Rachel Porto Had a Farm...


I have been very absent lately, yet again, but this time there is a pretty good reason behind it.
I've become something of a farmer. I use that term incredibly lightly, but it makes me feel special when I do!

If you recall, I moved back to my homestate of Maryland back in February. The house I chose to purchase also came with a nice chunk of land that I would hope to some day turn into my dream - a place to keep horses on my own property.

Around the age of 8 or so, I began riding. For some stupid reason (aka teenager-hood) I gave it up somewhere in the time between high school and college. I still missed it, ever since I gave it up, and have rode a few times in between. I always knew I wanted horses again some day, so when I purchased my home I did so with the notion that I would make it my own little slice of Heaven.

Let me tell you, having a slice of Heaven comes with hard work! My property had no fencing and a small barn when I moved in. There are still several worrisome trees and over half of it is pretty heavily wooded. This is all BEFORE even thinking of horses. Well, for a normal person that is. But of course in Mrs. P world things are done on strange schedules.

I went up to a rescue in Pennsylvania called After the Races, specializing in rehabbing and rehoming Thoroughbred race horses. I have a special space in my heart reserved for Thoroughbreds, as my first horse was a Thoroughbred. I also think they are just beautiful and the thought of rescuing them and giving them a new job and purpose in life is right up my alley. So, I went and visited and fell in love. I put the deposit down and realized I had a very short time to prepare for our new family members.

Thank God I have such a supportive family. We realized all too late that the barn already there was far too short to house horses and had to add on an addition, or run-in shelter. Then we had to put up temporary fence. Make sure everything was horse safe. It might sound easy and like nothing when put into words but we were working non-stop for a little over a week straight to prepare. In the middle of July. It was AWESOME. We then had to find a hay supplier (during an incredibly dry season - that was a fun task) and work on getting most our ducks in a row.

Of course, I couldn't settle on just one horse (they are herd animals and I felt horrible having just one living alone - and also, I couldn't choose between them...), our two newest babies of our family arrived on the 7th of August, just 9 days after my deciding they would be coming in the first place.

Since then, it's been a steady stream of insanity. All kinds of horsie business has strung upon us. Thrown shoes, necessary dental visits, vet visits, barn shopping (and ordering), tack, riding, bush hogging fields, mucking.... it's been interesting. And exhausting.

The weird thing is though, as draining as it's been, it's worth it. Horses bring me such a sense of peace. The smell, the way they move, the nicker of hello when I'm bringing grain out - it's all magical to me. And even better, what I feel it's doing for my daughter, well, that's indescribable really. She gets excited about barn chores, she loves to help with everything. She's learning to be quiet and patient and cautious around her new big friends. But she is brave and loves to pet them (and has even had a little "pony" ride on one). She is learning hard work and the payoffs of hard work - and ENJOYING it. I feel as if this is a major step in the Porto Girls' journey and it will only be for the positive. I keep praying that I can figure it all out and do what's best for everyone but as overwhelming as it gets I keep getting this sense that it's worth it in the end and we'll be better for it. Maybe even one day I will be able to help others using the peaceful qualities of my equine friends...

It feels to be amazing to be living one of my dreams. There are still a few more left to fulfill though, so standby ;)
I know this post was all over the place, but now that I'm kind of in the swing of things with a better routine set, I will definitely try to hop on here more and be a bit more regular!

Ariana and Joey, our sweet boy

Ariana and Glory, our temperamental red-headed lady (basically me in horse form)

Mare and Gelding, Glory and Joey


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