There are plans, and then there is life.
Initially, Aquila and I were to stay at our WWOOF location for two weeks. Nearly two years later, we were still there.
The farm owners were looking for long term apprentices and we were happy to fill those roles. Despite my family believing I had joined a cult, I felt free. I was making decisions for myself, learning what I wanted even if I had no idea where it was taking me.
Over time, we lived with nearly 150 people from all over the world; like us, they wanted to experience Canadian small farming. I loved learning about everyone’s different cultures through sometimes thick accents and exuberant body language. We became a family for a short time. What a diverse, revolving-door family it was.
Every spare moment I had I spent at the barn. It felt like the horses were also teaching me about equine culture through a silent language of their own. Whether I was leading them out to their paddocks, helping with night feed, or simply standing by their side, I struggled to understand them and loved every minute.
Whether it was learning to live in human or horse community, the lessons received often coincided. Everything I practised with horses was completely applicable to people. Both species can require enormous amounts of patience, while simultaneously offering support and growth.
Two full planting seasons had passed as WWOOFers for room and board, and Aquila and I started feeling the need to find paid work. Once we decided it was time to move on, I began to feel panic. I could not imagine my life without horses. An occasional horse visit would not suffice; I was thoroughly addicted and needed my dose every day.
Unexpectedly, a solution was offered: I would become a farrier.
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This is part of a continuing story – click here to start from the beginning!