For The Love Of Horses
Yesterday I started a new job.
That in itself if not terribly exciting, since I’ve been sort of hopping from one job to the next for over a year now, in the hopes of finding a place I really wanted to settle into.
However, I think I’ve found THE ONE!
Yes, it’s probably too early to tell, but I’m optimistic because it combines two things I rather enjoy: the outdoors, and horses. Weeee horses!
I’ve loved horses since I was young. I started riding before I started going to school. When I was in junior high I would skip my homework and disappear across the countryside on horseback (much to the annoyance of my mother). I’ve been stepped on, kicked, bucked off, head-butted, and I always went back for more. I wanted nothing more than to ride horses and farm for the rest of my life.
Then I discovered boys, and well, those poor horses got shoved off their pedestal and as time went on and I had babies of my own and moved into the city, my riding career became a thing of the past. I would still saddle up once in a while, but years would pass without me ever laying so much as a hand on a horse.
Sometimes I would look longingly at the small herd of horses that live across the road from our current residence, remembering the way it felt with the wind whipping past and the sound of hooves hitting the ground, and how it seemed that we could just run forever. Then I would remind myself how expensive it is to own a horse and how little time I have for one and maybe when Mike and I are older and finally reach adulthood, we could have a little piece of land somewhere and maybe a horse or two. A distant dream, perhaps, but everyone needs a dream.
Then a couple of weeks ago there was an ad for a farmhand on a job site I frequently check. On a whim, I sent in a resume, along with a cover letter outlining some of my past experience with horses. While I was certain the position didn’t entail any riding, the money was pretty good, and even just being in a barn again would be nice.
I didn’t expect much, but then I got an e-mail inviting me for an interview. I went over as soon as was mutually agreeable to check the place out. It’s half old-school farm (beautiful traditional red barn and all) and half modern stable with an indoor arena, and focuses primarily on dressage. Not my thing (I preferred jumping, or western events) but still, HORSES!
Cheryl, the owner and sole trainer, was awesome. We had a great interview, she toured me all over the property, and we talked at length about what she was looking for. I was excited to learn that she was hoping to have someone actually live on the property (there is a lovely 4-bedroom home on the place, in addition to the house she lives in) and that rent would be cheap, and that additional perks (such as a reduced rate on boarding my own horse) were available. It all sounded fantastic. My duties would basically include managing the barn, in terms of overseeing the few other staff, and making sure that everything gets done in a timely manner. Everything from cleaning stalls to making sure horses get fed, moving animals in and out of the barn, that sort of thing.
She told me that she still had other people to interview, but that she would be in touch.
I spent several agonizing days waiting to hear from her. I am not exactly patient, so I went back and forth between fretting and being certain I wasn’t getting the job, to feeling confident that it was going to be mine.
Last Saturday I got an e-mail inviting me out to spend a day working and see how I liked it. It would also give Cheryl and I an opportunity to talk more at length about the duties and future arrangements for potentially moving out there, assuming everything worked out.
So yesterday was my first day and it went extremely well. Today was even better. I’ve already begun making arrangements to have a horse of my own in the spring (compliments of grandpa, whom is far too good to me) and making plans to potentially have some chickens and our own vegetable garden eventually! Cheryl is extremely easy-going, and she is hopeful that once we move out there, we will want to stay for a long time. There’s already an old chicken coop right beside the house that will be ours, and while it might need some work, OMG! ORGANIC CHICKENS! AND EGGS! Free-range and the whole nine yards 🙂
Don’t get me wrong, I might appear to be counting my chickens before they hatch, LOL, but we aren’t rushing into a move (we are aiming at sometime in the new year, February 1st, at the earliest). It will depend on how we fidangle our way out of our lease, and how the next three months of work go, but this seems like a wonderful opportunity. Living there will actually save us a load of money, I’m going to be on a salary, which makes budgets and savings so much easier, and it’s only a 10 minute commute for Mike (it’s actually only a hop, skip, and a jump from where we live now).
I am confident that all of this is happening because there is some greater plan at work. I think that this could be a great opportunity for me, and for Mike and the kids. They will get a taste of a different pace of life, a different experience. Maybe it won’t last forever, but I wouldn’t trade my years on the farm for anything, and I am hoping to share some similar memories with them.
I will try to remember to take some photos at work to share here. The featured image above is of a horse that currently lives at the stables.