Friday, September 19, 2008

I'll die with my boots on...

Greetings!

That’s a favorite line from our theme song, Cowgirl Creed, written and performed by Templeton Thompson. The song has many favorite lines of mine, like “I’ll always saddle my own horse,” “Don’t call me baby,” and the best one, “ride like the wind.” It’s a great song and I sang it out loud on my walk this morning, thinking about being in my boots, pretty much sunup to sundown the past three days and how exhausted I was last night.

Nothing a good nine solid hours of sleep won’t fix. It was great to be in the barn the last few days but I don’t know how I used to ride 10 horses and feed 25 head twice a day, six+ days a week. On Wednesday, the brand inspector was here to write papers on four different horses, two bought, two sold. By the time I was finished with Brice, a client had already been waiting 20 minutes to look at sale horses—by the time we got back from our ride, my vet was already here to work on several horses—the first job already done. As we rode up to the farm, I could see Leslie walking away from the round pen as Susan gently placed the blanket over Digg’s face to keep the sun off him as he lay prostrate in the middle of the pen. It’s not what you’re thinking, although some guys may disagree. As Leslie said, it’s probably the best day of his life; ‘brain surgery’ others call it. Digggs woke up to the first day of the rest of his life as a gelding.

By the time we’d finished a lameness eval on Dually (I was pleased with the result) and done pre-purchase exams on two horses, it was well past lunch time and more like happy hour. Had to stop at a nearby ranch to look at a semi-load of hay and tip my hat to the old rancher guard in the valley on the way to get a sandwich in town and talk business with my sales client.

Back at the barn, I had to wash up Diggs and get ready for the load of hay coming. My tack room has been in a constant state of remodel/reorg since I got my new Equi-racks for saddles, blankets and bridles. Seems like there’s never enough room for all that stuff, but the racks really help. My tack room is plenty big, I just have a lot of stuff and a real hard time getting rid of tack I no longer use. I have bridles hanging on the racks that have not been used in this century. I remember the days when I first started working for myself (1985) and had nothing but a saddle and a couple bridles—it’s hard to get rid of perfectly useful stuff. Do you know what I mean? How much unused tack is in your barn?

It took me a few more hours to finish the projects I had started in the tack room while my client messed with the horses and next thing I knew it was well past feed time and I momentarily wondered why the horses had not fed when it dawned on me it was my night to feed—the first time in a  month that I had put myself on the schedule. Lucky me, there were a few gracious men around to help carry water buckets and throw hay. When we finally sat down on the deck to kick off our boots and relax, it was already getting chilly as we watched the sun set.

It felt good to be in the barn all day and I was only slightly stressed by the fact that there might be mountains forming on my desk. I spent the first couple decades of my career working D2D7 (dusk to dawn/7 days per week) in the barn. Gradually I have spent less and less time in the dirt and more behind a computer, on the phone or on a plane. It felt great to be in my boots, in the barn on a D2D schedule again and I am so happy with the way my tack room looks with my space saving racks. But today, the beautiful view from my office windows as I sit at my desk and watch the geldings romp in the field, is very relaxing.

Hasta la vista,

Julie

 



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