"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

All in a Day's Work

A friend posted on her Facebook page last night something to the effect of how work is never done when you live on a farm and have horses!

I would like to take this opportunity to second her statement....and give you an idea of what she could possibly be referring to! At least in my eyes, at Apolloson Acres.

Weekdays are the worst because my husband & I have to attend this over-rated thing called "day jobs"! We are usually home by 5pm and the first task is to turn the horses out if they've been in the barn while we were gone. Generally, this takes minimal time; just throw on fly masks and douse them with some fly spray, make the mile trek to the pasture and you are good to go ;)

Next on the agenda is the dogs -- da da dum! My mother recently told me she thinks my dogs problem is that they do not get enough attention from my husband and I! HA! She certainly has not spent an evening in my shoes.....

As I approach Whinny's cage, she is so overflowing with excitement at the fact that we're home, she is literally moving her cage across the floor and she jumps and wails with excitement inside it...literally! Opening her cage door is much like a starting gate breaking open at a Thoroughbred race. If my husband is in the room, the first thing she does is launches herself with one jump up into his arms, at 6' 1" high, and wraps her front paws over his shoulders. *SIGH* Yes, he allows this...which is probably why we struggle with this issue - when Allen is not in the room, she lunges at me in excitement and jumps ALL OVER ME. I honestly am trying to break her of this habit, constantly telling her down, turning my back to her and as my last resort, kneeing her when she lurches forward!
Leash on, door open, sniff the kitty if she's on the patio and it is out into the grass for a quick piddle.

On to monster, a-hem, dog #2, Mossy. My lil' Moss-dog! 75# pounds of hunky hound loving! As his cage door opens, he barrels towards whatever gets his attention, ultimately making his way to the back door, inevitably sliding across the wood floor in the kitchen because his mind works faster than his legs can carry him!
Leash on, door open, myself dragged off the patio and after the cat [If I am lucky I hold on and walk away without scrapes and bruises], onto the grass for the longest daily piddle ever and then rushed back to the house for dinner!

Next, there is dinner for the dogs, which occasionally requires supervision so that 50# Whinny doesn't steal 75#'er Mossy's food after she successfully scarf's down her own. Then, it is on to their evening walk, which also constitutes their "poo-walk". Yes, that is right - you read correctly.
This walk usually takes us around the perimeter of the property (5.5 acres) and sometimes into the neighboring woods. If we're lucky, Whinny gets her business done within that time frame. On days when I am feeling exceptionally risky, I take both dogs together, on days when I am lucky, Allen is available to come with us, on most days, I have to take them separately otherwise it is a whole other blog entry to tell you how that goes ;)

Up next on the agenda after getting the dogs situated - barn chores. Now that we are lucky enough to be the proud owners of a tractor, I don't have to tote around my wheelbarrow everywhere and I just pull the tractor into the barn aisle. On days when I am lucky, this is non-eventful. On days when that's not the case, I take out part of the barn door while my husband swears obscenities in the background acting as though I have just plowed the whole barn to the ground ;)

Next - work with the horses. This is usually my stress reliever of the evening. Some times it is just grooming, other times it is ground and saddle work with Apollo. When I am lucky, I can get through a session with Apollo without heightened anxiety! After 4 years, you'd like I would have conquered this by now ;) My goal is to ride through the orchard by winter time!

Next - Walk #2 for the dogs or something else dog related like trying to teach them to stay in the yard without being tied, playing ball or frisbee....whatever suits their fancy.....

Somewhere in here, we decided to do dinner. Sometimes we go all out, steaks on the grill style, other times, it's my mother-in-laws worst nightmare --- Ramen Noodles! More often than not, Ramen rules out!

Don't be fooled - there are so many other things I can list that may not always happen on a daily basis, but do occur; cleaning kitty litter and kitty puke, buying/stocking hay, weeding flower beds & mowing the lawn, plus don't forget about all the stuff that needs my attention INSIDE the house (What? there is life beyond the backyard??!!) and of course, all the things the hubby tends too; caring for/spraying the 110 orchard trees, tending to the garden, fixing our cars, figuring out the tractor, fixing something I have broke, making a new shelter for more hooved companions to come home, etc etc etc...

So before I knok out from the tediousness of writing this evenings to-do list, let me just reiterate, yes, work on a farm is never done ;)

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