A Day in the Barn

By David Hudson, Vanguard

While Vanguards are mid-air on their way to the Dominican Republic, we thought we would feature David’s “A Day in the Barn” post. Vanguards participate in “work rotations” throughout their time at HoneyRock. Here’s David, giving you a peak into the “barn” rotation…(stay tuned for a DR update later tonight!)

The past three days, Is, Joseph, and I spent our fifth week of work rotations out at the barn. Though our schedule changes a lot, this is what an average day looks like:

8:00 on Wednesday morning, January 27:
We layer up after morning devos and walk up the snowy road to the barn. Once we get inside, all of us start on the daily chores. Is heads out to the back barn by operations and feeds the horses five bales of hay, Joseph gets a start cleaning up the manure, and I get the horse’s meds ready. By 8:45 we’ve finished everything and head out to the tack house (where all the saddles and helmets are kept) to warm up.

Once inside, Is gets a fire started in the wood stove while Joseph, Jacleen (the barn MST), and I go over the schedule for the day on the whiteboard. Today we are going over the basics of teaching others riding lessons and our plans to teach three-person lessons the next day. We talk about the students we’ll be teaching, make up games we’ll have them play for practice, and review the three most important parts of a lesson: fun, safety, and effectiveness.

After we’ve finally warmed up, we head out into the pasture to catch our horses. This week we’ve all been assigned new horses that we’ll be working with for the next couple weeks, training them and practicing our riding with them. Once our horses are in their stalls we each grab a brush and comb and groom them. Also, we each grab a pick in order to clean out the ice and manure in their hooves (which smells). Finally, we bring out the horse’s saddles and get them ready for riding.

Coming back from lunch at 1:00, each of us gets ready to ride in the arena (a large rectangular, fenced-in area) and work on our skills. Today we practice trotting with our new horses–every horse is very different from the others, and can take a while to learn how to ride. We also practice riding two point, where the rider leans forward on the horse’s neck to balance and make it more comfortable to ride.

To finish off the day, we unsaddle our horses and release them back into the pasture. Once more we meet up in the tack house and finish off the day by writing a quick journal about what we’ve learned. Usually there are some great parallels between our work and our relationship with God. Now it’s 5:00 and we walk back to Chrouser for dinner.

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