The farmer’s daughter is one title that stuck with me better than my own name growing up. It’s what I’m known for having a considerable patch of land that’s been cultivated since the time of my grandfather. It’s almost like a fairy tale, growing up in 77 acres of land with no siblings other than the creatures of a horse farm.
I remember watching Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty talking with the birds and other creatures. As a young girl, it has always fascinated me. But contrary to the life of these princesses, I’ve always taken the outdoors as my playground. Riding, bathing and feeding horses has been my life ever since I can remember, and this gives me no reason to live otherwise.
I am what I am because of my upbringing as a farmer’s daughter. Tending a horse farm is tedious work. It requires discipline, diligence, commitment and so much energy. We start early and end late. Vacations, holidays, and rest days are limited. Farm work leaves very little room for one’s self.
Although everyday is the same as the previous ones, the life in the farm will teach you the nuances of the weather, animal behavior and the earth. It makes you one with nature and makes you live according to nature’s rhythm. Since we deal with live creatures, we’re constantly at the mercy of their whims. It’s a struggle, unless you get a feel for their language.
The land on which the horses run has to be tended too. I work with big machines to make maintenance easier. I also ensure the barns are well-kept and free from anything that can get in the way of our horses’ comfort. I keep humidity, temperature and other conditions at healthy levels to keep our horses safe and secure from harm.
As the farmer’s daughter, my dad taught me the proper attitudes and values to maintain our livelihood. I am fortunate that all I have to do is to take in the learning, take in the knowledge, and take in the skills directly from my dad’s arsenal of horse tending and farming expertise. When the time comes to inherit my father’s land, my dad’s work will be manifested in mine.
There is a link here for those who wish to listen, I love this song…
The Horse Ride of My Life
Coming into my own as a farm girl would come naturally, being exposed to this work my whole life. But each day still gives me something new to learn. Although my dad is nearing the ripe old age of 90, he still has my back until now in most farm work I do.
Many farms are most likely grappling with the same issues I am dealing with in maintaining farms sustainably without the use of chemical pesticides. The organic treatment, which is what we have always embraced in our farm, is still what I find ethical. It’s just a pity how some people tend to bend the rules for the sake of protecting their profits at the expense of the animals’ welfare. In the long run, healthy livestock will still bring you the best value.
Central to my work as a farm girl is riding the horses. It would look like a workout for them, but it is for me, too. Everyday before I take a ride, I warm up my hamstring and quadriceps to condition my muscles for at least 30 minutes of horse back riding or jogging around the paddock. I also groom the horses quickly with a brush all over their shoulder, arm and back.
The simple life of a farm girl is far from your normal understanding of “simple”. The physical labor that goes into a day’s work did not only take a lifetime but generations to cultivate. As my dad’s work is being passed on to me, I aim to do the best I can to live up to the standards that kept our farm protected for many lifetimes.
Blessings to all.