Having your horses in your backyard. A blessing or a curse.
I keep some of my horses at home.
And I love my barn. No I seriously LOVE my barn.
It is the place where my husband and I catch up on the happenings of the day as we do night-time chores. He drinks a beer. I clean stalls and feed. He plays dj on the radio. I throw hay. He calls the dogs. The horses bang on their stall doors for their dinner. My husband drinks his beer. I feed the horses their dinner. But it is the time and place that we really talk to each other instead of the dinner table. The barn is the heart of our home.
Having the barn here gives structure to my days. There is no sleeping in until noon, unless someone else can turn out and feed. You can’t lie about being depressed when the outside horses whinny and look through the windows to make sure you are up and moving. Days are bracketed by chores. Morning and evening always the same, but for small variations from day-to-day. Chores are the time for observation. How horses move, how they act normally, how they eat all go into the general feeling of well being, of completeness that chores bring. The best time of the day are those last minutes in the barn. Horses all tucked in, quietly chewing their hay. There is such peace and contentment there. All is right with my world.
And then winter comes. And all of a sudden things aren’t quite as much fun.
Battling with 100 feet of frozen hose before you have to get to work in the morning can put a real crimp in your day. It can make me down right cranky. Suddenly pushing the muck cart down the hill to the manure pile takes the strength of 10 strong men, none of whom are around to help.
A bout of colic can cause a long lonely night walking a horse and sleeping in the barn. Sure the vet is company when he comes up to tube and oil, but for the most part any medical emergency becomes my call. So different from having a barn manager or trainer there to offer advice and help.
Finding a horse sitter for a vacation is always difficult. My husband always leaves it up to me, as I am the one who has the horses. But a vacation planned together is always like planning an expedition to Everest.
Despite the hardships I love having my horses at home. Seeing them outside my window and catering to their every whim, the Champion can be very demanding, lets me know them more intimately than I would were they at a boarding facility being taken care of by others.
I really wouldn’t want it any other way.