SmithFarmsWest.com

OUR JOURNEY FROM CITY TO COUNTRY

I get this “ugh” feeling when I’m doing something new or challenging and it’s not coming naturally or as quickly as I had hoped. It’s the same feeling I remember getting while learning algebra in middle school and the same feeling I had while trying to get a decent grade in Greek class in college. Yep, it’s ALL Greek to me! I got that feeling today, it came up suddenly when Cappuccino’s (“Cappy”:youngest donkey) farrier arrived.

I explained right away to the farrier that this was my first donkey hoof trimming experience. I wanted him to know right off the bat that I didn’t have a clue about what was coming. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t. Cappuccino was not at all eager to cooperate and the farrier ended up leaving without trimming her hooves. She pulled and pushed all around. I am thankful she didn’t kick either of us. Ultimately, I’m happy we didn’t push things too far, for the safety of us all. She will most likely need to be somewhat sedated for the next farrier visit. I’m hoping after more work and practice with her we can get to the point of relaxed and calm farrier visits without a prescription (for her or me).

The experience gave me that “ugh” feeling because I realized that I hadn’t been doing what I was supposed to with Cappuccino and perhaps I’m not a natural at donkey ownership. Growing up, my limited horse experience was with horses that were older, cooperative and approved for kids. I’m finding out how smart Cappy really is, she knows I’m clueless and unless I do something to change that, she’ll keep taking advantage of the situation. I have to build confidence with her, be bold and smarter about how I handle and interact with her. Plus, I flat-out need to spend more time interacting with her, inside the pin.

My biggest struggle since moving to the farm has been prioritizing my time. I have a full-time job, I’m just a “farmer” on the weekends and time off. I’m balancing a family, animals, exercising (or how to avoid it), work, etc., etc. Since the first day here it’s been a question of “what absolutely HAS to be done today?” Sometimes it’s mowing, weed-eating, cleaning, resting, fixing, and shoveling. One thing I love about the farm is that it forces me to spend more time outside. I’ve always been a bit of a compulsive cleaner and it’s difficult for me to ignore certain chores inside in order for me to do what needs to be done outside. I’ve gotten better at this since coming to the farm, but more practice needs to be done.

I’m realizing I have to do yet another reprioritizing shift and spend more time inside the pin with the donkeys. Cappy (and Kiwi as well, but she’s super easy-going) need to be harnessed regularly, feet picked up consistently and brushed. This must become a priority. I’m so thankful that the generous person we got Cappy from will let me text questions and vent, she gives me great advice and answers any and all questions. However, I’m going to have to dig deeper and learn more about donkeys. I realized today I need to learn more, research more, practice more and work through and past the “ugh” feeling no matter how uncomfortable or scary it is. Let’s just hope it goes better than my Greek class did in college.

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