Finding Balance and Success on the Farm: Sarai's Story
Working on the farm is not just a job, it is a lifestyle. From early mornings milking the cows to horseback riding in the evenings, GuardianVets staff member Sarai has found that her work provides her with a work-life balance that allows her to support her family and chase her dreams.
In this interview, we discussed how GuardianVets enables Sarai to have a flexible work schedule while still providing the support she needs to care for her family and pursue her passions. We also discussed how working for GuardianVets allows Sarai to gain valuable skills in animal care, farming, and ranching, as well as how she balances all of these tasks daily.
How long have you been working at GuardianVets?
-I've been working with GuardianVets for almost three years.
Can you tell us more about your passion for animals and how you manage the daily responsibilities of running a farm while also providing for your family?
-Life on the farm is busy! Every afternoon consists of feeding chickens and gathering eggs, feeding the horses, milking my Jersey cow, feeding our calves, tending to the rabbits, and everything in between! I take an active role in running the farm, the animals are my passion project, but my husband and two daughters are involved in the daily happenings as well.
It's very cool to provide for my family and be self-sufficient in any area that I can. Yearly, I grow a big garden to supply our animals with food as well as ourselves. I can lots of vegetables as well as homemade sauces too. We have a steady supply of eggs and chickens, and my cow gives us about two and a half gallons of milk every single day! I use fresh milk to make cheese, butter, coffee creamer, and ice cream! I also make a lot of sourdough bread!
Fascinating! What kind of animals do you have?
-I have three cows, four horses, a handful of Holland Lop rabbits, a flock of chickens, and your usual mismatched group of farm dogs!
My horses are my passion, and racehorses specifically have stolen my heart since I grew up watching racing in Kentucky. I have adopted three ex-racehorses and one ex-pacing racehorse (Standardbred). They are all amazing athletes and beautiful examples of the temperament and personality these racehorses can have.
One of the racehorses that I own came from the famous female jockey Rosie Napravnik! This same racehorse was formerly owned by (and named after) ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit! ( I included one of his race-win photos!)
You mentioned that you work for a non-profit that focuses on horses. Can you describe what that experience like?
-I work part-time as the Equine Manager for a non-profit that offers horseback/ground lessons with some amazing horses. We offer lessons and programs for war veterans, and individuals with mental/physical/emotional disorders/disabilities, as well as partnering with some amazing companies that support at-risk youth, the hospice house, grief counseling, drug, and alcohol rehab, etc.
It is an amazing opportunity to be able to be involved in a program that brings so much joy and possibility to such a wide range of individuals. I specifically care for the horses daily, keeping up on their feed and supplements, and managing their health records, as well as just the daily care. The horses are the heart and soul of our program and watching them move and exist so carefully around their clients and partners is amazing. The horses know they need to be careful with certain riders/handlers and it is lovely to watch. You can check out all that PALS (People & Animal Learning Services) is about at palstherapy.org!
How has the support you've received from GuardianVets helped you pursue your personal and professional goals, and how have the friendships you've developed with your coworkers impacted your experience working there?
-Working for GuardianVets has given me SO many opportunities to support my family and chase my dreams. It has been such a tremendous blessing to learn and grow with this company over the last three years. The flexibility it offers with scheduling, the support from the management, and the investment they've given me are all priceless. I could not do what I'm doing without GuardianVets, and I'm forever thankful for that. I'm a part of this company for the long haul, and I am grateful for the continued support and opportunity that has come with this job! I have developed few friendships with coworkers that are now such close friends that we talk daily — about anything and everything — that is invaluable to me.