I don’t use the word “me” as just the horse; I take the word to mean the whole package that comes with owning a horse. Here in Central New York we have just had a week of crazy weather, which is really not that surprising for February, but still ever year it is a hot conversation topic. Multiple times a day I would go to the barn to tend to my horses. One morning this past week it was -27 degrees, then a few days later it was pouring rain and 50 degrees. The beauty of my horses, barn, pastures, and manure piles all shined though even in tough circumstances.
The phrase “stop and smell the roses” comes to my mind almost every time I go out to the barn. I could just go out and quickly feed, water and clean up after my horse, but if I did, I would miss so much of the beauty of being out there. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t stop what I am doing and take a picture of something out there. I am always surprised when someone is selling a horse and they have such poor photos of the horse or so few photos of their horse. I am asked in the winter months “how can you really enjoy being out there when it is that cold”? Well that is why gore-tex and thermal was created! A typical winter day may start with first shoveling deep snow a good 100’ to the barn. Then bring 10 gallons of hot water from the house to the barn to fill the heated water buckets. Feed the horses and while they are eating, get a strong shovel to pry the frozen manure piles up into a wheelbarrow. Shovel another path from the barn to the manure pile to dump the manure. That’s just the daily general maintenance needed.
There may also be surprises when you go to the barn, and there always is, so I guess it really isn’t a surprise. This past week I had a few. My mares continue to challenge each other through the fence and that resulted in some surface injuries and fence damage from the scuffle. Then the rain created a quick snow thaw resulting in flooding in one of the stalls. All this could easily overwhelm and frustrate anyone, since it needs to be addressed and fixed right then. Barn issues usually can’t wait for a convenient time. So you put on another pot of coffee, extra layers and head out to solve the problems. When it is all done, like any good job, there is satisfaction.
The real beauty for me happens the moment I open the door and feel the fresh air, see my horse run to the fence when she hears my voice, and we greet each other the way best friends do. I could do that all day.
If you aren’t a real horse person, all this is work. To the rest of us, it’s “all” beautiful.