My first official day of work started at 7am Saturday, where I worked the morning with Hannah. Then at 11, she went with the horse van to switch horses at the show the rest of the crew was at. I found myself left alone to run the farm by myself… on my first day. I didn’t burn it down, or lose any horses. After work (which lasted forever) all of us went to the local pub to watch the Ireland vs. Australia match. Since we have two Irish girls, watching Ireland kick ass was pretty entertaining. Sunday I worked the morning with Flo, and the others went to the show again. This time, I got to go in the horse van to make the switch. It’s about an hour and a half drive to Woodhill Sands, where the show was. The plan was for us (me and Allan the driver) to get there, unload the 4 horses we brought, then load the 4 horses coming from the show. But, when we got there the show was running behind. So I went up to the ring and ended up helping Kyle warm up- not something I expected to do on my second day. I have quickly learned to have to expectations. I spent about 2 hours there, and then finally we had a load of horses to take home. I got back to the farm around 3, and started working there again. I think we ended up finishing at about 7 that night. I was assured many times that things are not usually this crazy, and the job gets a lot easier once things are more organized. I just smiled and nodded- much too tired to process any extra information.
Yesterday we had somewhat full staff again. Kyle, Flo and Hannah were off.. so it was just me, the new girl from France, and the head groom. It was a slow day- as the new girl speaks hardly any english, and the head groom speaks very fast accented english. I’ve found that the horses here are very spoiled and pushy. They have no problem throwing their weight around. Which is very annoying, and my elbows are getting put to good use. They are also very mouthy, they will put anything and everything (including humans if in reach) in there mouth. It’s made me scream in frustration many times in the past 4 days. To be honest, the past 3 days I’ve wondered if I actually want to continue at this job. I debated quitting many times, but thanks to the logic drilled into my head by my mother, I didn’t.. and hopefully I start to like it better. Which after today, I am.
Today I got to ride!! I rode Baboon (LC Tango), who is a 5 year old French gelding.
I worked the morning (7-9:30) then rode after morning coffee for about half an hour. Kyle was working another horse at the same time, and he gave me lots of pointers on what he wanted to see when I’m riding horses for him. He was very impressed with my hand position, and happy with my riding in general. I must say that riding this horse, and I’m guessing warmbloods in general is a completely ride from Will or any other horse I’ve ridden at home. It was so nice to be on a horse again, which made me like my job a little more. Today was also easier because everybody was back working and things ran much more smoothly. I’ve found that the work is hard and exhausting, but nothing is challenging me, yet. Everything that’s been thrown at me I’ve been able to handle easily- so thank you to everyone who has prepared me for this type of work. I was told today that I’m going with Kyle and the head groom to the show this weekend in Taupo. It’s about 4 hours away so we’ll be staying there. I’m sure that’ll be a new experience, and hopefully I can keep up! I don’t really have a choice. Another thing I’ve learned: even if you’re told you’ll be taught certain skills for the job- that is similar to Uncle Bob saying he’ll teach you to swim and then pushing you in the lake. So just be prepared for that.
It’s rather chilly here right now. There’s been a bit of rain the past few days, today it was sunny- but windy and this evening was quite cold. I’m sitting in my room right now covered in two large blankets and I can still almost see my breath. It doesn’t help that this house has no heating system to speak of. There is a fire place, but we haven’t managed to keep a fire going for more then an hour so far. I’m very ready for it to warm up a little bit. It wouldn’t be so bad if our house was warm and we could escape the chill on our breaks, but I’m pretty sure the temperature in our house is cooler then outside during the day for sure.
On a good note, my back and hip have been amazing! Nothing has bothered them in almost a month. So progress!!! I also haven’t ridden (excluding today) since Fall Harvest, which is almost a month ago. That may have something to do with it. As I mentioned earlier, I have tomorrow off. I plan on definitely sleeping past 6 am and then doing laundry. I may also go for a walk- get out of the farm gates (assuming I can figure out how to open them) and explore what’s down the road. If it’s not raining, or freezing that is.