Monday, 31 August 2015

Loving Your Job

The past few years have brought me a large number of transitions due to career choices. Previous to this blog, I had been working long term in forestry. I got entirely burnt out and embraced the layoffs when they came. I got a job at a barn, and went back to university in the afternoons to add a bunch of tech courses to the forestry ones. After two years of that, it was time to start working in my sorta-new field. That's when I started this blog and spent 3 or 4 years of my life travelling around, taking whatever work and contracts I could find that I felt would add to the resume. I had to put the horses on the back burner at times, but I wouldn't trade any of it. I'm happy with where all that hard work has got me and feel all the sacrifices were worth it.

Ginger left for the trainer's last week in preparation for her new job. She was apparently a good girl for the trip, and I think will enjoy being back in full time work with some defined expectations. I was home this past weekend for a visit and that's when it really hit me that I can't just drive over to the barn and visit her anymore. It's a bit of a tough adjustment, and she is on my mind all the time. Fingers crossed she finds her perfect person and job soon. Maybe then I will stop worrying about her quite so much :)

As mentioned, Bridget and I are going through a bit of a rough patch. As I've also mentioned numerous times, I didn't buy her to be the next big dressage/eventing pony so I shouldn't mind that things aren't working out perfectly. I have a ton of work to do myself and it's not like we are in a rush to be anywhere. In the back of my mind though of course I am wondering how to tell if she's really unhappy and not suited to her current work, or whether we're just going through a bit more baby pony drama/rider inadequacies. I look around the barn at all the horses that obviously love their jobs and it makes me feel a little depressed and wonder whether I am really doing right by Bridget. She's a pretty quiet and stoic little thing, so it's hard to tell what she's thinking half the time (besides wanting to avoid any sort of physical exertion, of course ;)


Anyone else gone through something similar? How did you tell whether your horse was suited for and happy in their work?






21 comments:

  1. Interesting to think about... We've got a stoic Welsh Cob as well but her opinions are always clear as a bell - there's no guessing with her! We've gone through rough patches with all 3 of our horses but have always been able to work through them.
    My yardstick on my horses' approval of their work has always been how they react when I come to get them in the paddock. If they walk away from me, I know I did something to displease them yesterday! It doesn't happen very often (amazing lol) but it's a sure sign that I need to think about what I'm doing.

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    1. Thanks for the reply! So far Midge is always happy to see me, but less happy when I bring out her tack, and even less happy when we turn towards the arena rather than the trails. She perked up a little when she saw some jumps set up last night though so perhaps there is hope there

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  2. I was going through exactly the same thing with Katai until just recently. I was having a really tough time seeing any improvement and seeing that is Katai not being suited to her job. Luckily I have a very patient and reasonable trainer who kept telling me that what we were asking her to do was hard for her and she wasn't exactly going to be all lovey dovey about me asking her to carry herself different, recently though I can tell that we're over that hump and she really does seem to understand and like her job.

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    1. You're right, I tend to underestimate how much hard work it is for her, particularly as she's not naturally the most balanced. I'm so glad your persistence is resulting in some good things, I'm hopeful we'll get there soon eventually :)

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  3. i think it's one thing if the horse is doing REALLY well in one discipline and really ... not well in something else. but for green horses that are still in the process of learning what might fairly be considered the 'boring' basics, well... it's just kinda something that has to happen regardless of discipline if the horse wants to be a happy well rounded riding horse. my horse HATED the basics - but now she knows there's fun stuff to be had on the other side

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    1. Great point. I think she has decided work in general is Not Fun, but it really is a necessary evil if she's going to be a useful member of horsey society. My challenge is to keep it as fun or interesting for her as I can.

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  4. Green mares are the worst- ask me how I know ;). I'm always in the camp of getting extra help so I'm in your camp with a few trainer rides. I know I can be a bit of a 'mom' and my mare sometimes needs a little reminder that she is requires to spend one hour of her leisurely day at work! I'd say get a second set of eyes on her to help judge.

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    1. Thanks for the response. I think a few rides with someone else will be a definite help! Trainer isn't overly enthused about jumping/eventing as an avenue to pursue but is open to the idea and really likes Birdget. She's much more positive about dressage, and maybe having some fun at the welsh shows.

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  5. With my baby, it's so obvious that he loves his job just because he offers little to no resistance and stays focused the whole time. He also whinnies at me and walks up to me in the pasture. I don't think that my GP horse liked his job very much, he would see me coming for him and walk away from me. He always did his job, but he resisted a whole lot more than baby horse does. He questioned everything. But honestly, the only things he seemed to like were eating and trail riding. And even on trails he'd try to turn around and go home sometimes. So I kind of just accepted that he saw his work as work and not as his passion, like a lot of people, and I tried to keep the stuff he REALLY hated to a minimum while trying to trail ride and do stuff that he did like as much as I could.

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    1. Your GP horse sounds much like Bridget (except obviously we are nowhere near GP ;). Eating and trail riding are two things she loves, and I feel as you do that maybe she'll just never be overly excited about having a job.

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  6. It's so hard to know! Especially with a greener horse. Between your gut and your trainer's opinion you'll get to the bottom of it.

    I bet a lot of the people at your barn went through some tough spots between where they started and where they are now (with a horse that loves it's job).

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    1. It's a little hard because the barn owner/trainer breeds her own horses specifically for eventing and most everyone rides those. So they are bred and raised with that goal in mind and are pretty talented and enthusiastic right from the get go. Bridget...not so much lol! But yes, I have faith trainer will get us as far as we can go.

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    2. I bet you'll learn a lot more on a horse that didn't come out of the "eventing assembly line" :P It might not always be as easy/fun though. I honestly think you two are going to rock the eventing world. Bridget is so quiet and sensible on the trails and you two have a great relationship. Just need to get through this rough patch! :)

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    3. "Eventing assembly line" - love it :) Thanks for the vote of confidence!

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  7. Hmmm. I wouldn't know what to do because it's probably really hard to tell when they are starting out and everything is so new and challenging All I can do is offer my encouragement and say that I hope you figure it out, and I;m sure you will.

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  8. I go through this too, wondering whether the path I'm going down is the right one.

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    1. It's so hard! I'm always wanting to make sure they are happy in their work, but it can be difficult to tell, particularly when they're not overly demonstrative about things.

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  9. I definitely hear you. It's hard to see other's success and not feel like you're creeping backwards and wasting your time. Good news is youre not. It just feels that way. Stay positive, work hard, love your pony. :) looking forward to reading more

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  10. I definitely hear you. It's hard to see other's success and not feel like you're creeping backwards and wasting your time. Good news is youre not. It just feels that way. Stay positive, work hard, love your pony. :) looking forward to reading more

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  11. I definitely hear you. It's hard to see other's success and not feel like you're creeping backwards and wasting your time. Good news is youre not. It just feels that way. Stay positive, work hard, love your pony. :) looking forward to reading more

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