It was a busy week at the barn for me! With Spring coming on strong some facility maintenance is needed, so I started setting out hoses and working on the community garden that is nestled between the horse pens. It’s kind of overrun with violas (but aren’t they pretty?) so I was digging those up and transplanting them to pots, and I also took some home for myself. I love to garden, so this chore wasn’t a chore at all for me. I also planted daylily’s and iris, and I cleared up the onion bed a bit. There’s a rock pile at the end of the garden that needs to be moved out, but before I do that I’m going to use as many of them as I can to outline garden beds. Where I live there are a lot of rocks, so I’ve gotten good at learning to move them as few times as possible!
This past week saw a new arrival at the barn, a horse that a local vet asked Debora to check out and possibly take into the sanctuary. You can read her brief bio here. Debora said she’s been renamed three times, so she wanted to wait a bit and ask the horse what her name should be. I love that approach! It’s a mark of respect for animals that I wish was more prevalent in the world. So, pretty soon they decided on….Freckles! One of the things that Freckles needed immediately was a hoof trimming, and Debora called on Cody the farrier for help. Cody was able to come out on Monday and he got right to work.
This week I woke up to about three inches of snow at my house on Monday. Yikes! What happened to spring? I figured there would be some shoveling to be done at the barn. Sure enough, there was snow piled up on the north side, making the big barn door unusable. I spent some time shoveling snow and chopping ice because I knew if I was slipping and sliding any horses getting near the barn would be too. It’s always good to look around and see things from the horses perspective…what could be in the way, what might fall over, what might catch their hooves? A horse that already has physical challenges really doesn’t need another one. :-)
The boarders are gone, so it’s time to clean the stalls…again. :-) It’s actually pretty soothing work. You just do your thing, listen to music or make up mucking songs (don’t ask) and get into the rhythm of the work. In between stalls I’ll take a break and say hi to more horses. This week I got to meet Lola and Doc, and I started working on taking pictures of the horses for the website. One of my skills is doing websites, so part of my volunteer effort is updating the site to add more content, this blog being step one of that process.
This week started out really rainy! I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to do at the barn but I went anyway. I’m slowly getting to know the routine and the chores that are needed so I don’t always have to ask for guidance. But at the beginning of the week the stall were all clean, and you can’t groom horses in the rain or do most of the other outside chores. So I tidied up a bit in the break room and called it a day. Later in the week the weather was better, although still kind of cold and windy, so I was able to meet a few more horses and do some grooming.
My second week of volunteering at the barn involved mucking and sweeping stalls, and more sweeping, and more sweeping! It’s pretty windy at the facility so the hay, shavings, leaves, grass and all kinds of assorted bits fly around all the time. It’s an ongoing chore to keep things looking nice, but it’s also a great workout. :-) Right now there’s a lot of horsehair flying around because all of the horses are shedding their winter coats and they all need grooming. I found out that horse hair is magnetic!
Hi, my name is Laura and I started volunteering at the Wings Programs facility at the end of March. With a change in my working life I had more time and I wanted to find some way to be around horses and be helping. I don’t have much horse experience but have loved these wonderful animals my whole life, and I just wanted to be able to spend time with them. Walking, grooming, mucking stalls…I was willing to do it all!