I am so blessed to have my horses at home. I can walk outside for an instant pony fix whether it's to ride or just hang out. Two or three times a year, we give our drought-plagued land a chance to recover by sending the Boyz to Heather and Nita. This spring's respite came without prior planning; it was the silver lining to the black cloud of Jaz's hoof abcess.
The horses have been up there since March 14th, and will likely remain for several more weeks. I don't visit every day, but I have been spending the better part of my weekends up there. To be clear, this is not some snooty-tooty, fancy-schmancy barn. Heather and Nita's place is real life, like the rest of us.
Hanging around with barn buddies is the perk of boarding my horses.
- Barn buddies don't notice or care about such things as whether you are wearing makeup, or if you've bothered to wash your face today, much less shower. They don't care how bad you look or smell, and the horses certainly don't.
- You always have something to talk about with barn buddies. And if you don't feel like talking, that's okay, too.
- Barn buddies are always willing to help, and will often jump to assist before you have to ask. If you are out of fly spray or MTG, or have forgotten an implement, you are always welcome to use theirs — anything for the horses.
- Who but a barn buddy is genuinely grateful when you show up with gifts like a sack full of rags, a roll of toilet paper, a handful of miscellaneous hardware, or a partially used jug of corn oil?
- Like you, a barn buddy thinks nothing of sharing a bottle of Gatorade with a horse.
- There's no such thing as a strange request from a barn buddy. "Hey, if you go by the feed store, will you pick me up about a dozen Rhode Island Red chicks?" Sure.
- Barn buddies encourage you. They know you and know what it means when you say your horse is doing "that thing" again. They celebrate small victories with you.
- Only a barn buddy walks into your house and doesn't bat an eye at dust bunnies the size of kittens. They are likewise unfazed by errant tack lying on a kitchen counter, a dining room chair, or the entire back seat and floor of your SUV.
- Barn buddies understand the occasional need to wipe your nose — or your horse's — on your sleeve.
- You will never hear a barn buddy utter the words, "Eww! You have poop (slobber, blood) on you!"
Feel free to comment about your own barn buddies, even if it's just your dog.