So I’m shocked every time I leave the barn and realize that I’ve been there for hours, literally at least two hours pass, and I feel like I have about twenty minutes of work accomplished. I think my frustration stems from the fact that I’m looking at it from my work-minded productivity stand point, and I keep thinking of how I can cut back on unnecessary things, streamline the workflow to ultimate efficiency, and get the most out of my time at the barn. Then my mindset while at the barn is total relaxation, do what I want for as long as I want because this is my zen time. So I guess I’m trying to find a happy medium.
Some things should be allowed to take as long as I am inspired to do them. Training can’t always be planned to the last minute, sometimes you’re on a roll, sometimes you’re working through something. I do need to limit myself how many different things I’ll try to work on in one night, for example I will lunge to warm up, then either lunge with side-reins OR lunge of poles, not both or I’m lunging too long for by time frame and the horse’s attention span. Grooming is another thing that I never think was a waste of time, especially during the spring, if I’m motivated to groom for an hour, I better take advantage of that inspiration, because I’m sure they need it!
Other things just seem like time suckers, and productivity goes down the drain. Running back and forth to the tack room is always the first place I start going wrong. I am trying to have a plan of what I’m doing and what I’ll need and grab it all before getting the horses so that it is sitting out and organized. The one I’m really struggling with is getting the horses from pasture. I don’t notice the time going by because for the most part I don’t mind the walk out there, but I timed myself this week and it took me 18 minutes one night to get ONE horse from pasture! Crazy! It was the worst case scenario, and was so pitiful that it warrants the story being told.
The weather has been so awful. The pasture had four inches of water/mud, the kind that really suctions off your rain boots, so walking is tough. Then part of the pasture has turned into a lake, and there is a stream that’s formed across the pasture that is 6-10 feet wide. So I go out to get Lola and of course my two horse end up being a the farthest end of the pasture, past the stream! So I slowly start making my way through the water, hoping it didn’t get too deep. I picked what looked like the shallowest part and it still made it to within a few inches of the tops of my rain boots, so maybe 10 inches deep! Ugh! So I halter her, and it starts to pour on us, so I start the long trudge back, splashing through puddles and dragging my feet out of sucking mud holes, while getting bucketed on from above. It takes ages to walk through that mess! (Add to this the fact that I forgot to blanket Lola before putting her back out and didn’t realize until I was all the way at the gate and had to turn back around for the barn, and you can imagine how much I was dreaming of having them in stalls!) I can’t wait for the rain to stop!
I do have to remember that by the time I leave at night, no matter how late, I’m in a better mood, and I’m less stressed than when I left work. That’s the whole point of it now isn’t it?