Twenty Minutes

Twenty minutes is a popular number for horse treatment. It's how long you make your war horse eventer stand in a bucket after a hard jump school. It's the amount of time your horse has to soak in epsom salts when you do battle with an abscess. Runkle recently hurt himself in a way that will require this twenty minute soak, probably playing baby racehorse outside with the geriatric horses in his field who never want to join in.

Depending on the horse, it could be an excruciating twenty minutes. Most of the horses I've had the pleasure of enduring the twenty minutes with have been off the track Thoroughbreds and I'm starting to be convinced that these horses live in buckets from birth.

Lexy demonstrating the 'two legs, one bucket' method.

Sometimes they even have an internal clock and know when twenty minutes is up. The redheaded beasty above would politely step out of the muck tub at around 19:30. Until then she would quietly stand while I cleaned tack and put it away and got her food together. Which brings me to the real point.

What do you do with those twenty minutes?

Take Instagram Pictures
If you look at my Instagram, you'll see that (especially in the beginning) it's mostly pictures of Lexy standing in muck tubs with various filters applied to them. And that's nothing compared to my phone, where there are at least twelve outtakes. How do I want her to look? Happy to be in the bucket? Annoyed? Nonplussed? Do I want her half climbing out or with her nose all the way outstretched looking for food? Nothing says gimpy horse like Lo-Fi, amirite??

Play a Game
I have a ton of games on my phone, pretty much exclusively because I needed something to do while I stood near the horse during a soak or cold hose. I've got the old standbys like Solitaire or FreeCell, but I also have a collection of about thirty different brain puzzlers in one app. I have a game called 2048 which is just strategic mindless swiping and horribly addictive. Also easy to play with one hand if you have to hold your vagrant horse. A more devious favorite of mine is a game called Plague, Inc, a morbid game in which you design a disease to wipe out humanity (I never said I was normal).

Only the classics, here.

Download a Podcast
This is a more recent addiction, but there are hundreds of podcasts out there. It's more interesting than listening to music you've heard a hundred times, and most podcasts put something out once a week or so. There are horse ones if you want to compound your horse time with more horses, there are comedic ones and movie reviews, podcasts about games and podcasts about nothing at all. There's something out there for everyone not matter how weird your tastes are. Just make sure if you are listening to it you either have it on speaker or you leave one headphone out of your ears so you can hear what's going on around you. You are still in a barn, after all.

Think About Your Life
You're standing with a horse for twenty minutes while they wait in a bucket of ice or a tray of epsom salt mixture. And you're probably not even upset about it. You're enjoying spending time with your broken horse, feeding him or her treats while they stomp around in the bucket and try to flip it over and otherwise make the twenty minutes last longer. Know they do this out of love (probably).

Runkle showing us the one foot shuffle.


  1. aw boo Runkle for hurting yourself! as for what i do during those 20 min? well... my mare is a little less accustomed to life in the bucket and requires constant baby sitting ugh... lol


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