It is often difficult to find peace when you live at a boarding, riding, training and trail riding facility where people are surrounding you constantly. It has been said that HORSE people are not usually “PEOPLE” people. I have found that to be very true. Living here, though, it’s a constant lesson of immersing ourselves with horses (which is so easy) AND getting used to all these people (which isn’t always so easy). We have the “early bird” boarders that tend to be retirees that want to show up first thing in the morning to clean their horses stalls themselves. We have the working crew who show up after 5 pm and rush (or buzz as my little girl says) around like bees before it gets dark. We have the ladies that like to sit and drink coffee all day. We have the early morning riding lessons and horse training sessions. We have the 3 pm after-school rush of riding lessons. We have the homeschooling families that spend their days here. We have the lazy Saturday crowd that plays poker at the picnic table right outside of our front door. The farriers who come for coffee every morning. The casual Sunday boarders who come by after church. Oh, I could go on. Then we have the late Sunday night or early Monday morning delivery of hay of course. It is always (why, I don’t know) a 5 AM forklift fight. Stalling, re-starting, revving engine, stalling, REPEAT. I am awake now and it is Monday morning all over again.
It is times like today where I have to look deep within to find strength. And peace. Even the simple peace of a walk around the property with a flashlight at 11 PM because (usually) there will be quiet and stillness. Finding peace in a 2 AM colicing horse check. Finding peace in the early morning fall chill feedings that keep this place quiet just a little later. Finding peace in the little overgrown niche back behind the round pen where no one really ever ventures. Finding peace in hanging a little swing there for my daughter to escape to. Finding peace in this early morning sunrise scene that I captured before the busy-ness began. Thank you for these oh-so-rare (and oh-so-worth-it) moments of peace.
Have I mentioned what hard work this can be here? Exhaustion. Absolute and complete exhaustion. I have never known this kind of tired before. I feel it in my bones, my muscles, my mind and my emotional tolerance threshold. I have certainly worked hard before in my life and have always been a very busy type of personality. However, now that I live in this stable of 50 plus horses as well as homeschool my daughter, this level of busy has upped it’s ante on me. I thought I had slowed down my lifestyle to come here and live in this environment. I left the world of chaos, materialism and superficiality behind to leave the city life and live here experiencing this “slower paced” way of life. I wanted myself and my family to know and live differently. In some ways, yes, life has slowed down. Slowed to remember what’s really important. Slowed to show me a brilliant neon pink sunrise while the crisp early fall air hits my face. Slowed to watch birds nest and peek back into those nests each day to see when the eggs hatch and admire the tiny baby birds. Slowed to the satisfying feeling of dirt on your face, hay in your hair and real sweat on your forehead. Slowed to the basics of life and nature. Horses show you how to slow down. Food, water, shelter. Then it’s all okay. And, when you are stressed out or hurried, they will definetly let you know and ask you to look inside yourself by acting up. The horses are constant reminders to slow down. But what full days we have here! Sunrise to sundown, and then more. I am finding it hard to keep up on the little things. Any suggestions for time management? We rise with the sun to feed, check waters, clean stalls, ride and exercise the ones that we are responsible for, homeschool somewhere in and out of there (math, reading, art…), teach a couple of riding lessons, run my daughter to her handwork (knitting) class, stop at the post office, back home, answer questions for people stopping by asking about trail rides, help a boarder fit their new saddle, casual boarder conversation about the weather, sell a few bales of alfalfa (got to run around to find change!) dinner, showers, read to my little girl, tuck her into bed, sweep out the barn, check on the horses, dump the trash, check the calendar for tomorrow. Then I find it’s 10:00 at night and I haven’t yet done the dishes, picked up the house, finished the load of laundry that sat in the washer all day and now smells too mildewy to put in the dryer and fold. Also, I do enjoy the time for myself to post a tidbit or two here on this blog. Oh, and prepare our schooling lesson for tomorrow. Off to bed about midnight. Read some, fall asleep and up again at sunrise to feed. It is an exhausting and very full life here. We are just still trying to find our rhythm. It is a satisfying exhaustion at the end of the day though and I know we will figure it all out eventually.