When I was younger, I always knew that I wanted to live my best life. I didn't care if I didn't make much money or if the work was hard and labor intensive. But I wanted to do something that I loved, and and continued to love to do, day in, day out.
This month is the 4th anniversary of Abbott's View Livery and I can hand on heart say, I love my job. It's hard. Sometimes it's REALLY hard. I've had a huge amount of challenges, from difficult clients, to jealous and determined to close me down neighbours alongside the hard ships of life, and times where I've felt like giving up.
I don't make much money. I have to pay for alot of physio due to an on going shoulder issue caused by shovelling shit everyday. Sometimes horses are fustrating and break things or knock me flying. Sometimes people are hard work and manipulative, ageist or damn right rude, sometimes things are mis communicated or people just aren't the right fit for the AVL way. Sometimes I feel resentful to only having one day off or feeling gutted when I lose that one day off when my staff member hands in their notice and I know it's back to 7 days a week for a while and having to start the search all over again. The 12 hour days, the shit shovelling and medical treatments on Christmas day and not even knowing what a bank holiday is. Sometimes I hold in tears all day and get some and let it all out and wonder why I do it.
But most of the time, I make enough money to pay my bills and to have a few meals out or a camping trip away, and afford my two wonderful horses. Most of the time my shoulder pain is bearable and regardless of it, I am still one of the strongest women I know and can happily flip a round bale or push a broken down car off of the road. Most of the time horses are wonderful, inquisitive, beautiful, and make me laugh everyday. Most of the time people are fantastic, understanding, greatful and share such passion with me about their horses and striving to create and develop this wonderful environment they live in. Most of the time I don't mind spending 12 hours in the sunshine, and I enjoy seeing the horses enjoy a carrot in their feed on Christmas day. Most of the time, I go home with a smile, crack open a beer and sit down and think about my day, and scroll through lots new photos and videos of memories of the silly things horses do, or training sessions or track developments. I sit down and I write a post about barefoot or tracks, or upload a photo or have conversation with someone about why barefoot is best and why horses should live out and the fire inside me to get this message out there is relit and burns strong.
I know why I do this. And it's not just to give me something that I love to do but to help the humans and horses that I cross paths with. Some only come for a time, some will come and stay. Some will live their retirements here and pass peacefully surrounded by their herd and humans with a tummy full of food. Some will come crippled with various issues, or obeasely overweight. In a few months or sometimes a few years, the track will have worked it's wonders and he will able to be ridden again and or will have lost weight and be thriving.
I am 4 years in, and I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that I love my job, and I'll always be proud of what I've done here. To have taken the risk at 22 years old, borrowed money and spent all my savings to create something that goes against the flow, something I didn't even know would work, and something that shakes the boat of the equine world, to assist in the change that is willing people to open their eyes and make the change for their horses.
"Find something that you love, and do it everyday. Do that for the rest of your life, and eventually the world will change" - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. (Lol)
Enjoy this photo of 12 year old me and my pony Maisy, and 25 year old me (now) and my pony Buckthorn