Peace of Mind Dressage — Guiding dressage journeys

Lessons Learned about Horse Care

by Jaclyn Sicoli

Peace of Mind Dressage Owner and President

Sat Sep 13, 2014

A valuable lecture influences a lifetime of care.

When I was 13 years old I had a very important summer job, for 3 consecutive summers, as assistant barn manager to a camp and informal rescue which saved OTTB's from slaughter in Long Island. The owner of the rescue and my boss, Christine, felt strongly about providing her horses with the best care possible.
One of my many unsupervised tasks was taking the gator to the back fields (5 minute gator ride) and feeding the groups of horses who lived out there. Most of these horses were retired and so did not come into stalls- their care was up to me.
One day I was in a rush. The rain had filled all of the feed buckets attached to the fence posts. So, I walked into the field and gave each horse individual feed mounds of grain on the grass. This seemed to do no harm and save time.
Somehow Christine learned about my time saving decision. I received a lecture that day which I never forgot. It made me feel very low. Christine instilled in me a respect and reverence for my role in the health and happiness of the horses in my care. Additionally, she made me realize that compromising quality is a slippery slope. This lesson impacted my performance in every work situation since. And heavily influences my own standards and systems. Caring for another living being is a huge responsibility.

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