I started writing this when I had finished day 3 but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to post it till now (day 6). So I apologise for being a bit quiet! Life here is quite different to life back home! I’ve never worked on a yard like this before but I think yards like this don’t exist in the UK. This yard is 10,000 acres after all…
My first few days have been spent mostly with the yearlings. Yearling work is pretty new to me. I’ve been around yearlings before but haven’t ever been hands on with them. Even though I’ve only been working for 3 days, I’ve learnt a few things about myself.
I wouldn’t ever describe myself as a patient person. I’m not one to wait around. Patience is something I severely lack in life however being around yearlings requires a lot of patience and it’s been quite eye opening to see how much patience I actually have. Now whether it’s because horses have always fondly been a part of my life and humans…not so much, the patience I have around the yearlings is crazy! Horses are naturally skittish animals, especially younger ones who haven’t seen or done much. I feel like I should have explained this earlier. To those none horsey people reading, a yearling is a young horse roughly between 1 and 2 years old. As most of the yearlings are still learning to trust us, they can be pretty hesitant to cooperate. Not all of them but they have their moments. You need a high level of patience if you’re wanting to work with them. Sometimes it can take 5 minutes to just get their head collar on and putting their rug on can be the most terrifying thing ever. Firstly you need to understand that they are basically babies and some of them can be borderline feral (or at least seem that way). You need to understand that even the slightest bit of movement or sound could be the scariest thing they’ve ever witnessed. It’s something I think can be very rewarding and frustrating. They have their off days. They might have a few good days in a row where getting rugged up isn’t that scary but they then might have a bad day and it’s back to being terrified of that rug again but I imagine over time it can be rewarding. You get to see the progress. Eventually that yearling won’t be afraid of that rug anymore and the yearlings that I’m working with will one day go on to be fantastic race horses but patience is needed to get them there.
You don’t always require a lot of knowledge to work with horses but it’s good to know the basics and a bit more. When I was a little girl I read my fair share of horse encyclopaedia, horse dictionaries and many other horse related books. I didn’t have a horse of my own and the only time I got to be around horses was for my weekly hour riding lesson. I learnt the basics and the terminology pretty quickly however this job I am at now is like a whole other part of the horse world. It’s own world. I’ve never worked on a stud yard before and hadn’t ever really considered it until this opportunity came up and I would have been a fool to say no. This job has proven to me that there is so much more I could/need to learn about the horse industry. The horse world is a lot bigger than I thought it was and there are so many different areas you can work in. I’d like to say I’m fairly knowledgable when it comes to horses but starting work here has made me realise I have so much more to learn and the best part about the horse industry is the fact that it is never ending. There’s always something to improve on whether it be yourself or your horse and there’s always more to learn.
Even though I’ve only been here a few days it’s opened my eyes to what I want from my life. Do I still want to work in the horse industry in the next few years? Not really. I feel like when I leave this job (as I am only here for 6 months) it would be a good way to end my ‘horse career’. I’m always going to have horses in my life. Whether I go back to lessons or own one myself, horses will always be in my life till the day I die but I don’t want to work with them for much longer. Once I start my travelling around Australia I feel that’s when I’ll really find my calling. As much as I love horses I feel like I was put on this Earth to help those in need. Whether it be animals or humans but a lot can change from now till I leave this job. I may end up coming back or I may not. No matter how much you try and plan your future you can never be 100% certain of how it will turn out and that’s what makes it all a bit more exciting.
I hope you’re all keeping well and looking after yourselves. Remember to always put yourself first and stay positive.
Sending my love to you all,