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Horses & The Farm Life

I really didn’t think in a million years that I would be taking care of horses for a living!  But, I have learned to NEVER say NEVER!  You see, when I was about 12, I was bit in the stomach by one.  Oh my, it was a HUGE bite, it didn’t break the skin but it was the biggest bruise I have ever had.  My sister was on the horse and had dropped the reins and asked me to get them for her.  I did everything she asked of me because she was my big sister and we were and still are very close.  So, I nonchalantly walk over and got the reins and reached up on my tippy toes to give them to her (standing directly in front of the horse) and BAM, it got me, wow did that HURT and SCARED me so bad!  Come to find out, getting bit is very common for ANYONE that spends much time around horses.  I had no idea.  I just knew for MANY years that I would NEVER get within arms-length of one EVER again.  WRONG! 

When we built our new home in the rolling hills of Kentucky 10 years ago, that all changed.  We had horses all around us.  We live on a small acreage and other “lots” around us are also small acreage with livestock.  Therefore, I now see horses every day out my window and once we were all settled in, I would walk out in our back pasture to “see” the horses in the field behind our house.  They were very friendly, they would run up and look at me, even leaning over the fence to smell me and my dogs.  But, no touching was in my near future at that point.  Then, one day when I was out there, I thought why not, I’ll try to touch the nose and see what happened, I was shaking!  Oh my, it was AMAZING!  It had an almost instant calming effect on me!  I feel that with dogs but THIS was different.  I was so happy that I had faced my fear but I was FAR from spending time on the other side of that fence with them. 

Then, 4 ½ years ago, I started Waggs 2 Whiskers to offer pet sitting of small animals like dogs and cats. Come to find out, there are many farmers out there looking for someone like ME to take care of their horses, sheep, goats and cows so that THEY can have a vacation. Who would have known.  I was raised in the city.  Country born, city raised.  So, it was in my blood and come to find out, that matters.  My first experience with horses behind the fence was with a friend, let’s call her Kim cause that’s her name. Ha!  She was amazingly confident in me.  She had more confidence in me than I had in myself.  She was patient, thorough, kind and truly awesome with me.  She showed me the ropes.  I took care of her horses and cows so she could go on vacation with her family.  And her amazing dog and kitty too of course.  It was truly the beginning of some of the most awesome animal experiences I have ever had.  I now have calm confidence, patience and understanding of what a horse can and will do.  Just watching them is calming to the spirit.  The personalities of horses are so cool.

After that, I felt confident to take on other horse and large animal clients.  Every sit I have taken with horses has been different.  I have learned so much.  First and foremost, there are many different ways to care for a horse and many different types of horses.  The type of feed, hay or no hay, in or out of the barn, it just depends on the horse.  They have such delicate digestive systems.  I never would have thought an animal that big would be so fragile.  I have also taken care of cows, goats, sheep & chickens.  All of which have personalities and like to be talked to, I really do talk to every animal I take care of.  It’s just part of the FUN of this “job”.  I was put on this earth to do exactly that.  I have been blessed!

Recently, I took my first horse overnight sit.  It was awesome!  I was able to care for six horses morning and evening along with six sheep and three dogs.  It was a busy few days while their family went on a little trip.  But, while I was there, I had an epiphany!  I get it.  I understand now what the draw is to owning horses and other large animals.  It is being outside on the farm every day, seeing the Canadian geese flying overhead, hearing the horses neigh, the dogs barking in the distance, the PEACE and QUIET of the country life.  It forces you outside to just BE in nature.  Even as I mucked the barn and the area around it, I thought to myself, this is the most peaceful feeling I have had in YEARS!  It was so cold but I just stopped and looked around and drank it in.  It brought a few tears just standing there thinking how fortunate I am to have this opportunity to spend time with these beautiful creatures, on this lovely land and to do what I truly love every day of my life.  If you don’t love what you do every day, I encourage you to let yourself DREAM, you just never know what may come of it.    

Thanks for reading my blog today, I really appreciate it!

Happy New Year!  Kelly Catlett

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