Over the past 6+ weeks, I've slowly burnt myself out at the barn. My barn owner's left for their yearly trip to southern California for part of the winter, leaving me in charge. This is the third or fourth year they've gone, but there's always been at least two or three of us sharing in barn management duties. This year was the first year that I was the only one managing the place. I was doing some extra stalls and feeding, but I did that in past years as well.
I have so much more respect for barn owners and managers now, especially those that have real jobs outside the barn. I was putting in 12+ hour days during the week; leaving my house by 6:15am and not getting home till 7pm every night. And for the most part I wasn't riding or working my horses that much. I was lunging McKenna, but just enough so she wouldn't go stir crazy in her stall. With Buddy I would hop on bareback and cruise around for 10-15 minutes a couple times a week.
It got to the point where I was having weekly panic attacks/hysterical sobbing sessions. I dreaded going out to the barn, especially during the busy afternoon hours where I would have to see/interact with everyone. I'd pull up and see what whose cars were there and then plan how long I wanted/needed to stay and how best to work around who was there. I did have to get after people, "No you can't ride that horse", "The fields are closed for winter riding/turnout", "Your board/lease payment is late",....you get the idea. I hated doing so, it made me feel like a bitch, and I would get progressively madder as time went on. Part of the reason I wasn't riding was because I know if I rode in a bad mood I'd take it out on my horse and that is in no way fair to them.
|Sassy pants on her birthday|
But my barn owner's have been back for a week, and already I feel so much better. I've managed to ride McKenna three times in the last week and Buddy twice. I think I only rode McKenna twice while they were gone, sorry mare!
She turned 6 on Valentine's Day and got a big hand full of peppermints. She's surprised me with how good she's been under saddle for as little as I've done with her in the past 6wks. She had a lightbulb moment the other day when I was trying a baby leg yield to help soften and bend her. Gave me a nice balanced trot, bending to the inside and holding a frame.
I free jumped McKenna again, and she was awesome. Popped over everything, even up to 4'ish. I had the fence up to the top of our standards, and she pretty much loped it. She did kind of scare herself at that height and refused it the second time but once I put it back down to 3' she went over. I just wish I had something better to take pics/videos than my phone.