"Be patient and take as much time as required for that particular horse, on that particular day, to succeed at the given task." - Allan J Hamilton, Author and Horse Trainer
“Where is Lydia? She said she would come by at 1:00 for me to give her daughter a pony ride, and now it’s almost 2,” Joanna said. “Lydia is like the rest of us,” Mary replied, “running on barn time.”
Horse people know that time has its own clock in its own time zone, far out of reach of the restrictions of Greenwich Mean Time. Just like the last 2 official minutes of a football game will take half an hour, a seemingly quick chore at the barn can feel like falling into a similar time warp. Time really does fly when you’re having barn fun.
I know that roughly my round trip commute is around an hour depending on traffic, my wintertime chores take slightly more than two hours if I stay focused, and summertime chores take a little less. If I have to schedule an appointment after my stable time I usually guesstimate that I will be available at the end of five hours but can’t really tell you what my horse and I do with those remaining two hours.
I know I am usually in the saddle for around 45 minutes, tacking and untacking takes another 10, feeding Tara her after-ride reward feed takes another 5. Theoretically, that leaves an hour for her neck scratches, treats, barn chat, cleanup, and the little things that are really the big things that I can’t live without.
For that reason, an hour isn’t always enough and might run into overtime. We are downsizing our empty nest so my husband and I wanted to look at a few houses last Saturday. I told him when I left home at 9:30 am that I would be home by 2:30 pm. When I returned on time I commented, “It’s like I entered a transporter and it was just 9:30 a minute ago.”
He doesn’t get barn time and has often been the victim of my complete miscalculation from my time zone to his, so he just shrugged, relieved I at least remembered to come home.