I spent the Fourth of July crouched in a four-foot deep hole trying to align a dresser coupling. Know what a dresser coupling is? I didn’t either, until the main line on the irrigation system broke and water started filling Sis and Stellas’ corral.
Saturday morning, I spent four hours pulling Knapweed out of the pasture (which I’ve learned came in via the irrigation water).
Last year, I paid $200 a ton for hay; this year it’s $380 a ton.
Just over a month ago my insurance company decided not to renew my policy because one of my certifications lapsed during the pandemic.
And my new sprinkler in the upper pasture is psychotic.
My shoulders are sunburnt, my lower back hurts, my hands won’t scrub clean, and my forearms are covered in scrapes that sting in the shower.
And I have less time to ride horses than I did before I owned the farm.
I recently spent an evening around the Solo Stove with my long-time friend, and owner of Barefoot Ranch in Omak, Clare Painter. We drank wine, watched Manastash Ridge turn golden in the evening light, and talked about what it's going to take to keep our farms and horse-businesses alive through 2022. We’re both skilled at facilitating horse/human experiences, but not so skilled at marketing what we do. Let's face it, we’re more comfortable on horses than on social media. Heavy sigh. We focused on the beauty of the landscape in silence.
Clare spoke first, she told me about seeing one of the girls who’s spent time with the horses at Barefoot Ranch. She came to the ranch at a low time in her life. But as of last week, her hair is a fresh shade of pink (which matches her new girlfriend’s hair) and she was proud to announce she’s no longer homeless.
I shared how a client recently had an ah-ha moment leading a horse through a challenge course when she realized her problem isn’t her ex, but her own boundaries.
And I remain in utter amazement at the Body Talk / Horse Wisdom Workshop when the horses laid down as the clients approached the arena.
The stories continued. A little levity arrived.
Clare and I agreed, this is a rough patch. We can’t control the price of hay, or when breaks in the irrigation system will demand attention. But we also can’t unsee all our clients’ faces when they're mesmerized by the velvet softness of a horse’s muzzle, or when they understand themselves in a new way.
I often tell clients that life is about growth and stretching ourselves beyond what’s comfortable and easy. I know this is required to live in alignment with my values and life’s purpose. I’m embracing social media and Wild Cove Farm’s online presence because it’s part of bringing people and horses together.
Welcome to Notes from Wild Cove.
Erin Fristad is the steward of Wild Cove Farm, located on lands of Yakama Nation since time immemorial.