Last week, I picked up Sally?s left front leg and, rats, I felt some fluid in the back of the cannon bone, tendon area, right below the knee. No pain, no heat, no lameness?which made me feel better. But it did mean some time off for her and giving her lots of TLC, which takes extra time and effort. ?It wasn?t her fault, of course, and I was thankful it wasn?t more serious. But, for no reason at all, I got grumpy. Maybe it was the frustration of a mid-summer injury. Maybe it was because I know the leg?s going to be a problem from here on out. Maybe it was just?a horrible week. There was a ton of work to do (horse and non horse work), and I was stressed. My wonderful husband was struggling with installing the new-barn electric, since we were too cheap to pay all that money to have professionals do it (pay $85 an hour to hang up lights and screw in light bulbs' Not us!). Maybe I felt ?guilty? about chiming in that we can do it ourselves, since I haven't helped a bit. ? Maybe it was because I couldn?t release my frustration by riding Sally. ?(I did ride Kelsey, but that seemed to make me more frustrated?a story for another day.) All I could think was, why?d we sink all that money in the new barn' Too make matter worse, I?calculated how much it was costing per year, assuming I kept riding till age 75. ?Ugh. I fretted as to how?three horses can go through so much bedding so quickly. I vented that a saddle sitting idle in a tack room shouldn't?get dirty all by itself, but it did. I screamed to know one in particular, "Why can't I just leave the hose out in the field, in the water tank, and just turn the water on when I need it instead of dragging a long hose in and out day after day after day'" Fortunately,?my pity party ended?two nights ago. The air had finally cooled and the humidity was down. The barn was clean, and a nagging deadline that was bugging me was past. ?The atmosphere in the?barn was peaceful that evening. Serene. Comforting. I was dragging in that hose for the millionth time, when?I saw Sally was watching me. She had her head over the stall door and was?chewing a big chunk of hay. Strands of hay were?dropping all over the barn aisle, making a mess.?And she looked as content as a horse can be.? All at once, I realized that I don't want to do anything else, no matter how much my body aches, no matter how the chores seem endless at times, and no matter how many times I swear those 50-lb. bags of feed weigh more than they did 10 years ago. I'm lucky to have a barn in which to spend after-work hours, doing whatever I please. I can't imagine just going to the gym, or a movie, or baseball game or doing whatever non-horse people spend their evenings doing. (TV all night' Yuck.) When I return to the house, tired and dirty, I'm also deeply happy. I guess tHere's simply something about horses, horse care and horse barns that do me good. I know you understand. Without our horses, our lives would be empty ? even if we have to remind ourselves on those bad days. ? Oh, and Sally?s?leg is looking near-normal as I write this. Life is good.