I always say that there should be a support group of sorts for the husbands of horsey women. There are certain woes that only men involved with horsey women could understand. We shouldn’t generalise, and of course there are as many personalities among horsey women as there are horsey women, but I do like to think that there a few things that the majority of us share.
First off, we are selfish. But not in the way you think. Because we do not care only for ourselves; it is just that we have taken up the responsibility that comes with riding horses. Horses did not ask to be in our lives- we made that decision for them and we are therefore responsible for their health and well-being. Horses need commitment and time. A lot of it! Much, much more time and commitment than you can even begin to imagine.
When we are at the stable yard, time works differently. I can’t quite explain this phenomenon – stable-yard-time stands still while that in the outside world may keep moving. Five minutes with our horses is possibly equal to 2 hours out in the “real” world. (Some clever physicist should probably look into that – it could potentially make time-travel possible!) This means we are often late coming back from the yard. You should probably learn to cook. And possibly eat alone.
If you do not enjoy the smell of horse-sweat mixed with leather, dirt and hay you had better learn to like it because our cars, our living rooms and very likely our bedrooms will always be filled with variable horse-related paraphernalia, horse hair and strands of hay. If we like horses, we are more than likely also lovers of many other animals and in addition to the above-mentioned, our houses will be filled with furry creatures, great and small.
In most cases, we will have been involved with horses way before you came along and after you leave, it will be their manes we cry into. They are our friends, confidantes sports partners, teammates…I could carry on, but you get my drift. When we say we will choose horses above you, please believe us. This is not a joke and it is not about to change. Ever.
No, not even when babies (should we be willing to give up riding for a time to even have babies!) come along. Once they can hold their own heads up, babies are perfectly able to be put on a horse. As they grow older we will teach them to ride, love horses and double your trouble! Loving horses teaches responsibility. Yes, they will inevitably fall off, and we will make them get back on again. Perseverance builds character, after all!
We are strong women. We sit on the back of 600+kg animals and haul around bales of hay that is equal to our own body weight. We can take you…but we are also strong, emotionally.
We do not need you in our lives and the fact that you are in it, means that we actually want you there. If you cannot live with any, or possibly all of the above, then please move along swiftly before we get attached. For we are not heartless. On the contrary; we are very emotional creatures, with big hearts and a vast capacity to love. We are passionate about our animals and about our sport. So if you are lucky enough to have the love of a horsey women, you should feel very privileged indeed!
Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will never be the same. – Ralph Waldo Emerson