If you’ve found this blog, we probably have something in common. Like me, have always loved horses. You may be married and may have kids. You probably rode as a kid, but gave it up to go to college or start a family or focus on a career. Time goes by and then something happens unexpectedly— you see a lone horse grazing in a field or maybe you are in the city and turn a corner and are face to face with a carriage horse. Or you find an old, beloved horse story in a used book shop.
Something gets your brain ticking and you find yourself thinking--maybe I should start riding again? Or, why did I stop? You may come up with lots of very logical reasons. It’s selfish to pursue a hobby when kids -husbands - friends - career demand your time and attention. And, it’s expensive. And, it has risks. Who in their right mind craves to head out to some dusty barn on a hot day, climb aboard a 1,000 pound animal that could crush you in a whim and then clean a stall or obsess over dirty tack?
Because, if you are like me, and I think you are, you can’t even remember when you first starting liking horses. You just always did. Maybe an aunt, uncle or your parents gave you a model horse when you were three years old and then had to pry that piece of plastic out of your hands at bath time. You probably had special shelf in your room for that model—a prized location so that you could see it from any place in your room. Or you begged to go the library to borrow any new horse book you hadn’t already read (remember, some of us are internet immigrants). You begged your parents to wake you up at 2 am when the summer Olympics were televised so you could watch the precious 30 minutes of cross-country coverage that the network bothered to air. During car rides in the country, you’d watch out the window just to catch a glimpse of a horse in the distance. And, if you stopped at any kind of petting farm or zoo, you had to find any equine on the premises.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, then we have a lot in common. I am married twenty-plus years to a very understanding “horse husband,” have a teenage daughter (also afflicted with the horse gene, but more about that later), and although horse ownership still eludes me, I borrow and lease quite a few. My goal is simple: if you’ve been thinking about riding again, but find ways to talk yourself out of it, I want to convince you that you can, and should, for many reasons. If you are riding again—great! You are already wondering why it took you so long to get back to it. If you don’t ride, but need to find ways to understand your horse-afflicted family member or friend, you will find help here. If you own or lease, I hope you enjoy this blog for many of the same reasons—we’re a bunch of mid-life crises in the making depending on our equine companions to save our sanity on this crazy planet.