I’m down to my final month of my adventure, and if I thought things would wind down a little, boy was I wrong! With our coach and fellow working student away for 5 days, manning the fort is proving to be a more full-on job than first expected. I have just started putting together resumes for several job applications at home, and always find it frustrating how easy and uncomplicated working with horses looks on paper. Things like “turn in/turn out, feeding, grooming, assistance at shows, and barn chores” do not adequately describe the amount of work that goes into maintaining a barn of horses. To illustrate my point, let me describe my day today.
I farewelled my coach at around 7:30 this morning as she packed up and left, and took the time to have breakfast before barn chores, which was a bit of a luxury. I then commenced with the usual – soaking two feeds and bringing in the horses that live outside, turning out our horses, delegating the feeding of the hay, mucking the stalls, dumping and re-filling water buckets, adding fresh shavings and hay, sweeping the aisle, making up and administering morning medications for the outside horses, changing their blankets, turning them out, and finally, going over the barn and cleaning up the tack room. Other tasks this morning included raking the front of the barn aisle and refilling water troughs (kindly done by one of my helpers for the day), and mucking the paddocks – the most hated of all barn chores. We then tackled the hay shed, cleaning up the loose hay suitable for feeding and throwing out the soiled/sandy hay that the dogs had been using as their own personal bathroom.
So finally, at around lunch time, we could begin the riding. First up was the Sweetie, who performed admirably on the flat, if a little fresh. Then was a walk hack with the Rock and two other horses that competed on the weekend, before I headed to the other barn for one last hack on the exceptional Timaru – one of my personal favourites who has just upgraded to Preliminary and is doing spectacularly!
And the plan is to get up and do it all again tomorrow, except we have some canter sets on our to-do list! Stay tuned 🙂