Me & my horses.

- the trails of my life

Heather's Blog

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Archiving my Intro

Posted by Heather on December 29, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (1)

I posted this May 8th 2011, before I left Japan: 


Who am I? What a BIG question! Let's just stick to what I'm up to at the moment.


Right now I'm preparing for some huge life changes. - - -


I've been married to the man of my dreams since 2003, but we've been in a relationship since way back in 1998. We've been cruising around the world doing the military thing for the last 6 years and things are changing. We've decided not to reenlist and to take advantage of a program that will get us back home faster.


For the moment (and last 2+) years, we live in Japan. He works as a military police officer and I've been primarily a homemaker. It's been fun but I miss my horses and my family!


Once we're done here, we'll be moving back to Wixom, Michigan. There is a 12 acre parcel of property with our name on it that shares a property line with Proud Lake State Park. Proud Lake was one of my most favorite places to ride back in Michigan. I am very excited.


In addition to the land we're planning on building a house. Not just ANY old house but an eco house. Learning about all the green technologies that are available is really fulfilling and I'm going to enjoy all the benefits once we get it finished.


My next plan is our own facility. I want a barn that has room for my own horses as well as a couple of private boarders. I've got big ideas for an arena, private tack lockers and some beautiful turn out paddocks. It's time to follow my dreams.

Time to update.

Posted by Heather on December 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

This year has been, rough? 

I went through a long period of depression. Exercise and counseling has helped me a lot. I've lost 20 pounds (maybe minus a few, thanks Christmas! lol) and I've been really learning to be myself again. I have a lot of things to work through but, I'm doing it. 

The saddest thing, to me, is how dissapointed I am in the fact that Aaron and I were promised things that never happened. He's having trouble at work, still. I got banished from my MIL's barn after being ruthlessly attacked verbally by her and her boyfriend. Two of her horses died this month and both for reasons I would call neglect. That brings her number up to ... six horses now that I KNOW she played a part in their deaths. I tried to help, but there is only so much you can do. 

I guess it's a blessing in disguise,  I no longer have to go break my back for nothing. I also don't have to see the wasted beautiful facility any more or the horses in their conditions. Keeping toxic things out of my life is a process and that is just one part of it. I mean after THIS, who wouldn't? 

All the things I do and have done for you it's the attitude that is not becoming and the self righteous you owe me attitude that disturbs me! 

Your unhappiness is because of you and no one else. You need to appreciate things and wake up to reality that you're not the one and only. -- Appreciate things and work together without the 'better than thou attitude'.

I put a lot of money in her through the years. (7+\-) shots, feeding etc. You should just give her to me! But no you act like a spoiled girl wanting everyone to take care of you.

We are no closer to moving out of the model house. I am still grateful and blessed to have this roof over my head, it's a lovely house but not what we wanted for our future. The house in GA hasn't sold and A. We don't really want to move back there B. while it's for sale we can't finance any other home. It's okay for now though, we have this one. 

Aaron is going to get a POC Firefighter job for our city. I know he's excited about that, maybe it will open some more doors for him? I'm still trying to figure out what to do with myself. I want to contribute financially as well as all the other ways I contribute. I mean, my horse is boarded out and I hate that Aaron is paying for it out of 'his' money. I want to take care of my own hobby costs? 

Looking back at what I wrote a year ago, it's pretty upsetting that nothing has changed. In fact, lots of things have gotten worse. I'm ready for a change and I feel one coming. I can only take so much. 

Breyer Ornament Wish List

Posted by Heather on December 28, 2013 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Last year at Christmas, I put up a mini tree and it was 'my tree' where I displayed my collectible horse themed ornaments. The pride of my collection had been the Breyer Beautiful Breeds series that had begun in 2003, the year that Aaron and I got married. 

I only had three, but I loved them and wanted to continue to add to the collection, hopefully completing it and then adding the new one each year. 

Disaster struck. The tree toppled because the base was not heavy enough and it crashed to the floor. Most of my ornaments broke and all the porcelain ones shattered. I was so mad at myself and sad that one of the few things that I wanted for just myself got ruined. 

I also discovered when researching replacing them that the collection had been quite valuable. If I had all of them it would be worth around 500$ and growing from there. The first one in the series alone, will cost at least 100$ to replace. 

I'll use this journal entry to keep track of my efforts. Aaron was sad for me, because this year I voiced my hurts and he got me the 2013 ornament (2) to help me get started again. One is to display, and one is to save. I mean, it was 15$ so getting a double didn't seem too silly. Especially if in a few years I can sell it to recoup some of the money I will be spending on the older ornaments. 

I was just able to locate a small online store that had the 2008, and 2012 ornaments for TEN dollars!! That is so exciting. If it goes well, I will buy duplicates and put those aside to sell also. I love the thrill of hunting for the best bargain and finding a treasure where no one else has looked!! 

Here is the list as of 2013 and the prices I have found them for - 


2003 - Chestnut Arabian $99.00 -$114.00

2004- Friesian  $42.00-$46.00 PURCHASED 2014 for $22.50

2005 - Saddlbred $42.00-$84.00 PURCHASED 2014 for $20


2006 Quarter Horse $30.00 - $65.00

2007 Appaloosa $42.00 - $54.00


2008 Clydesdale $22.00 - $40.00 PURCHASED 2013 for $10

2009 Andalusian $27.00 - $35.00

Looks like I found a place that has it for $18.00 - Above the welsh pony 700509

HERE also


2010 Welsh Pony $34.99 - $38.99 PURCHASED 2014 for $17

Looks like I found a place that has it for $18.00!!! Towards the bottom - 700510

2011 Mustang (none for sale 2013, past sold for $35.00) 

I found a place that seems to have it for 17.99 !!! PURCHASED 2014 for $18.99


2012 Peruvian Paso PURCHASED 2013 for $10


2013 Warmblood PURCHASED 2013 for $15.00 


Photos of the barn

Posted by Heather on March 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

This is the state of my MIL's barn

This is a typical stall barn setup. The horses come in at night to a bedded stall that functions like cat litter. The shavings absorb urine and provide a comfortable place to sleep. Hard floors can damage joints and contribute to arthritis. There is fresh water provided daily and clean well ventilated air keeps lungs healthy. The pee is scooped daily and the manure is picked out. There is very little smell.

Here is a view down the aisle in her barn. The part that fails to capture is the overwhelming stench. There is also a layer of palpable grime, old cobwebs and dust that you cannot escape. Notice the stacks of objects. The door that can no longer be used at the end...

aisle view photo 2013-03-11174857_zps1cfd89ee.jpg

This is her typical stall. No bedding. No water. Her horses stay inside from 12-36 hours at a time. Inhaling their own waste fumes and have nothing to drink. Their feet are slogging in manure. They cannot lie down.

single stall photo 2013-03-11174233_zps32e5571d.jpg

stalls photo 2013-03-11174133_zps2b826e5a.jpg

She has four typical box stalls. This is how they are kept. Also no water. Many of her horses are elderly and must lie in their own manure on the hard floor. There is NO ventilation to speak of. I cleaned and scrubbed one of the four to use for myself. It is bedded with shavings and has everything it needs. The others are not so fortunate.

box stall photo 2013-03-11174149_zpscb998f1c.jpg

This is a typical tack room The equipment is easy to find for each horse and is easy to keep clean. It should smell like leather and be fairly fresh.

This is the tack room that I can't even use. It STINKS like rancid old sweat and animal urine. You can step inside the door and turn around. There is no free space. Leather equipment lies mishapen, moldy and rotting on the floor.

tack room photo IMG_0029_zps8ecc1fc6.jpg

tack room photo IMG_0028_zps9d4afdc2.jpg

Here is her wash rack, it has hot water access and is truly amazing when it functions. You can see how often she bathes her horses that are forced to lie in their own urine and feces. They get brushed just as often. 

wask rack photo IMG_0020_zpsff8be238.jpg

More junk in the aisles. 

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I spent a day cleaning the wash rack so I could use it. (It is now half full again. ANY open space is quickly filled) 

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This is a typical riding arena. The footing needs to be stable to prevent slipping and to absorb impact. It should be fluffy and not hard while also being the right depth to protect the horses legs. It is regularly watered to keep the dust down and groomed with a tractor daily to keep the 'fluff' 

This is her indoor riding arena - 

heap photo IMG_0047_zps32f00c6e.jpg

junk photo IMG_0046_zps386f323b.jpg

If you can believe it, these pictures are from a year ago. There is MORE junk in there now. More. 

whole view photo IMG_0044_zps9bcb0f71.jpg

Here is a water trough. It constantly overflows and is dumped into the arena. It rehydrates the manure and creates a bog at least a foot deep. 

mud hole photo IMG_0043_zpsde9734eb.jpg

This is me standing in the 'footing' of the arena. It is comprised of (at least) five years of manure, wasted hay and urine soaked material. You can see that it comes clear up over my ankles. 

depth photo IMG_0045_zps45f7afa9.jpg


Posted by Heather on February 11, 2013 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm seriously considering giving up. If I do that, will I lose myself? 

If I sell my horse and all my tack/equipment I can probably gather around 7k. This will be great as far as helping with our debt and horse related financial obligations. I thought it would be fine to use my savings to pay board ... but there is no solution for my horse dilemma. There is no way to pursue my dreams realistically. I guess, it's just time to give it all up. Fifteen years of trying. 

I'm distressed that we cannot move out of this house. This house I didn't want. I never wanted to come back to the same trailer park where it all started. I wanted to get OUT of here. I have made a big circle of wasted time. 

What will be left? I had dreams. Now, I don't have anything. This entire blog basically was for nothing. It was an expression of the evil power of hope. Lifted and dashed repeatedly. How did I think it would be different coming back to the Button family? It's always been that way.

I will probably just resign myself to dissolving away and whatever is left will be given to others. I'll just be a wife and mother with a hole where her youth used to be. 

I'm the queen of the trailer park. hooray.

Well Crap.

Posted by Heather on January 24, 2013 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

So, Navy Federal will not give us another loan even with a cosigner. :( We own a house in GA already and I guess that's just too much debt. Even though our mortgage has never been late, ever. We also have renters in it that cover the payment. It's next to a Navy base, it will ALWAYS have renters. 

Such a shame that we can't just move it up here. Problems would be totally solved. 

This sucks. 

Been a while

Posted by Heather on January 11, 2013 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

This post is just going to be a mish mosh. 

We've been in the states for about a year and it's been crazy with ups and downs. *sigh* 

First things first I am going to make a list of what I want. Just me, just Heather. 


  • A home that is peaceful, settled and out of the crossfire
    • this will include rooms that feel open, and can handle our furniture
    • a kitchen that is functional and makes it easy to do my cooking and storage
    • not condusive to clutter
    • space for my hobby room
    • it should feel like a refuge
    • I want to use our furniture, finally. So nice size rooms
    • something I can make into MINE. I want to grow roots.
  • A yard that can be an oasis
    • this will include safe fencing and room for the dogs
    • space for a garage/shed
    • garden space
    • possibility to have a small coop
    • room for children to play
    • must feel private
  • Access to my horse(s)
    • a barn that is functional
    • clean space 
    • trainer
    • the ability to ride 'out' (arena, ring, trails)
    • attend shows
    • joy instead of anguish
  • To discover more of myself
    • classes? 
    • time spent pursuing hobbies like maybe writing and painting more. Sculpting.
    • turn some of my abilities into money
    • seriously pursue fitness and health
  • Find PEACE
    • settle down and relax. A home I love will be a big part of this.
    • let go of more things, hang onto what's important
    • dream more, be more positive 
    • Stop giving in to anxiety

So, I think I have a starting point. This whole time I haven't been able to settle for real. It's been momentary at best an then turns back into an up and down. I need concrete plans. I can't stand not knowing what we're doing. I had too many years of that and too many times since we've been home where that happened. It crushes me to get my hopes up, to plan to be excited and then have it all dashed. I have turned into a more pessimistic person and have lost a lot of joy. I can't keep that up. 

I need to be able to settle in somewhere, find my peace and begin the rest of my life. I'm tired of anxiety. I'm sure there's more that belongs on that list, but it's a beginning and something for me to work on and look at. I'm ready to move on, and limbo isn't suiting me. 


Another pretty braid to learn

Posted by Heather on July 1, 2012 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm not sure how this is done ... I'm off to investigate though! It's an interesting take on a scallop braid. 

Finally Fitness

Posted by Heather on March 4, 2012 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)


Last week Aaron and I went "gym shopping" and we settled on Powerhouse. We checked out Lifetime Fitness and it was just way too posh and snobby for us. I mean the amenities are super nice and the classes are awesome but for 1/3 less we can go to Powerhouse and get all that without the bling. At the end of the day it's a building you pay to go sweat in. I could care less about the cafe and juice bar or the fact that the staff is wearing dress pants & ties. 

Tomorrow we'll be going in for our fitness assessment. I'm not looking forward to it more than I am. I mean, do I really need someone with fat calipers to pinch me and tell me I'm overweight? I know I am. I also know why. It's part of the membership though so I'm going to try and be as positive about it as I can. 

My goals are important to me, they have to be. It took me three years to gain weight and get to this point so I know it's not going to go away overnight. I have to commit to eating better, doing more and making good choices. I've got to remind myself every day of what I'm working toward and why. I have to start thinking like my fit self rather than my fat self. I can't think about how I'm going to lose my bust, but how I'll be gaining a whole body I love rather than just my chest. I'm NOT happy with myself and it's taking a toll on almost everything. 

So from now on, we'll be going to the gym after work. My ultimate goal will be 5 days a week, 3 classes and 2 lifting days. I think I can do well with that schedule and weekends off? I don't know, I'll figure it out as I go. I plan to use MyFitnessPal again to track my nutrition. I have to give up the whiskey and cokes and the slacker cooking. I have to make good choices when we go out to eat and we need to eat in more. I need to embrace the SUCK. It's going to be really crappy a lot of the time when I'm missing the goodies. The thing is, having all the goodies and not enough crappy has gotten me to this size and this condition. It's not worth it anymore! 

It feels AMAZING to have a real schedule. A really real (for real!) life schedule. I can make use of my time, I can find healthy organic foods and I can actually go to the gym. I'm thrilled. I just have to remember that it's a journey and I have to keep going. If I can make it to the summit of Mt. Fuji, I can do this

Things I need to blog about:

Posted by Heather on March 4, 2012 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)


  1. Um, I'm back in AMERICA! 
  2. Each of the horses.
  3. The Tanglewood (temp house) 
  4. The Wixom Property.
  5. My fitness goals.
  6. My job and social life.
  7. More? 

I'm sure there's more, but I'm a tad blogged out for now. I'll be back. 



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