Ever dreamt of creating your own slice of equine paradise? Well, I've been lucky enough to do just that - in multiple countries, no less! 🇺🇸🇮🇹
Or what I have been doing in the incredibly hot summer of 2023
It's amazing how life can take you on unexpected adventures. When my husband got promoted in 2021 and we had to move to Switzerland, we never thought we'd find ourselves building a horse farm in the beautiful Piemontese hills of Italy. Yet here we are, embarking on a new chapter in our lives, and I couldn't be more excited to share our journey with you.
Embracing change: building our new horse property
Our horse farm in Michigan was our pride and joy. We had the outer building for stables and arena done by a contractor, but we built the interior ourselves. We put in fences, sheds and trails in the woods. So when we had to move, it was tough leaving it all behind.
But as life goes, we stumbled upon an old house in Italy that simply spoke to us. The Langhe style of architecture, the rolling hills, and the rich culture of the region captured our hearts, and we knew we had to make it our own. And what better way to make it a home than to fill it with the sound of horses neighing in the pastures? So we started dreaming about an Italian horse property.
Rising to the challenge: creating a horse-friendly environment
We've got our work cut out for us, because there is nothing set in place yet to house horses. But we're totally ready for the challenge.
Our first step is planning and setting up the necessary infrastructure to transform the pasture into an awesome place for horses. This means installing a top-notch automatic waterer for a constant supply of fresh water, building a comfy horse shelter for protection, and putting up strong and reliable fencing to keep our equine buddies safe.
Obviously, along the way, we hit a little snag that tested our problem-solving skills. While digging for the water line, we accidentally hit the main water line supplying the nearby village 😱.
We are so lucky to get along with our awesome neighbors at AD Ranch (add link to FB). You can’t believe how grateful we are for the immediate support and help from them, and also from the mayor of our little town. When it was pretty clear our problem solving skills in Italian are pretty much non-existent, they jumped right in and worked together with us to fix the issue quickly. It just goes to show the strong sense of community we have here!
But that got solved pretty quickly, so I spent the rest of the summer cutting fence posts, building a hay feeder and a horse shed. Because my husband was going back and forth between Switzerland and Italy, I did most of that work on my own. I definitely learned to be creative 😁.
Of course, I also had the opportunity to take some amazing photos of horses. But I also captured many other beautiful moments of our life there. For example, the stunning sunsets that painted the sky with warm hues of pink and orange, or the vibrant wildflowers that dotted the landscape.
Our goals and aspirations: planning for spring
Our ultimate goal is to have our two (for now) beloved horses happily grazing in the lush pastures by the start of next year's spring season. Sometimes, it seems like a challenging timeline, but we are fully committed and determined to make it happen.
In fact, our lovely neighbors, who happen to be quarter horse breeders ☺️, have generously offered to not only look after our two horses but also lend us a few of their own magnificent equines to keep our guys company. This gesture truly once again showcases the tight-knit and supportive nature of our small community, and we couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of it.
Balancing family time: between two countries
As much as we're looking forward to spending more time with our horses, I also can’t forget about the importance of family. Our daughter is still living with us in Switzerland, so our time is split between the two countries for now.
Looking ahead, we have plans to spend more time in Italy once our daughter heads off to college next year. Italy is a wonderful escape from the busyness of Switzerland, and I can't wait to be surrounded by the stunning scenery and calming presence of our horses.
For me, being around horses is more than just a hobby - it's a form of therapy. As someone who is neurodivergent, the peace and tranquility of the stable is a balm for my mind and soul. The peaceful environment and the close bond I share with my horses have really helped me manage my anxiety and stress levels.
I feel incredibly lucky to have found this life, and I am looking forward to creating more amazing memories in the beautiful Italian countryside. Stay tuned!