Thursday, 22 August 2013

Flying Horse Farm, near Davis

As soon as I arrived on the farm, I knew that I would love it, it had none of the run down aspects of the other workaway places I had been to (they have both been great experiences, but both places weren't particularly very successful businesses) - the blue and white barns were clean, the masses of plants alive and growing, the horses healthy and the property just generally beautifully kept.

The House
I met Danny (my actual host) seconds after arriving and I think we clicked instantly. She seemed down to earth, intelligent and had a great sense of humour, plus she had a whole list of films she wanted me to watch!

Fabian arrived the day after me, a 19 year old German boy from Hamburg. We got on reasonably well but he wasn't a big talker.

For the first week, I got to know the place and the horses, I cleaned the two that I would be "in charge" of (Dennis and Pepe) and watered plants. I even got to ride bare back for about half an hour.

In preparation for the second week, where Danny and her son would be leaving for Japan and then Hawaii, we were introduced to all the projects we would be completing during week two. Unfortunately there were also several horses that required medication, so I learned how to do that as well as which grain to feed each horse and which hay bales to use for the morning feed.

In what seemed like no time, the second week was upon us and Danny and Ty left for the airport, and my days were spent in somewhat of a routine.

My day started at 7am, I would get up and let all the dogs out, some would follow me while I fed the horses their hay bales, (sometimes Glenn, Danny's husband, would help me), then I would feed the horses their specific grain and apply the medication that was needed. On the way back to the house, I would water the plants along my way.

After feeding the horses, I would feed myself; Fabian and I would take the two "puppies" in the car to one of the four local towns, our choice was mostly Davis, if we hadn't eaten breakfast at the farm, we would get breakfast somewhere in town and then walk the dogs. Sometimes, if I wanted to walk the dogs for a little longer, Fabian would drop me off and pick me up in an hours time.

After walking the dogs, I would return to the farm and start on that days project, which included things like replacing the barn doors with Fabian and Brandon, cleaning the white pony fence, removing the 4x4 beams from one of the stable's fences and painting fences white.

It would usually get too hot for me and Fabian to be outside for long at around 13.00, so after lunch we would take some time off. I spent my time playing with the 6 dogs I had to look after and looking at Netflix.

Once it cooled down again, we would either continue with a project or I would apply the horses medication again and make sure that the barn was clean. Dinner was then made by Glenna and we would eat it in front of the TV, usually watching a motorbike race or a survival show.

Tiny and me, with cream on my face because I had a rash on my face for a bit
I went to sleep pretty early every night, as working on the farm and sleeping with the dogs in my room, was starting to take it's toll. A few different things happened during the night, for example Tiny peed in the bed once, so I had to sleep on the sofa, Daisy ran away to the other property one night, so I had to go get her and when Lola was still there (before she went back to her own owner; Danny's daughter) she would wake up and bark at everything that moved, or didn't.

Day trip to the Redwood Forests where we drove through a real tree
Danny came back the same weekend that I was leaving to return to Mill Valley, it was great to catch up and she even bought me gifts from Japan and Hawaii! Of all three workaway experiences, I believe I am most likely to return to this one. If I lived in California, I could imagine getting a summer job at the farm. So a big thank you to Danny for that experience!

Humming birds outside the windows
I was sad to leave, but excited to be going to the Tahoe region with people roughly my age and to not be working every day. I think the thing I got to most was having Tiny sleep next to me, so sleeping without him was going to feel really weird!

I left Davis on the train to Richmond, where Delaine and Lucy (Rachel's parents) picked me up and drove me home.

Let the real adventure begin,
Lucy xxo

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