Over the years when I've told non-horsey people what I do, and if the conversation comes round to mucking out, invariably there's a comment along the lines of what a nasty job that must be. “No!” I exclaim, “you couldn't be more wrong. Everyone thinks that but mucking out is fine. In fact it's really satisfying.” But I can see in their faces they remain utterly unconvinced.
I suppose before I had a baby I thought changing nappies must be the absolute pits. And whilst a smelly; hell why mince words, we're all horsey people here; while a big shitty nappy where the poo has smeared up the baby's back to the neck line does not make my heart sing, there's a satisfaction to be gained from making the baby all fragrant again, and it's nice to blow raspberries on their little tummy. And no one would ever dream of telling you that changing your baby’s nappy must be a horrible chore!
Mucking out is generally:
a) warm - even if you’re mucking out an old fashioned yard and have to push your wheelbarrow to the muckheap exposed to the elements, you’ve still worked up a nice internal glow from exertion. If you're mucking out in an American barn style yard, with the radio on and congenial company, it's the dream.
b) sociable - if you do have company, there’s a great cordial atmosphere in pulling together as a team to get the yard finished and have breakfast, and plenty of chat can be had on-the-go.
c) a great way to get to know the horses, whether you muck out around them or tie them up outside, it's a chance to spend time with them on the ground.
d) satisfying - turning a messy dirty bed into a smooth, deep, banked pleasure palace, with fresh hay and water is deeply pleasing and never gets old.
PLUS - it's a good workout! From arms, to tummy muscles, mucking out equals a session at the gym any day.
Do you agree? What’s your favourite horsey “chore”? Let me know in the comments below.