Barnsitting Therapy

It’s been a while since I’ve barnsat for my favorite Trakehners and their fluffy friends. This time was just a short 3-day stint, but it was fun just the same.

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Quinnie’s standard greeting
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she loves me though, even if she won’t admit it

I mean… technically, looking after 8 horses, 2 dogs, and 2-3 cats (the exact number of cats is up for debate) is work, but it’s still fun. I enjoy the labor and the quiet time and the solitude that accompany barn chores… it’s kind of therapeutic when you usually work in an office. Once I got to the barn in the afternoon after work, I literally wouldn’t see another human until I got to work again the next day. That seems like a win.


It was hot (omg the sweat) and of course not without our fair share of mischief. One of the kittens never actually showed up at all. No idea if he wandered off at some point before I got there, or if he just hated me so much that he never showed his face. The other two cats followed me around the whole time, telling me what to do, so who knows.

Toni the stallion is always super sweet, and he seemed particularly cheeky this time. He took extra care to slobber all over the handle of the muck cart at every opportunity, and oh-so-innocently crept up behind me as I was cleaning his stall.

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are you not terrified of the wild stallion?

One of the other Trakehners thought it would be great fun to bust through the little strip of hot tape along one side of the pasture, swirling the tape all over the place and completely snapping a couple of plastic t-posts. Luckily no one seemed injured (except the tape) and it was just a sectioned off portion within a pasture, so they didn’t get loose either.

All of the adult horses blamed it on the filly… I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt until I went back out there to fix it and hadn’t even walked 10 feet away before she waltzed right through it again. Didn’t even have the decency to let me get out of sight first.

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wouldn’t make eye contact

And because there has to be drama with literally every species, one of the Dog-Fluffs decided to do a little overnight remodeling of the dog beds.


I woke up to bits of foam scattered from literally one end of the house to the other, and there was Lola, happy as could be, tongue hanging out the side of her derpy mouth. It’s hard to be mad when they’re this cute.


Now their mom is back home, and I’m back at my house and back to my normal life, featuring Henry and an almost-as-derpy-as-Lola corgi. It was nice to have a few days of peace and quiet, with plenty of time for life reflection while doing barn chores. I’ve been thinking pretty hard about the future lately, trying to figure out if I want to make a big life change. I finally decided to put some feelers out and just see what, if anything, comes of it.

Does anyone else find barn chores to be kind of therapeutic?

19 thoughts on “Barnsitting Therapy

  1. So so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so therapeutic! I live with my hubby on 10 acres and we have a full zoo (horses, goats, dogs, chickens, cats, donkey and cockatiel). I get up super early and am up fairly late, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I work in HR so deal a lot with people’s problems all day. Animals are the only thing that truly get my mind off things and I can just relax and focus on scooping poop, or yelling at Sterling the dog to stop humping Harriet, or scratching old man Jaguar’s parts he can’t really reach anymore because he’s old. It is delightful.

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  2. Mowing the pasture is my zen. Nobody is allowed to bother me once I am on the tractor. for some reason, the monotonous rows of grass, the deafening diesel engine that drowns out everything else including demanding toddler screams and the instant gratification of seeing the grass cutting short again solves all my woes.

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  3. I mentioned to someone that doing my barn chores is the best part of my day and my husband of 29 years took offense. Sorry, not sorry hubby. Sometimes the truth hurts.

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  4. There is little that makes me as happy as to finish spreading new shavings in a freshly stripped stall. And I tell people feeding, sweeping and mucking out are me in my happy place.

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  5. Growing up my family had a few acres and a 3 stall barn. I actually loved feeding, mucking, and the peace that goes hand in hand with barn chores. Now that I board, I definitely miss it some days! Not the 100 degree days, the freezing days, and the downpour days… but you get the picture!

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  6. ….what a cryptic comment there at the end….
    The horses look beautiful. I do feel bad for the fluffy dogs. That must be tough in Texas heat. All that hair!!

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  7. Barn chores are definitely therapeutic. I think it’s the cocktail of quiet barn noises, the repetitive motions that require little brain power, and the physical exertion mixed up with all the familiar barn smells–it’s intoxicating. I’m pretty sure I can guess what big life change you are contemplating, and if I’m correct, it seems that you are doing the right thing. Before we jump into a pool, we usually dip a toe in to test the water, no?

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  8. I love barn chores. Especially feeding. They are so happy to see me. They love me (or maybe they love the hay). I’ll muck a stall in a minute but please don’t ask me to pick up after my dogs.

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  9. I have 2 kids and no time to ride but I keep my horses and all my horse time is spent doing barn chores. It’s very therapeutic for me. i hope as the kids get older I will have more time to ride but for now I am happy with my barn chores.

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  10. I definitely don’t mind calm, routine barn chores… but I love deep clean, re-do things. Like power washing shit. And painting. And pretending I’m on HGTV. And power washing more.
    But not vacuuming pools. Hate.

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  11. In between fixing whatever my little princes have broken while I’m cleaning stalls, I do get some of my best thinking and planning done while working in the barn.
    That stallion is adorable and I want to steal him.

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  12. I LOVE barn chores as well and miss them a lot. I clean Katai’s stall and sweep the barn isle every chance I get even though Jane keeps it so clean in there that there often isn’t anything for me to do haha.

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  13. I find them therapeutic for under 10 horses maybe? More than that when there’s bad weather or one of them is always trying to kill themselves I don’t really love it. It usually talks me right out of having a big farm of my own though 😂

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