Thursday, June 23, 2011

Of Horses and Stalls

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I'm going with that, because when I'm asked if I work, I tend to stumble and mumble something about a barn and some horses and part-time and the fact that it's not a real job...

But it is a actual paying one. Twenty-plus hours a week. But true enough, it is hard to describe. So here goes:

I'm not a morning person and having the responsibility of fifteen of these faces staring at me for their breakfast doesn't make for a great start to the day, so granted I can be pretty grumpy first thing in the morning. But considering the morning portion of this job is wrapped up even before my kiddos are awake and that I walk all of next door to get there, it's a perfect fit. The getting up early...well, I'm working on that.

But the latte I bring with me each and every day certainly helps.

At least I don't have to be a short-order cook for them in the morning. It's either grass hay or alfalfa. The only bother is keeping tabs on their portions so they get neither too thin or too chubby. It can happen. Show horses have to keep up their figure you know.

Yes, these for the most part are Arabian or part-Arabian show horses, and they have the supplements to prove it. But no time for foggy brain here. Everyone gets a completely different supplement ration. Mind boggling actually.

Show horses are spendy, their owners spend plenty of money on their training and care. They kinda get what they want. That includes two buckets of sparkling clean water every morning. So they have to go from this...

to this.

Two buckets a piece. Trust me, it builds plenty of arm muscle.

As speaking of working out, they live, eat, and leave their remains in a 12' x 12' area. So that requires their stall to go from this...

to this...

which builds even more arm muscle.

Tools of the trade are simple.

Clothes for the job are simpler.

What's not so simple at times is reading the personality of a 1,000 animal capable of moving at lightning speeds when their 'flight' mechanism kicks in...while you are in their space. Ears are a great indicator if you are welcome in their space or not.

No room for false moves or letting the mind wander. Your peripheral vision is your best friend. But sometimes that isn't even enough. A new horse to the barn. A tendency to kick at imagined fiends. You might leave with an injury to remind you to pay closer attention.

Or a daily reminder to ask for divine help before entering the stall of a particularly quirky mare.

When everyone is fed, watered, and happily content in their clean space, then it's time to either rake or sweep up the mess that I make...

so it looks like this...

and haul it out here.

Here is where the magic of composting happens. Pretty sure I can get you a free ticket to some of the best soil amendment around.

And then it happens all over again come dinner time.

So do I work? Yes, I guess I do.

Do I enjoy it? Yes. I tell myself it's a great full-body workout that I get paid for doing. And it more than fills my needs to be outdoors in the fresh air and around animals.

Will I always be doing this? Probably not. It was an answer to prayer to help out with the co-pays and deductibles for the five surgeries we have had in the last three years.

Now it' your turn. Have you had employment land in your lap just in the nick of time? And the biggie...was it really what you wanted to do or was it just best to not ask questions and take what you were given and be grateful? Love to hear your story.

4 comments - click here to leave your comments:

Michelle said...

This was a fantastic post at just the right time for me. I don't know how you do it! That's a lot of work. And you've encouraged me to pray for something more along my lines of capability to come my way to help out my family. Great post, Connie!

peters_mom said...

I tutored for a year to help us get out of debt. Not my favoritest thing in the world, but one of my students was my neice. It was so satisfying to be a part of her learning to read proficiently and teach her the skills to memorize her times tables. I loved that I got to see her each week for an hour. It was a blessing beyond the intake of money.

Six In The Northwest said...

Yes, God's timing is everything.

Jennifer said...

God's timing is everything and it's so amazing what he throws in our laps just in time. Remembering to keep eyes and ears open for his direction is the thing I need to work on. Your job looks like a lot of fun -- hard work -- but you can't beat the location :)

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