Horse-riding is a bit like marriage: you are initially lured into it by the glamour and the romance. No one tells you to wear your grubbies. It’s only after you are committed that you learn about the hard work and the mess of it all!
The sun made a courageous showing in the valley this afternoon, though after weeks of incessant rain the damage was already done. I had to put on rubber boots to bring Traveller in from the field so sloshy was the ground where he stood minding his own nose-in-the-grass business.
I pulled the mud-caked blanket off his back then groomed the mud-caked layers off his neck and mane and legs. Meanwhile, Oliver, who had the day off school, was inside mucking stalls and learning about the day-in-and-day-out of horse care: raking and sweeping up old sawdust and droppings into a pile then wheelbarrowing the lot to the outdoor manure mountain, then back to the stall to lay fresh saw dust and start the cycle all over again.
Of course Oliver and I are just playing at ranching. Sarah and Deb are the real thing. They were working with Georgia in the outdoor arena when we arrived in the early afternoon and they were both still at it, storing grain and spreading hay, when we left. As Deb says, you can always pick a farmer out of the crowd, “They are the ones with true strength.” Muscles, yes, but more importantly, staying power.