During a driving experience behind the incredibly large backside of Big Ernie, a Suffolk Punch Horse, the concept of chore horses was brought to my attention. Imagine, having your horse tacked up and ready to go when you are. Just the thought of being able to do my chores with my pony makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, never mind having him hooked up and ready to go, to be used during the course of the day as a wheelbarrow or tiny Tonka tractor.
Something that caught my attention was how the horses at Double Star Ranch were trained much in the same fashion as the chore horse. They stood tied and tacked ready and waiting both before and after rides. No one pawed or made a fuss, they just stood there making the occasion face at their neighbour and waited for the next job to come up.
Chore days our now in effect over here at The Bird House and let me tell you we don’t get nearly enough of them right now. They start with everyone being caught, brushed, an hooves cleaned. Then we wait. Standing tied, patiently waiting to see what will happen next, brings a certain amount of peace and clarity to the situation. The attitude which I’m so grateful to have learned during my driving lesson with the Suffolks is “we have all day”. Even if we don’t, pretending we do sure helps get into the relaxed mood that helps sets the atmosphere for a fun and purposeful chore day.
Cyndi Bird, CEST