They say time flies when you are having fun, well, I think I can give that one a thumbs up! I am fifty-seven days into the 2017 breeding season, and we have literally two months of the year left! We only have about thirty something mares left to foal down, we are counting days with most of our mares for vet work. Things are slowly slowing down, but there is still tons to do which keeps us on our toes. I am not as nervous, and anxious as when I first arrived and I am not always second guessing my every move and my every thought. I will get the odd occasion that will throw me off balance a bit, but life isn’t perfect after all…I have just learned how to handle it better.
The days are going by in the blink of an eye….I am dressed and out of the house before six in the morning, I first welcome our new arrivals (if we have any) and then get everything ready for vet work. Our morning consists of collecting horses for vet work, teasing them, and filling in necessary paper work. Vet comes around 9:30 and probably leaves around 10:30/11:00 after that we would put all the horses back and wash the crush (my quiet moment of the day) and leave everything sparkly and smelling good for the next day. Our afternoon’s consists of checking the mares and doing treatments, catching up on some farrier work, sorting out foaling unit supplies and fitting all the preggie mares into stables for the evening. This is just a short run-through of a typical day…There is always a curve ball here and there since you never really know what is going to happen when you work with horses. That is why I love it I guess. There is none of that nine to five stuff, getting stuck in a daily routine, same old, same old mumbo jumbo. My mother would laugh at me right now, normally I am the most planned person and cannot handle when I haven’t prepared for anything, but in this industry you have got to take every day and every moment as it comes.
In other news, I cannot remember if I have updated you all on my future endeavor. I had planned on doing a season in America, but the application had not worked out due to my lack of experience. Somehow the whole situation did not get me down as I thought it would. My heart seemed more driven and more positive…so I sent my CV to a stud in Australia and before you know it I am applying for a four year visa. God definitely knows what He is doing! I only have about 58 days left here in Mooi River, with another season under my belt, my confidence packed in my bag again and even more passion…now I can continue follow my dreams abroad.
Before I go, I titled my post “The sun will rise, and we will try again.” because I am trying to remember now that each day is a new day to try again, a new day to get it right. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect right now. I am getting it right slowly, but surely. It also helps that I am surrounded by good people – It feels so good to be surrounded by good people, people that are not only good on the outside but on the inside as well.
It has been about twenty-nine days since I started the season in Mooi River, Kwa-Zulu Natal.
I was almost at the brink of tears and panic when I read through the responsibilities of my new job. Just then I had realized that I had lost all confidence in myself, and in my career. I started thinking about everything that could go wrong, am I good enough, will I be enough? Then God does something quite amazing, my first night on duty I had delivered three beautiful, healthy foals. I made it through my first day of vet work…with no practice run of what would be in store for me. I am in charge and back to my old self with my lists and organisation, I am doing things that I never thought I would be able to do.
I have always been either with the foals or with the yearlings, this season would be the first time I am dealing with the mares 24/7. I was nervous because it’s more than just waiting for the mares to foal – its checking the dates; making sure they are stabled in time; making sure they have a healthy pregnancy all the way; vet work with the barrens and maidens mares; AND doing my own caslicks now; getting mares to the stallion barn on time; doing treatments as well as getting farrier work done. After all of this…can I tell you a secret? I AM LOVING IT! Even now, I cannot stop smiling as I am writing this! Uh, I love it!
Day after day, I have been slowly picking up the pieces, putting the puzzle back together…I am beginning to see the big picture again. I used to dwell on the past year, and wonder what good could come out of it…but then realize I would not be able to do over half of the things I can do now if I did not go through any of that. I do understand that everything does happen for a reason, and were you are today and what you have been through yesterday is all a part of the grand plan!
To start off my updates, I wanted to let you guys know that my entry “Top 10 Reasons to Work on a Thoroughbred Stud” unfortunately did not win or place in the Racing Writers Award Competition but I am very happy to say that I was mentioned by Mr. Barry Irwin himself. Out of thirty-six entries only eight were mentioned. That is more than I expected, I am really happy with that result since the articles that I was competing against were really complex articles written by seasonal professionals. I put the link to the article about the Racing Writers Awards below. ↓
On other news, it was a rather different time at home, I had adopted a cat down in Robertson named Tom and he had joined us on the cross country road trip back home. He was a complete angel and we arrived back in Polokwane without a hitch – a couple of days later, little Tom had lost his appetite and got what seemed like an ear infection at the time but turned into two whole weeks at the veterinary clinic with a rare skin disease that attacks his tissue. It ate away at his ears and nose as well as his little paws. Only the grace of God saved our little boy and he made a full recovery. Although he is on medication probably for the rest of his life, we still have our boy. Now it’s just getting used to the house and the dogs, a new neighborhood, a whole new life for him and for us. I feel terribly guilty that I have to leave now, and leave my cat with my parents with this responsibility. That is one of my biggest downfalls – thinking with my heart. I just had to save Tom in the heat of the moment I hadn’t realized the long term effect of my actions. I don’t regret taking him from that cold barn on that winter’s day, he saved me from the loneliness living on your own in a strange place can bring to you.
If my parents read this, I just wanted to thank them for taking Tom in (with all his issues) and taking care of my horse while I figure out my place in this world. Thank you for understanding what a big space these animals take up in my heart. I could not have asked for more amazing parents or family for that matter, I also wanted to thank them for our home. Thank you that when the world is crumbling around us, your arms are always open to help us dust off and more importantly, get back on our feet. I can never put into words how grateful I am for you both.
Because of all the vet visits and everything else I haven’t ridden as much as I would normally, I have only had two early morning rides for three weeks. I have spent time with him at least and organised a little photo shoot for my old boy since he is turning seventeen this year (out of interest that is fifty-four in human years). That was something really fun to do, something we have wanted to do for ages.
Some of the beautiful photos taken of my horse and I, as well as my sister by local photographer Mandy Teixeira.
Photo shoots, vet visits, applying for visas, catching up, and now busy with another season…where does the time go? The dreamer side of me would have loved to be home for the rest of the year, but the logical side me agrees that I need to get back to work. I was very nervous and scared but excited for another new beginning. Another season, another chance, and another day to be doing what I love.
It’s been two weeks since I moved down to Mooi River and started my 2017 breeding season. I am back at the place where it all began, in hope of finding that starry-eyed dreamer that I had lost along the way. It has been a learning curve, I had to find my feet for the first couple of days but I am getting the hang of it. I am not worrying about shoes to fill I am here to do me – I am going to be the best Broodmare Manager that I can be.
It’s been a little over twenty days since my last blog…I have had trouble figuring out what this post should be about. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you what I have been through in the last twenty days. Why dont we begin with the good stuff –
Since my last blog post, Robertson has had it’s first snow and the city of Cape Town experienced one of the worst storms to welcome the rainy season. It brought havoc to the whole of the Western Cape. Multiple fallen trees, slippy roads, snow, 100 kilometers per hour winds with a below zero chill factor and rain drops falling from every angle possible. We made it through, and scored some epic photos! (The one of me, I just have to give photo credit to my amazing sister: Mikayla – this photo is CLASS)
Also since my last blog post, my brother has happily moved to Hout Bay in the Western Cape and has begun his new job as a chef. A restaurant overlooking the ocean as he cooks everyday, getting to visit the beach whenever he wants, he is definitely living the dream. It’s been so nice to have all my siblings in one province for once. My sister is still (obviously) living with me, which I think has been the greatest blessing that I could ever ask for right now!
I have had a troubling question stuck in my mind for the past week. Why is ‘giving up’ so bad? There are different types of reasons people give up on things, but ‘giving up’ is always put into one category! And it’s always a bad thing! “You didn’t try hard enough, you didn’t work hard enough, your too lazy to finish, giving up is easy!” But what if the reason you want to give up is because you simply just cannot carry on. You have been beaten and broken, and there is no way you can carry on.
Don’t get me wrong here, but I honestly have no intention of “giving up” anything at the moment. It was just a thought that was well, thought…at the worst of times, giving up is just the answer. Packing up and leaving it all behind you seems to be the easiest. Is it really the answer? Is leaving all your troubles behind the answer? I have wanted to give up multiple times in the last twenty days. I have never met anyone that makes you question everything about yourself, your abilities, your enthusiasm, your dreams. I have never been to a place where I feel like the ladder is broken, and I am stuck. I am not sure how to explain it, and I just don’t know what more I can do anymore. I have given 110% every day, every hour, and every second that I have been here, I have cleaned stables when I need not too, I have not only gone the extra mile but I have gone extra ten miles. If there was something to be done, I would be there. I am always giving more, without one single utter of a complaint, yet I still feel rather insignificant. I don’t know, I am just struggling to find the good in anyone anymore. I simply cannot find the positive in the past two weeks. I cannot find inside my heart to believe that someone is mean because they just are. That is how they “deal” with things, and you must just live with it. I refuse to believe that a person “is trying to teach you” when they call you useless.
No one should have to or deserves to feel so small, and so insignificant from people you hoped to look up too.
So after getting all of that off my chest…I am going to be (and need to be) super inspirational and pumped up for life because that is just the person that I am. I am NOT ready to go anywhere and I am going to finish what I started! YES, someone had the power to use words to break me down…it hurt, it hurt a lot. I don’t think I have cried that much in my life. Being brought up with the best values, being taught to go the extra mile, being okay when you don’t get any credit for the hard work because you simply know that God knows and He is proud of you. THAT is enough for me! I don’t need to become a hard person with no feelings to make it in this industry, I have made it this far by simply being the person God made me. I have achieved more than I ever thought I would.
I honestly did want to write all rainbows and smiles for you today but I just cannot. Yes, life is not only sunshine and daisies, life has some thorns and rocks to throw at you as well. I don’t have a blog to make everyone happy with smiley stories, I have my blog to write about MY journey through stud life. Unfortunately, everyday is not going to be a good day. It’s a little something called, LIFE…one day I am going to go back and read about all of this and know I came out a little stronger and a little tougher.
Thank you for reading! I hope somehow that my blog is an inspiration. People are going to tell you that you need to change, but God made me who I am and He knows what He is doing. He put me here for a reason, and if I weren’t meant to be here…I wouldn’t be.
I have not posted anything in quite a while, so I thought I would just sit down today and write a little update on everything.
Let’s get updating. If I thought previous months were crazy, I should think again. I had been looking forward to May for ages since my family came down for a visit all the way from Limpopo and my brother came from Natal, it was the first time in a long time we were all together. They had planned a visit for a while so that my sister could come down and live with me. It was an awesome visit, and I loved being with my whole family again…we ate, we fished, we laughed and we ate some more. The older you get the more you appreciate the time that you have with family. I definitely savored every single moment. I think the goodbye was not as hard this time because my sister was staying behind. She has been with me now for about three weeks…time has just gone so quick while she has been here; I have loved every single minute having her with me. The days seem shorter and my smile bigger. She has brought back a side of me I had thought was lost…you do become the people that you spend most of your time with. That is the thing about stud farms; you see the same faces every day. There are no clients that come in on a daily basis. It’s just you and the same colleagues every day. It is so hard not to fall into that trap, I found I was more negative and complaining was coming too easy. I decided to remove myself from all of that. I just need to thank my sister though…she has not been corrupted by the world – She is still my pure little sister and holds the innocence and safety of home within her beautiful heart. I thank God every day for blessing me with a friend within a sister and for bringing this opportunity for us to live together…I have been grounded by my family just by chatting to them but now I have a little piece of my family with me. I needed her more this week than I have ever needed her before. Sorry but this calls for a hashtag…
In between family visits, sister adventures, new adventures…life and work still goes on. I have already sent another lot of yearlings to the sales and have two lots being prepared at the moment. It is much easier now with the yearlings since they are much older (almost two years old now). They handle everything like champs, just walk straight into the walker, and they take blankets like a breeze. The horses (and I) are taking to prep much easier now. I know the routines, the horses, the schedules, everything….I am a yearling prep machine.
All the while we are dealing with yearling preparation and all their treatments and issues…we are almost finished with weaning all the foals. The last group will be coming in next week and then all the weanlings will be my department as well (that is probably one hundred weanlings).
All in a days work right. People always wonder what life is like on a farm, well, I am here to tell you. There is never nothing to do. There will always be a pole that needs fixing, a horse that needs tending, they all need to eat, and boy, do they eat! That is what I like about this job…every day is a new one…routine? What is that? Horses will always have something new to throw at you, a new lesson to learn every day.
Before we know it the breeding season will be upon us. At least this wont be my first rodeo. I don’t have to get use to a new routine on a new stud and everything. The only difference this year is I will or might be foaling on my own! Scared? YES! Excited? OH YES! This will be the biggest step in my career.
I still cannot believe I have been on this stud for almost a year. I thought I would feel like I wanted to stay, I thought I would have found my ‘permanent’ And then God does something to put me straight, as if to say, “Excuse me, why are you letting go of all your dreams…this is just a chapter in your story!” I have a great God. I am only 23 now. I still have a lot of the world to see and I WILL lead a horse in the ring at Gold Coast before I even think of staying in one place. Taking into account that there is still six months of the year left, there is still going to be a lot more to learn. This year is just going to fly by before you know it. I think I am more excited now more than ever to leave. I have gained experience in so many fields I never thought I would have the opportunity too, I gained confidence in certain fields and lost a bit in others. I am glad I stayed for more than a season, I have more experience under my belt and a beautiful addition to my CV.
Before I close…My mom made me realize that I have been so focused on the negative people and all the things have come against me that I have realized that I have forgotten why I love this job so much. I was so focused on the negative, I forgot about the positive. I was so focused on things that needed to be done, I was so focused on what could go wrong…I was missing out on all the moments that things went right. I heard once that life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it. I decided to let stress, worry, and negative people control my outcomes. Not anymore. I have decided to go back to that little girl who just needed the warm breath of a gentle giant on her face to make her day, and the graze of a prickly muzzle to make her smile. You know what, you do only live once and if you do it right…once is enough! I am back to that girl who doesn’t have a job, she has a passion.
“…life is 10% what you make it
and 90% how you take it.”
Last week was not the greatest of weeks in the history of great weeks, not work wise but life wise. My Dad always told me that, “…once you have had the worst of the worst days out of the way, only good days can come after that…”
So, excited for the week ahead, I get to see my father and brother on Friday and I have an off weekend coming up! I have another week with the best roomie anyone could ask for, a job everyone only dreams of, a future to work for and be excited about, a loving family by my side. What more can I ask for?
I think you are all caught up now…that is just about everything in a nutshell. Thank you for readying.