The biggest luxury is to have your horse at home, in your garden almost. Chewing away as you look out of the window, still in your pyjamas at 10am on a Saturday. It is the dream is to drag the smell of horse stables (most expensive and delightful smell in the world) into your warm comforts.
This is the goal/the dream/the aim.
The reality doesn’t get mentioned; something that bizarrely goes unspoken.
It is lonely. Not in a ‘Oh I am going to sell my horse ’cause I can’t see the wood from the trees’ lonely; but naturally lonely. Sometimes it can be a rollercoaster of emotions…
Obviously, by nature, you are alone. The jobs are all done by you, and you get to do the poo picking or ignore the poo picking (that’s me!). You don’t get dragged into the coffee room to chat about Secret Santa. Or how you’re going to celebrate the girl on the yard that you struggle to see eye to eye with…
You are not directly around people chatting about what they’re going to do with their little horse next month. How they love Cross Country and need a companion to go out and about with next week. Would you like to come?
There is no natural and almost automatic invitation.
It’s a bit like what life would be like if we were not on Facebook. Blissful because you’re no longer being dragged into group chats that bang on about a topic that you’re not interested in; but it would be obvious and rude to leave and secretly you don’t want to be excluded… but lonely because you secretly love getting notifications even if they make you look at your phone more than the 2020 recommended 5 minutes a month.
There is no one to go out and get your horse when it’s raining.
I am proud and bold fair weather rider when I want to be (all the time!). Unless it is sideways rain and there is potential that I will get frost bite – then I AM THERE… No logic to it, don’t ask.
There is a risk that you end up doing the same hack everyday, because you hate gates, and no one else is jumping off their stead to do them. Unless you’re able to sweet talk the farmer, but let’s be honest, even they think horse riders are mad and should be avoided.
Payments of gin or wine don’t work for tack cleaning and you certainly cannot expect to have anyone to pick up your poles when jumping.
Note to self: must learn to vault onto my 17.2hh in 2021.
Creating the perfect steps on the muck heap is all up to you
HELLO ABS, but also… I’ll do it tomorrow. Tomorrow isn’t coming any time soon, let me tell you.
You can go hours without actually speaking to another human being and you end up getting yourself into positions that you would otherwise reason to avoid. I should really tell you about that time that I moved 50 bales of shavings… I wanted to see if they LOOK better on the other wall. But that’s for another day.
But ultimately, it’s wonderful because you’re lonely or alone.
You are able to choose if and when you ride. It falls to you to actively search out who you are going to go around that Cross Country course with. You get to sing to your heart’s content on your ride. AND go at your own speed.
You and your horse can pick and choose what to do next, what to spend your Friday night doing and which dressage test you want to do.
In the words of Westlife
‘Cause it’s us against the world
You and me against them all’
Let’s be honest, it is still the goal, it’s still the dream and it’s still delightful.
*Maybe the use of the word ‘lonely’ is wrong, but let’s be honest, sometimes, it’s nice to hear someone say the thing that we feel but daren’t feel because horse owning is still considered to be a luxury.
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