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