So you want a horse, right?
You know it’s a lot of work.
Whether you board or keep your horse in the backyard, have you considered the holidays?
Horses don’t have concepts of “holidays.” Our arbitrary hallmark calendar days do not register in the equine world. They still expect and need their food. They need hay. They need fresh water. They need clean stalls.
So maybe you board…
Your barn manager (or stable hands) wake up at the same time as any other ordinary day. Instead of jumping into unwrapping presents and preparing food with family the barn helpers are putting on their barn clothes to feed your horse and clean the stalls. Depending on the size of the farm, number of horses, weather, and the amount of help they might be there a while.
As with any day the horses eagerly await their morning meals. Some whinny and grumble, others kick the walls in anticipation. The horses will be carefully turned out in their paddocks.
The stalls still have been soiled and require mucking. On average a horse defecates 10-12 times per day, so you can imagine how this adds up.
Us horse people aren’t complaining because that’s just how life with horses is. Horses don’t know that it’s a holiday. Our family and friends don’t understand it…be we do. It’s the labor of love, and it’s our responsibility in order to enjoy the creatures we love so much.
So if you DO board or you have someone else who takes care of your horse, think of those people. When you’re drinking your eggnog and laughing among family make sure to remember the horses and the people caring for them.
If you don’t yet have a horse, consider this often overlooked detail and decide whether this is the commitment you’re willing to make. Can you sacrifice your holidays to do your duty as a horse owner?
and finally…If you are one of those people caring for horses today, I salute you. Your duty calls…
…well, it nickers….
Merry Christmas Horse Family!