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Water Buckets, My Least Favorite Barn Chore



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Nov 2009


Author: Katie


Of all the chores that have to get done on a horse farm, Feeding, Stall Cleaning, Turnout, Tack Cleaning, Grooming... Water Buckets are my very least favorite. I've worked at numerous barns over the years and it's always the same.

First let me preface by saying that all the barns I've worked at, have been very large and had rows of stalls at least 30 down each side. I perfected an assembly line style process to get buckets done as quickly as possible.

The steps went like so:
  • Lift the bucket from its peg
  • Drag the bucket to the pre-approved dumping spot that barn management has expressly told you to use (normally the farthest spot possible, never just out the window)
  • Dump the bucket
  • Scrub the bucket
  • Return bucket to peg
  • Go down to the next stall
  • Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum

Once all the buckets have been emptied and scrubbed out, get the hose untangled (the person who did buckets before you NEVER coils the hose up correctly)...

  • Drag the hose all the way down the aisle to the first stall
  • Stick the nozzle in the first bucket as securely as possible
  • Run down to the spigot to turn the water on (and wishing that barn management had splurged for a hose with an on/off switch at the end of the hose)
  • Run back to the hose (all the while hoping that the surge of water pressure hasn't forced the hose from its place in the bucket)
  • Fill the bucket
  • And wait and wait and wait, and finally once the bucket is full
  • Bend the hose shut
  • Go down to the next stall and fill every bucket in the same manner.

Once completely done, you very courteously coil the hose back up and leave it there for whoever does buckets next. You are invariably soaked in water at this point, cursing whoever let the automatic water system fall into disrepair, and probably not even close to done with your list of chores, but you do get to enjoy being wet while doing them.

Dumping buckets is quite an upper body work out. No need to spend money with a personal trainer or go to the gym while working at a barn. An hour of bucket dumping is equivalent to any weight lifting program. I will say, that if Ipods had existed while I was working at barns, that it might have been more enjoyable to do the tedious barn chores. Waiting for buckets to fill is so sinfully boring, but listening to music of my choice probably would have helped. Or even better, listening to an audiobook, which you can now download as MP3s and listen to on any portable music player.

I'm so glad that I don't have to work at barns anymore to pay for riding lessons or board. Now, I just get to be shackled to a computer 12+ hours a day, stuck inside whith little chance of fresh air, and dragging myself to the open-late gym so my body doesn't atrophy from lack of movement and hardly ever seeing my horse... Hmmm, maybe working at a barn wouldn't be so bad after all.

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