I anguished over the title I would use for this piece. As I write, there are already three versions, and will no doubt have more added by the time I finish this blog post today! What am I wanting to convey to you, the reader ... excitement, anticipation, apprehension, disbelief?
A few weeks ago, an opportunity revealed itself to me on Facebook ... and I was surprised to find myself seriously considering it! After a brief deliberation with me and myself, I applied for the position, was invited for an interview, and got offered the job! I could hardly believe it, though I knew I'd have been crushed if I hadn't landed it.
This was rapidly followed by the agonizing over whether I/we could afford for me to make this change, and wondering if I'm up to the physical challenge of it!
Long story short, I'm stepping out from behind a desk and computer, where I've worked for the past 25+ years! I have accepted a post as Stable Hand at a high-end equestrian facility in the Pemberton Meadows. Yes, that means mucking stables, grooming horses, feeding horses, cleaning tack, and a hundred other functions that go into the smooth and efficient running of a horse yard. Sounds like heaven to me!
I'll tell you more about the place itself a bit later ... once I know if I'm permitted to take photographs on the property. For now, suffice to say that for a horse-lover with a passion for dressage, this place is heaven-on-earth!
Since accepting the new position and wrapping up my current commitment (I still have four more office work days), I've asked several questions of myself. Mostly they're of the rhetorical variety like "What were you thinking?!", along with "You're too old for this!", "You're WAY too out-of-shape for this!", etc.
But then I realise that my new employers are quite aware of my age (after all, I pointed it out during my interview, just in case they missed my more-salt-than-pepper hair), and there's definitely no hiding my physical unfitness.
They must be counting on my previous experience, ancient history as it is, in working with horses to carry me through. After all, caring for horses can't have changed all THAT much in the past couple of decades, can it? The concepts are the same, but from what I've seen of this beautiful facility, I'm going to be learning a great deal about new techniques and equipment, too!
For example, the equipment in the last yard I worked at consisted of gloves, wellies, brooms, brushes, rags, sponges, and muscles. The only electric equipment was lighting - if we were lucky! This yard features a vacuum (instead of sweeping), an automatic horse walker (granted, monitored by staff at all times when in use), an atv to carry away the used bedding (no wheelbarrows here!), and keypad security on access gates and storeroom doors, among other things!
Despite all these newfangled gadgets, I am anticipating physical agony for the first couple of weeks, as this sedentary body gets hammered back into shape by the exertion required. Maybe I should have "before" and "after" photos taken! :P
Now, the last thing to do ... post this article before I start my first day on the job, so that I am not tempted to make adjustments after the fact!
Watch this space to see how I fared on my first orientation/training day - tomorrow!
Keep your weight in your heels!
PS: No, there won't be any riding opportunities that I know of. That said, since being involved more closely with horses again since I started taking photos at local competitions, I have started feeling the urge. But that story will have to wait for another day ...