One afternoon, I called my husband from work in a panic. I told him: “The farrier called. He said Rocco just kicked him across the driveway 3 times! And I can’t leave to find out what’s wrong!” His response made him a barn hero.
He was pretty new to horses still and didn’t understand my concern. The thing is, Rocco had never been a problem for the farrier before, which meant something was causing him pain. He had enough pain to go on the fight during a routine procedure. Don’t even get me started about my irritation over the farrier pushing him to kick 3 times before calling me. That’s a rant for another post.
He told me not to worry.
David told me not to worry. He could be there to meet the vet. I called him my hero and he responded, “That’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.”
A barn hero is a different kind of cape-wearing, life-saving friend than the usual variety of first-responder. Our jobs and other obligations don’t always understand that what happens to our horses, happens to our hearts. But we do. And throughout a lifetime with horses, my barn heroes have lived among my dearest friends and confidantes.
Be a hero
Here are a few ways to define a barn hero in my book. I’m sure there are more, but let’s start with these:
- Your neighbor who is always willing to throw feed and top off waters when you have to work late or take a kid to the ER.
- That perfect ranch hand who seems to know your horse isn’t acting right about a month before he stops eating and bites at his sides.
- Your fellow boarder with the trailer who always, always, always hitches up to get you to the vet in an emergency.
- The farm sitter showing up when you call because you have a family emergency out of town.
- The show groom who sees your number still hanging on the stall and runs it to the warm-up arena before you’re even aware you don’t have it.
Some of these seem more critical than others, but the truth is, every one of the above is an important part of the village we need to help us exercise our horse obsession while managing the rest of our lives.
Let’s hear it for the barn heroes!