New Facilities – A New adventure

With our move to Black Mountain comes an adventure of building our new facilities from the ground up. Most of the arena and stable pictures on the website are from the former property in Raeford, NC (which is soon to come onto the market), so while they are representative of the level of training and care that goes into our horses, they are not representative of the appearances of our new location. Our new property consists of over 100 acres of pasture, forest, creeks and rivers, and mountains, but it had no other infrastructure when we purchased it. While this makes for a daunting task, it is also exciting because it allows us to design the optimal facilities for our programs!

If you’d like to contribute to our building efforts, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. No amount is too small; every little bit helps us get closer to our goals. For more information, please contact us, and we’d be happy to share more details of our plans!

Phase 1: Getting Started

As of July of 2023, we have built:

  • 16 temporary pastures/paddocks with temporary shelters
  • Solar panel power array (newly refurbished)
  • One complete yurt and the site prep for a second
  • Camper hook-ups
  • An outdoor 12mx24m Rossfechten arena with GGT footing for lessons, training, and demonstrations
  • The Sr. Priscilla Jean Wright Pavilion
  • The beginnings of our new permanent fencing and run-in sheds
  • Storage buildings for tack room and feed room
  • Much of a community kitchen/bath for the yurt village

These first steps were immense in getting us to our new location, but these are just the beginnings.

We are also thrilled to announce that the Community of the Transfiguration, which is passionate about conserving land and animals, has generously donated toward a gazebo, which is acting as an enclosed observation area at the arena as well as a classroom and gathering space for a wide range of activities! This gazebo is dedicated in honor of Sister Priscilla Jean Wright, who was a passionate and active member of the Community for many years and an avid horse lover. We are proud to honor her memory, and we look forward to future collaborations with the Community and its members.

Our next focus in Phase 1 is:

  • Tiny house bedrooms for guest program participants
  • Finishing the second yurt
  • Small storage barn for hay and emergency stabling

We are still fundraising for this next stage in building, which will allow us to do much more to accomplish our mission. Our next immediate focus is to install a tiny house/yurt village where we can host educational and wellness retreats for our programs. These retreats allow us to more intensively help our program participants as well as reach out further afield, as participants will be able to come and stay onsite for the programs rather than be geographically limited. The second yurt will serve as a dining hall, classroom, and meeting space for programs. We’re planning to install four tiny houses, which cost approximately $12,000 apiece (including furnishings). We are still getting bids for the yurt platform, and a new yurt will cost approximately $25,000. If you have bedroom furniture, desks, or other furnishings that you wish to donate, we would welcome them for furnishings. If you would like to donate a contribution 50% or more of the building’s cost, you may have the building dedicated in a name of your choosing.

Phase 2: Stables and Covered Arena

Once we have our first phase of infrastructure complete, we plan to start building our stables. Each of these stables will have apartments in order to minimize our footprint and maximize our program capabilities. To begin, we plan to build what will be a guest barn with an apartment for program participants and for boarding and guest horses, but in the short term, it will serve as the primary stables. We are considering using a prefabricated company, such as BarnPros, in order to have a more predictable cost. Initial estimates put this building at $600,000 for eight stalls and a 3-5-bedroom apartment (depending on which floor plan we choose).

The next consideration is either a covered regulation arena (20mx60m) or a broodmare barn with an apartment. The covered arena will allow us to conduct programs, including Meadow Meditation sessions, out of the weather if it is foul, and it will also allow for more flexibility in training. The estimated cost for this arena is approximately $350,000.

We also will need to build a broodmare barn, also with an apartment. This would allow us to house more program participants or even staff onsite with proper foaling stalls so that we can resume our breeding operation. We are still designing the floorplan of this barn, though we estimate it will have a similar cost of the guest barn. Additionally, a small barn for the young stallions is also needed, providing a small apartment for working students. This barn is estimated to cost $350,000.

However, in addition to buildings, we are also planning out our garden spaces. We plan to add several kinds of gardens:

  • Aquaponics
  • Lavender Labyrinth
  • Miscellaneous fruit and vegetable gardens

These gardens will serve the community by providing fresh fruits and vegetables as well as enhancing the respite spaces for program participants. We plan to use as many heirloom varieties as possible in order to preserve some of these unique cultivars.

We hope to begin this phase in 2024 and estimate it will be finished in 2027.

Phase 3: Construction Completed

The final pieces are adding to the covered arena for better seating for performances and building our main stables. These will bring our capabilities to their fullest potential. We recognize that this phase will not begin for several years and may take a while to accomplish, but the plans and dreams are there. If programs grow beyond what we estimate we need for infrastructure, we have ideas for further expansion.