Old Blue Jeans

Ever so often I line up a year’s worth of Steve’s old blue jeans and take a picture. I do this because it looks interesting—sort of raw and rustic, and makes a great image. But more importantly, it is a reminder to me of all the hard work that Steve puts into our farm and business.

While I enjoy sharing beautiful photos of the field in spring, pigs rooting in their wallow, and cheek-to-cheek snuggles with Batman, these images are not the only representation of what goes on daily at the farm. 

First and foremost is the care, safety and wellness of the animals. I worry and fret as if they were my children. Nothing pushes me beyond overwhelm more quickly than a sick or injured animal. My world stops as I focus my full attention to the issue at hand. 

Every day this care creates a whirl of checks and cross checks: What feeds have I changed? Who gets medication when? Are the water buckets clean? So and so looks a bit off, are they well? Did I forget something? Then there are clients to book and see, notes to take, team members to connect with, bills to pay, hay to get, new trainings to plan, and much, much more. 

In all that I do, Steve is the backbone of the farm. On the tractor, seeding the field, fixing the water, getting the hay, and coming to assist anybody in need, my partner, Steve, has been supporting me and my dream since 2008. For years he would put in hours of work before going to his job at the railway, and since retirement in September 2021 he is full time here supporting me in creating this human-animal therapeutic partnership.

So many of my clients acknowledge Steve and feel a connection to this strong, hardworking, big-hearted man. He has a comforting quality that draws people to him. I see him at the top of the driveway talking to a client’s parent, then come to the barn to chat to our barn manager Tracy on his way to take River for a play in the field. He loves to visit and share stories with all beings. 

The jeans—the torn, tattered, dirty, oil stained jeans— tell the tale of hard work and dedication. Steve is invaluable to the farm and the humans and animals that inhabit it. I could not do this work without him. So when I line up all his jeans (yes, there are more than these two…he is probably wearing a pair now) it reminds me of his ongoing giving and sacrifice that is the foundation of Anam Cara and Empowered By Horses. Steve represents what goes on behind the scenes so that we not only provide a safe space for kiddos but share the beauty of the land and our animal family with all of you. Thank you Steve < 3 

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