On a Mini-Escape from the Ranch

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On a mini-escape from the ranch and its routine duties, I'm posting from the circa 1915 cabin that Ed, my husband, and I use as--well--our place to go for mini-escapes. It's in a tiny, end-of-the-road town at the edge of the Clearwater National Forest, and a great place to slow down and collect one's thoughts. Not to mention, it's only about 45 minutes away from home. For a horsekeeper, that measure of proximity is important. I couldn't get the R&R value out of this cabin that I do if it were much farther away from the needs of our horses. I know I can get back there fast (relatively speaking) if I have to, and as any horsekeeper knows, the mind gets a lot of ease from that.

Which brings me to a subject I've never seen addressed, whether in the print-pub world or in the cyber-stream of forums, message boards, e-lists, bloggers, etc., that I tip my toes into.

The subject: How do those of us who keep horses at home GET AWAY from the beloved critters without feeling worried, guilty, harried, and otherwise stressed about their welfare?

If you're in this group, you know what I'm talking about. The human kids can go to Grandma's, the canine kids can go to a kennel if need be, but what do you do with 4.4 horses? That's the average number of horses owned and kept at home by the typical reader of Horse & Rider magazine, most likely a midlife woman who also holds down a job. (I fit this description perfectly. You?) So why don't we all come right out and admit that it'd be great if we could just "send the horses to camp" for a couple of weeks each year? What makes it so taboo to confess that we sometimes need vacations from the very animals around which our lifestyles spin? And what could we learn from one another's experiences in this deal?

Would love to get your thoughts--especially since it's snowing hard, to keep me right here in front of the woodstove for the next little while. As long as the dial-up connection holds out, we can remain in touch.