When I wrote that header, I thought that there are all types of owner guilt. In fact, probably too many to list: I don’t ride them enough, they need a bath, they don’t have enough friends, I need to buy better feed, am I feeding the right feed?, I should have noticed earlier, are they warm/cold?, I need to pay more attention, I need to bond more… the list could go on forever. I’m sure you are adding a few in there as you read this.
Now, I’m not saying that we are all bad owners because we have concerns – no, just the opposite. I’m saying that as good owners, we care.
We care so we sometimes feel guilty.
Well, I’ve been feeling guilty for about 6 months now. It is all based around my finances. Basically, I ran out of money before I thought I would run out of money at the new house. So, I wasn’t able to create the number of paddocks needed or the proper number of shelters and trees.
Consequently, when it was sunny (lack of shelters/trees), I worried. When it was raining (and as you have probably heard, it is raining A LOT here in California…), I worried.
I worry all the time.
I have shamefully noted that this guilt makes me spend less time with them. I know this is counter productive … I’m not sure the psychology of it except that when I look at them, I feel guilty. Therefore, I want to run back inside.
The double edged sword here is that the horses really need my help now. They need to feel that I’m still here, protecting them. They need to feel that I am still Herd Leader.
Of course, It is tough to be herd leader when you can’t even walk inside the paddocks without sinking, getting stuck and being completely off balance while the excited herd is whirling around. Dangerous.
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that I have a commercial starting in a few weeks. So, soon I will have the money to create a few more paddocks and another shelter. This will ease my stress at least by half!
Also, I didn’t really think about this while living through it… but now that I have witnessed a summer and winter here, I know more. I’ve learned so much about the soil and the wind/rain patterns that I can make better decisions with regard to the fencing, tree planting and shelter directions.
TODAY… THIS WAS MY IDEA TO ALLEVIATE MY GUILT
But today, my life was about doing whatever I could to make their lives more tolerable out in the paddockswamps of Paso Robles, CA.
I had a pile of wood shavings delivered. (I know, wood shavings can have sharp bits…but this is what most people do around here with success so I thought I’d try.)
I made a little path so I could walk safely… and then I put wheelbarrows full of shavings around several feeders.
What I learned is that I’m not in shape.
What else I learned is that as soon as the horses started walking on the shavings, they just pushed them into the mud.
The guilt continues.