Wednesday, November 04, 2009
respite care for equine advocates (and actually all of us)
This morning I went out to the barn to get my head clear and my focus back. After years spent working on the front lines with traumatized children and families, I know how important it is to take care of oneself while doing high-stress work.
Even writing a small series of blog posts about rollkur and opening up images of other equine issues (soring of gaited horses, tying down in various western disciplines, etc.) can lead to feelings of overwhelm and powerlessness. Folks who do this kind of investigatory work on a regular basis have to replenish their wells just as regularly.
While at the barn I purposely slowed myself down. Keil Bay can deal with a certain amount of my zen-like approach to making breakfast, but if I start slowing down my already slow pace, he is pretty good at ramping me back up. Fortunately my husband fed breakfast this morning, so my work was making a long, rambling trail of hay through the front field.
It starts with me and the wheelbarrow piled as high as my head. The herd falls in behind me and we make our way through the field as I toss out hay in very small piles. Today it was especially quiet out. When I stopped moving it was so quiet it almost felt like someone had turned down the volume of the neighborhood. I walked back up the hill and spent a few moments with each horse and donkey, just being still.
I scrubbed and refilled three water troughs, which took awhile. I opted not to try and do other chores while the troughs filled, but to stand and soak in some sunshine, breathe in the air, and listen to the sound of the water splashing.
Hopefully all the people working hard for animals of all kinds, including we human ones, can find some time to take a break, refuel, and go back to work with renewed energy and calm.
I think we all do better when we take time to watch the water run.
(photo credit to my dear husband)