I'm struggling with current job - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 10-09-2019, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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I'm struggling with current job

Love working at the barn I work all the horse's are really nice to deal with.

My issue is I'm hurting so much I have a hard time sleeping. Every part of me aches my muscles are so sore. I get to work at 6:30 am feeding cleaning stalls turning out 14 horse's.
Sweep isles of barn set up feed for next day. Fill water buckets bed stalls that need bedding. Dump night feed put hay in stalls for night feeding.

This is my second week an I'm living on ibuprofen. Max amount it helps but not a cure. I push through the days I work, it takes 3 to 4 hours to get everything done. By end of work I'm hurting ,so go home and crash for 3 or 4 hours.

I feel like I shouldn't be struggling I shouldn't be so sore ,and hurt so much. But I do.

Then I have to get my horse ridden every day for exercise. Today i had to really push myself to go out to ride. This shouldn't be so darn hard it just shouldn't.

Just want to not hurt is that to much to ask. I was hurting prior to this job.

Out riding my horse.
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post #2 of 52 Old 10-09-2019, 07:28 AM
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This is normal...

Do you realize, truly realize you work harder than a "construction worker" in many instances?
When do you sit down, rest and catch your breath let alone give your muscles a reprieve?
Answer is, You don't!!

By the end of this week your body will start to adjust and acclimate to the tremendous amount of work you put to it. Truth.
You in this job are burning more calories and need more calories than near any other profession cause once started you not let up the pace and intensity for near 4 hours....that's a truth too.
Want to lose weight?
Work in a barn and see how fast it disappears...or eat accordingly.

Don't know what you consider "max" for Advil...
For me, that would be 4 tablets of OTC 3x a day...
That was from my doctor..
I'm not tiny but not obese either.
Other thing is, don't take all the medication in one swallow but take tablets 15 - 20 minutes apart as it layers medication into your body as the body can only absorb just so much at one time, but layered in can absorb more = more effect of relief felt.

Honestly though....you've probably not ever worked so hard and had it all dumped on you at once so no "building up to it" happened.
Actually, if you weren't sore and so tired I would be more concerned as a adult!!
Enjoy your new job.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 52 Old 10-09-2019, 07:54 AM
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It sounds like you want to stick with what you're doing - I would too! Horses all day long? Yessir! Now I'm not a Doc, and the advice I'm going to give absolutely falls under 'if this sounds like something you can't or shouldn't do for any reason, then don't do it.' Use your best discretion. Let's see if we can get you to take as good of care of yourself as you do of your horse/s.

Don't take ibuprofin forever - that stuff's hard on the stomach or liver, I don't recall which. Switch to Aleve temporarily and give it 24 hours to work. Long term Aleve is hard on the stomach. Turmeric Curcumin with black pepper can decrease inflammation. Don't take it if you've ever had stomach issues, gallstones, or your gallbladder removed. (I take it anyway, just not as much.)

Topical treatments: Bengay heat patch for your back - can't live without em some days. I used to have this topical gel called Alpengel but I can't find it anymore. Kool n' Fit sport spray works alright. I once used Penetrex cream for my calves, knee, and hands, and I found it quite soothing.

Shoes: Don't forget your hoofboots! You need shoes (or insoles) that have an impact-shock energy return to keep your joints and muscles fresh. I have a pair of Gravity Defyers and they're a godsend. (Here's the pair I have, and here are the boots they offer.) Even my not-so-graceful ankles haven't had an issue with them. I wear them for everything, including hoof trimming. The shoes create an artificial floor under your feet that feels amazing, particularly if your alternative is hard ground/floors. Each pair lasts about 1-2 years. Other people like Sketchers, Clarks, Asics or Merrells. Some people swear by Ariat, because they're an equestrian brand, but their boots and shoes have all been too narrow for me. Don't worry about shoes not having a steel toe or being 'work boots' - you're horse-experienced enough that comfort is your #1 priority. And when you're ready to ride, just change shoes.

Sometimes when we start experiencing pain, we stop feeling like we have the energy to properly care for ourselves. Then we get worse!
Here are some easy things to check on or try out: Make sure you don't need a new mattress. Try sleeping on your back with proper support under your knees, spine, and neck. Get plenty of sleep and stay WARM, particularly if you have to get up early. When you get up in the morning, do stretches and move yourself - yoga is great. Don't drink a ton of coffee and cause yourself to have an energy crash. Make sure you're eating well and drinking plenty of water - you need energy and protein to serve your muscles. (I like hard boiled eggs, esp. in a cobb salad.) Take your vitamins and make sure you're getting vitamin D3, potassium, and magnesium. If you can't eat large meals, then eat smaller things throughout the day. Keep a thermos of hot herbal tea nearby, such as ginger or peppermint. Make sure you're staying warm at work. Wear a back brace to support your spine. Wrap or support any joints that are under strain, such as your wrists. Try compression socks if your legs are sore. And most of all - take your time! Take a 10 minute break every 50 minutes, or something similar, so that you can sit down. Make a plan and try it out.
Regarding the breaks: talk to your boss about it BEFORE he/she complains at you. Just say "I'm having some pain, so I'm going to try something new and take an (x) minute break to sit down every (x) minutes/hours. Is that alright, so long as the amount and quality of work I get done stays the same?"

See a good massage therapist, possibly one that practices Ayurvedic methods (Indian massage methods.) If you do that, drink plenty of water for 24-48 hours afterwards. I suggest having any massage on the day before your day/s off (if you get them) - first massage in years can make one quite sore. Otherwise, schedule your massage so that you get as much time possible to R&R afterward. A good soak in a warm tub (possibly with added essential oils or something the massage therapist recommends) can really help.

Hope that helps you hon. Feel better soon!

No diet, no hoof. No hoof, no horse. No horse is not an option!
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post #4 of 52 Old 10-09-2019, 07:58 AM
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In my 40's, I cared for a 14 horse barn on the weekends when I had three horses boarded there. I was always good and tired but not in the amount of pain you describe.

Your comment "I was hurting prior to this job", is your answer. Whatever has been causing you to hurt needs help from a professional. If it's structural and not something caused by a disease, hunt down a good quality chiro for yourself.

If it weren't for my chiro, I literally would need more than a cane to walk and my vertigo from a 2006 accident wouldn't be 90% under control. The MD's answer to my vertigo was to write a prescription, which didn't do anything. The chiro was able to get me to where I can at least look up long enough to get a dish out of the cupboard without passing out.

You're too young for that much hurting, so get thee to a doctor or chiro who can at least keep things down to a dull roar, if "it" can't be fixed:)

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #5 of 52 Old 10-09-2019, 08:19 AM
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Hang in there. Get help in the form of chiro, physio, massage, whatever you can if you have insurance or the means to pay for it. Lots of others have given advice too. But I think that it may just take time. What you are doing is HARD! Most people couldn't even do it for a day! Pat yourself on the back for pushing through. Give your body time to adjust.
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post #6 of 52 Old 10-09-2019, 08:31 AM
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We get used to the work and it's not so painful after a while. I'm 63 and still doing it and can work circles around many a younger person who thinks they want the job. If they stick around long enough, like a month, then they find it gets much easier and they get faster. I have 10 personal horses and once in a while take in borders, so have had 15+ horses here at one time. After years and years of doing it, I can now do all my stalls, waters and lay feed in roughly 2-3 hrs depending on how much I need to strip and re-bed, but I am MOVING and don't take a break or slow down at any point. There are days when my back just HATES me and others when it's not so bad. I'll ditto the recommendation to go to the dr. and find out what's wrong and addressing that. Barn work didn't cause the problem (you said you hurt before taking this job) but it may well be exacerbating it.

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post #7 of 52 Old 10-09-2019, 09:50 AM
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If you were hurting before you started the job then I’m thinking the work is just exacerbating an existing condition
You probably should get checked for things like Lyme Disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, fibromyalgia etc
It might be a hang on from a virus you had and barely noticed but has left a side effect, Sometimes our bodies seem to get ‘stuck’ in a loop and a short course of prednisone can fix it
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Just winging it is not a plan
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post #8 of 52 Old 10-09-2019, 09:57 AM
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My daughter worked weekends and an odd weekday for a local trainer. She cleaned 32-40 stalls each day and fed breakfast when she got there at 6 and fed lunch when she left (usually 12-2) At first she was so sore she wanted to cry - but as time went on she got used to the work and was not sore. The more used to it the faster she got. The BO still asks her to come back and help when she is home from college - she got to be pretty fast and efficient. She also found that keeping moving instead of working hard and then not working at all helped her muscles stay loose and she was less sore.
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post #9 of 52 Old 10-09-2019, 10:36 AM
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Agree with the above.... Also, cut yourself some slack! You don't need to ride your horses tons of miles a day for exercise! You can give them days off, it'll be good for you and them!
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post #10 of 52 Old 10-09-2019, 11:30 AM
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Or even mix up your own horse's exercise so it's a little easier on you, do things like handwalk or ground drive instead of riding. It still gets him out moving and stimulates his mind, but maybe it feels better on your body (or maybe not!). One of my retired mares got dangerously overweight at the beginning of the fall. None of my saddles fit her (and she bucks when I ride bareback), so to make sure she gets enough exercise, I take her on a brisk handwalk up and down hills every day- we go about a mile in 15ish minutes. She moves, but we don't have to spend a ton of time daily.
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