The last six years my horses have been in self care. This came about due to the poor care that my mare was receiving and due to her special needs (Cushings/Insulin Resistant), this was liable to kill her. Her condition woke me up to the fact that many BO’s are just stupid idiots who want to get away with the very least they can do.
I fed twice a day, washing sugar off beet pulp, cleaning stalls, managing blankets and I did it when I had 7 horses (the schoolhorses mostly) and they were stabled 30 minutes away – I drove on ice, through storms, and even through a couple of tornados to do my duty to my horse companions. I lived at the barn for a week during the worst ice storm this town has known – when my own house did not have electricity for 8 days.
When I ended my stint as Barn Manager, I was totally exhausted in mind and body. I had been pushed to the brink and over by two selfish, “Christians” who lied and stabbed me in the back – hoping that I would have no other choices and that they could destroy me (they didn’t). There was NOTHING left in me so I tried to pay someone to feed my horses and that ended up being a screw up.
After I moved my horses (yet AGAIN), Big Guy fractured his pelvis and I was once again in self care mode – mucking his stall daily, buying shavings, cracking out ice, etc.. and dealing with the stress of another critically ill horse when I had, I thought, nothing left to give – but yet something was still held in reserve and I was able to give it to him with the help and support of husband. So last winter was not any easier though I was paying for feeding and supposedly full-time care (ha!).
Now I am down to three horses – all “easy” maintenance with no particular special needs. I am looking forward to taking this winter off from my responsibilities, because I am PAYING for that. I am PAYING for someone else to crack ice, put on blankets, feed my horses, etc… and though I cannot forgo all responsibilities, I am determined to be with my family this Christmas while we also have my children’s birthdays.
It is not that I don’t love my horses… but there must be a balance between my family obligations and my love or things just go bad all the way around.