Saturday, December 29, 2012

Why It Sucks to Be a Boss

I've come to a realization that I need to suck a little more and be awesome just a little less.

I would get paid more.

See, I get paid hourly at the barn. More than minimum wage, so thats pretty nice. There are 17 horses there and I have to do the usual: bring in, feed, turn out, clean stalls, waters, hay, drag rings and sweep. It sounds like a lot...and it kind of is.

My problem is not the amount of work, but how efficient I am. Its kind of ridiculous. I've always been the kind of person to make one trip and do as many things as possible and have it be difficult/annoying than make several small, easy trips. In anything- school, errands...barn. I take pride in it actually. I feel like its one of my "sellable" skills (resume lingo?).

Its proving to be detrimental to my wallet.

Whereas the other workers rack up 4-5 hours every shift, I'm there 3 or less. AND I do just as good a job, sometimes better.

Multitasking here is not my friend and being efficient is cramping mah style. I've come to the conclusion I need to dial the boss meter back a few notches and maybe I will start to see a little more cash flow.

Tried it yesterday and it was painful. I hated it. I felt so awkward taking my time, walking slower, not piling the manure precariously (to make less trips), not making giant trips stacking hay on sawdust, not taking 2 horses out to pasture at a time, etc etc...but I ended up being there for 4 hours. Better than 2.5? Maybe. But I don't think I can do it long term.

It sucks being legit.

Friday, December 28, 2012


I have an entertaining tale to spin for you all today. It of course has to do with horses. Some very perplexing and sneaky beasts called ponies.

I have a job working at the barn 3 days a week (sometimes more if I pick up shifts), feeding and caring for all the horses that live on the farm. Full and self care. Its quite a lot to deal with at 6:30 in the a.m. and I'm usually there until 10-11am. Sometimes later if I do extra chores like bring up hay or drag the rings, but nothing really out of the ordinary happens. They all know the drill and it goes smoothly. It actually gets really monotonous.

Today, I headed out assuming everything would be the same per usual.

First odd thing I noticed was a big pile of poop at the end of the driveway (where it meets the road). Odd, since the girls and I are the only ones who ride down the driveway to go on the road and we had all been gone for four days for Christmas. I kept driving up towards the barn.

To my absolute surprise, after I rounded the turn, my headlights hit two massive brown lumps in the driveway. I slammed on the brakes, adjusted my eyes and out blinked two sleepy ponies.Literally laying down in the driveway. First thing I thought was, "well, that can't be comfortable." Then I was like..."OH SHIT THEY GOT OUT!!!"

This was curious, since they were OUTSIDE the farm gate. Guess that explains the poop.

I was so shocked by the fact that I almost ran over two horses, that I just sat there in my car for about 30 seconds before I realized I needed to do something.

Luckily neither of them spooked, I opened the gate and they marched in single file like they had been waiting all night for me. Justin scoffed at me and gave me this look that said, "you're late lady".

I caught them and returned them to their stalls, absolutely baffled as to how they managed to escape.

They had been turned out all night in a pasture with 3 other horses, and they were still in the field. I checked all fencing, gates, latches. All fine.

Another boarder and I tossed around ideas but they all involved a lot of work. They would've had to be exceptionally motivated to leave. i.e-jumping the fence...and that did not seem plausible as they would've had to jump not one, not two, but 4 fence lines since all the pastures are connected. Mind you they are, very short.

We scratched our heads for an hour and still nothing.

We got a bunch of houdinis on our hands!

I'm just glad they stayed in the property and didnt wander too far in the night!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Le Massive Update

Oh man, where to begin & end without seeming boring.

This might be a little discombobulated since I need to get back in the writing groove, and being home in OH, stuck in a snowstorm is throwing me way off.  Just thinking about all the time off work I am getting and not happy about it, horses to feed, shifts at work to cover, bills to pay...ANXIETY GIRL AWAY!!!

The end of this year has been without fail, again, a dreadful time. I thought after my dog died last year, it was the signal that things would start fresh and anew. But no, the same old shit. When one thing seems to work, another fails and I get screwed. I wonder what I did in a previous life to piss off the universe. I would give naything just to catch a break since I work so hard trying to cover my bases.


I left off with Yank's mysterious headtossing. Well. Figured that out two days later, much worrying later. It turned out to be the worlds most inconvienantly placed abcess. Apparently it had been festering for a few weeks. I never even dreamed of an abcess being the cause of his issues since he hadn't taken a lame step in his life, minus the time Pronto kicked him.

THAT was a fun experience. One night, Emma texted me saying that Yankee was pretty off in the front and had looked him over, couldnt find the agressor and just put him to bed. I would've done the same thing. Horses bang their legs all the time and like anyone, might just be ouchy for a few days. I was never one to run to the vet for every little thing. I find it a waste of money and time since most issues tend to work themselves out.

Found myself eating my foot the next morning though when I got to the barn for his farrier appointment and his whole leg was massively swollen & hot. He was also refusing to put weight on it. Great. I texted the farrier, flipping shit, tinking the worst, per usual and spent the meantime coaxing pony into the aisle. Dead. hopping. lame. Literally...hopping. I felt SO bad. Luckily, right after farrier man lanced it, Yanks was immediately able to stand on it. RELIEF.

Then, I had to aftercare to worry about. This thing was the mother of all abcesses, and right at the tip of the frog. Fantastic. Cue baby diapers, duct tape, poultices and stall rest for my little grumpy TB, I only kept him in 3 days before I was like, fuck this, he needs to go out, and just used half a roll of tape on his foot instead. He healed in less than a week, so I guess that was nice and all was well again.

Soon after we got back into work. We have a nice show schedule planned (if I can eventually make enough money to have some extra to blow) that starts in February with the showjumper 3'3'-3'9 division. Soon after, the girls and I want ot head to Kansas to do some XC schooling. GOD how I wish I still lived so close to the KY Horse Park. To all you spoiled people that have XC near you...I hate you. The first Event is in early May, then about one per month. I would seriously shit myself if we could move up to Prelim FINALLY. Years later.

Yankee had been doing well jump schooling the past few weeks after the abcess, and was enjoying his dressage and hack sessions as well.

Me umping him 3'3
Jackie taking him through some line excercises
Me taking him through some lines

Some free jumping, like a boss

The night after hte free jumping though was possibly one of the worst nights of my life. No horse mom EVER wants to get the call that their horse is possibly dying and the vet has been called and you need to rush out to the barn immediately. The exact words from the girl who called me were, "your horse is falling everywhere, he looks weird, he can't walk and we think its neuro. He looks like he's dying. We called the vet"

If there ever was a situation to freak out, this was one and I did it in stellar fashion. Every single horrible thought that could race through my mind did. Neuro. Broken leg. Broken hip. Stabbed in the brain with a nail.

I seized up and froze for a solid 3 minutes. Not sure what to do. I was supposed to be at work in 10 minutes. I had exactly $88. My baby was possibly dying. And I felt totally helpless. Cue mental breakdown. Like literally, I'm pretty sure my brain exploded. I sat on the couch and cried harder than I ever have before. Snot, coughing, rocking like a baby in fetal position...all the wonderful moments I've ever shared with this beast was running through my head and all I could picture was his dead face hanging out of a truck bed. Limp and dead.

Of course, this was all before I knew what was ACTUALLY happening, but I'm Anxiety Girl. Its what I do. I recovered, barely. And 40 minutes after the initial call, I was at the barn. I beat the vet, and I drove up to a perfectly healthy, non dying  horse getting hand walked in the driveway. Um...did I come to the wrong barn?

We never did figure out what happened. Apparently he hadn't been able to move when Emma came to ride, sorta fell over, couldn't get up, and they all freaked out. As would I. But in reality, I think all that happened was that he tied up, badly, after free jumping for the first time in a year, and after he got the cricks out, he was fine. He was absolutely fine.

Just makes you thankful though, I thought I lost my horse that night and I was devastated to the point of debilitation. Which worries me for when something truly awful might happen to him and I will be again, useless.

Soon after (I gave him a few days off and few slow works after that) that ridiculousness, he was back up and running normally and we reconviened with his workout program. Which included....

Myself on the beast...

...and Jackie taking him for a spin

 Gallops!!! Man this was fun :) Kind of a pain in the ass, since we have to take 2 horses up the road, sort of trail ride fashion, to the field where its safe enough to gallop. Takes a while, but its absolutely worth it. Yankee had a blast, as you can tell, and Jackie & I almost died from excitement. Neither of us have galloped in ages.

Speaking of Jackie, she is back from KC, Kansas and is actually moving Miss mare next week to MO. She is healing quite nicely from her awful accident that tore into her butt muscle, and should be 95%-100%. She already is being ridden at the walk and trotted on the lunge with no touch of lameness. I'm so happy for Jackie :D

More posts to come, now that we are back into work!