When a “normal person” hears the word “horses”, they probably think about a herd of horses majestically running through a field or a big creature eating an apple out of their hand.
For those that live in the horse world, it’s a different story.
I think about waking up early to put out feed/hay/water, cleaning stalls, getting the horses back in their stalls or letting them out before you can eat your breakfast and start your day. In the evenings doing it all over again before you can go to your friend’s party, out to eat, or to bed for the night. Inevitably, there’s always a problem the one time you’re pressed for time. Not to mention the money that goes into making it all possible: the vet bills, the farrier bills, the trainer bills, and the feed bills. I think about grooming, bathing, clipping, picking hooves. We keep the lights on for so many hours and wrap them in blankets and sheets to keep their winter coats off. The cost of having the hat, shirt, belt, chaps, and matching saddle pad. Showing adds hours of riding practice, lessons, hauling to shows, early mornings riding them down, and nerves of going in the show pen.
After thinking a little deeper, it really does cost so much to have and show horses. I bet most people who found out all the details would run far away from having horses.
But for some reason, all of these activities (and MANY more) do seem majestic to us.
There’s something special about horses, dust, and hay that combine to make that famous “barn smell” that grows to be a smell we crave. It’s peaceful to ride a horse through the pasture. There’s a special feeling that comes with walking into a barn as the sun rises. Some would say scooping manure is therapeutic. The horses themselves fill giant voids in our hearts that nothing else could fill. I think that’s why we do the crazy things we do. The horses. Their individual personalities, their desire to make us happy, their hearts, that is why we do what we do. I love to sit back and think about how ridiculous it really is to be part of this lifestyle, but then I think about how empty I would be to live any other way.
Ashton Rein Williams