By: Sabrina Lea Connell
I often get people commenting on how amazing my life must be to have all these animals. That it must be nice to come home and spend time with all of them. How jealous they are that I’m living their dream life.
My usual response is, ‘Yeah, it’s pretty awesome, but… it’s just… it’s a lot.’ What do you mean, ‘it’s a lot?’
Well, I mean it’s a lot… a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot physically and emotionally.
People only see the pictures I post on social media platforms, which are generally the perfect, cute, and funny snapshots for likes and hearts. But what y’all don’t see is what’s behind the scenes.
You don’t see the time put into our full time job before coming home and starting the second job.
You don’t see the hours spent out in the barn cleaning stalls and setting stalls for the night.
You don’t see the time spent loading and unloading hay, sawdust, and grain bags.
You don’t see the hard work put into building pastures and putting up fencing and shelters.
You don’t see the work put into maintaining and growing pastures.
You don’t see the time spent in caring for these animals in extreme heat and cold.
You don’t see the time spent grooming and maintaining general care.
You don’t see the time spent worrying about them and making sure they are happy and healthy.
You don’t see the time spent sitting with a sick calf or horse for hours wondering if he or she is going to pull through.
You don’t see the feed bills, the vet bills, the farrier costs.
You don’t see all the hard work, sometimes ending in tragedy, heartbreak, and tears.
You don’t see the time lost with family and friends. (Not including the family disagreements that come along with farming.)
The list could go on and on… This is only scratching the surface.
Most people will never see or understand the behind the scenes of owning animals. It’s not all glamour shots and cute, fluffy animals. It’s work and a lot of it. I hope to share some small insight of what goes into it.
But would I change it? Would I give it all up? Hell, no. This is the lifestyle I choose to live. Would I have more free time? Yes. Would I have more money? Yes. Would I have less stress? Hell, yes! But, would I be happy? The answer to that is no. These animals give me life, happiness, and strength. They’re a huge part of who I am.
I’m fortunate enough to have an incredible support system and family who enjoys this life as much as I do. It’s not a one person job. It’s a family effort. For that, I’m thankful. For them, I’m thankful!
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