From the time I was a little child of but five-years old, I have loved horses. I loved them because they were beautiful. I loved them because they were kind. I loved them because they ran fast. I loved them because smelled good. I loved sitting on their backs and shaking the reins. I loved saying “giddy up.”
Most children outgrow horses. It would be hard telling when looking at a group of budding equestrians, who will still be riding as adults. Something clicks, and for that person, that one in a hundred, there can never be a life without horses.
Out daughter lost interest in horses after riding as a child. Then for some reason, seemingly out of the blue, she bought a horse of her own as an adult. She was back in the game. “I fell in love,” she says jokingly, but is serious. It’s hard to say what clicks with a particular horse and owner. It just happens. She looked at Johnny C and that was that. She had to have him.
“I can’t imagine a life without horses,” Cindy T. says. “I bought my first racehorse in my twenties and I’ve been hooked ever since. I grew up with horses. My sister owned and showed Thoroughbreds. I actually don’t recall ever not being around horses.”
Horse owners dish out hundreds of dollars each month, and this for an animal they “visit” elsewhere and see perhaps an hour a day. Most often they are paying a trainer or instructor to help them become an even better owner and rider. They might not be with that horse every moment of the day, but for the most part, they’re thinking about them. They’re thinking about that next visit, that next ride, that next show. They’re thinking about taking their friends to visit, their families.
Horse owners do without something personally, so that their horse can have it all. Imagine making an appointment with a ‘shoe person’ every eight weeks to have your “shoes” done. Imagine routinely getting “new shoes” without feeling guilty, because, hey, your shoe person says you need them.
Imagine getting a brand new winter blanket (I mean, uh winter parka) every year, because, be honest, you abused the last one. You chewed on it, you kicked at it. You lay down and rolled in the mud and muck in it, over and over, and over.
Imagine a life where someone doesn’t spray you to keep the flies away. Imagine not having a new saddle pad at least twice a year, and preferably with your name embroidered on it. Imagine not going to a horse show to strut your stuff. Imagine a life without your human. Imagine a life without your horse. Do you love horses?
Love is a relationship. It’s caring. It’s nurturing. Its all consuming. It’s long hours in the barn. It’s a schooling session again and again. It’s a trailride in the park. It’s a walk. It’s a path.
“Horses Show Me the Way. Take Me There,” MaryAnn Myers