Thursday, May 13, 2010

Musical Mucking

As of May 1st, on top of being full time trainers and riders, Jonathan and I have become caretakers to eight horses. I had been looking forward to every aspect of running a barn, except for having to muck the stalls. That job has always been hard on our backs, time consuming and just a drag in general. I'm happy to report that the stalls have been fairly easy to keep up, but it's a direct result of the music choices in my Ipod.
We don't have a music system in the barn, yet. So the only choice for tunes have been individual, via the Ipod. Jonathan likes his own tune choices, ie. The Who, Dylan, etc. Old time rock. I've been reaching out to find what makes me muck the fastest and happiest. After several days of experiments, I have a few thoughts on this matter.

I tried using hard rock at first thinking this would make me muck fast and furious. Serious shit pitching and hard tunes would go hand in hand. Nirvana was my first choice. I love Kurt Cobain. He was amazing. On day three, I had the ear buds firmly planted and I was jamming away, clad in my p.j.'s and pink striped rubber boots, flinging shit with the best of them. As I sang the angry lyrics, I was one with the grunge movement, until I looked up and saw that I had my barn. Oops. "Hi Guys!", I said sheepishly, yanking the ear buds from my ears. Wow, was my first thought, I look and sound like a complete ass. The visitors turned out to be two guys who work for our landlord and they were here to see if we needed any repairs done. "I think we're good, guys!" I replied with a giggle. They gave me a curious look and headed back to their truck. Good one, I thought to myself and I continued mucking in silence for the rest of the morning.
The next day, I chose to listen to rap, Ice Cube, Bootlegs and Besides to be specific. Old school rap. I know all the lyrics! Fun! I was flinging shit like a bitch that day. When a horse moved toward the doorway, I was all up in their grill like, "Step off bitch! Who you think you are? Fuck that shit!" The horses were edgy, I was feeling a little too, umm, well, hostile. Rap was not a good mucking choice. I'm glad I recognized this before I popped a cap in their asses.
Next day, I opted for my old standby...musicals. As I plugged into "Anything Goes", I had a good feeling. Clutching my pitchfork, I began to sift through the shavings and the intro grabbed my ear. Before I knew it, I was on my second stall! Cole Porter, you are a miracle worker! Two stalls, three stalls and onto the fourth. Wow, it was bliss. I was singing, flinging and twirling my pitchfork. The horses were munching happily on their morning hay, I was performing little skits and getting the stalls cleaned efficiently. Happy, happy stall mucking! Whoo hoo! This was the way to get the barn cleaned!
Today, Gypsy and I did the barn up right. I've been to see Gypsy on Broadway in NYC. So amazing. I sang out loud while throwing the poop. One of our clients appeared unexpectedly, busting me doing an enthusiastic Little June impression in my Long Island housewife black velour leisure pants and pink striped boots. Who cares, I thought, as I plucked out my ear buds and chatted with her. This is good music! She left rather quickly, maybe it was my outfit, or my off key voice? I don't know, but I put Gypsy right back on when she left and before I knew it, Ethel Merman and I were done with the stalls. Show tunes seem to be a splendid way to get through stall mucking, without a tremendous amount of concentration, or effort. Who knew these scores were so mesmerizing?

Tomorrow, it's all about Oklahoma, where the wind goes sweeping down the plains...and the corn is as high as an elephant's eye. Oh boy, I can't wait!

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