Things to Know Before Buying a Horse

There is honestly nothing better than owning a horse. They are best friends on four legs that you can have amazing adventures with in ways you can’t with other pets. The bond with a horse is much more special than that of another pet. But there is so much more to owning a horse than a dog or cat and considerations need to made before you go horse shopping. Here are some things that will make it easier and you smarter when you go to find the best friend you will ever have.

Let me give you a little background on myself. I was able to have my first horse at the age of nine and have been in the horse world in some fashion for almost twenty years. My disciplines included endurance, western pleasure, English pleasure, and jumping which I scored well in local shows.

Here we are at my first riding lesson. Aren’t we cute? 🙂

*Not for reuse*


Below is a picture of my horse and I guiding a trail ride at a local ranch.

*Not for reuse*

And even though this horse looks a lot like my horse, I am riding a friend’s horse in a fifty mile endurance race.

*Not for reuse*

All this to say that I am familiar with many disciplines and training styles when it comes to horse ownership. Now lets dive into the  things you need to know to own a horse.

First, you have to make the choice of where the horse will be living. Many people want  a horse but can’t have it on their property so they have to shop for a barn or stable to board their horse. Thankfully there are many options for boarding, but not all barns are equal because boarding fees are not the same for the same services across the board.

Make sure that you are paying the right price for the services you are looking for. Are you wanting to have the barn feed your horse and turn them out while cleaning their stalls and other duties? Or are you simply looking for a pasture to put the horse and you do all the work? Make sure you are not paying the prime price that an all inclusive stable will charge but only getting a pasture. Shop around. Go to the barns and see what you are paying for. Because the flip side can happen where you are thinking you are getting a great deal on boarding, but the level of service is terrible.

Take the two barns above. Which one would you be drawn toward? The one on the left right? Well what if I told you that the one on the right was the one that offered all inclusive treatment, has the experienced staff, and is actually cheaper than the one on left that only offers one feeding a day and not extra treatment? The reason you can’t judge a place by it’s cover is because things aren’t always what they seem.

Wherever you board you horse there are certain things that have to be there for the barn to acceptable.

  1. Safe fence lines
  2. Clean water bins
  3. Clean food bins
  4. Clean stalls
  5. Friendly and experienced staff and property owner
  6. Clean location for the feed that is free of vermin and out of the weather
  7. Not having too many horses in one pasture (think 2 horses per quarter acre pen)
  8. A stable (I mean structurally not necessarily a stable) shelter for the horse to get out of the weather
  9. Accessibility to the pasture from the feed room or tack room. Is the pasture close or far away?
  10. Are there people on site all the time?

These aren’t all the questions to ask but they will open up the conversation for things to make sure the facility has to make sure it is the best place for you horse. One other thing that you need to be aware of is the many barns have waiting lists so make sure you have a spot before you buy the horse and not the other way around.

Now if you are planning on housing the horse on your property, then many of the things above will be needed.

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  1. Safe fencing
  2. Clean water
  3. Clean food
  4. Adequate room to move around
  5. Ideal location where you can see some part of the pasture at all times and not at the bottom of a hill where you aren’t going to want to go down all the time to see the horse
  6. Shelter
  7. And anything else you come across when doing your research on horse care

These things are not cheap and require money to complete. And it can be that you will have to set the horse area up and then have to save again for the actual horse. I would suggest that because it is better to have the place all set up before you bring a horse in the mix instead of having a below par facility that can hurt you horse and cause you more bills with a vet bill. So make sure which ever way you go with housing for your horse make sure is  the setup is complete before you bring a horse into the mix.

The next thing that needs to be considered is transportation. What kind of horse trailer do you need? This is personal opinion but there are a couple questions to consider.

  1. Does it hold enough horses for what I have?
  2. Does it fit the vehicle I have?

These are two questions that are not considered until you have to pick it up and find out your F-150 can’t tow a three-horse horse trailer. So make sure the trailer and the vehicle are big enough for what you need.

Next is pick a good vet. Do some research and ask people about their vets to find out who is a vet and who might not be the best vet. You can also search online for a vet near you but make sure that you do extra research on them. It might take a few tries to find the right vet but having a good vet is vital when owning a horse because a good vet will save you money and a bad vet will cost you money.

horse vet

Good vets do what they can to save the owner money by only suggesting things that the horse absolutely needs. You can trust that the vet isn’t trying to money tap you just to make more money by suggesting test after test. A bad vet doesn’t have as much integrity. They will be more apt to suggest unwanted tests for your horse and in turn cost you money. So make sure you can really trust your vet.

Along the same lines of a vet is a farrier. Find a good farrier who will listen you and do exactly what you want. We have been blessed with awesome farriers but you have to do your diligence to make sure that the farrier is experienced, kind, and gentle so that they can work with your horse and you don’t have to worry about your horse being mistreated.


For the vet and the farrier I would suggest you try to find them before you buy your horse. Because nothing is worse than having a medical or shoe issue and not have anyone to call for help. So shop around and find these people.

Also having these people in line can work in your favor because they are a part of your horse network and might know the right place for you to find your horse. If a vet knows someone who is selling a horse he or she has treated for years, then you have an upper hand since the vet knows the medical record of the horse and where the horse has come from. Having a horse network is very important since horse ownership can be scary if you don’t have a support system there to back you up.

One last person I would suggest having in place is a horse trainer or riding instructor. This person is going to be your biggest help when entering the horse world. They will be the ones who will be able to give the most advice about a vet and a farrier, and they can even help find the right horse for you. Take them with you if you can when you go horse shopping and seek their opinion on the horse and whether or not it is a good fit for you.

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My trainer was a big part of my riding career and I have had many in my lifetime depending on where I was in my disciplines. I started out western, went English, back to western and then finished in trail, and I had a trainer for all those disciplines. Did they have different opinions? Oh yeah! Oh yeah! But all those opinions can be good because you get a taste of everything to make up your own idea of what a horse person is. I value all my trainers and still look up to them this day.

How are you doing? Do you have these things in place? Good news is that you are ready to start shopping for a horse. But which one? I will give you a couple of tips when shopping for a horse to help you know if the horse you are looking at is your next best friend.

  1. Make sure the horse’s and your ability match
  2. A good age for most horses are 15 years old
  3. Pick the right breed of horse for what you want to do
  4. Mare or gelding?
  5. Tall or short?
  6. And don’t just shop by the color of the horse

I know this sounds like a lot of things to keep in line but they are all needed when owning a horse. They are a big project and aren’t as simple as getting a cat or a dog. So do your homework and before you know it you will be the proud owner of the most beautiful creature on the planet.




5 Reasons to Get a Corgi

If you are searching for a dog breed, look no further than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi! They the best breed of dog for companionship, family and fun. I have the privilege of having a Smithshire Glen Corgis. Check them out here. They have nothing but the top line Corgis who are sweet and perfect for your next pet.

But I am just not here to tell that you should get a Corgi without proof. These dogs are the best. Don’t believe me? Here are a few of the reasons why I will not own anything but a Corgi ever again.


  • Lovable

Corgis are the most lovable dog you will meet. They only want to be with their people and have a good belly rub. I mean look at my Corgi just chilling out with me on the couch. Can you get any more lovable?


  • Loyal

These dogs are super loyal. They love the attention of people but their person is number one in their lives. They will do anything for you once they have established you as their person and family. For example, my Corgi stays right by my side all the time. Even after visiting the restroom I open the door she is there. Another example is that if there is a dog that she feels is going to threaten me, she has the bark of a dog three times her size. I don’t have to worry about a dog messing with me or her when she is in protection mode.

  • Easy to Train

I have had quite a few dog breeds in the my life but none of them have been as easy to train as my Corgi. One thing that is nice about having a dog that is lovable and loyal is that they want to please. They want to be good and have their person happy with them. Since they have the loyalty in their nature so training recall is very easy, and they love to learn new things.

Now that does not mean that they don’t have their own brains and can be naughty, but their turn around time for stopping unwanted behavior is really fast.

  • Smart

Since they are so easy to train, it means that Corgis are very smart and know exactly what they want and how to get it. If our Corgi thinks that we are spending too much time with our daughter, she will go and try anything to get our attention. It isn’t necessarily and bad thing. I mean a few crayons have bit the dust, but she is also super goofy and makes of laugh.


As you can see in the photo, our Corgi is one that is no short supply of making you smile. If you are having a hard day, there is nothing that will cheer you up as your bouncing Corgi greeting you on the other side of front door.

  • Compact Size

I love my Corgi’s size. It was one the first things I was drawn to the breed. Females run a little smaller than males and each breeding line will have variables in the size but according to the Corgi ranges in height at the shoulders 10-1 inches and males up to 30 pounds and females up to 28 pounds. So if you are looking for a smaller dog who still has a brain, I would suggest the Corgi.

  • Even Temperament

This was the major seller for me on the Corgi. They are an amazing even temperament and are really great with kids. My daughter is one that not all dog breeds would put up with but our Corgi is so patient.


As you can see they are buddies and love to play together. Our Corgi has never bit or nipped at our daughter and simply walks away from her when she has had enough. Now you have to make sure that the Corgi you get fits your family because there are more patient corgis than others, but overall I have not found a Corgi who doesn’t love to be around kids.

  • Only Down Side? Shedding

Is there a downside to Corgis? Yes… They shed. A lot. I have brush our Corgi once a week to keep the shedding under control. But if you get a fine comb like a FURminator (no affiliate) the situation is much easy to contain.

So there you have it. All my reasons for why I will never get another dog breed but a Corgi. Oh! I forgot one other reason. They are sooooo cute! Don’t you agree? So do some reach and find your perfect Corgi match today!



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3 Tips for a Frugal Christmas

Tis the season! It’s Christmas! I love this holiday! It’s my favorite time of the year. There is only one thing that has really bummed it out for me as an adult and that is the cost. I had no idea how expensive Christmas is for adults. I just thought Santa took care of everyone. Bummer that he isn’t real. But is there a way to make Christmas not so expensive? Yes there is. Here is my list of ideas to make more joy in the season while everyone else around you is going crazy.

  • Everyone Loves Handmade

There is nothing wrong with a handmade gift. It’s not cheap looking and I have found that people appreciate them more. I have made Christmas gifts many years in a row and everyone has loved them but here is the beauty of doing things by hand. The supplies are not expensive since you are doing the blunt labor. So where you are saving money is the time.

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For example, I made embroidery portraits for the people on my list. The supplies costed under $10 for all of them, but it took me two months to make them all. So I saved a ton of money, but I had to take more time in making each gift. So there is a trade off, but if you are trying to save money, isn’t it worth it?

  • Do Secret Santa

Another money saving option is to do secret Santa! I love secret Santa and both of my family sides does it so I only have to buy two gifts for family. But isn’t there always a person who misses out on the fun because they have to be keeper of the list? There is an awesome site called It assigns the people for you so that there is no one person who has to facilitate and not participate. So if you are looking for a secret Santa site check them out.

secret santa

  • Cook For People

People love food. My husband would take a plate of cookies over a gift any day. There is no bad time to give people food and there are so many ideas on Pinterest for mason jars meals and such. There’s cookie mixes, cake mixes, hot chocolate mixes, and soup mixes. Pretty much anything you can think of can be found online so feel free to have fun while looking!

mason jar

So there are some ideas to help with making this Christmas a little more affordable. If you have any others, please feel free to leave them in the comments, but above all have a very Merry Christmas!

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How to Make Vegetable Broth

Living life can get busy. Yeah, really busy. But I have to make time to what I love. Jam and homemade veggie broth and soup are my new obsessions right now with the colder weather setting in. They are supper easy and there is little you can do to mess it up, which works for a busy mom like me. But today I want to share with you my secret on making the best veggie both for soups.

Things needed:

  • 1 Gallon Zipper Bag
  • Veggie Scraps
  • Big enough pot
  • As much water as needed to cover scrap
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Strainer
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  1. First you need to collect your scraps. Depending on how much veggies you eat this could take a couple of days or weeks, but get enough to fill a zipper bag.
  2. Once the bag is full, get out a large pot and fill it with water just enough to cover the scrapes with water.
  3. Put on the stove to a medium boil for thirty-forty minutes.
  4. Let cool until broth is workable.
  5. Place strainer in a large bowl or another pot to catch the broth, and line with cheese cloth.
  6. Pour broth into the lined strainer.
  7. Squeeze remaining broth out of the veggies by wrapping them in the cheese cloth. Throw cheese clothed item away.
  8. Return broth back to the stove and add the seasonings. I like as strong so add the seasonings in 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the flavor you want is there. You can also add spices like cumin, cayenne, and oregano if desired. Let the broth boil another ten minutes.

And you’re done. You just saved yourself a lot of money and this veggie broth will taste better than anything you will fin the store. Happy cooking!



5 Tips: How to Live Without Dairy

no dairy

If you are reading this, then you are one of the many that have been told they cannot have dairy. I am sorry in one way because, as an avid lover of all things dairy, it was hard when I was told that I couldn’t have dairy. But I have some great news! Your life is actually about to change for the better. I thought that not being able to have dairy was going to ruin my life, but I am happy to say that isn’t the case. Here are my 5 tips to make the transition to becoming dairy free and living without it.


Tip #1: Get It Out of Your House trash can

Throw away all dairy in your house now. Don’t just think that you can slowly eat through it. I know that you spent money on it and that is important. You can check out my blog on saving money here, here, and here as a couple of examples. So I totally get the money part, but your health is more important. So throw out everything now that has dairy in your house.

Tip #2: Go Out and Buy Things You Can Have

shopping cart

Now here is the fun part – Shopping! I was nervous at first when I had to switch since I thought that I would have to live without so much but these days are the best days to be dairy free because there are so many options! There’s vegan butter, cream cheese, cheese, and alternative milks. I can still bake, have a bagel and a grilled cheese relatively easy with all the alternatives that are out there.

My favorite place to shop in my are is Sprouts due to the fact that they have the best selection for dairy free items. One brand I love is Daiya. They have the cheeses covered. Earth Balance has the butter. And SoDelicious has many milk options. So there shouldn’t be much fear in feeling like you are missing out on anything. There is a slight taste difference but after a few tries you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Tip #3: Learn to Cook


This tip is one that wasn’t hard for me since I loved cooking anyway. “But Gracelyn you just said there are so many options out there. Do I really need to cook from scratch?” The answer is yes. I still have to make many things from scratch since I have alter recipes on a regular basis. There are a lot of options out there, but much of it has to be pieced together so learning cook will be a skill you will have to gain if you don’t have it already.

Tip #4: Learn to Make Things Yourself


This goes beyond cooking. Making things yourself means making your own coconut milk like I show you in this video here and making your other alternatives like butter and cream cheese since eating all the alternatives from the store can get expensive. So to cut the cost down, it’s time to awaken that DIY person inside you and find recipes that will help you stay true to your restrictions, but save money as well.

Tip #5: Hit Pinterest!


I didn’t really understand the glory of Pinterest at first. Then I had to be dairy free, and a whole new world opened up for me. I have found many dairy free things that I thought were going to be lost forever. You can find recipes for ice cream, like I said butter and cheese, soups, and even Alfredo sauce that even my dairy loving husband said was amazing. So, if you don’t have one, get a Pinterest account and start searching. You will be surprised and relieved at what you will find.

Yay! 5 easy tips on how to be Dairy free. I hope these helped and comment below on any goodies you know on your own journey of being dairy free. Have a great day! 🙂