I have found myself repeating the Serenity Prayer often during the years I have had a retirement farm. On one hand this is a wonderful way to spend my days as caring for horses is something I love and enjoy. On the other hand all of the horses are here for a reason, the most common one being they are not sound. I always say that if you want to see a farm full of sound horses this is not the place. However if you want to learn to grade levels of lameness and hone your eye for lameness this is a great place for that. I often joke that I have forgotten what a completely sound horse looks like as I don’t get to watch many of those!
With the elderly residents there are often age-related issues that arise. As mentioned in recent blogs there are also end of life issues to deal with. On top of all of the problems mentioned above there are the usual things that come along with caring for horses. From time to time you have injuries, illness, etc. All of this means that as enjoyable as I find it to spend my days with horses it is so easy for your stress level to constantly remain elevated.
Through the years I’ve learned to not stress over things nearly as much as I used to when it comes to horses. Using up your energy stressing and fretting doesn’t help anything and just makes any situation more difficult. In general I find that horse owners tend to have a very high stress level when it comes to their horses. Even when things are going well there is always something to worry about, from making sure the farrier is doing a good job to sifting through the 10 billion different supplements that you can order from SmartPak. If it rains you can worry if your horse got turned out that day, or if he pulled a shoe, etc. If your horse is hurt you worry if they’re going to come back completely sound. If you are going to a horse show you can take your pick of things to worry about!
For all of the horse people currently worrying, fussing, fretting and over-thinking something take a moment to repeat the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
I find it very useful to remind myself of this on a regular basis. Otherwise it would be too easy to be a walking, breathing ball of stress all the time. I can’t fix every horse, I can’t save every horse, I can’t keep horses from doing stupid things sometimes. I can provide reasonable care and facilities.
I hope everyone enjoys their horses this weekend – remember we do this for fun!
Wiz and Fuzzy
Chili and Sebastian
O’Reilly, Thor and Slinky
Rocky and Tiny
Rampal, Stormy and Johnny grazing in the early morning sunshine
Faune and Winston
Chimano and Fonzi