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View Full Version : how do YOU find motivation when you're sick or injured?



pintopiaffe
Jan. 7, 2009, 03:40 AM
The farm. The *relentless* chores. They HAVE to get done, no matter...

Is that what gets you out there when it's double-digits below windchill and you have the flu? Or a bright sun-on-snow day and you have a migraine?

How do YOU keep going?

Or do you 'just do it...'

Hilary
Jan. 7, 2009, 09:30 AM
You just do it. Or you prepare for these times by having some help available on call. I know that if I was suddenly stricken with the flu there are several people I could call to feed the critters at least once a day, knowing that they'd survive with less attention than usual. Some of them I pay, some we trade - when they need help I pitch in. I really think it is part of the responsibility of having the farm to have some back up for the animals in case something happens and I can't care for them.

When you are feeling better you assess whether the situation is still what you really want. Do you have too many horses- would reducing the herd help? We have 4 horses and when we had a 5th, it seemed like a HUGE difference. I will never have more than 4 again.

Should you hire someone to do stalls on a regular basis? take a boarder who wants to work off board? If the grind of the farm is getting to be a chore more often than not, then it's OK to not want the farm anymore.


How many horses do you have right now?

coloredhorse
Jan. 7, 2009, 09:52 AM
Like the Nike marketing staff said: Just do it. :winkgrin: In the event of severe illness or injury, sure, some things might be skipped or skimped on until I can recruit Mr. CH or a neighbor or friend for help, but the must-get-dones get done. As the previous poster mentioned, I do have emergency backup in place just in case things are truly dire.

I do have things set up here to be as simple as possible. For instance, I rarely stall (I feel outdoors and motion is healthier anyway, but that also minimizes stall-cleaning time). The horses have in-out access to the barn or a run-in shed.

Mentally, if I'm feeling a bit whiny -- and yeah, it happens to the best of us, even those who would never admit it on a public BB :lol: -- I use the same technique I do when I'm feeling sorry for myself having to deal with the vagaries of self-employment: I just remind myself that this lifestyle is my choice. Those two words act to remind me of the pros that over-balance the cons and led me to this place.

Of course, I also live in the balmy south, so while I get wet and slop, and some relative chill, I do avoid that bone-chilling cold that is my personal arch-nemesis. :cool:

Catersun
Jan. 7, 2009, 10:49 AM
hubby and I seem to get sick or injuried at the same time.. so we do Rock Paper Sissors. The person that goes to do the barn chores is usually the one that won. We have two small children.

coloredhorse
Jan. 7, 2009, 10:55 AM
The person that goes to do the barn chores is usually the one that won. We have two small children.

Catersun! :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

greysandbays
Jan. 7, 2009, 11:44 AM
The first step is to not build yourself such an elaborate routine that it cannot easily be stripped down to what NEEDS to be done TODAY.

In pursuit of the laurels of Good Horse Mommy-ness, a lot of horse owners insist on a lot of stuff that doesn't really matter all that much to the horses and serves no real purpose in keeping the horses fed, healthy, and safe.

That works as long as there's enough time, money, energy, and strength to keep it up. But having enough of all four of those things all the time just isn't going to happen (at least not unless you have so much money laying around that you can pay somebody else to take on the burden).

BuddyRoo
Jan. 7, 2009, 11:44 AM
:lol:

When I was leasing a farm about 20 min from home, finding the motivation to go do chores when I was sick as a dog or just plain sick and tired was tough.

But usually once I got out there, I felt better. The only time I ever DIDN'T go take care of business was when I broke my arm and had surgery. I luckily had friends to help out.

Else? It's suck it up time, baby. Of course, there are things that I consider "non essential" for those moments as well. Like sweeping the aisle or scrubbing buckets or driving the tractor out to dump poop. If I had to be quick, I could do all the necessary work in about 30 minutes.

I will admit that once, I had some terrible flu bug and had to pull over twice on the way to the barn to be sick. When I finally got there, I fed and watered but I did not clean stalls. They slept in their poop that night. I just couldn't do it. Felt badly about that though.

deltawave
Jan. 7, 2009, 11:51 AM
I just do it, because otherwise it won't get done. :)

Other things can be put aside if necessary if I don't feel well--cooking, cleaning, laundry, reading journals, etc. I'd rather clean the barn than do ANY of those things. And if things are really bad and I don't clean the stalls for one day, the horses probably won't implode. They haven't so far, anyhow. :lol:


The first step is to not build yourself such an elaborate routine that it cannot easily be stripped down to what NEEDS to be done TODAY.


And OH, this is so very wise and true. From day one I designed my place so the bare-minimum chores take minimal work: just throw hay and feed. Auto-waterers, 24/7 turnout, horses have access to their stalls, hay is stacked weekly and ready to feed . . . I can literally take care of their basic needs in 5 minutes AM and PM, with stall cleaning being extra. If they're outside all the time (like in the summer) then even that doesn't need doing all the time. Yes, I *like* to pick up all the poop every day (twice, even!) but I don't *have* to. And if I can't do it, anyone (including my 8yo son) can chuck hay, check the waterer and dump feed in a tub. :)

pintopiaffe
Jan. 7, 2009, 01:00 PM
we do Rock Paper Sissors. The person that goes to do the barn chores is usually the one that won. We have two small children.
aaaahhh!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I was just pondering this, as I had everything set this summer when (before!) I wrecked my knee so that all I had to do was turn the hose on 1x a day or so... winter of course is a little harder, but *normally* even in winter, I can ditch a day if I have to. This year hay is rationed, so I have to throw hay--though even that could be done 1x/day on a Very Bad Day... and at the moment I have to do a water run 1x/day.

I just kept thinking about the folks who have 'real barns' and how on EARTH do you do the whole turnout/bring in/stalls/feed 2 or 3x day thing if you're down & out...

Equilibrium
Jan. 7, 2009, 01:11 PM
hubby and I seem to get sick or injuried at the same time.. so we do Rock Paper Sissors. The person that goes to do the barn chores is usually the one that won. We have two small children.


Same here. Actually when I first moved to Ireland I was sick and cold free for 6 years. My husband seemed to get sick at least once a year and I was fine. New Year's 07 I got a terrible flu. I did not go out to the barn for 5 days straight. Only because I actually couldn't. I had to be really sick to let my husband do the feeding let me tell you!:lol: But a few days before it was my husband who was very sick. So I delt with chores while he stayed in bed, then vice versa. We had someone helping us at the time so that was a big plus.

This year we both got a minor version of the flu in November. We kept all the horses close and did bare minimums. Then we had to take care of each other.

But yeah motivation is seriously lacking at those times.

I was so paranoid about getting sick this past holiday season, I wouldn't go near anybody who sounded sniffly. Gave my husband the same instructions and did some high doses of vit c and garlic. I'm still on guard le me tell you!

Terri

JSwan
Jan. 7, 2009, 01:15 PM
The farm. The *relentless* chores. They HAVE to get done, no matter...

Is that what gets you out there when it's double-digits below windchill and you have the flu? Or a bright sun-on-snow day and you have a migraine?



The animals need to be cared for and they are cared for. First.
Then I tend to my own needs.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 7, 2009, 01:20 PM
Like the Nike marketing staff said: Just do it. :winkgrin: In the event of severe illness or injury, sure, some things might be skipped or skimped on until I can recruit Mr. CH or a neighbor or friend for help, but the must-get-dones get done. As the previous poster mentioned, I do have emergency backup in place just in case things are truly dire.

I do have things set up here to be as simple as possible. For instance, I rarely stall (I feel outdoors and motion is healthier anyway, but that also minimizes stall-cleaning time). The horses have in-out access to the barn or a run-in shed.

Mentally, if I'm feeling a bit whiny -- and yeah, it happens to the best of us, even those who would never admit it on a public BB :lol: -- I use the same technique I do when I'm feeling sorry for myself having to deal with the vagaries of self-employment: I just remind myself that this lifestyle is my choice. Those two words act to remind me of the pros that over-balance the cons and led me to this place.

Of course, I also live in the balmy south, so while I get wet and slop, and some relative chill, I do avoid that bone-chilling cold that is my personal arch-nemesis. :cool:

Everthing that CH said above applies to me also.

dkcbr
Jan. 7, 2009, 01:21 PM
Motivation, schmotivation - do the minimum that needs to be done for Horse Health and Happiness. It doesn't matter how "motivated" you feel about it. :yes:

2DogsFarm
Jan. 7, 2009, 01:24 PM
I do it because I made the committment to myself when I built my farm.
There's noone here but me & I knew that's how it would be from the GetGo, so I have to make it work.

If I'm not feeling 100%, I tell myself as long as I can crawl out to the barn - all of 250' from the house - toss some hay at the horses and make sure they have water, we will all survive until I feel better.
So far that has been tested just once in 5 years, when I came down with food poisoning.
Usually by the time I get to the barn I feel better anyhow. Something about being greeted by the GimmeFood nickers seems to help... :)

In a true emergency I have 2 or 3 horsy neighbors I could call + the girl who horsesits for me.
If none of them were available, my Plan B is to call the local boarding barns and see if their help could be hired for the short term.

Like G&B said: KISS
Keep your Must Be Done routine as simple as possible.
If hay & water are available I guarantee your horse(s) won't care that their stalls/runins are not poop-free or that the aisle needs to be swept.

Yes - it is annoying to have to pile on the layers to do chores in nasty cold weather, but the tradeoff of going out in warmer weather in my PJs makes up for it :yes:

Trevelyan96
Jan. 7, 2009, 01:27 PM
OK, so I'm a really bad horse mommy, because if I'm sick or inujured, the horsed are fed and watered. Barn and stall cleaning waits until I'm feeling well enough to do it. If I'm totally incapacitated, DH will clean stalls if they are really, really bad.

Of course, I have 24/7 turnout with stall access, And after 10 years, I've finally realized that horsies really don't care if the stall is cleaned every day, and they won't die. They're usually only in for the 15 minutes it takes them to eat, unless weather is so bad I can't put hay outside for them.

Fortunately, I've only once been incapacitated for more than a day or 2, because DH is more than willing to feed, and do pasture, barn maintenance, but he will only clean stalls if I'm out of town or on bed rest for a week.

Altamont Sport Horses
Jan. 7, 2009, 01:41 PM
I nag myself with thoughts like "this is your responsibility so get your butt out there." There are times where I have gone out to the barn with the intention of doing the absolute minimum but I end up getting distracted by something cute a foal does or having a special moment with one of the horses that I find the motivation to stay and do everything I normally would do. Maybe I don't work as hard physically but I do what is necessary and spend some extra time just being with the horses because that is all I have the energy for. Only once have I not been able to push forward from my intention of doing the minimum and that was when I had food poisoning. After 7 hours of upheaval I made it to the barn to refill water buckets and throw hay. Nobody was turned out and no stalls were cleaned. I didn't like our fencing at that time and wouldn't leave mares with foals outside at night. I seriously doubted I'd have the strength to make it back outside to bring the horses in before dark so they stayed in. Nobody died...even though I thought I might.

Mozart
Jan. 7, 2009, 02:00 PM
Well there is the basics and then there is the basics. They absolutely need water and forage. Those are clearly non-negotiable. The rest (unless you are caring for a sick horse) is pretty much negotiable for a day or maybe two.

You can break it down into manageable chunks if you are sick, injured or post surgical. Walk down to barn. Sit on tack box and rest. Open bale, toss a few flakes. Sit and rest. etc.

It's not so bad if you break it down into baby steps. Then you just have to talk yourself into doing the first baby step "get dressed and walk to the barn".

lawndart
Jan. 7, 2009, 02:35 PM
Well there is the basics and then there is the basics. They absolutely need water and forage. Those are clearly non-negotiable. The rest (unless you are caring for a sick horse) is pretty much negotiable for a day or maybe two.

You can break it down into manageable chunks if you are sick, injured or post surgical. Walk down to barn. Sit on tack box and rest. Open bale, toss a few flakes. Sit and rest. etc.

It's not so bad if you break it down into baby steps. Then you just have to talk yourself into doing the first baby step "get dressed and walk to the barn".

This is basically what I do. Horses seem to know when I am not feeling well, and can be remarkably patient. I don't care if it takes me to 11 am to do the basics, they will be done. The rest, eh, it can wait. The house, that can wait forever!:lol:

Penthilisea
Jan. 7, 2009, 03:16 PM
For me, its a lot about revising my expectations of what I "need" to do, as well as asking for help when I need it.

I don't need to work my horses through the winter. My horses are happy with treats, whether or not they worked for them. I don't need to board at a riffy-do upscale farm , safe and healthy are the keys.

I am still struggling with accepting the limitations that come with having fibromyalgia, but I am very lucky to have a conscientous barn owner, a caring supportive BF and a close family. I live 2 minutes from my horses, and I can feel confident they are well cared for even if I can't see them for a week.

Being a horse person means different things to different people. For a long time, I was a "rider". I was even a dressage rider, a hunter jumper working student a-circuit barn rat. Now? Just a horseperson. Am I having less fun? No way! Just changed my expectations for myself a bit.

Rhyadawn
Jan. 7, 2009, 03:32 PM
I have a routine, and its honestly much more complicated than it needs to be, but if I am worshiping the porcelin gods (or whatever)... well... they get hay and water.

I don't feel bad about it, you can't. Just know that tomorrow is another day.

Brockstables
Jan. 7, 2009, 05:43 PM
I am sick today, as a matter of fact. Full blown migraine and not keeping medicine down long enough for it to work. And the snow is so bright, and the rain is so cold, and the barn is so far (nearly 200 feet! LOL).
I did the bare minimum... Feed, turnout, water.
I have a boarder who eventually will get around to cleaning her own stall and feeding/watering her own horse for the night, so she could cover for me if I can get her motivated early in the morning... (honestly its easier to motivate myself during a migraine!)
My Mother-in-Law and my aunt are always willing to put the horses out and throw out hay and check the water trough. And I suppose I could convince Hubby to do that much for me...
I feel better knowing my horses are ok, though, so even if I don't make it to the barn I call and check to be sure everyone is ok.
Yup, BARE MINIMUM! But I can motivate myself to a point knowing all I have to master today is bare minimum!
J

Hilary
Jan. 7, 2009, 05:45 PM
I think most people who have big barns, where they care for others' horses, have hired help, so it's not just you.

Those of us horses at home people want to do it, so we just make do. Hay and water and if it takes 20 minute to walk to the barn b/c you're too weak from the flu, well you aren't going to the office in that state, so you can take all day to feed.

chai
Jan. 7, 2009, 06:46 PM
I posted about this same topic a few weeks ago when I was sick as a dog with norovirus.
Between racing from the barn to the house in the throes of nausea while I cleaned stalls and did turnouts, it struck me that we horsewomen just kind of suck it up and do what we have to do to care for our horses no matter what. Some people responded that I was being 'self congratulatory' and one person even said that horse farmers were wimps compared to 'real' farmers, but you know what? I think we are all pretty tough to not collapse on the couch and shirk our responsibility to our animals. We don't have that luxury, so we just carry on. To the op, I hope you are feeling better.

atr
Jan. 8, 2009, 01:06 PM
Feed, check water and hay twice a day just have to happen. They can't do for themselves, and it's only just across the driveway. If I really can't do it, I can call on a neighbor.

Everything else... well, I have a pretty simple routine anyway, my horses are outside with shelters. My shelters and paddocks generally get cleaned out on the weekends. If it goes a couple of weeks, no-one's going to die.