I just got home from the barn after checking on my boy. We just got another dumping of close to two feet of snow and I hadn’t seen him in a couple of days. I have to hand it to my instructor, who is also the barn owner/manager. She got most of the driveway and paths cleared. All of the horses were fed, watered, and dug out of their stalls.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a horse trainer with my own barn. Being a chicken, a career as a horse trainer was quickly ruled out. In high school I switched focus to becoming a veterinarian and then in college the idea of being an equine scientist materialized. But wanting to have a stable of my own still flickered around. That is until I worked at several stables during college, as well as helping out around my friend’s 200 acre organic vegetable farm.
Running a horse farm is hard. Forget the mailman’s creed. Barn owners are much tougher. Regardless of the weather or holidays or illness, the horses need to be taken care of. Mailmen may have to fend off dogs every so often but barn owners handle 1200 lb animals every day. Barn owners have to learn to operate a variety of heavy equipment, repair fences, and be able to fix any number of little and not-so-little construction/tack/landscaping/veterinary problems as they arise, even if it is in the middle of the night. And forget about trying to go on vacation! Finding someone to take care of the farm who is trustworthy is not worth the headache.
I no longer have any desire to have my own farm, not even for my own critters. I am very thankful that I found a place where I can trust my horse will be taken care of. Here’s to all of the barn owners and managers out there who tirelessly take care of our equine babies without complaint. Thank you.