Just in case you were wondering about this, I compiled a preliminary Top Ten List of things that clearly make you a bonafide horse Groom. Without further ado, this list:
-You willingly clean a stall and eat a sandwich at the same time. Some call this “icky” or “gross”, I call it working on a super immune system.
-You can tell the difference between kicking at a fly and kicking at a colicky belly from 100 paces away. Every nuance of the horses in your care is known.
-You witness the sunrise and sunset every day. While you are at the barn. Regardless of the temperature. Outside. In the elements. Often with a row of horses wondering why you have stopped what you are doing in order to take a millisecond to awe at nature. Get back to work!
-You have mastered the layered look for those days that start out freezing, warm up, and end up freezing again. This is in addition to the extra set of clothes that you keep in your car’s trunk for the times that you get pooped on, you fall in mud, you get slimed, or the new rip in your jeans can’t be fixed with duct tape. (Or it can be fixed with duct tape, but the thought of having a 12” by 12” square of duct tape on your bottom is not awesome.)
-The Farrier and Vet’s phone numbers are memorized but you need your speed dial for your sweetie pie. You may still speed dial the Vet and Farrier, but you know their numbers just in case you are at a show and your phone is eaten by that pony and the only phones available are rotary.
-You average 1-2 new uses for duct tape, bailing twine, and zip ties daily. Because that’s how often the Groom is faced with something to fix, mend, repair, adjust or jimmy.
-You know every single last quirk of the horses in your care and you have trained them to perform said quirk on command as a party trick. This is, coincidentally, a great way to scare the pants off the owner on some occasions. Use this power wisely.
-You have been stomped on, run away with, squished, swatted, bitten and bonked and you still come back for more. Because deep down, under all of the ice, bandages, and cussing, you still love those horses.
-You are a critical member of the team, if you are gone the whole barn goes to poop. Until they remember that you are so super organized and have all your ducks in a row and have all possible information written down so they never, ever, need to call you on a precious day off.
-The horses recognize and nicker for you, even when you don’t have hay, grain, or a treat. Priceless.