The Horse (Sampling) Whisperer

Despite having to lug sample eskies and field equipment around site, environmental sampling is usually a peaceful routine. Some sites require a custodian to escort you to the sampling points, whereas others are less industrial and don’t warrant field liaisons.

For the sampling work I’m about to discuss, I was expecting to have the site to myself. The site in question was actually a creek, located in a tranquil acreage setting. It was a warm, sunny day, and I was happy to be spending it out in nature (you’d typically find me in the office).

When I arrived on site, I was immediately greeted by a trio of horses at the gate. They must have noticed I was wearing proper PPE, and let me on site. Time to start sampling!Mario's Horses 1

There were a few long shadows moving with me as I walked to the first sample point. To tell the truth the horses were pretty imposing, and I was a bit scared to turn around. They kept up as I walked faster. Just curious I guess, so I kept my nerves in check and got to the creek.

It wasn’t really an issue, as long as they let me grab my samples…

Turns out I arrived during drinks break. I should have really called ahead to make sure my timing was suitable for them.

Mario's Horses 2

After a while they decided they weren’t interested in environmental sampling. They went about their usual business of, well… horsing around. Luckily I was scheduled to be on site for a couple of hours, which meant that I was able to get some samples after the creek settled. It’s common for something unexpected to occur when you’re out in the field. Thankfully this was a pretty harmless situation that didn’t require any major corrections.

With that said, proper planning and sampling experience goes a long way, especially if you’re in a remote location. And that’s something we really understand.