Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Home Away from Home ... or ... the Land of the Barn Grunt

Grooming kit on the floor, various and sundry spurs, whips, lead lines and bits hanging on the wall.

Helmet [a MUST, though I don't like wearing it, I do value my brain intact], mixing spoon for Bruno's  mash [mostly ground flax and supplements in the form of pellets], bug spray, massage lotion with coolant, hoof treatment, butazoladine [an analgesic and anti-inflammatory] , and of course carrots.

Bruno's "undershirt" that he wears under his blankets in the winter, our bridle [with a very kind "KK" bit], and a lunge line behind the bridle.

Behind the towel, side reins for lungeing, B's fly mask, another lunge line, and the mandatory broom.

We've had barn swallows in the barn for about the past 10 years. They are nesting now, and have at least one clutch of four babies.

No hot water here - we're tough! Sink draped with Bruno's protective boots [he must wear them or he rips off his shoes from over-striding], with various disinfectant washes and shampoos.

One view of the tack room - saddles, saddle pads, sheep-skin pad so the saddle feels comfortable for the Big Guy, polo wraps for his lower legs, and more stuff than I know is there, I'm sure.

Other view of tack room - more of the same, girths, wraps, whips towels, paper towels ...

Once upon a time, I was a princess. I lived in the city. I drove a cute little TR-6. And I spent all my money on clothes, make-up and all sorts of other frivolous things. Then, about thirty years ago, after a weird riding accident while holidaying in Puerto Vallarta, I decided to take riding lessons, so I would learn what to do when a horse reared up and went over backwards with me in the saddle. THAT was the beginning of my life as a barn grunt.
One of my sisters, Stephanie, coined the term "barn grunt". It is someone who lives, eats, breathes and everything else HORSEY. The frivolous life style flew out the window. The sports car was sold. My social life became non-existent [when you get up at 4 AM to go riding before work, it precludes staying up past 9 PM]. I developed muscles from riding, cleaning stalls and paddocks, and throwing around bales of hay. I became a regular at the nearby hospital as a result of riding accidents. And I have never been happier.
And then, eleven years ago, I moved out to the country. At one time, I kept my horse boarded in Southlands in the city. It was as close to rural as you could get in Vancouver. But my horse was getting "sour" - mean and crabby - from the crowding, so I moved Her Highness out here. A few months later, I was most fortunate to find this small farm. Actually, it found me, oddly enough. And here, I am as happy as the proverbial pig in a mud wallow.


  1. This is great, Kathryn! You found and followed your passion! I love how your tulip is going, btw!

  2. Waiting out my recovery here; I can't wait to get back into the grunt of things! Thanks for the tour, Kathryn.

  3. How wonderful to hear about a happy person..so few are, and everybody has a dream but very few follow it, you did, and I admire you for that. I have a dream , too...and even though I am quite happy where I am , I am not sure I am not going to end up in the country , too :-) Hugs !

  4. So lovely to be invited along the tour with the Barn Grunt. I sniffed all the leather and saddle cloths along the way and enjoyed it thoroughly.
    This story makes me happy but I must hear about the riding accident at some point...since you mentioned it..that is.
    Glad you are living your dream with the big guy and your sweet farm.
    I enjoy your paintings and your stories ...more please.

  5. And you should be happy you have a great spot and I am amazed you even have time to paint and do all those things that you do. Your flower is coming along great by the way.

  6. You are really lucky to have such a great spot so near the city. I am amazed you have time to.paint. Your flower is coming along well.

  7. like the look of your practice landscape katharyn ..can already see the tulip finished very crisp .

  8. I must say, I had no idea of all the "stuff" that goes along with having a horse! And I loved reading your story - I have often dreamed of doing just what you did, Kathryn. Congratulations to you for following your dream and finding your happiness!