Saturday, March 27, 2010

More lessons from the horse barn

A tough minded cowgirl would declare;

"Working hard ain't never hurt no one, especially when so many chores await at the horse barn!"

(This young gal celebrated our daughter's birthday after a barn day with her)

Our daughters know the romantic idea of owning a horse will never come without huge responsibilities and lots of physical labor.

They know all about it now, mostly because they've been privy to the learning curve process their instructor has offered them for knowledge gained when assisting in managing a bunch of paddocks and two barns filled with horses. All thirty of them.

It's not just about riding or jumping a horse for them now.
The horse love in also warrants;

  • cleaning stalls
  • sweeping (oh, lots of sweeping!)
  • throwing hay bales from the hole in the loft flooring to the stalls below
  • poop and scooping for others during their lessons
  • grooming the wild beasts
  • cleaning wounds
  • polishing tack and saddles
  • tacking up horses for horse campers
  • tending to younger children in need of assistance
  • entertaining the barn dogs
  • cleaning horse blankets and other such items
  • cleaning up horse pee accidents in main aisles while removing tack
  • keeping the tack room tidy and organized
  • moving around jump equipment
  • turning in, turning out horse dwellers
  • feeding and watering horses
  • washing out the toilet
  • assisting the vet or the Ferrier when requested
  • following a scheduled assignment board
  • assisting or teaching lessons (older girls)
  • taking horses way out to pasture
  • trail ride fetcher, tacker, organizer and payment taker
  • learning special dietary needs for certain horses and ponies
  • rodent patrol
  • and so much more

Another tough experience last week for our girls was watching the death of yet another horse, this one carrying a foal due in May.
The poor thing wasn't in great health to being with, the pregnancy quite a stunning revelation to the owner.

Last week she dropped on the ground in her paddock with a sudden thud during the middle of horse camp, unable to maintain her weight on her back legs. Nursing her for several hours, all left for the night only to return the next day to a visiting vet having to put her down. It was mentioned that the foal had already died, quite possibly the day before. The whole scene was was awful and the day ended on a difficult note.

The emotional fallout for all the horse loving barn girls was so sad. There were abundant amounts of emotions displayed and plenty of tears shed, hopes for another foal in their midst crushed, but the owner, a lovely Christian woman was so very wonderful with all of the girls and woman who were there at the time.

Sometimes these things happen and it's difficult to prevent them. But, this was the second horse down since the fall when the baby's momma was found dead early morning when all arrived at the barn to ride. Grief filled the barn atmosphere for all involved, and then there was the incident of horses running down the road to rescue.

There have been so many lessons learned from their barn. And, I sure agree; "working hard ain't never hurt nobody!"

And, finally

After a hard day of volunteering for grunge work at the barn, they ride yet again because the owner believes every single horse should be ridden every single day. So the horse and pony girls get up on the saddle again, and yet again just when they thought the day was done.

Another deep reality from hanging out in horse barns is arriving home later on with an awful combined scented odor of human sweat and horse stench.

So then, before resting - it's off to the shower they go....