The Barn Doesn’t Care

I came across this poem and instantly fell in love. “Yoga doesn’t care,” is my mantra when a guilty feeling starts to crawl its way to the surface.

Yoga Doesn’t Care: A Disclaimer that Should be Posted in Every Studio. 

By Janne Robinson

(Abbreviated version)

Yoga doesn’t care what your hair looks like.

Yoga doesn’t care if you are vegetarian, if you eat meat or know what Kombucha is.

Yoga doesn’t care when the last time you practiced was—yesterday, six months ago, never.

Yoga doesn’t care what kind of mat you have, brand new or eating away at itself.

Yoga doesn’t care if you show up cranky or exhausted.

Yoga doesn’t care if you wear mala beads.

Yoga doesn’t care what the tag on the back of your pants says.

Yoga doesn’t care if you don’t know what yoga means.

Yoga doesn’t care how much money you have, what house you live in, what car you drive.

Yoga doesn’t care if you are flexible.

Yoga doesn’t care if you fall over in Trikonasana.

Yoga doesn’t care if you fart during practice.

Yoga doesn’t care if you ever make it into head stand.

Yoga doesn’t care if you feel uncomfortable saying Namaste and Om.

Yoga doesn’t care if you drink super food smoothies or drink coconut water.

Yoga doesn’t care if choose the back corner or the front row of the room to practice.

Yoga doesn’t care if you stay to meditate.

Yoga doesn’t care if you can put your leg behind your head, or lick your own ass.

Yoga doesn’t care if you know what Ujjayi breath is.

Yoga doesn’t care if you have a man bun.

Yoga doesn’t care if your monkey mind takes over.

Yoga doesn’t care how old you are, the color of your hair doesn’t affect your practice.

Yoga doesn’t care if you juice or cleanse.

Yoga doesn’t care if you shake the entire 60 minutes.

Yoga doesn’t care if you complete a 30 day challenge.

Yoga doesn’t care if you shop at whole foods.

Yoga doesn’t care if you remember to shave your armpits.

Yoga is just happy you show up.

Too often I mentally kick my self for not stepping onto my mat for days. I know that a simple fifteen minute session would make all the difference in my day. Instead, I’ll throw out some excuse about time and rush about creating more tension. When I finally find my self back in Tadanasna, if only for a few minutes, I remember “yoga doesn’t care.” It also couldn’t give two pennies about when I show up, how I look, what mood I’m in, what I ate the night before. It’s just happy that I showed up.

I believe “yoga” can be replaced by many words. Running, biking, blogging…. the list could run on. The “word” is what makes you happy when you show up, in what ever state. At first I wanted to replace yoga with my horse, but that didn’t seem to encompass the whole feeling. It’s more than just one horse, it’s the barn full of horses. It’s getting up early to the barn to watch the sunrise. It’s sipping a cider at the barn after afternoon chores. It’s sneaking to the barn late at night just to check in on sleepy ponies. The barn is my happy place.

The Barn doesn’t care.

The barn doesn’t care if your hair is in a ball cap.

The barn doesn’t care if you wear Tuff jeans or Kerrit breaches.

The barn doesn’t care if your horse is purebred or backyard-yard bred.

The barn doesn’t care if you’re eight or eighty.

The barn doesn’t care if you’re finishing a lesson, going on a trail ride, or prepping for a show.

The barn doesn’t care if there is an eight horse slant with living quarters or a two-horse stock parked in the back.

The barn doesn’t care if you’re Parelli, Classical, Cowboy, Ray Hunt, Julie Goodnight, or Self trained.

The barn doesn’t care if you can spend all day or just enough to finish chores.

The barn doesn’t care what car you pulled up in.

The barn doesn’t care how many saddles you have in the tack room.

The barn doesn’t care if your best friend has two legs or four.

The barn is just happy you showed up.

I’ve never regretted the time spent at the barn or on my mat. I have to remind myself that it’s ok to spend 10 minutes in Sun Salutations if I don’t have an hour for a class. It is ok to groom a horse for ten minutes if I don’t have an hour to saddle up. The moments that make us happy are always there waiting for us. Essentially it isn’t yoga or the barn that’s just happy that I showed up, it’s me.

I am just happy that I showed up.

The Too Busy Life

I’m too busy has been coming across my lips too often. Autumn’s spindly fingers reaching across pumpkin patches and shaking golden leaves from trees reminds me of how quickly this summer has passed. Time seemed to leap off the diving board sending a spray of seconds and minutes and hours that too soon evaporated off of my skin. So much was accomplished this year at Enchantment Equitreks. We booked rides almost every month, our guest house was finally finished, the pool was installed, the tree lined deck was refinished, our herd welcomed their 9th member, a horse walker was built, the garden was seeded, weeded, plucked, and overgrown, fruit trees were planted, the chicken mansion was erected. Each project waited its turn, some were more urgent than others, but gosh it kept us busy. 


Maybe it’s winter’s breath on my shoulder or the recent loss of a friend that makes me want to be less busy. I look forward to sipping tea in the mornings and saying yes to dinner plans with forgotten friends. I want to send random notes and thoughts to loved ones so they know that I’m not too busy to think of them. Planning will be a luxury and spending hours at the barn futzing with horses a lifestyle. 

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. ~ John Lennon

Staying busy is never the problem, there is always something to be mended or attended. I worry that I will be too busy when it is too late. So somewhere in between the purpose filled days of my summer and the hibernation of winter my busy schedule needs to find balance. I believe that emails can wait after long conversations with my horse and new projects can be paused for impromptu road trips. Too busy needs to be replaced with let me make the time. 

The Winter Barn Blues

My first instinct in winter is to pull the blankets up under my chin and marathon Netflix, but with a barn full of ponies, chores are always delaying my hibernation. With the short days and finger numbing temperatures it seems just as I finish the morning chores, I’m having to trudge back out for afternoon feeding. It’s exhausting! Recently I have found a few helpful tricks to ease the wintery load and add a little more fun to my daily routine.

After enduring mountain winters for the past few years, I decided to confiscate my nephew’s sled and employ it for barn chores.  

 Mornings I hike up the hill, towing my sled with two tubs of hot mash for breakfast, it slides right behind me into the feed room. It transports feed buckets to all of the outside stalls and back again. I can precariously place an entire bale of grass hay on it and tug it along to the various slow feeders in all the paddocks.  

 Although it took a little finagling, both of the manure buckets will slide on it, just don’t get them too full or the sled gets a little tipsy. I might consider a bigger sled for that next year. Sloshing water from water buckets form icy pools in its bed, saving my pant leg from becoming a moving ice cube. Even a few feed sacks ride neatly from the feed room to the chicken coop. I have yet to explore all the possibilities of my new found sidekick. However, like any good tool it has its faults. It will take a nose dive in deep snow and tip its contents off to the side, or it will zoom by on slick harpack leaving everything behind, me included. I’ve had a few choice word for my little, blue sled when it gets unruly but when the day is done I still have a child like excitement to ride it back down the hill with dogs barking and chasing until I crash into the snowbank at the back door and come up laughing and sputtering.  

It makes me want to stay out side a little longer and enjoy the wonderland, maybe even make a snowman, before spring’s fingers reach out and melt away all my fun and put my sled out of service until next snowfall.

Not all my winter tools are as fun and nostalgic but so many household items can help out at the barn, such as a strainer with a handle to swipe out ice in water troughs. What other items have you used to beat the winter barn chore blues?