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  • Jill

The New Redbird Farm

This post marks a new era for Redbird Farm. About six weeks ago, I finally got fed up with cancellations and students wanting to only do lessons when it suited them, and I quit. I literally decided on a Sunday morning after two people canceled that I was done, and I texted everyone that day to let them know. It's been hard without the income, but that income had dwindled so much over the months due to COVID 19 that my husband was having to cover almost all of the horse expenses anyway. I have yet to get a job or find another way to replace that income, and now it's time. Especially since COVID hit our household.

Yep, that's right. My husband, who last December was diagnosed with colon cancer and had surgery to remove over a foot of his colon, then went through eight chemotherapy treatments, got the virus. And he's diabetic too. So he was lucky it didn't kill him. He only lost about two weeks worth of work, and now he's back to shoeing horses. You read that right. In fact, it was only two days after he got out of the hospital that he was back at it. Yeah, I wasn't too happy. Needless to say it hasn't been good for our marriage.

Now What?

It's been thirteen years since I held a normal job. I used to be a nurse, but let my license lapse over ten years ago. (Another contentious subject in my marriage.) I'm a little lost when it comes to job applications and interviews after so many years of being my own boss. So I am exploring my options as far as work outside the home goes.

In addition to teaching riding, I have been dabbling in blogging over the years, but never really did it very seriously. I have maintained Redbird Farm's website for many years to give prospective students information about lessons, and I have had a blog associated with that website off and on.

Blogging experts say it's important to solve a problem for your readers so they'll keep coming back. And to make money you have to do affiliate marketing, or sell a product or a membership. In trying to do all those things, I just ended up feeling inauthentic. You can look through my previous posts and tell this, I'm sure. So I want to do it differently from here on. I want to write about whatever I want to write about, find my own authentic voice, and let this blog go where it wants. If that means I never make any money from it, that's what it means. It's going to go alongside whatever job I find. It's going to be about balancing horses, family, and work. Maybe. If that's what it wants to be about.

What I've Been Doing

I wish I could say that I have been very productive lately and that my horses are coming along really nicely in their training. It just isn't how it happened though. I have been depressed, distracted, and unmotivated. I have allowed myself to get completely overwhelmed with the kids doing school at home and with all the needs of all our horses. It's been hard to convince myself that it's worth the effort of getting a horse groomed and tacked up to ride.

We acquired two new horses in July. We were planning to adopt one from a thoroughbred rescue for Dakota, and there was another that I liked really well and thought would make a good lesson horse, so we got him too. Dakota's horse, Kingsley, had a jaw problem, which deserves it's own blog post so I won't go into it here, and that problem has consumed us for the entire three months we've had him. Luckily, the other horse, Mickey, is a pretty cool guy and Dakota has really been enjoying working with him, so at least she has something to ride. She's been doing quite well with Mickey.

Redbird Farm - Mickey and Kingsley
Dakota with Mickey and Kingsley

I did get on and ride three days this past week. In fact, today I actually got on two different horses. Kyle goes back to school on Tuesday, and then I will have more time to devote both to my job search and to riding. And hopefully to this blog as well. I will post more soon about Kingsley and his jaw problem, and maybe I'll even get around to posting some stories about the other horses too. We shall see.

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