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A day in the life...

I laugh every time I meet a non horse person who sighs when they hear about my life and see them get a dreamy look on their face as I'm sure they're conjuring up some romantic image of what my days must be like.  Then there's potential new clients who can't understand why you would need notice or deposit policies for training and lessons- as if this "horse thing" is something I do just for fun.  In fact I even had family visit my Idaho facility for the first time and stood on the property and looked around and went, "Whoa, you take care of ALL this by yourself?" Until that point I was pretty sure their impression was that I just spent my days playing with the horses... In the last few weeks I have had quite a few inquiries about how DO YOU become a horse trainer... But as much as this is a 24/7 lifestyle- not just a job- there are many unexpected perks.

I'm going to use this past week as an example, although these two weeks are my slow time each year as I'm in transition of closing the Idaho facility and preparing for the semiannual move to the Arizona facility (1400 miles away.)  This year I'll be taking seven horses, dogs and of course all horse, office, outdoor stuff south. 

Typically I feed around 6a.m. then spend the next two hours doing office work, banking, blogging/website editing/updating, etc. I head out around 8am and start working horses.  In between or while working with horses things such as cleaning the waterers (hiking up the hill to do so,) mending fences/hot wires, dragging the pastures/infields to break up manure, cleaning out the tack room, pulling weeds or spraying, gathering newly upturned rocks, cutting back the hedges, moving the jumps so that the grass in the arena isn't killed from them sitting in one place too long, picking up trash/bailing twine, raking loose hay from the feeding area, riding through the "beginner" trails assessing what branches need to be cut back again, or what paths need mowing.

Most mornings have me working with four to six horses before noon... and then teaching lessons in the afternoon.  Usually a quick lunch, during which in between mouthfuls I'm again doing more computer correspondence, returning phone calls- which reminds me, I need to call the hay guy and order another ton, set a date with the farrier, confirm with the vet for the health and coggins paperwork, call the bank regarding an error, talk to that client about when they are taking their horses home...

Between the office work, website work/promotion, property maintenance (about 20 hours/wk between mowing on the riding mower, with the tractor and using the weed eater,) I could be getting paid for each of those three jobs alone.  A lot of folks say, why don't you just hire someone to do that work? But as with most things, it's hard to find quality people employees who do "above and beyond" in their work.  It's far more stressful for me to watch the guy on my mower (please don't run over anything or break the mower as I can't afford the time without it or the money it'll take to fix it) than to just wind up doing the job myself.

Then again, as I went out to feed this morning there were seven deer in the yard.  And a few days back a young black bear was playing around inspecting the ant hill piles I have yet to remove. 

Oh and there was that young moose that came crashing through the woods last week.  Never mind the ever present turkeys. 

Plus the pleasure of looking out in the field and seeing horses of assorted colors and breeds cruising around playing, grazing and just being horses!

Yes it's not a 9-5 job, and there is NO guaranteed salary or income or profit, BUT the opportunity for simple pleasures, appreciation of the little unexpected moments and NOT ever worrying about sitting in traffic, dealing with a boss or not having an office window make it all worth it!

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