretty slim. All things – including budget – considered and we weren\’t sure that buying a place was in the cards for us. As a large scale horse operation, there were certain amenities we needed like a large indoor arena and barn for one, and the freedom to house a large number of animal units without breaking the local bylaws, for two. A couple of places near the Calgary area came close to meeting our needs, but nothing seemed to fit the bill perfectly. We became disheartened.
Then finally, we discovered a beautiful little place just 25 minutes east of Okotoks, AB, and approximately 20 minutes south of Strathmore, AB! It previously belonged to Lee and Jerri Phillips and had been operated as a trick riding school. The property featured 40 acres, a well cared for indoor riding arena, barn with large box stalls and 2 outdoor arenas. Plus, it had a home that was suitable to raise our family.
The Phillips\’ have been most accommodating in helping us purchase their property. And after all the late nights researching and writing up business plans, discussion with the lawyers and other planning, we finally took possession today! It\’s an exciting time. And interesting – I\’m sure the lawyers had never seen a bunch like us in his office before. Driving a dually truck that wouldn\’t fit into their corporate parking lot and twins, bottles and bags in tow – we went in to sign the necessary paperwork. The deal was finally done!
As I write this blog, my husband is currently on the highway with Load #2: panels and fencing. Load #1 was buffalo and baby stuff (the clothes and diapers our twins have outgrown took up the entire interior of Clay\’s megacab.) Loads #3, #4 and #5 will happen simultaneously with 3 trucks and trailers in a convoy fashion and will include myself and the babies.
Over the course of the next couple of days, our whole lives will be on the highway. From horses, to fencing, to buffalo, tractors, equipment, baby cribs and furniture – it\’s a move of epic proportions.
Meanwhile, there is much work still to be done at JDF in Regina. The guys have been working feverishly day and night to dismantle fencelines and pastures and get things organized for the few remaining broodmares who will stay here through the winter.
The paddocks have been taken apart.
And the breeding phantom has been dismantled and will make the move with us to Alberta.
The move is bittersweet because we have made some wonderful friends from our time in Saskatchewan. Clay and I feel more \”cultured,\” a little wiser and more accomplished. Plus, these last 3 years have afforded us the opportunity and time we needed to start a family. I\’m not sure that would have happened, had we not made the move to Regina.
As the babies and I go out for our daily walks – now donning winter attire – it\’s finally hitting me. The dream has come true. Clay and I are the owners of our own land and riding facilities. We will have a home to raise our children. And we will be much closer to family and friends (did I mention that Okotoks is my home town and that my mother still lives there??) It\’s perfect. And it\’s scary and exciting all at the same time. But we are looking forward to the new adventure.
Like the thousands of birds currently taking up residence in the nearby fields of J Drummond Farms, we will soon be gone too. Leaving behind a barely visible hoofprint of an awesome operation that once was, and heading forwards toward the dream we\’ve always had. The dream brought to fruition because of our time with J Drummond Farms.
Thank-you from the bottom of my heart.