An average day for me as a working student starts at 5:45 with the frantic vibrating of my phone. It’s usually under my head or on some hard surface. Depending on how long it’s been since my day off and my bladder, I lay in bed for anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes bemoaning the life choices that led me to waking up this early. Then I do my back exercises and get moving. I’ve been eating spinach for breakfast. That’s completely normal right?
By the time I get to the barn at 7:00 I have managed to drink at least a pint of water hopefully more, to combat my constant dehydration. And then the work begins. There are 15 stalls in the barn, 2 broodmare stalls attached to the barn, and a 3 stall shed. They are all bedded with straw. I honestly thought that straw was relic from a bygone era until I came here. Now I think that straw is Satan’s curse upon us all. I can see the benefits of it. It’s really fluffy and comfy and it’s a waste product so it is pretty environmentally friendly. And yet I loathe it. Because of the straw we finish stables sometime between 9:30 and 11:00 every day. By this point I’m ready for a nap. But instead I keep working.
Once stalls are done we bring the 5 boy’s in my horse’s field inside. Lego gets tied to eat his grain, so he doesn’t crib. I keep an eye on him and once he finishes eating, I offer him some water, and then I tie him up to the back of his stall to munch on his hay net and not crib.
Then the rest of my day is some mix of tacking and untacking horses for Jane and Ashley, riding, and keeping the barn tidy. If I ride with Jane, I’m in for a treat. There’s nothing like someone barking eight hundred different instructions at you in quick succession. Typically after every ride I want to curl up in a ball and cry for eight hours. But there’s not enough time in the day so I rally and ride another. Maybe if I just keep scraping the bottoms of my emotional and physical barrels they’ll fill back up.
Once the rides are finished, and I have thought about just putting Lego in the back of my car and leaving several times, we get to close up. The boys get fed around 2:00 and Lego again gets tied to eat. My poor little stumpy crackhead. Once they are done they go out to graze the night away.
I’m in charge of getting tack cleaned which I think is mostly about covering my hands in oily, soapy, dirt. Then Ashley and I make sure that the horses are set for the night. Waters topped off, hay nets full, doors all shut. We also make sure that the aisle and tack room are swept and any equipment that we used is put away. I’m pretty good at putting things away. I must use it all up at the barn though as anyone who has seen my bedroom will attest. Once the horses are settled Ashley plays with the Kubota and I play with the cat. I must gentle this cat. I picked him up to sniff his belly, and he turned himself inside out to get away. When we finish playing (Ashley was actually making more room in the manure pit with the bucket, which is probably work) we bid each other fine farewells and head home, to attend to our lives unrelated to horses.