My First Day in the Barn

Your eyes are not deceiving you. Your dreams have come true. A bonus post in addition to the extra bloganuary post that is coming later today. Isn’t this exciting?

I had my first shift as a barn volunteer at Maryland Therapeutic Riding today. I started at 7 am and was scheduled until 10. Around 9:30 we were done with all of the morning tasks so I left early. I did not get any good pictures, so here are some from my first trip there in November when I decided I wanted to be a regular volunteer.

When I arrived at 7 they had just started feeding the horses, so I joined in with that. I preferred the stalls where I could just dump the food without entering. I think your first few minutes on the job should be free of the fear a horse will escape when you open the door to feed them.

After feeding, it was time to turn some horses out to the field. Being new, I worked with the lead volunteer who showed me how to harness the horse, and then I walked a couple of them from the barn to the field.

Then it was the fun job of mucking out a stall. I only had to do one because we had several barn volunteers this morning. I probably took too long trying to be too perfect. It will take a few times to figure out the best way to do it.

I then rode out on the Gator with the barn lead to pick up hay and drive around to throw it to the horses in the field. That was a nice cold job, but more fun than scooping poop.

Things I learned:

  1. I need to eat a more substantial breakfast on barn days. I was starving when I got home.
  2. When it is 15 degrees outside, put your gloves back on after harnessing the horse and before you walk the horse to the field.
  3. It is hard for a short person to harness a tall horse, especially when the horse is not cooperating.
  4. Cleaning the stall is a lot like cleaning the litter box of a very big cat.
  5. I like this a lot more than the paying job I used to have.

8 thoughts on “My First Day in the Barn

  1. That sounds like a great place to volunteer. My neighbors had thoroughbreds and I wanted a horse, so my dad arranged for me to help them out. They had me clean the stalls and I gave up on my dream of getting a horse.

    Liked by 1 person

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