My farmer husband grew up with livestock. His family had a farrow to finish hog operation with up to 1,000 hogs at a time, and he also showed pigs and chickens at the fair. So while he did have a lot of experience caring for animals, he still got himself into a whole new territory with me and my horses.
Horse people are crazy. Am I right? We obsess over nutrition, hoof care, vet care, saddle fit, protective boots, therapy boots, supplements, extra clean stalls, fencing, and every abnormal behavior. For the most part, I like to think I am on the pretty relaxed side when it comes to my horses. But my husband would argue otherwise.
When we first moved the horses here, my husband’s famous words were “Oh, it’ll be fine,” when he wanted to do something with the horses that I told him I wasn’t comfortable with. Feeding grass clippings, half-eaten apples, hay from the barn floor, etc, etc. It felt like it took hundreds of “No”s, but eventually my husband understood I made the calls when it came to the horses. (I’m a little less strict on the chickens, but I still have my rules.)
We’ve been on our little farm for three and a half years, and I recently realized that things have really changed around here. Even though my husband has always helped with the horses, he was kind of a “back-up” I guess you could say. He’s always helped clean stalls and throw hay down from the loft, and feeds when needed, but for the most part I still ran the show.
A couple weekends ago, though, I wasn’t feeling well. I had a cold– it hit Friday night and pretty much put me on the couch all weekend. My body was just exhausted. Animals don’t care if you’re not feeling well, they still expect to be taken care of on schedule. So, enter my ranch hand husband. He turned horses out, fed them, cleaned stalls, turned them back in–he did it all. Same with the chickens. I never once asked him if he did this, checked that, etc. And it wasn’t just because I was a bit foggy (I definitely was!), but it was also because I knew my husband could handle it. And he knew the routine. It really hit me that things had changed when I told him in the morning that my horse, Abby, needed her therapeutic boots taken off that she wears overnight. And he took off…wait for it…her bell boots, her front leg boots, and her hock boots….and put them all back in their storage bag!!
I’ve got him trained, huh? 😉
But really, I’m just so thankful he is willing to help me take care of the horses. And thankful that he realizes how important they are to me.