Wednesday 23 December 2015

Quiet Mornings

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but the barn I'm at has a co-op kind of approach to the daily chores. It's not because the barn owner isn't hands on - she's our coach and there all day along with her husband, who is usually fixing or improving something around the place. We're all expected to chip in, even the girls taking lessons and/or leasing borrowed horses. The reasoning to this is that EC wants all the boarders and riders to be hands on and generally good horse people, not just riders.

I admit, when I first visited the barn, I was like "Wow, great idea! This is going to be perfect, everyone will be involved and informed in the barn's daily goings on." Then, when I thought about it a bit, I was more " Ughh, I've had my horses at home, I've worked as a barn manager, and I have a full time job... right now I just want to ride and enjoy the good things about horse ownership and skip the early mornings mucking out paddocks in a rainstorm." Of course I still decided to board there - it's one of the few places with an indoor and the coaching and horse care is great.

Currently, I feed two mornings a week, and muck out once a week. Morning feed is actually one of the easiest chores, it's just the getting up early thing that deters people. The horses just get their hay nets filled and water checked and cleaned, plus I usually give the feed room a good tidying and of course, sweep the aisleway. It takes about an hour and is totally do-able, since my real job doesn't start until 9. Mucking is the least desirable job, and more time consuming but counts as 2 chores (as an owner, I'm expected to do 2 chores/horse boarded). This morning, the paddock mucking was in the freezing cold rain/sleet, in the still dark early morning light.

Loving this hay feeder. Hard to see (dark, early mornings, remember? ;) but the top little bit has a hinge that folds down to fill it - no struggling with the net! They're about 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep and fit about 1 - 100 lb bale of hay each. The horses share paddocks (6 in each, mares on one side, geldings on the other) and each  paddock has access to a 24x48 area in the barn with their own feeder.
You know what? I'm loving the early mornings. I love being the first one there, just me and the horses. I like seeing how they interact with each other when no one else is around. I really enjoy saying hi to my girls and giving them their breakfast. I love how the horses all want to visit and say hi. I like the leaving the barn all neat and tidy for the day's activities. Rather than being tired, I find my 'real' workday goes faster and I'm generally more positive and energetic. This early morning barn thing is totally working for me!

All ready for the day ahead!



  1. I also like the early morning feedings best. That's the zen I'm constantly trying to achieve in yoga. Perhaps I need to do my yoga in the barn :)

  2. That hay feeder looks really cool. I need something like that to slow down my hay hoover.

  3. That's an interesting idea! I worked at a barn for like 5 years and the early morning feed was my favorite part (so many happy whinnies!)

  4. sounds peaceful - there's something so zen about those early quiet mornings :)

    (also - i love the new layout!)