I’ve been asked alot lately what it’s like. What it was like watching the school bus drive by on the first day while I fed the hungry four legged students that are replacing the children I used to spend my days with. What it’s like to toss a ball cap on over my ponytailed hair after enjoying coffee and Oreos for breakfast. What it’s like living a life I always dreamed.
Full disclosure: it’s exhausting. It’s long, hard days. It’s full weeks and no days off. Its not all butterflies and rainbows. In fact, have you ever seen those memes that show a bunch of pictures labeled “what my mom thinks I do, what my husband thinks I do, what I think I do, etc?”… The “what I really do” picture is spot on 😂 Sleeping until 8 is my Saturday (if my internal alarm clock even allows it… today is Saturday and I was up at 6:45). The horses don’t know or care that it’s Saturday. They just know it’s another day and they want their breakfast. Now… I am sitting here whining but the reality is, there is nothing quite like walking outside to a dozen eager faces who only have eyes for you… and the bucket or hay net in your hand… but that’s beside the point. You see, morning chore time is one of my favorite parts of the day, second only to evening chore time. Sounds kind of silly right? Shouldn’t the time I spend teaching and molding these four legged students be my favorite? Well, you see, feed times are the most peaceful part of the day. There is literally nothing in the world that compares to the sound of horses munching their hay. I say this now… in September… when it’s 10 above and not 40 below 😉
To put it mildly, some days are far from glorious. Right now, I’m doctoring 2 abscesses and Saloon’s degloved hind leg (it’s healing better than we could have ever hoped). You want to know how much fun doctoring horses is after climbing on 12 head? It’s not 😉 There was also one day last week that I got smoked in the head by not one, but two different horses while loading…. Before 9am. I worked all day with a kink in my neck and a wicked headache. I love my job 😂
Then there are the moments that make it all worth it. I met the most incredible mare this spring. Those of you who follow me or my page on Facebook know who I’m talking about… Famey. The best part about Famey is the amazing people who brought her to me… But that’s a story all in itself. Anyway, Famey came to me as my very first client futurity horse. So exciting! I couldn’t wait to get started…. She, however, had other ideas. Now that I’ve made the deal to ensure that Famey stays with me forever, I feel I can publically disclose our true introduction to each other. Me gracefully (actually my guess is it wasn’t that graceful but for the sake of creative word choice just work with me here) flying through the air and landing with a resounding thud on the arena floor three days in. That’s right, Famey went straight to work teaching ME to sit back and think about how bad I wanted it. Normally when a horse bucks I ship them home. But there was something different about Famey. She had my heart, whether she wanted it or not.
By now you’re wondering how that qualifies as a moment that makes it all worth it. Well here’s the thing. Famey isn’t winning 1D cheques yet but she’s broke. Really broke. Fancy broke. TRUSTWORTHY broke. Four months later. Now, Famey is exceptional. She’s smart, she’s a go getter, and she loves ME. Not all horses go from broncy to fancy broke that fast. I don’t think they do anyway. Ok getting back on track. I, despite popular believe, am just as human as everyone. And, as we’ve discussed in earlier posts, suffer from that awful Imposters syndrome. I have days where I question my abilities and whether or not I have any business in the saddle. And then I climb on Famey. Those days I usually cry when I ride her. Sounds silly but Famey is all those great things because I do know what I’m doing and I do good work. She’s a reflection of my program. She’s a reflection of my work. She’s shown me that I am stronger than I ever knew myself to be. And she’s incredible, even as a work in progress.
Along with, and maybe even more rewarding to be honest, the great moments I get to spend in the saddle, are the moments when owners get back on their horses the first time. Watching that never gets old. The excitement is infectious and keep me driving on the toughest days.
So, you’re wondering what my new life is like? It’s exhausting, it’s stressful, it’s hard. But it’s pretty darn amazing too 💕