Farm Life · Farmtastic Stories

Horse Stall Therapy

As I’ve mentioned before, Cowboy and I both have day jobs in order to support life on the farm.  My job happens to be in the high-tech industry, which can be exciting but also volatile.  This has been an especially rough week for me as my company is laying folks off (or as the latest industry trend likes to  call it “delayering,” but this farmgirl says let’s just call a spade a spade).  While I am super blessed to have landed a spot, many great folks, some dear friends of mine, were ushered out the virtual door.  It’s truly been heartbreaking.

Currently, I product manage software applications for the digital industry.  It’s a fast moving place where things are always changing and there is never a shortage of things to learn and do.  Simply put, it can be thrilling and an adrenaline rush when you see your ideas comes to life.  But to be honest, I’m a bit of an oddball in the field as I live in rural America and do this job remotely.  Many of my colleagues are big city folks who are immersed in technology 24/7.  But while I’m known as the Texas farmgirl around the office, I’ve often said it’s because I live a decidely non-tech life that I can excel at a high-tech work life.

Which brings me back to this week.  My emotions have been all over the map with these changes.  But I am reminded once again just why the farm life is the perfect spot for us.  Horse stall therapy!  You see, when you are up to your elbows in documentation and timelines and everything feels critical, a horse (or any animal) can be a calming friend and a reminder to take a breath.

Just standing next to my Ranger boy I can inhale the sweet scents from his neck, run my fingers through his long mane, and be in the moment.  I often will just wrap my hands around his neck.  Horse hugs are the best! (To boot, it’s never wise to be around a 1000-lb animal and not be in the moment.  It’s best to be right there!)

And around the farm, it’s not just Ranger who can fill up your soul. It’s watching Nightmare the cat criss-cross the horse stalls by being mister twinkle toes across the fence tops.  It’s watching Maybelle the dog’s ear flop with joy as she runs across the yard in sheer joy as she chases a rock. (Yes, I said rock.)  It’s listening to the brays of Sweetie Pie the donkey as she insists she is starving and will simply collapse if you don’t feed her one more time or give her some good neck rubs.

And sometimes you just need to work out with some good old fashioned farm work.  Shoveling out horse stalls is about as honest as it gets.  It is what it is, and with each scoop you put a little of your own muck in the bucket.

It’s a farmtastic life for me, and while things may ebb and flow, and times can be upsetting or scary, it reminds me why Cowboy and I chose to move to the country and live this life.  Horse stall therapy really is good for the soul.

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