Up to this point I have been discussing the very serious aspects of buying and owning a horse. I would like to take a moment to go to the flip side, which is the best part. Horses are not only fun, but are funny too as they really do have a sense of humor. Spending the whole day at the barn, playing around with your horse(s), riding and bathing them, cleaning their stalls, giving them sparkling clean water in their buckets, fresh smelling new bedding and lots of pretty hay for them to enjoy, could not be a more relaxing time in the life of a true horse person. As far as I am concerned, just the smell of horses does something to the senses that can not be replaced by anything else. A family that mucks together, stays together…a little horse humor.
If you wish to venture onto the showing aspect of horse ownership, get tied on for a great ride. Schooling your horse everyday and watching them become more muscular, more rounded and more mannerly, an animal that does what you ask on cue and does it willingly as they become more fit, is a blast. Getting to the barn really early in the morning, bathing and grooming your horse to perfection, loading your shiny clean horse on the trailer and heading to the show where other trailers and show thirsty horsemen congregate, is an experience you will never forget; especially if you come home with a handful of ribbons, hopefully blue ones. There is something satisfying about putting horses in a very clean stall at the end of a very long day, feeding them, watching them chow down and then go to their hay and just relax. A few treats at the end of the day, maybe a few carrots or an apple, can’t hurt either. For most horse lovers, being around horses has a calming, sort of romantic way of making them feel.
Probably the wildest ride I have experienced is owning and training racing Thoroughbreds. That is a wonderful and rewarding way of life. Unfortunately it is a very expensive one. The rewards are great monetarily but the expense can be tremendous as you learn your way. Winning a race can compare to no other reward in my small world; it is a very gratifying high. You take a young two year old and help him or her to grow into a competitive athlete, watch them go out and know what it is that they want to accomplish, and believe it or not, you can see the pride in them, the way they look and even the way they walk after they win. Many times these horses have made me laugh by their antics. Some of them are very silly and entertaining. Horses have kept me laughing throughout the years and have eased my mind when times were tough, just by being around them. They are loving, caring animals that give unconditionally. They don’t care about the color of your hair, how much you weigh, or if you are wearing the right clothes or driving an expensive car. They just love you. I am at my very best when I am standing beside a horse. They bring to me an inner peace that is unparalleled in my life and I am grateful for every moment I can share with them.
My advice to parents that have a horse crazed child is to do your self a favor. If you can afford it, buy them a horse. You will always know where they are, at the barn. True horsemen would prefer to be at the barn more so than anywhere else. At least the ones I have known. If your son or daughter want to show their horse, even better! They will have to be at the barn every day and work with their animal to make a competitive difference. Horses will help them to learn responsibility, learn how to work hard and understand the rewards of making the commitment of doing things right.