Life at the Barn

Life at the barn isn’t always grand.  Sometimes it’s really hard work, exhausting, dusty, loud, interesting, down-right hilarious, and often just plain stinky.  However; I’m so glad God gave me the heart to love this life.  I’m so glad I don’t miss out on the prettiest sunsets, the sound of horses running to the trough at feed time, all the dogs waiting at my feet for a treat, watching the horse training progress each day, the pups chasing each other, and the crickets singing at night.

I got some new shots of Erik, Kirsten, and Dawton training for their upcoming show.  It was a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day.

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We had a lot of fun, but not as much fun as Dally and Gus.

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It’s simple days like this when I’m most thankful for life at the barn.  What are you thankful for today, friend?

Love,

Fallon

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The Wild Journey {Part 4}

We’re over halfway through this wild journey.  At this point, it’s easy to get tired, burnt out, frustrated or question the method you’re using.  These mustangs can teach you so much and certainly test your patience.  They are somewhat different than training a domesticated horse and absorb things at their own pace.  Some things will click overnight and others may take weeks.  It’s definitely crunch time and we’re trying to have both Tux and Partner more than ready for the competition.

They have really improved the past couple of weeks.  Their appearance has drastically changed.  They’re both fattening up + looking healthier every day.  They are gaining muscle and filling out.  Tux and Partner are going to be such a great asset for their future owners.  They had their first farrier experience and it went really well!  They stood still and calm the entire time.

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We’ve taken them away from the farm multiple times as it helps to “season” them to traveling.  They do so well on the road.  We recently went to visit a friend’s ranch in Gaffney, SC.  He owns Green River Farm, a beautiful working cattle and horse farm, with plenty of desensitizing tools around every corner.  The mustangs handled everything like champs.  It was a memorable, sunny weekend and we look forward to going back!

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We have one month until the Mustang Makeover Competition in Lexington, Kentucky.  If you’re close by, we would love for you to come support these duos!  You can purchase tickets to the event here!  They are putting the finishing touches on the mustangs and preparing their freestyle routines in hopes of making the Top 10 Finals!  We’re on the homestretch of this Wild Journey.  We’re going to make everyday count!

Until the next update,

Fallon

 

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The Wild Journey {Part 3}

Another month has passed with these wild mustangs that are surely becoming gentled, using horses.  Partner and Tux are being handled and rode every single day {YES, I said rode}!!  Erik and Kirsten have both ridden their horses and you bet’cha, all that ground work really paid off.  Both of the horses are gaining weight and muscle.  They are starting to fit right in with our string of work/performance horses.  Tux loves getting a bath, being groomed, and a good trail ride.  Partner is breezing through most obstacles, loves to eat, and tolerates me braiding his mane {ha}!  We are all really proud and excited to see how they will transform!

If you missed the first couple posts, just search “The Wild Journey” in the search bar on the right hand side! 

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The second time we traveled with the mustangs away from the farm was for a Bureau of Land Management  Wild Mustang and Burro Adoption, about an hour and a half from home.  It was a quick and easy weekend trip that would get them familiar with traveling before the trek to Kentucky in July.  They both did so well and kept impressing us.  We were happy to be able to promote and lend a helping hand at the mustang adoption.  Partner and Tux didn’t mind all the extra attention either.  We met some new friends and the BLM got all the horses and burros adopted out {yeehaw}!

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Just like we go to the dentist, a horse also needs dental attention.  We get our horses teeth checked regularly by a professional because it can make a big difference in the horses performance and response to a bit.  It can also contribute to the quantity of nutrients they are able to consume from their feed and hay.  We have a reliable dentist that we love!  Contact Southeastern Equine Dentistry for your horses dental needs or questions!  The mustangs first dentist appointment went great and they checked out well!  Also, can I just point out, when they are wearing the dental headset they look like they’re smiling?!  HA!

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That’s a wrap for this update, y’all!  We are still so grateful for this opportunity of learning and growing daily.  Shoutout to my husband and sister for maintaining patience and dedication through this whole experience!  Y’all are one heck of a horseman and horsewoman.  Keep it up!  It’s amazing to watch this journey unfold and be able to share these moments with you.  Hope you’re having a great week, friend!

Until the next update,

Fallon

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Southern Spring

Spring is in full bloom here in the South.  The days are getting warmer + longer, the horses are shedding like crazy, the thunderstorms are more often, and the mosquitoes are getting larger {ugh}.  However, I love this time of year.  There are wildflowers everywhere, my sister and I planted a teeny garden, and horse show season is starting up.

We recently sold our home and have moved back to the farm for awhile.  I feel more at home than I did in the housing development we lived in.  I have absolutely loved being back where my roots are planted.  The neighborhood life was getting too stuffy for me.  I love waking up to the birds singing and chirping, I feed horses before work in the peace and quiet {yes, I oddly enjoy this}, our dogs get to run free, and the views are as pretty as ever.  I always told mama growing up that God gave us the prettiest sunsets on the farm.  Turns out all these years later, I was right.

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Photo credits: Jennifer at Sweet E Photography

On top of the cotton candy sunsets, I get to see my family everyday.  Most folks turn a head or give you the “deer in headlights” look when I mention this.  They say, “How in the world can y’all stand each other?  You don’t drive one another crazy?”  Well, of course we do.  I’ve learned at the end of the day, family is really all you have.  I never take my spontaneous, loud, nonstop family for granted.  I am really looking forward to spending so much time together this spring and summer {call me crazy}.

I hope spring has been treating you kindly, friend.  How have you been enjoying this beautiful weather?  Take some time for your family this season!  You won’t regret it!

Love,

Fallon

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Gaffney, I love ya

Horse show season has kicked off to a great start!  We took on the EXCA State Championship in Gaffney, SC recently.  Last year was the first time we had been to this beautiful town.  It never disappoints with it’s rolling hills and friendly folks.  Green River Farms was hosting an Extreme Cowboy Association Race.  We love these shows and what they represent.  You’re displaying true horsemanship over a course of ranch techniques + challenging obstacles with speed.  It’s exciting to watch and cheer on my family and the other competitors.

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It made me so proud to see how much Erik + Miss Kitty and Kirsten + Mister Twister had improved from last year.  The horses and riders have matured so much.  Erik and Miss Kitty placed well in the Non-Pro and Pro Divisions.  Kirsten and Mister Twister brought home the Intermediate Champion Title and the Youth Champion Title at this show!!  Kirsten also introduced another horse, Diamond, to the show life and she impressed us with her calm, cool, collected attitude.  Dawton {Kirsten’s boyfriend}, showed for the first time on trusty Trinity.  They did so great and had a blast!  This won’t be the last you see of them.  Both of the courses tackled were tough, but all 3 of them rocked it.

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The weather was perfect, the hamburgers from Mrs. Barb’s concession stand were delicious {as always}, the people were refreshing and kind, the late night Olive Garden run was tradition, and the quality time spent with the horses was progress.  Gaffney, you never disappoint and for that, I love ya.

Until the next adventure,

Fallon

Categories: Horses + Farm Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Wild Journey {Part 2}

I was so tired of being in the truck.  12 hours through the night to our destination, Ewing, Illinois, where the Wild Horse and Burro Holding Facility is located.  I was exhausted, hungry, and ready for a long nap.  We arrived a day before pick-up to check out the facility and get a good look at the wild mustangs.  They were all so pretty, rugged, and wild-eyed.  We tried to imagine which two we would be taking home.  We couldn’t find out the assigned mustangs until the next day.  If you’re wondering what’s going on, I can fill you in on the Wild Journey here.

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We found a nice hotel in the next town and turned in early for the night.  We knew we had a big, adventurous day ahead of us.  4:30AM came quick, y’all.  Have I mentioned how much I love dry shampoo + concealer {#lifesaver}!  We got to the facility and eagerly waited our turn.  As we went into the office, a lady handed over their papers to sign.  We all had butterflies and grins you would never be able to wipe off.  Erik’s read, 4 year old sorrel gelding and Kirsten’s read, 4 year old black gelding.  Surely didn’t narrow it down much, but we all rushed out to the pens to see if we could find the tag numbers.  Erik spotted his wild mustang immediately.  He was the smaller of the bunch, standing all alone, and had such a sweet eye.  You could tell he was probably last in the pecking order.  First priority was to fatten him up!  Kirsten was still trying to spot hers in a pen full of black and dark bay geldings.  We finally saw him at the back.  He had the most beautiful mane and tail.  He just had this majestic look about him.  The kind gentlemen got them loaded onto the trailer and we started the 12 hour trek home.

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We were surprised at how well they traveled.  They ate hay and didn’t make a peep the entire way home.  Erik and Kirsten could not wait to get to work!

Fast forward a week later…

Erik and his sorrel mustang are developing a bond.  Erik removed his neck tag on Saturday and decided to call him Partner.  The mustang will be his partner throughout this journey, so the name really fits.  Plus, he looks like he belongs in a western movie.  Well, howdy Partner!  He’s terrified of most things, but Partner is such a quick learner.  He gets over his fears fast.  Erik has been working on different exercises with Partner.  He’s gonna be a good one.

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Kirsten is moving right along with her mustang, A.K.A. Smokin’ Tux.  He is black with a white stripe down his face; resembles a tuxedo.  The name suits this fancy boy perfectly.  Tux learned quickly he loves a good rub from Kirsten.  He’s progressing and overcoming fears each day.  Kirsten even had her first ride on him this weekend.  These two are going to make a great team!  You can get daily updates on Tux at my sister’s horsemanship page, Just Believe Horsemanship.

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Kirsten + Tux photo credits: Jennifer at Sweet E Photography

It’s amazing to watch the wild mustangs slowly let a stranger into their “bubble,” as my dad calls it.  I know Partner and Tux have to be thinking we are a bunch of crazy hooligans.  One of my favorite milestones is removing the neck tag.  To me, it’s really the beginning of the journey.  It’s the first chapter of this incredible life change for them.  Little do they know, this change will be for their good.  Erik and Kirsten are learning something new everyday from this experience.  This will be a wild journey, indeed.

Until the next update,

Fallon

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The Wild Journey {Part 1}

Howdy!  This post is for the horse folks, folks who think they would like horses, folks who are interested in my rambling on about horses, and folks who like to look at pictures of horses {basically all folks}.  As you may know, my sister has competed in multiple mustang makeover competitions.  Most of my clients ask, “do they end up racing the cars?!”  {HA}!  Nope.  Totally different competition.  We are talking about wild, undomesticated mustangs that have been rounded up out of the over populated wild herds.  If you’ve never watched the documentary, Unbranded, do yourself a favor and have a movie night with a big bowl of popcorn.  It’s a film about four guys, led by Ben Masters, who are recent college graduates embarking on a journey from the Mexico border to the Canadian border on horseback to raise awareness of the plight of the American Mustangs.  It is raw, eye-opening, and proves the worth of the mustangs over and over.  You will be much more knowledgeable about the mustangs after viewing the documentary.  You will gasp……laugh…….cry…….and swell up with pride as your eyes witness something most of us will never experience in person.

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With all that said, my sister and my husband have been accepted and are competing in the Kentucky Mustang Makeover Competition this year!  Simple explanation: You are assigned a random, wild mustang that has been rounded up and hauled to a BLM holding facility.  Our pickup is scheduled in Illinois.  Things get real, very fast as you back your trailer up to the loading chute + load the mustangs you will be partnering with for the next several months and are sent on your way.  Once you arrive home, you have approximately 110 days to gentle and train the horse for competition.  That sums it up in a nut shell.

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In July, we will travel to Kentucky where they will compete in a series of preliminary classes vying for a spot in the Top 10 freestyle performance finals.  All adult mustangs will be available for adoption through public competitive bid after the finals.  Many people have asked, why do they want to do this?  I know it sounds crazy, stressful, even scary, but we believe in the mustang makeovers and their purpose.  The experience, for one, is like no other, you’re preserving public lands, helping the mustangs find good homes + live a more purposeful life, and having a ton of fun along the way.

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I plan to document this journey and keep you up-to-date as much as I can.  We are striking out this week to pick up the two mustangs.  We’ve tried to imagine what they will look like, what their personalities will be like and all their little quirks.  We are all super excited to get them and begin this unforgettable experience.  This is my husband’s first time participating in a mustang makeover and my sister’s first time competing in the adult division.  It is going to be so much fun and we will make many memories in these next 4 months.  I will have my camera ready to capture the moments for you all……the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Please be praying for safe travels and for God to guide Kirsten and Erik on this amazing journey.  We are grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to share it with y’all!  Who knows, if you aren’t horse folk yet, you just may be by the end of this detour!

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Until the next update,

Fallon

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Keeping it Southern

Many of you have been asking how the Southern Detour Boutique is doing.  It’s going just dandy! It is definitely keeping my mom a busy little bee.  She gets new clothes + jewelry in every week.  If you haven’t been by, you need to go {like run}!  They have been doing so well and enjoy seeing + visiting with all of you each day!

We have loved the loyal customers in our community!  We want to say, “THANK YOU” for supporting a local, small business!  Your shopping goes a long way and is truly appreciated from the bottom of our hearts.  We hope you all will get the chance to come see + shop our unique, vibrant, comforting, friendly, southern boutique.  It’s one-of-a-kind!

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Photo credits: Jennifer at Sweet E Photography

Please be sure to follow along on our Facebook and submit your email at the top of this page.  You can find our store hours + location, plus stay up-to-date on giveaways, blog posts, new trends, and be the first to know when our shipments arrive!  Also, we have an exciting event coming soon {even more reason to follow SD}!!  Stay southern, friends!

Love,

Fallon + The SD Crew

 

Categories: Heart to Heart, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Blushin’ for Spring

I don’t know about y’all, but in the South it has felt like spring so much lately.  We’ve had some beautiful weather the past few weeks.  Pastels will be on repeat here soon.  I am loving this Blush Midi Dress from Hazel and Olive.  Blush tones are quickly taking over my closet and wardrobe, but I don’t mind.  This dress is so dainty, comfortable, and lady-like!  It would be perfect for spring weddings, bridal showers, Sunday best, etc.

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I paired this dress with a faux-fur vest to give it that transitional feel from winter to spring.  It could also be paired with a jean jacket + cowgirl boots for a more casual look or a glitz statement necklace + nude pumps for a dressy look.  It’s more loose fitting so it’s super comfy.  Links for my outfit can be found below.  This dress was so popular is has already sold out, but they will be restocking soon!

Blush Midi Dress {Sold Out} | Blush Tassel Earrings | Nude Gladiator Sandal | Fur Vest {Old Boutique Find}

I am linking a couple more blush dresses that are so cute:

Lace Up Blush Dress | Dark Blush Lace Dress | Flowy Blush Dress

Happy Shopping,

Fallon

Thank you to Hazel and Olive Boutique for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own.

 

Categories: My Style | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

10 Ways to Improve Your Marriage

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner {MEN, it’s February 14th}, I thought it would be perfect to re-share my ideas on how to improve your marriage.  I hope you get a little something from this for your honey…

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Now, by writing this post, I am in no way stating I have a perfect marriage, pointing fingers or saying you should take my advice.  These are things that work in my life and if they can encourage you, that is my purpose.  Marriage is something you have to work at everyday.  I am still learning so much about being married.  Erik and I have been married going on 5 years.  I am extremely proud of the relationship we have.

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I believe marriage is something holy, sacred and should be cherished.  Marriage is taken so lightly in today’s society.  Couples move in together, get married, affairs here, affairs there, get divorced, families torn apart, kids lives and world’s shaken.  I do not think marriage is something that should be taken so lightly.  Blunt, yes.  Honest opinion, absolutely.

It’s not a give & take type of bond or game that you share with someone.  I have learned {in these 4 short years} if you both want the other person to be truly happy and you strive to make that happen everyday, you cannot fail.

Here are 10 ways to improve your marriage:

  1. Prayer.  When we were getting married, my grandparents told me to always put God first in our marriage.  I believe this with all of my being.  Before you get married, pray.  Before you buy a home, pray.  Before you make big decisions together, pray.  Small decisions? Pray.  Before you go to sleep, pray!  I pray for my husband every night.  I pray for his job, safety, family, his relationship with God, mindset, and for us.  Prayer will always get you through tough times, but pray in the good times too.  Keep God center of your marriage and He will guide you, together.
  2. Communication.  I tell Erik everything.  Do I drive him crazy?  Yes, most likely.  We make our plans and decisions together.  If something is bothering me, I tell him.  Ladies, if you haven’t figured it out already, men are NOT mind readers.  It’s so much better to talk it out than to bottle it up and end up walking out.  Do not let situations escalate when you could have set time aside to communicate.  No matter how big or small the topic is, always talk things through with your spouse.
  3. Listen.  It’s comforting to know you have someone else to bear your burdens, share your happiness, carry your worry, and listen to your thoughts.  Sometimes all it takes is silence.  When Erik gets home I want to know all about his day, the good and the bad.  This is something I work at everyday.  I love giving my two cents.  I am learning to listen and give him my full attention more {I’m still working on this one}.
  4. Support.  When you believe in your spouse and let them know they have your support, it makes your relationship that much stronger.  Erik has listened to me babble on about my dreams and future.  Sometimes, as big as they seem, they feel that much closer knowing I have his support.  A lot of my clients wonder how I enjoy going to horse shows, clinics, and spending countless afternoons at the barn.  It’s because I support my husband and it brings me joy seeing him do something he loves.  Instead of thinking about self, think about your spouse and marriage first.
  5. Commitment.  When I married Erik I vowed in front of God, all of our friends and family that only death would do us part.  I meant that with all of my being.  When you enter into marriage, your mindset and heart needs to be completely clear and committed.  I made a promise that no matter what, we would make it work.  Sometimes in order to do this, you have to put your selfish desires aside.  You should never lose sight of the commitment you made with your spouse; whether you’re on the mountain top or in the valley, always be there for each other.
  6. Choose your battles wisely.  I learned early on not to “nitpick.”  In the grand scheme of marriage, dirty socks left on the floor and the toilet seat left up are nothing compared to 50 years of marriage.  It’s not worth arguing and ruining your night over dirty socks?  Really though.
  7. Find happiness in the little things.  It doesn’t take a dozen roses or candlelit dinner to make me happy.  Reminding myself of our blessings, coming home to a peaceful marriage, going out for breakfast, talking about our day, sitting in church together makes me happy.  It’s so easy to scroll through Pinterest or watch a movie and have false expectations of a real life marriage.  Always try to find happiness in your marriage everyday.  Do not compare you and your spouse’s relationship to anyone else’s.  Be your own kind of happy.
  8. Attention.  Life is busy.  Life is messy.  A lot of us feel like we probably work more than we are home.  Especially, if you have children!  Holy cow.  Ballgames here, dance recitals, practices, birthday parties.  There is always something to do!  I’ve learned in order to give your marriage the time it needs, you cannot say yes to every invite and event.  It’s impossible.  There are not enough hours in the day.  Erik and time spent with him is my top priority.  It may be a ridiculous busy week and something simple as running an errand together.  Was it fun?  Well, I wouldn’t necessarily call that fun, but point is…we were together.  We were able to talk, even if it’s small talk.  Just being together and giving each other attention is sometimes all you need to get through a tough week.
  9. Have fun!  Bills, payments, jobs, meetings, clients, the list goes on.  Life can be so serious and sometimes very stressful.  We pile our plates so high, we forget to have joy.  Sometimes we need to sit back, let the world keep spinning and enjoy each other!  This could be going out for coffee, a mini weekend vacation, going for a drive, or just nagging Erik until he starts laughing {at least that’s what I do}.  Always keep your spouse laughing and it makes the world spin a little easier.  Don’t get so caught up in your “to-do” list and forget to enjoy life and your marriage.
  10. Say, “I love you.”  I don’t care if you’ve been married 3 years or 30, it took love to get you that far.  Right?  You got married because you love that person.  Make sure they know you still do.  Every week, everyday, even sometimes multiple times a day {woah}.  Constantly remind your spouse of these three simple words.  It needs to be sincere, genuine and from your heart.  The word “love” is thrown around so frivolously today.  I’m talking about the real love that you don’t necessarily have to say and profess dramatically.  Our actions towards our marriage should be proving this statement daily.  But still, a little “I love you” can’t hurt, right?

If your marriage is going through a tough patch, there’s always sunshine after the rain.  If your marriage is rainbows and butterflies, get on your knees and thank the Lord.  I hope this post encouraged you, motivated you and reminded you there’s always room for improvement {always}.

If so, please feel free to share and leave me a comment letting me know!  I would love to hear your feedback.

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Happy Valentine’s Day,

Fallon

Categories: Heart to Heart | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

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