This morning the thermometer had dropped to -18° Celcius. So far it has been quite warm, around -1° to -8°. Of course the freezing weather started exactly on the day when I was going to shoe eight horses on a stable that doesn’t have any really warm space for shoeing. That’s the only so cold stable I have, usually I refuse of the work if the warmth inside can’t be kept over 0°. It’s not only because of my own comfort, but in too cold my hands don’t stay warm and then they start to hurt, I can’t handle my tools and the quality of the work decreases. Without being able to concentrate on my work I start to get on a bad mood and while I’m not very good at hiding it, it all ends up into a situation where I do bad work and I am grumpy to everyone nearby, including my customers. I suppose that’s not what my customers really want to, so I simply avoid those situations.
I was thinking of cancelling today’s work, but then I thought that let’s give a try, I can leave home if shoeing feels too harsh. I arrived to the stable ..and noticed that the lamp over the shoeing place was broken. The temperature inside was around -5° and I was supposed to shoe eight horses in the light of my headlamp. I had driven there, so I still thought that let’s give a try. I was complaining while I started with the first horse. I asked if someone could find me a worksite light. Otherwise I probably would need to leave. I can’t do a proper job in these conditions. The worker disappeared to search for a lamp. I continued shoeing the first horse and was cursing to myself, why was I again so grumpy, why can’t I just tell that I need light and warmth without all that extra nagging.
Now when I write this, it sounds that I was on a bad mood for a reason, but hey, the supposed-to-be-shod horses had been taken inside already yesterday to warm up the stable and there was already brought a heater (it just wasn’t enough anymore), most of the approx. 30 horses are very nice to shoe, the people are really helpful and I truly like this certain stable and in the summertime it’s a paradise for me to work to. My body was slowly warming up and I thought that the warmth is not a big problem. I need just light. Then I realized that there was today on my list a horse that is very difficult to shoe. “No, I’m not on a mood today that I should even give a try, I can’t handle my nerves. Ok, at least I won’t shoe that particular horse. He can wait for a couple of weeks until the next visit. In fact, let’s shoe only nice horses today!” And that decision made it, I noticed my mood was getting better..
The worker came back while I was finishing the first horse. “I’m not sure if you have today enough sense of humour for this..” She was carrying a lamp found probably from the house’s living- or workroom… I started to laugh. And started to laugh more… let’s try if it gives enough light!
The rest of the day the lamp made me feel like I’d be reading books in an office while I was actually trimming hoofs… And in the end I had a fun working day. During the day a colleague also made a short visit to shoe one horse and it’s always nice to meet colleagues and exchange a couple of words with them. There are usually small things that change the situation completely. Give a thought to what is really annoying you and try to change those things, one by one. This time the decision to shoe only nice horses and get some more light was enough. Of course I could have shod all eight horses in too cold and dark conditions, but I would have produced low quality work and I would have nagged the whole day and it would have affected negatively everyone around. I could also have left back home and said that I won’t shoe a single horse today, but it would have been a bigger trouble, because the horses need to be shod quite soon anyway. But in the end, today was a good day, seven horses got shod, everyone were in a good mood, and I had time to take photos of the absolutely beautiful winterday.
When it get’s really cold, the horses’ fur gathers frost.
I didn’t even need to “try” to take cool looking photos. Just look around and shoot photos. The Cold has a raw beauty in it.