Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Why I See Nimo Every Day

I first wrote about why I see Nimo every day almost 2 years ago.  Back then, I was still struggling to find my way as a new mom while juggling work, husband, horse, dog, laundry, cooking, cleaning, showering, and sleeping.  The barn was my refuge and the drive out there gave me an opportunity to let all the stresses of the day leak out, so when I came home again, I could be there for my family.

Over time things have changed, though.  Being a mom and the balancing act that goes along with it is still a challenge, but the routines of life are familiar to me now.  I've discovered that I've had to let some things go, maybe never to see again, and I've found new priorities.  I get a little more sleep than I used to, which has helped me gain some perspective and even find the humor in certain situations (although it might be belatedly).  Some days I still choose between showering and eating or between sleeping and reading a book that I've been dying to get into.  I rarely have the time to do something that I truly enjoy by myself and mostly I'm OK with that.  Nimo is my me-time priority and even my horse time gets shortchanged a lot if I need to make dinner, run errands, or just collapse in front of the TV.  I wish I could be a superwoman and fit it all in, but I'm usually at peace with the fact that I'm not.

One thing that doesn't get shortchanged is checking on Nimo every day now that winter is upon us.  During the summer, I will skip the occasional day, but once the horses at the barn change to day-time turnout (which means Nimo changes to 24/7 turnout from being in during the day and out at night), I don't skip any days. 

My reason for why I don't skip any days is different now.  Before, I went to the barn for me.  I absolutely needed the quiet of my horse and to breathe in his scent to stay sane.  Now I go to the barn for him.  I realized after the first week of going out every night that I didn't need to call him anymore.  No matter where he is in the field, no matter how dark it is, and no matter which vehicle I drive, he finds me at the run-in shed within seconds of me getting there. 

Before you ascribe inspirational motives to him, you should know that I bring him a flake of special hay and it is that hay that he really cares about (it's a Standlee alfalfa/grass mix hay that costs an arm and a leg).  The way to Nimo's heart is absolutely through his stomach:)  But that's OK.  He does have two round bales to eat from out in the field, but he loves getting something special and it makes me happy to bring it to him. 

My husband cannot understand why I would go through the trouble of driving for an hour just to give my horse a flake of hay, and I admit it's not that easy for me to explain in terms of a cost/benefit analysis.  I guess maybe the best explanation is that he was there for me when I desperately needed him and now that I have something to give back, I want to take the opportunity to do it, even though it would be simple to ask that the barn staff give him the hay so I could stay home.  In fact, there are nights when I would rather stay home, but I owe that horse a debt of a magnitude that can never be quantified or repaid, so sacrificing an hour a day to make sure he is OK and knows that he is special is worth it to me.

3 comments:

  1. Nimo is a lucky boy! My gelding Apollo carried me through some very tough times as well and I got a little teary when I read your line that stated "I owe that horse a debt of a magnitude that can never be quantified or repaid" because that's how I feel too :)

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  2. Lovely. I am sure Nimo knows he has a special owner. "He was there for me." that is what animals are so perfect for. No judgement, just a soft mane and gratitude for simple things like special hay.

    I visit my horse 6 days a week (gotta go grocery shopping one day!). He always comes to the gate, and will even leave his dinner. I think our time just spent together on the ground has translated to a better bond in the saddle.

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