Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Resources and The Search Continues

Jason and I had an interesting weekend. Tennessee Equine Hospital is the veterinary clinic that we work with at Paradigm Farms, and we have a long running relationship with them. The clinic has an excellent staff including seven equine veterinarians and an equine surgeon, and there is always someone available 24/7/365. They have been building a huge new addition to their clinic over the past year and it was just completed a few weeks ago. This addition includes a new, fully equipped, state-of-the-art surgical suite for horses.

The new facility a few weeks prior to completion

The practice also installed a new bone scan machine as well. Some of the other services they offer include video endoscopy and gastroscopy, shockwave therapy, digital x-rays, digital ultrasonagraphy, a full laboratory, IRAP, Laser therapy and chiropractic care. The practice also has a complete reproductive facility located one mile from the clinic. Their reproductive services include foaling services, embryo transfer, artificial insemination, and semen collection and freezing.

Another view of the facility a few weeks prior to completion

Jason and I really enjoyed touring the new facility and learning about how much thought and planning went into it. Since we've certainly contributed our share towards financing the new addition we felt a sense of ownership as well! Tennessee Equine is a very highly regarded practice and they had over 1,000 people attend their Grand Opening party on Saturday evening. Earlier in the day they hosted a separate reception for other veterinarians in the area and over 40 vets attended. We are grateful to have such a strong affiliation with this great practice and are thrilled with the new additions to their facility.

Architectural sketch of the completed facility

Our other interesting excursion this weekend was out trip to look at another potential piece of land. We have been looking seriously for three years now. Our goal was to stay proximate to our current location, to find relatively flat, open and fertile land (the flat part is not that easy in middle Tennessee, we've driven lots of miles in our search to wind up looking at wooded hillsides), and obviously we have a per acre price range that we have to work with. We were really excited when we went to look at this land. The location was one that made us BOTH happy, the land was very flat and open and the price was within our range. It was starting to look like we might have finally found THE ONE after years of looking and a few failed purchase attempts.

We were in a state of bliss thinking that the never ending search had finally ended. And then we got the maps from our realtor and over 60% of the land is flood plain. We were expecting that some of it would be flood plain and would have worked around it. We can't work around the majority of it being in the flood plain.

I feel like banging my head into my desk about 10,000 times right now. It would be more pleasant than the thought of continuing our land search. We love the family farm but we really want to buy a bare piece of land and lay it out MUCH better than this farm. If you are a horse living here you would see nothing wrong with the place. Human visitors are in awe of the beauty of this farm. However, if you are the person doing the work around here you dream every day of a farm with a work friendly layout, and a system where you could manage the pastures with a lot less effort and headache. We keep the pastures looking lovely but it is not easy with the way things are set up here.

To say that Jason and I are both disheartened and discouraged would be an understatement. I keep telling myself that one day we will finally find the right location. Jason is so sick of looking he is ready to give up and move a couple of hours away to west Tennessee. Land is very affordable there and very fertile. We would also be living in the boonies in a non-horsey area and quite frankly that is not appealing to me at all. I like being in a 'horsey' area as I have access to so many trainers and other resources here. Maybe I should just quit holding out for something proximate to our current location and accept that a move is in order. UGH.

We have toyed around with the idea of moving to the Lexington, KY area. Land around Lexington is much cheaper than in our area and the area is very horsey. I love Lexington and have friends there. The only thing that stops me is they do get more winter than we get here. Anyone that knows me knows I hate cold weather. I would rather fry than freeze. The other option we have thought about is moving further south to the Birmingham, AL area. Jason likes the idea of moving there, even less winter weather than here and if you buy land in the low mountains there the summers are not bad.

So what would you do, hold out and keep around here or move to a new area (taking all of the horses with us of course)?

Some farm scenes of the place we are trying so hard to leave. We love it but we would love to have a friendlier layout for the humans. Entrance to the paddock right in front of the barn
Looking across one of the pastures; it is hard to get a feel for the size of the pastures from most of the pictures I post; this would be one of the smaller pastures

A small portion of the big boys' pasture. Leo is in the very front with Ivan behind him. In the very back I think it is Homer, Levendi and Elfin.
Homer, Levendi and Tony hiding behind them.

In the Gator we have my Dad, Bugle on the passenger seat, Bush in the back and Trooper on the floor board. Levendi is hoping for a treat.
Levendi and Trigger grazing

MyLight and Buffy in the front with Missy and Harmony behind them

Teddy and Mr. O'Reilly
Snappy, Chili and Lucky

B-Rad and Ogie

Sebastian, Faune, Asterik, Trillion and Winston


Anonymous said...

I don't know - only you can decide. Make sure that you make sure your most important priorities are addressed - it's not like your current set-up is awful (although believe me, I sympathize with the need for a good layout) so you can afford to take your time. It's a good idea to think about what's most important to both of you. That's yucky that they didn't make it clear that it was floodplain before you were seriously interested!

Jason said...

I have a confession to make. I am a recovering cash crop farmer and I am seriously, unalterably infatuated with flood plain land ! Like a bad woman, it whispers in my ear at night...come, crop me....together we'll make beautiful music and wonderful yields of corn, soybeans and cotton. Your wife won't like it....but you will, and you know it....

LOL !!

Java's Mom said...

JASON!!! that is hysterical.

ZionFarm said...

What about moving a little bit East??! NC is quite lovely if I do say so myself. :)

Kentucky would sound good to me, but you are right about the winters being a bit harsher than our little "2 snows" per year. Sounds like you have a tough choice to make!

Maybe, just maybe though another piece of land close by will open up and be absolutely perfect for what your needs are. You know what they say.... as soon as you quit looking something will fall into your lap. :)

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

My vote would be Lexington! We lived in Louisville for 4 years and just know someday I'll live in Lexington as that's the area I really enjoyed the most. Winters were not that bad (a matter of perspective though) and spring (gorgeous) comes much earlier too! Living in NORTHERN Indiana really blows (and I don't mean the wind although it does)! Did not have a choice...had to go where the job was for my husband almost ten years ago....you're fortunate to have a choice. It really does seem that you have everything you need or could want there? However, we're all always thinking the grass is greener on the other side. I would stay put for now and let Jason (too funny, Jason) have his cash crop affair and see how it goes...there is no perfect place as they all have pros and cons....just which cons you can live with...personally the weather would be number one on my list verses leaving trainers/facilities etc. I've had thoughts..... what's the point of having horses here if you freeze half of the year working them (usually thoughts during below 30 degrees)? Not fun...but I won't let them stand around for six months so I have to sacrifice comfort....always something to forfeit....good luck deciding.

RuckusButt said...

Wow, those pictures you posted today really do give a better sense of scale.

It's hard to imagine that you could find a better place than where you are- spoken like someone who doesn't do the work, right? Is there no way to re-arrange the layout to suit you better? Without knowing any details, I have to wonder if that might be easier.

Something will happen eventually; although I agree with LuLo, nothing is completely perfect.

I imagine proximity to your parents is a consideration, unless they would move with you...
and what about the natural beef?

Are those crops Jason mentioned good for flood plains? I assume they are since he mentioned them. It might not be a bad idea to have other farming happening...it's good to diversify :) I had a professor once who insisted on having more than one source of income, no matter what. The real question would be if there is enough room for the horses after the crops!! Oh and time...would you (Jason) have time for crops??

As with the Bonnie decision, only you will know what is right. Fortunately (in both cases) the decision is not under fire to happen this moment (as far as I know).

If looking gets annoying just stop for awhile. Do you have a realtor? If yes, they must know what you want by now and should only bug you when something is relevant. If not, maybe you should!! So worth it, in my opinion.

Jason said...


About the diversified income, we couldn't agree more. As of right now we have four other significant sources of income with one of them eclipsing the horse portion of our business. We are in expansion mode on ALL of them and we'd like to add a couple more sources as well...just trying to figure out what they might look like !

I think Melissa may have presented more of an aura of indecision over where we'll wind up than actually exists. I believe it'll be within a hundred miles of where we are right now. Much farther north and winter becomes a much more serious concern for my southern wallflower (!). Much farther south and summers would rapidly become unbearable for this transplanted Canadian.