Why do we do it? Why do we endure extreme frigid temperatures for months on end and now a huge warm up, heavy rains and thaw which will bring us to our knees as we watch the water flow into our barns, bedded stalls and riding arenas. Why do we do it? Why do we work so hard daily that it breaks down our body from the heavy labor involved every day as we fight the elements that are wearing down our barns, stables and riding arenas and that is only the beginning. And don't forget about the regular chores that still need to get done daily. I have watched water trickle and create small run-offs in places we have never had problems with before and I have never seen so much ice in the 28 years I have lived in Wisconsin. Even with the best plans in place and a well built building, you are no match for mother nature when she decides to roar.
The birth pangs of the coming spring
What a winter it has been for anyone taking care of horses, cows or any other farm animals. I have watched my husband daily try to keep ahead of all of it and I know he is not alone as every other farmer across our country deals with the heaviness of winter and the birthing of spring. We have had almost record snowfall this year in Wisconsin and now the melting snow and water have nowhere to go because the ground is still frozen. The gutters on our barn are bent to heck because of the heavy weight of ice and snow but I am counting my blessings because we haven't had a roof cave in like so many others.
The birthing of spring is supposed to be a wonderful time because we know warmer temperatures are coming and soon we will have green grass and hay pastures bursting with life. But for me along with so many others that take care of horses, it is a time of holding our breath to see what mother nature throws out at us for a final hurrah. David and I sometimes don't know what we will be waking up to in the morning until it comes and we can take a look at the damage and conditions of our paddocks and paths. This morning was a new one for me. I don't ever remember seeing so much ice, water and snow all at the same time and I am thankful David bought me cleats to put on my boots so I don't fall for the tenth time this winter. Yes I am a little behind. I should have been wearing them months a ago! Thank goodness I have strong bones but it still hurts like crazy when you go down!
The birthing of spring is supposed to be a wonderful time because we know warmer temperatures are coming and soon we will have green grass and hay pastures bursting with life. But for me along with so many others that take care of horses, it is a time of holding our breath to see what mother nature throws out at us for a final hurrah.
Taking care of horses is a wonderful job but this is where it can become very difficult and at times dangerous. I am so thankful I have a place to keep our horses safely inside until we get through these next few days of rain and melting snow on our very low property and then I might need to get water wings for all the horses! LOL! I also know not everyone has an option of inside stalls and my prayers are with them for all to stay safe.
Today I am praying for all the barn owners, manager and employees who are working under difficult conditions trying their best to keep the horses safe and happy in extreme weather conditions. Today I have a whole new appreciation for the farmer who came long before me who worked in these conditions without modern equipment and made it work the best he could daily. The men and women who came before me where incredible and strong and it puts me to shame at times when I start having a pity party! Yes I have those now and then. They knew what needed to be done and did it. That is when I think of my husband and I am thankful that he does what needs to be done to keep the horses in our care safe under all conditions.
Today I pray you, your families and the horses and other animals in your care. We are all in this together as we wait until mother nature finally gives birth to the anticipated arrival of spring. It truly does make springtime and summer all the more glorious.
To answer my original question - Why do we do it? WE DO IT BECAUSE WE LOVE THESE INCREDIBLE HORSES THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US THE PRIVILEGE TO TAKE CARE OF. And yes I will do it all over again next year.
Wishing you many blessings in your horse business, Sheri Grunska