So, life around a barn or equestrian facility can be fun and enjoyable. For most that means coming out to the barn to visit their horse or horses and grooming and riding those four-legged friends. Then leaving and going about their day.
For some life at the barn means making sure to check the schedule for lessons and training horses. For many of us life around the barn isn’t so glamorous. We get up early to feed all the horses and other animals inside and outside the barn. Even when it’s freezing cold or scorching hot outside, WE are the ones that still have to get up.
We are the ones that have to muck around in the mud sometimes in the pouring rain to bring horses inside and turn horses out.
We are the ones that take care of those horses that are injured and sick.
If a horse colics, we are the one that stays up late and even at 3am we are walking that sick horse until the owner can get to the barn. If they can be contacted. We are usually the ones that contact the veterinarian and most of the time, we are the ones that transport that horse to the clinic.
We are the ones that have to mend fences and go out and purchase the materials to fix those fences.
Cleaning stalls is a 7 day per week job; NO EXCUSES. It doesn’t matter if it’s wood shavings, rice hulls or straw. We are also the ones that usually go get the stall bedding if we aren’t lucky enough to have it delivered.
COLD outside? Does your horse wear a blanket? We are usually the one that makes sure that it’s put on and taken off. We also make sure that it’s hung up and working properly.
FARRIER or Blacksmith needs? We are usually the ones that schedule those professionals and if you can’t be at the barn, we handle you horse or horses.
Horses need hay and lots of it. If we can’t be among the lucky ones, we are the ones that not only transport it to the barn, but we are also the ones that stack it and store it.
Barns need to be maintained. Overgrowth has to be taken care of. We are usually the ones that spend time each day to weed, mow, paint, repair, and make updates around the barn. Sometimes we can hire someone to do all of that. Sometimes we are the ones that are doing that work.
We get injured, too. When that happens, things get really hard and difficult. Sometimes we can’t just find someone to do all the work. Sometimes we don’t have the funds to afford to pay someone to do all the work.
It takes a lot of money to own and run a good boarding stable. A lot of the money that comes in is put right back into the stable. It goes to hay, feed, bedding, and fences. It goes to maintenance and upgrades. A lot of the time that leaves nothing left for hiring someone to do the work.
So, the next time you go to the barn to ride and visit with your four-legged friend, just remember all the work that goes into that barn. If you’re lucky enough to be able to pay someone to do all the work, tell them thank you. If you’re not lucky enough to be able to pay someone and you are doing all the work, Thank you. I’m right there with you.
I don’t get a vacation or a break. Having a barn is a 24/7 job in it’s self. You really never just drive away and go home. Unless you are paying board on your horse(s), then you are leaving them in the hands of someone you trust and that trust has a price.
The up side of being not only the manager, help, trainer, instructor and security (if you happen to live on the premises) is that I can go out to the barn anytime I want and I can see my horse anytime I want. Sure it’s hard work but I appreciate those that do the work more than those that don’t. It means that when I can pay someone to do the work, they are appreciated and I make sure to show them. I’ve done my own horse’s hooves and I also, appreciate my farrier even more because I know how back breaking it can be.
So, the next time you go out to the barn to see your equine friends, tell the owner, operator and help a big thank you. Without them you might not be able to have that friend.
HAPPY HORSE OWNERSHIP