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Can I complain for a little bit? Hobby becoming a chore

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  • Can I complain for a little bit? Hobby becoming a chore

    I am pretty sure that I just need to buck up and put on my big girl panties. But I was venting (yet again) to my husband this morning about something at the barn when he brought up the fact that for something I am suposed to enjoy, it seems to bring me more grief than happiness these days. How does everyone deal with it when it gets that way?

    To give you some background, I am in a self care facility that I like to describe as rustic I am very picky about the way my horses are kept. I have run a large hj facility and been an asst. barn manager at a TB racing stable. I like the barn to be clean and organized. I like everything to run with a system in a fairly regular and timely manner. I have a set amount of time to spend at the barn and have organized things such that my chores are easier....you know....I can find stuff and it's in a place that is accessible for the chore it's intended to be used. To be blunt, I am too poor to afford a facility where the care is up to my standards so in a way, self care makes sense. And it was ok while I was working on a part time contract basis. I had plenty of time to work around the barn.

    I moved to this self care facility about a year ago. It had potential. There was plenty of space and I was sharing the facility with a good friend of mine who has similar ideas on how horses/barns should be kept. It sounded like a good idea at the time. However, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. The weather has not cooperated. It has been raining on a regular basis since we moved to this facility which has the worst drainage that I have ever seen in my life. The first half of the year, the barn would actually flood. The dirt floors in the barn would become black clay mud that could suck a boot off in half a second. We finally learned how to get the water somewhat diverted for a regular rain, but still couldn't keep the water out for a real gully washer. The barn aisle problem was finally solved with rubber mats but one stall (that happens to house my 25 yr old) conistantly flooded. To make matters more frustrating, my friend has had health problems which has made it impossible for her to help at the barn. Her mother stepped in to help. That hasn't worked well because we have opposite ideas about how to take care of horses. I pretty much took over most of the chores because trying to clean up after the mom was driving me insane. There would be strange random changes in the routines. Horses would all of a sudden get turned out in the wrong places. Feed would be cut in half on horses that didn't need to loose weight. And nothing was ever clean. It's not that the mom wasn't trying....it's just that I have certain standards that apparantly are not realistic.

    So to sum it up, I am not happy I am boarding in a dump that seems to be impossible to fix up. It has been a swamp for most of the last year I have boarded there. I haven't ridden one of my own horses since September and haven't had time to go to my trainer's since December. My saddle is sitting in my garage since December 15th I am so depressed about that I can barely stand it. I have gotten extremely impatient with my friend's mom which she probably doesn't deserve. I have moved my horses to the other barn (there are 2 on the property) and told my friend's mom that it's her deal now and I am not actively participating in the co-op situation. But there are still times that I end up picking up slack. And I have a new job which is a 12 hour day. Outside of making more money and boarding at a nice place, I can't think of a solution to my problem. I do not have horses that would be easy to lease out until things get better. I have old and needs lots of maintenance and I have middle aged, not particurlarly friendly and hard to ride. I enjoy both of my horses but am feeling like the hard parts are never ending. Please tell me that the rain is going to end. I am going to be able to ride again someday. And my horses will actually be grey again instead of muddy paint looking things with mud covered dreads Thanks for listening
    Last edited by imapepper; Mar. 3, 2010, 12:12 PM. Reason: grammer and spelling

  • #2
    Um, I could have written this post. In fact I did, in bits in pieces, late last summer/early fall. Right down to some of the same situations/details. So I definitely feel your pain!

    I finally threw my hands up and moved my horse back to a full care facility. It was not worth the hassle, aggravation, stress, drama... and at the end of the day, I was spending MORE money at the self care place on extra feed, supplies, etc. than I am now spending at the full care place!! And the full care place is not uber fancy, but they feed and turnout on a schedule, the facilities are well maintained, the BO is competent and low drama. It is run like a business. I love it.

    I don't worry about my horse. Even when I was spending 3-4 hours a day at the self care place, I was worrying about what was happening the other 20 hours a day. Not anymore.....

    So move. Seriously!

    Good luck!
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

    Comment


    • #3
      Remember you are coming out of the worst time of the year to have horses (well, not sure how things are in TX, but in NJ anyway, the short cold days with too much rain &/or snow months of Dec-Mar, by far the worst horse keeping months of the year! - are ALMOST over!!)

      So things may automatically begin to feel better in a few weeks - I find the extra daylight alone chirps me up immensely in my outside work!

      That said, if you are really burnt out, maybe you just need a short break - you don't like the place you have them at now anyway, so why not find a decent self care pasture board with run-ins situation, let them be semi-wild horses for a few months (they won't suffer if you keep up with vet, farrier, & feed requiements while turned out, you know!), while you look around the area at all the best options for running it "your way" again.

      When you find the perfect place to start again, you may feel refreshed and ready to enjoy it again.

      Hugs,
      I think we've all been there, that "why am I doing this again?" mode, and it s*cks! But I think we all find a way through to the wonders and joys of horse keeping again, so chin up!

      Comment


      • #4
        One must be very careful what one vents to a husband. Remember, they're fixers. Sometimes we just want to complain and soldier on. Since I board at my mother's (the horses have always been a family affair) my horse vents often coincide with my mother vents. I have learned to limit them at the peril of losing spousal support of horse hobby . Thankfully I have this board (and my blogs) to vent on.
        Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
          Um, I could have written this post. In fact I did, in bits in pieces, late last summer/early fall. Right down to some of the same situations/details. So I definitely feel your pain!

          I finally threw my hands up and moved my horse back to a full care facility. It was not worth the hassle, aggravation, stress, drama... and at the end of the day, I was spending MORE money at the self care place on extra feed, supplies, etc. than I am now spending at the full care place!! And the full care place is not uber fancy, but they feed and turnout on a schedule, the facilities are well maintained, the BO is competent and low drama. It is run like a business. I love it.

          I don't worry about my horse. Even when I was spending 3-4 hours a day at the self care place, I was worrying about what was happening the other 20 hours a day. Not anymore.....

          So move. Seriously!

          Good luck!
          I am so glad someone understands My husband thinks I am making a huge deal out of something that doesn't matter. And to be honest, sometimes I wonder why certain things bother me so much. Things like unswept floors and stuff left in the aisle tend to drive me nutty. Mostly because I feel like everyone leaves it to me to clean up after them when it's most likely that they just don't care if it's clean or not.

          I am actually looking to move. You are absolutely right about the costs being the same. Especially since I have had to hire a kid to help me since I cannot get there in the evenings. Now all I have to do is find a place in my area and price range (more or less ) that doesn't have a long waiting list

          Comment


          • #6
            Yup, somewhere there is a saying that goes something like this: accept the things you can change, change the things you can, and know the difference.

            So, either suck up the mess or move. I would also have a hard time with the mess, but this winter has been really difficult for us too, what with the weather, sick horse and the flu. We just had to accept that on some days, the barn was a mess. All of the horses were well cared for, but the aisle and tack room definitely needed a good cleaning. And I did complain when I was the only one not sick and had to do it all myself.

            But this weekend is supposed to be warm and sunny. So I have my fingers crossed.

            Comment


            • #7
              SmartAlex -- yes, very wise. Agree agree.

              FG -- I thought you would chime in!

              OP -- time to move. I find it maddening when things aren't done like a business, and while I may not seem like the most organized person in the world, my horse management is, for the reason you cite. Order is pleasing and relaxing, disorder just represents work that needs to be done, and when no one else cares, it's you that has to do it.

              Self-care is heaven when it works, and hell when it doesn't. Good luck, and praying for things to dry up EVERYWHERE, just enough that my car doesn't disappear in the puddles on the barn driveway.
              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

              Comment


              • #8
                And to be honest, sometimes I wonder why certain things bother me so much. Things like unswept floors and stuff left in the aisle tend to drive me nutty.
                Hee hee, you're not alone. I have my own barn at all and if my husband goes in there to get a tool or rake or something...well, it drives me insane! Because later on when I go to get that tool or if he's moved something around...argh! I know where everything in that barn is and I keep it immaculate.
                I agree with others...move to a full care facility. When it's someone else's barn that's run decently (and remember...it doesn't have to be perfect in a Type A Anal Personality way , just clean, dry and safe) you won't care as much if the aisle doesn't get swept immediately because it won't have to be *you* sweeping it.
                You jump in the saddle,
                Hold onto the bridle!
                Jump in the line!
                ...Belefonte

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                  But this weekend is supposed to be warm and sunny. So I have my fingers crossed.

                  We have warm and sunny in Western NY right NOW. In fact, my husband just called the office and said... "you should skip the gym today and go see your horses instead. It's gorgeous out."

                  WHaaaaaT? I never expected him to say THAT
                  Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                    Hee hee, you're not alone. I have my own barn at all and if my husband goes in there to get a tool or rake or something...well, it drives me insane! Because later on when I go to get that tool or if he's moved something around...argh! I know where everything in that barn is and I keep it immaculate.
                    Exactly right I would be going insane trying to find something that would be put back in someplace I would have never thought to put it. And then it takes me 15 minutes extra that I don't have to find whatever it was because I am not that good at finding things that are out of place. Some people seem to be good at the game "hmmm if I were a manure fork that so and so just used, where would I be?" but I stink at that game.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm with ya here in Ohio....

                      There's something about MUD MUD MUD that can drive the normally reasonable horse owner COMPLETELY FRIGGIN' INSANE! Nothing's clean! Nothing's dry! Everything's ruined! I'm telling you - it's mud fever. It's an insanity plea.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, things tend to look a little gloomy right now, just before spring. Look for a better place, you shouldn't have to deal with a crap barn and all that work you're doing. It's a shame your friend is sick and can't help, sounds like a great situation if everyone was healthy. And your horses will be fine, they really survive better than we all think so take some time to find a place and let them be like wild horses for a month, they won't die. I wish you lots of luck.
                        I'm in one of those moods today too, everything seems like a mountain to climb - my one horse was skunked last night so he stinks, the barn stinks and everything in it stinks. Plus, none of them are eating the hay, I'm sick of picking up wasted hay...so I finally yelled at them from the barn that they're all spoiled! I feel better....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I definitely feel your pain! Although I've never done self-care, I have been through the slew of full care barns that didn't take proper care of the horse. I am also well aware of the non-stop rain we've had starting in October and how miserable it has made things. At my barn the horses have barely been turned out this winter because the paddocks wouldn't be able to hold up considering how wet they have been.

                          I think for everyone there comes a time where you just have to evaluate your budget and find the money to get your horse in a better situation. If you are not having fun, the money you are spending now is too much no matter how "little" it amounts to. Find somewhere with good care where you can actually ride your horse and even though you might have to tighten your belt in other areas, the value you get from the money spent will be so much higher!

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Zevida View Post
                            I definitely feel your pain! Although I've never done self-care, I have been through the slew of full care barns that didn't take proper care of the horse. I am also well aware of the non-stop rain we've had starting in October and how miserable it has made things. At my barn the horses have barely been turned out this winter because the paddocks wouldn't be able to hold up considering how wet they have been.
                            It's been raining longer than that I painted my jumps in Sept and haven't been able to move them due to all the mud. I think I cursed myself.

                            I think for everyone there comes a time where you just have to evaluate your budget and find the money to get your horse in a better situation. If you are not having fun, the money you are spending now is too much no matter how "little" it amounts to. Find somewhere with good care where you can actually ride your horse and even though you might have to tighten your belt in other areas, the value you get from the money spent will be so much higher!
                            Tightening my belt and taking my horses to a place with an indoor might be an option if I were actually bringing in money But I am working within budget constraints and frankly I am can keep my horses only because of my DH. I cannot ask him to triple our expenses for something that he gets absolutely nothing out of until I am contributing more. I am in a new job that is straight commission. It has great potential but I am not making money yet

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have been in similar situations (although I was always paying for full care but still having to do tons of self care...) so I understand completely. And this is the worst time of year, with rain and mud and still not enough daylight hours -- kind of the darkest before the dawn. But the rain will end, the days will get longer (that makes a huge difference to me), and things will get better, and making a move as others have suggested sounds like it will really help.

                              Right now, I have 3 horses at home, which was never intended to hold more than 2. We play musical stalls every day. But I'm so happy with it -- I don't have to worry about the care, I enjoy doing the work when it is at MY own place, and it has been a good thing. But I don't have riding facilities here, have to haul out, and that has made me not ride nearly enough. So I will have to go back to boarding eventually, but right now this has been a nice break.

                              I hope things turn out well for you!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                This winter has just been a tough one. I feel for you and hope things will turn around soon - after all, eighteen days till Spring, right?
                                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                Incredible Invisible

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Ah, yes, the mud....OP, we're not far apart in location, I think. We have our horses at home and had to board them for a month to keep their feet from rotting off or breaking something slipping in the mud. We still can't have them
                                  on all their usual space yet.

                                  Hubby has been taking care of the horses for over a year due to my foot problems and surgeries. When I make the rare trip to the barn, it makes me crazy. Feed bin lid up, blankets piled on the floor, my good Baker wool cooler
                                  wrapped around the water pipes waiting for the mice to munch on it. Soon,
                                  my job again, I hope.

                                  Understand your frustration...when it gets really soggy here, it seems eternal.
                                  Everytime the dogs go out, it's a major cleanup when they come in. My carpet is no longer beige. Who puts light beige carpeting in a country house in the middle of black clay country? Arrgh!

                                  Hope you find a good resolution to your situation.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    You have NOT ridden your own, difficult horses SINCE SEPT (over six months), you have spent a heck of a lot of time organizing, you don't like that your friend's mom doesn't clean and organize like you do and are becoming territorial about the space (I do hope your friend is ok) -I think you need to prioritize. A barn is not a house, a barn is a barn. When you find cleaning the barn (not talking about the flooding or even cleaning stalls here -that is different) becomes more important than the ride for SIX months...you need to think about 1) do you really WANT to ride? 2) what is going on in your head that cleaning takes precedence over riding/training etc?

                                    I wonder if the whole barn coop thing and the long work days thing is an excuse for something deeper about riding and why aren't getting yourself in the saddle? I can have anxiety issues, am more fearful than I used to be (which is why I love driving -I don't have the same fears). I know for myself, sometimes I have to really force myself as a middle aged person to ride and then I feel so much better afterwards. So, maybe I am way off base here and thinking about my own life but...do you need to look a little deeper into what might really be going on?
                                    Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Cielo Azure View Post
                                      You have NOT ridden your own, difficult horses SINCE SEPT (over six months), you have spent a heck of a lot of time organizing, you don't like that your friend's mom doesn't clean and organize like you do and are becoming territorial about the space (I do hope your friend is ok) -I think you need to prioritize. A barn is not a house, a barn is a barn. When you find cleaning the barn (not talking about the flooding or even cleaning stalls here -that is different) becomes more important than the ride for SIX months...you need to think about 1) do you really WANT to ride? 2) what is going on in your head that cleaning takes precedence over riding/training etc?

                                      I wonder if the whole barn coop thing and the long work days thing is an excuse for something deeper about riding and why aren't getting yourself in the saddle? I can have anxiety issues, am more fearful than I used to be (which is why I love driving -I don't have the same fears). I know for myself, sometimes I have to really force myself as a middle aged person to ride and then I feel so much better afterwards. So, maybe I am way off base here and thinking about my own life but...do you need to look a little deeper into what might really be going on?
                                      My difficult horse isn't really bad just not the marketable kind of difficult. She is hot. She doesn't buck/spook/rear. Everything means go. I galloped on the track for years and I actually like her like that. She is timid and very sensitive and you just have to make sure that you are using very subtle aids. I am not getting in the saddle due to MUD. The footing is so trashed that I cannot ride. I have basically lived in my rubber muck boots and they have been sucked off more times than I can count The place doesn't drain. And it's that black clay. So when it does dry up, the footprints are left and it's like concrete. One afternoon I spent 3 hours fixing the footing in the round pen in hopes of having one area that is not trashed and someone left it open and it is now trashed. So when it finally dries enough, I will probably have to spend a few hours fixing the footing so I can have a place to ride....if it ever dries up. There is no ring. Everything is pasture. I don't mind riding in pasture. I just don't feel comfortable working my horse in footing that I think might seriously hurt her. When she is out by herself, she can just mind her footing. If I am riding/training on her, poor footing is jusst not safe. I am not going to my trainer's because it's an hour away. My DH gets pissy when I spend 2 hours at the barn. Half the day at the trainer's after I take care of my horses on the weekend puts a HUGE strain on my relationship. So yes you are a hair off base. If I had a truck and trailer, I would haul to a nearby indoor and ride but I have no transportation either.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Just wanted to say that this had been worst year for rain that I can remember. Ever. So hopefully you'll get some better weather

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