A year ago Jonathan and I were hired by a racehorse training center to work in the barn taking care of the horses. Jonathan ended up spending most of his time working out of the barn fixing fencing and repairing the long driveway with the Bobcat, a machine which he became very skilled at operating. I spent most of my time in the barn with the racehorses. After a full year, I can say that I don't care for looking after racehorses. They're all a bunch of nut jobs. It's not their fault that they're nut jobs, because they're cooped up for 23 hours of the day, fed tons of high octane grain/vitamins, never turned out and the only time they do get to go out during the day is to gallop around the training track. Handling them requires finesse, strategy, bravery and skill. It's very easy to get hurt around horses, even quiet riding horses. Young thoroughbred race horses are like ticking bombs. Anything can (and will) set them off. Oh look, a bird! cue:rearing. Oh, here comes a car down the driveway! cue:bolt sideways, then segue way into rearing. Oh, a big gust of wind! cue:hang the fuck on, because I'm going to go apeshit. You get the message. Either you learn quickly how to keep their feet on the ground and away from your body, or you get injured. I've been lucky in that I've kept myself out of harms way, with the exception of one dislocated knuckle in my second week of working there due to a rearing fit from a spastic filly. The one predictable thing about these youngsters is that you can never assume that they're going to behave. I operate under the boy scouts motto in that I'm always prepared for a fit. I've learned to tell them how good they are in a soft, gentle voice, and that a hand on their neck can keep the savage beast that lives within them at bay. I've also learned that not having a chain shank is a dumb idea. It's not like you have to be rough with a chain over the nose, but having it there helps when the flying monkeys in their heads start buzzing around. Our time is now over at the race farm. It was a fine job and it helped keep us afloat while we established ourselves in a new area. Recently, we've been teaching and riding more, which feels much more like home. In order to move our own business forward it became clear that we needed to stop the morning hours spent at the race farm. I could say that leaving will be bittersweet, but it's not. With the exception of one person that we've worked with for the last several months and the two roosters (Comanche and Rupert), I'm not going to miss that place with its daily series of chores and the death defying antics of the Thoroughbred's. We've met a lot of good people at this job and made some very good friends, so it wasn't all bad, but it sure feels good to be moving on!