I went home to the farm this past weekend. I've had a real bug to ride Bronwyn since I started riding the Friesian mare (I should give her name, for reference - it's pronounced Lola... but I am not sure that this is how it's spelt. I will get back to you on this one!). It's not always an easy ride at the farm - we don't really have an outdoor riding area to speak of, and hello, it is winter in New Brunswick. Granted, it is a much more tame winter than we are accustomed to, so far, but it it still winter, and I am still a freeze baby.
Before I could ride, there was some general housekeeping that needed done around the farm. We had to build a new box stall (for the long overdue weaning process for Serenity, which she dealt with fantastically, if I do say so myself!), clean some stalls, put some new plywood on the side of the barn. I spent more or less the whole of Saturday in the barn with my dad. You've seen me mention him here before - but when I am with my dad, I do some of my best thinking - because he's a good listener. I will admit to talking far too much, mostly a stream of consciousness type of conversation - but he listens, and I usually come to my own conclusions (admittedly, sometimes with a little prodding from him). But overall, my strong thought for the day was this: The things that are the most worth having often take the most work.
For example, my dog. Being a dog owner in the city is a lot harder than I recall it being in the country. There is no place to put him out unleashed, so he needs to be taken to stretch his legs at least twice a day, with other various outs to do his business (though admittedly, I have created a monster who doesn't want to do his business in his own yard, so his walks are classified as either a "walk" or a "potty walk" - to the end of the street so he is sufficiently distanced from his own property to do his business). I try to spend more time at home because he is there and I like to spend time with him. I am one of those people who finds real joy in the companionship of animals. Morrie provides a great deal of entertainment and emotional support, if I'm honest, to me. So it does require me to get out of bed 20-40 minutes early so there's time for a walk before I go to work - and trust me, I love my sleep - but the joy of having the dog with me, that's worth the inconvenience.
Fixing fence, working on the barn, cleaning stalls - those are all things that get "in the way", interrupting our chance to spend time with our horses one on one. But if we didn't have to do any of that work, would it still be as precious, the time that we do have? Would we appreciate it as much as we do now? I have learned over time, that sometimes the most valuable, cherished, beautiful, important things in our lives are those things that you have to work hard to get, you are inconvenienced to maintain, and require the most time and attention. And that's not half bad, I don't think. It helps us to appreciate things more!
Where has this lesson been applied in your life? Do you sometimes complain about the work involved with the horses, but appreciate the time you spend with them that much more? Am I completely out to lunch?
When everything got cleared up, and all the work (and then some) that we needed to get done was finished, I got to ride on Sunday morning. It was a brisk -17C with windchill, the snow was deep, but I bundled up and my horse was joyful as we took a little jaunt through the snow! We are both in "winter shape" at the moment, but we enjoyed one another's company, that is for sure.