On days like today I don’t think it would be possible to manufacture a job that’s better than what Melissa and I do for a living. I’m sitting by an open window under a warm, blue sky on an early winter day and I can smell the fallen leaves through the window quite clearly as I type this blog. The only sounds I hear are rustling leaves and the occasional bird call and the only other sounds I’m likely to hear today are those that I generate myself in the course of my work. There is no traffic. Nobody is playing office politics. All the horses in our care are content at the moment. I never have to wear a coat and tie unless I choose to do so. Sounds blissful doesn’t it ? This is the sort of day that people imagine every day out here is like. It’s exactly this sort of day that inspires people to quit their “real” job and start a horse farm. And they are rare as hen’s teeth.
Don’t get me wrong, we mostly have good days. When we stop having good days we really ought to start thinking about something else to do. The truth is that whether a day is good or bad is mostly related to our mental state at the time, not external stimuli no matter how positive or negative it may be. That said, the blissful days….the ones where everything goes as planned, the weather is exceedingly clement, the horses are healthy and content and everything runs like it ought to….those days don’t happen very often. When they do happen we enjoy them every bit as much as the dreamers think they would if they were wearing our shoes.
For all the talk about what we do being a dream job, the burnout rate among those who board horses is very high. Blissful days help make up for midnight vet trips and emotional phone calls to owners about sick, hurt or dying horses on days that start at four am and finish long after dark. They help make up for cancelled family plans because someone wants to visit on the one day we had planned to not be working, learning to hate telephones because when they ring it’s almost never good news, rain falling in cold sheets across the windy pastures on grey mornings, a flat tire on the tractor when it is raining, windy and you are in the middle of feeding hay, and many other less fun aspects of our job.
The last few days have fallen into the blissful category. Given that fall tends to be an exceptionally busy time of year for us the past few days of bliss came at just the right time. We have enjoyed every moment of the perfect weather, healthy and cooperative horses, and equipment running as it should. Anyone who happened to be shadowing us as we worked would have been green with envy and ready to quit the corporate life immediately. They would need to come back and shadow us again when we are attempting to put blankets on uncooperative horses in inclement weather to get a more balanced picture of a day in the life !
Tiny and Oskar
Hemi and Baby
Clayton and Johnny
Griselle and Sky
Winston and Faune
Sebastian and Chili
Dutch and Renny
Wiz, Sam and Johnny