In the Studio


Let there be paint! The studio is looking fantastic! I love how painting the ceiling really brightened the room. (You can see a bit of yet unpainted ceiling in the back to contrast with how dark the entire ceiling used to be.) The walls, of course, are also much brighter with the paneling gone. It’s going to be a light, bright, airy space. Once painting is completed, the floor will start going in. Exciting!

Note to studio backers with photo rewards: Photo rewards are going out. Each photo reward must be handled individually as the order is shipped directly to each of you. I email each backer after the order is placed, so please bear with me as I work through each order. I place orders every day, and you will hear from me when your order is on the way, I promise. (I wish I could be faster and do them all in one day, but I also want to be careful and not make mistakes with photo selections or addresses, so when my eyes start crossing, I have to stop for the day.)

I also want to make a note about Patriot here.

For those of you who have children, remember what it’s like to be a first-time mother? And everywhere you go, people are giving you advice? And you don’t really know anything about taking care of a baby anyway, but all the advice can be a little stressful? And you just want to take your baby home and hide in a closet? Okay, maybe that last part is just me.

I didn’t just buy Patriot and take him home. I am adopting Patriot, and the adoption process extends for a full year. You can read more about the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue adoption contract here. A quote from that page: “We [Heart of Phoenix] retain ownership of adopted equine for at least the first year to be sure the horse will be safe.”

At this point, I don’t really own Patriot yet. The Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue still owns him. Tinia Creamer, an experienced horsewoman and president of the Heart of Phoenix, has been to my farm twice now to inspect fields where Patriot will be kept and to advise me on caring for Patriot. From Tinia: “We’ve handled over 80 placements of rescue horses to date and are a group of life long equine owners before becoming one of the only non-profit equine rescue groups in the state, and we have advised Suzanne on what we know is the best and happiest way to care for Patriot. Remember, equine care must be tailored to the individual horse, and what works for one, will often never work for the next. We recommend care based on the individual horse. She has him on pasture at our recommendation.”

All of my decisions on Patriot’s care must be approved by the Heart of Phoenix, as per the adoption contract. And I’m totally okay with that. As a new horse owner, I really appreciate the guidance and mentorship. In fact, I view it as a benefit of the adoption process. I am doing my best to follow their recommendations in accordance with our contract. Please understand also, though, that a barrage of conflicting advice is really stressful for me, and makes me want to take my baby and hide in a closet. Only that would be a super tight fit, me and Patriot, so please don’t make me do that.

Thank you for understanding!


  1. stacylee says:

    I totally get what you mean about the closet, everyone was really bad when I was breastfeeding. Do this, don’t do that, “He’s starving!”, my grandma said about the 15 pound three month old! I don’t have any horse advice so maybe it easier for me, all I want to do is give him a carrot and braid his tail!

  2. PaulaClark says:

    The studio looks amazing! Any renovation project is exciting to me and this one I will be able to share without all the work.
    Knowing nothing about horse care, I can’t weigh in on Patriot’s care at all. I know he looks beautiful. And I think it was time for you to comment on all the advice. I understand people wanting to help, but I read several blogs and this is always a problem. The minute someone does anything, there are the “OH NO, YOU CAN’T DO THAT” posts. Or the “DO IT MY WAY”. It’s a common problem. You have expert help from the rescue group and that’s as it should be. Carry on without further advice from me. LOL

  3. BuckeyeGirl says:

    How bright and wonderful the studio is becoming! It’s on it’s way to glory! Everything looks so wonderful.

    Thank you for explaining about the set up with the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue folks, it is very educational for us all. Of course, we all saw photos of him there out on pasture too and I’m sure their ‘spring’ was even earlier and just as ‘green’ as yours has been, so we can all relax and let you get on with things. :sun:

  4. Darlene says:

    That’s what I love about the rescue groups. The studio is looking great. Everything is looking beautiful! Look how far you have come in such a short period of time. Perhaps later you can give us a post on how Clover and her court are taking all this. Or does her highness think Patriot is just a funny looking cow.

  5. lattelady says:

    Atta girl! Your studio is coming along beautifully and will be the source of much joy and learning.
    In re Patriot. Your thoughts are “spot on”. I totally agree with your feelings. We all want you to succeed, and succeed you and Morgan will.
    A thought flickered through my mind (and stayed..amazing!). Patriot might surprise you once under saddle and comes up behind the other animals. Any chance you have a cutting horse there? I think it would have been noticed by the Phoenix people, but it could always happen. If he was, no more issues about moving GB around.

  6. Dumbcatluvr says:

    Whew! Thank you for silencing the Debbie Downers.

  7. margiesbooboo says:

    WOW wouldn’t that be great if your daughter was able to work the spoiled brat with the horse? I see her riding the fence line with tools on her horse making repairs as she goes, cutting a cow, and um what ever else you do with a horse on a farm. Plow a field? He sure is pretty.

  8. Leck Kill Farm says:

    What a differene that painted ceiling makes! When looking at prior pictures, I wondered what your plans were concerning the ceiling.

    Concerning the horse advice, I think people (me include, I have controlled myself most of the time) give it because when something goes wrong with a horse (halter dangers, for example) it goes very, very, very tragically wrong.

  9. holstein woman says:

    Suzanne, I knew that the more was said that sooner and not later you would release the baby out of the closet. I was sure the Equine rescue folks would not let you have any horse without teaching you lots about their care and conditioning. My DH used to own Chow Chow’s when he was in Arizona for lots of years. When his last one died here in Oregon at the ago of 15 we tried to adopt another one. The would NOT let us because Bear was still alive and they said that the dogs would fight to the death. We all know better, not a 15 year old dog and a puppy!

    Anywho, the studio is really coming along. I am very curious about the murial that is going to be painted. Which wall is it going on or have you decided?

  10. CATRAY44 says:

    I totally understand the feelings of Suzanne with a lot of advice coming her way. I know the experienced horse people were not trying to be ‘downers’ and just want to spare her and Morgan heartache ( though not experienced, I shared the same concern.) I am so glad that Suzanne (and Patriot) is already ahead of the game under the good tutelage of Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue. Patriot is beautiful and fortunate. The studio is looking good!!!

  11. STracer says:

    The studio looks great. It is really amazing what white paint can do to lighten up a room that has no more window light than it did before. Makes things so much nicer.

  12. foofeee says:

    I think that by adopting Patriot, you have the best sort of mentoring available! They will help you make all the right decisions for you and your horse(s). As stated, what works for one horse doesn’t work for another. My only bit of advice is to keep posting pictures for those of us who want a horse but have no place to properly care for one. I seriously considered buying a house with horse property a few years ago but realized I really didn’t want to care for another child. A horse is like caring for a toddler/teenager! Enjoy Patriot!

  13. shirley T says:

    Zuzanne, sending good wishes your way~~HUGS!! :hug:

  14. mintamichelle says:

    It was stressfull READING conflicting comments. I just adopted two horses in December and am learning new things constantly. I am excited to see yor life with Patriot unfold.

    Thank yous o much for sharing.


  15. MousE says:

    Hear, hear! What PaulaClark said, too.


    Hang in there, Suzanne! I hope Morgan is totally in love with that beautiful creature.


  16. The High Altitude Tea Duchess says:

    I am so glad that, Patriot has such a kind and knowledgeable new owner in you, Suzanne. I just know he is going to love it there, you will be a great owner and that, Morgan is going to have a great summer riding him. I am so happy for him and for you. I’ve never owned or really had much time around horses due to my mother’s fear of them and her tight leash on me when around them but I get to live my horse dreams through you and, Morgan! I am looking forward to more horse pics and stories. I can hardly wait!

  17. Lindsay says:

    Heart of Phoenix sounds like an absolutely fantastic organization. I think you, Morgan and Patriot will be fine; you love those animals and always do what’s best for them. Congratulations on getting such a sweet, beautiful horse and I hope Zip can come along soon. The studio is looking great! I’m so happy that things have really turned out wonderfully for you and your family (including the animal members)!

  18. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    I don’t think any of us who posted our concerns ever intended to be DebbieDowners. I certainly didn’t. Not being aware of the terms of the adoption, there was no way to know that this kind of help is available and ongoing. I just know what kind of stress and worry my SIL went through last year and she’s a very experienced horsewoman. And I didn’t want Morgan and Suzanne and Patriot to ever be in that position. So…enough said. On to other things.

    Looks like the studio is well on its way to completion. The pretty stuff is going to be happening now.

  19. cabynfevr says:

    Our rescue runs a bit different. We offer a “lifetime” lease to be sure the horse is being taken care of forever. You can bring the horse back at any time, no questions asked but you also have to agree to a barn check once a year and provide regular photographs. You are wise, even if it wasn’t required, to follow thw rescue guidelines. They know best about Patriot and rescue horses come with a whole set of baggage that the average horseowner can’t begin to comprehend. We are run by an Equine Vet and it’s comical (sometimes annoying)when we post about an ailing horse (colic, etc) to see all the comments and suggestions people give her on care! She just smiles and waves boys, smiles and waves 🙂

  20. copgrrl says:

    I just want to go up and bury my nose in Patriot’s neck. I miss my horses. Never thought I would and did not understand at the time how wonderful it was to have horses. I was too ignorant as a child and had other ideas about what fun was. Now, in my middle years, approaching 50 that is, I look back on those days and so wish I could bring them forward. Oh well, I cannot, so instead, I shall live vicariously through your words. What a joy to be a part of your blogging community. Keep having fun Suzanne. And yes, quite right. I think you and Patriot, in the closet would be a pretty tight squeeze. Best wishes to Morgan and am looking forward to the inclusion of Zip!!

  21. bonita says:

    Great seeing the studio, things coming along.
    Even I was getting stressed reading the multitude of Helpful Hannah’s with conflicting advice. Aside from feeling overwhelmed, I thought Suzanne might opt never to share anything about her animals again.
    So, let’s hear it for the rescue organizations caring for Patriot and Coco. That’s the sure sign of a genuine caring rescue—once they place an animal they want to do everything they can so that animal and owner thrive.
    Soapbox moment: Do all you can to support your local dog, cat, horse, cow….animal rescue organization. These animals deserve it.

  22. ibpallets (Sharon B.) says:

    The studio is looking FANTASTIC!

    As for the unsolicited advice- I’d just smile and keep on doing what you are being told to do by the rescue group.

  23. beforethedawn says:

    Glad to see the studio coming along!

    Sad to see you have to put out another disclaimer, having to explain yourself. 🙁

  24. whaledancer says:

    I’m sorry to learn that the differing advise was stressful for you, Suzanne, and that some of your readers saw it negatively, as coming from “Debbie Downers” and “Helpful Hannahs,” because as someone with limited knowledge of keeping a horse, I found it educational. But I can understand how it would be stressful to hear conflicting advise when you’re a beginner and just want to do what’s best for your animal.

    For me, it was like reading the discussion on de-horning, with the differing ideas about whether animals should be de-horned at all, and if so, which method is best. I didn’t even know it was an issue, so reading all the different viewpoints was enlightening and interesting for me. I knew you would make an educated decision about which course to take with your babies.

    I feel certain that those who offered advise were simply trying to spare you possible heartache, because they care about you and your animals.

  25. ticka1 says:

    Only advice I have is to enjoy having patriot at your farm and keep posting pictures!!! I love them all!

  26. lifeisgood/ Melinda says:

    The studio is looking great! I know you are excited!

    As for Patriot, I have no horse advice since I never had one, but I do have a brand new baby granddaughter born Saturday morning! I understand about the advice. Your analogy was spot-on! My daughter’s head has been reeling from so much advice and finally last night she just started crying–it was just too much confusion and stress! I have been staying with her while her hubby is at work and I told her the same thing I will tell you. “you do it the way that feels right to you from what you have been told by the doctor (in your case the equine rescue) and just tell the rest, your baby, your rules!” Then today I see basically the same thing only about you and your horse! (Morgan’s horse!)
    Please don’t put Patriot in the closet with you and Morgan….I have a feeling baby diapers have NOTHING on horse diapers! :sun: :sun: :sun:

  27. lifeisgood/ Melinda says:

    one more thing….Patriot is BEAUTIFUL!~

  28. kellyb says:

    The studio is looking fantastic. Isn’t it wonderful what a coat of fresh paint can do?

    My advice on Patriot, enjoy him!

  29. bbkrehmeyer says:

    Nothing softer than the chin of a horse, except maybe a baby’s butt…. Gotta love horses & anyone who adopts them. As a young girl/woman, we ran up to 500 head of registered quarter horses. Never had any flounder, and yes each horse is an individual. what is good for one is not good for another. Only thing I agree on is the halter issue. don’t leave it on him unattended unless it can come off when he scratches…….
    Good job on the studio. It gonna be lovely….
    Happy Dance……

  30. Turtle Mom says:

    The studio looks marvelous! I am so excited for you. Patriot is a very handsome horse and I know he will bring years of joy to Morgan and you. I think it’s fabulous that the rescue provides assistance for a year. Heart of Phoenix sounds like a truly wonderful organization! I look forward to enjoying many more Patriot stories.

  31. Vicki in So. CA says:

    Wow! The studio is really looking great. How exciting. Re: Patriot. What I know about horses you could fit in a thimble, so… no advice from me. All I know is he’s beautiful!

    Anyway, in such a short time you’ve done so much: new house/farm, tons of fixes, gardening, fencing, studio project, tractor, book, horse(s), possibly 2 pregnant cows, master gardening class, beekeeping class… and stuff I’m sure I’ve left out. I remember a post about landing on your feet. Ha. Landing on your feet was just the first millisecond — you hit the ground running and nobody can stop you! You are amazing.

  32. knititblack says:

    Blarg, I’m sorry you’re getting beaten down with so much “helpful” advice! I hope people lay off! 😕

    The studio looks AWESOME! I wish I lived near enough to come for a workshop!

  33. bbkrehmeyer says:

    Patriot looks like he could be a small quarter horse. You may be surprised when he’s saddled up. they are smart and quick and easy to train. Plus he may just keep the other livestock in line!!!
    Love him….. :heart:

  34. Old Geezer says:

    I took a few months of riding lessons about 15 years ago, so I was going to remind you all the cautionary things I learned at the time. But now I’ll hold back. Don’t want you in the closet.

    The first time I was on a full grown horse was on a trip to Mackinac Island, about 20 years back, where they don’t allow cars (except emergency vehicles). Horses are the rule.

    That rental horse knew he had a real bozo on board and he took me on several wild rides not of my own design but of his. I only got back to the stable because my wife (who can ride) convinced both her horse and mine that it was the best way to end the horrible experience for all of us.

    At one point my untrusty steed and I were literally waltzing through someone’s back yard. Said someone came out of the house, pulled the nose of the horse around into the correct direction and then smacked the horse a good one on the backside and got us out of there fast. Me just hanging on for dear life, of course. She (from the house) said nary a word through it all.

    So when the kids eventually took riding lessons, so did I. To get even, I said. Ha!

    And I know enough even now that if I ever went back to Mackinac I would be much less likely to end up in that backyard again.

    Possibly over a cliff, but not in that back yard.

  35. gardnerh says:

    And on another note……..Mishka and Bentley (two big, white dogs) want to know what’s happening with Coco. Any news?

  36. Sheryl says:

    LOL, Old Geezer! That story was hilarious! Well, I never got to ride my Grandfather’s horses-they were used only for round-up time when they brought the cattle in for branding and dipping, and any other medical care they might need-horrible looking big needles too :/ Anyway, my sisters and I would sneak out to the barn, to pet the horses in their stalls, and give them a treat!

    Everything is lookin’ good, Suzanne!

  37. Murphala says:

    I have lots of horse advice. All from experience. 1) Don’t let the horse step on your foot. 2) Don’t let the horse try to bite your boob off, and 3)Don’t let the horse try to dismount you forcefully by rubbing you against a fence. Or a tree.

    There. Wait, no, that’s advice for you! 😉

    Glad to see the studio is on its way, and it looks great! Can’t wait so someday see it in person!
    The Not Horse Whisperer

  38. tenderfootfarmgirl says:

    With your heart for animals and your willingness to learn, and the great support of Phoenix, you are all going to be just fine. Better than fine. I was almost 50 when I started riding and got my first horse. Didn’t know a thing. Wanting to do right by your animals is the most important thing and you got that!!

    Ditto, Murphala!

  39. wkf says:

    Yesterday during her riding lesson my friend said you had gotten Morgan’s horse, I thought “Oh Lord here it comes!!”. Welcome Suzanne to the the folds of Equine-dom. Horses Will make you crazy!! All of the Advise givers meant no harm. Having dealt with horses for 33 years and giving riding lessons for 20 years there are as many different opinions as there are horses and people. Your rescue group has the right of it, there is no perfect way that works for every horse or person. The sky is blue to some and grey to others. Your Vet and your rescue group are who you listen to now. Let the rest of US blather on…. As You find your way, you will learn what works for you. There is a lot of good advise out there, you will know when to ask for it. :yes:
    I learn something new from horses and horse people almost EVERY day.

    Oh and enjoy your new 1000 lb toddler. Make sure you have those safety plugs in all of your outlets. You don’t want Patriot sticking a fork in one!!! :wave:

    Good Luck ,
    Boss Mare of her OWN pasture

  40. VikingMiss says:

    Love the post! and I think you were reading my mind with all the (well intentioned, I’m sure) advice flying.

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