Love is one of those strong emotions. It can make us feel giddy and secure. It can give you butterflies in your stomach. With love behind us, we feel like we can move mountains.
Love can also make you do foolish things. And, because you are in love, you do things that you never thought you could or would do. When you love horses, that love can sometimes make you look or act like a crazy person…so to honor that equestrian-style love, I decided to share my “love” list with you.
1) You are willing to spend unmentionable amounts of money on vet bills that far exceed what you spent to purchase the horse. I am looking at you, Cigar.
2) You learn to overcome your dislike of needles to give your horse his daily doses of antibiotics.
3) You pick ticks from your horse’s anus.
4) Why else would you sit in a cold barn for hours with a colicky horse?
5) You stop caring that you have hay in your hair and dirty nails as you stand in line to buy diapers/apples/carrots at the grocery store.
6) You consider selling an organ to pay for that dream saddle. Two organs will get you that dream horse.
7) You fight back the nausea as you carefully pull the catheter from your horse’s neck.
8) Searing hot summer temperatures and sweat burning your eyes doesn’t stop you from your regular barn visit and ride.
9) You gladly purchase shoes and handbags from eBay so your beloved can have their monthly supplements and treats.
10) Sheath cleaning. Enough said.
11) Still giving your horse a hug even after he poops on the back of your head while you were picking his hind hoof.
12) Still promising to bring them home from the show even though he pretended he could not canter. Yes, again, I am looking at you Cigar.
13) You worry more about them sleeping at a show than you do about the cleanliness of the hotel you booked for yourself.
14) You forgive them when they cough green goo on your brand new white show breeches.
15) You promise them that they will never have to fear the unknown of an equine auction.
16) For two weeks in the dead of winter with the coldest temperatures in years, you commit to soaking and poulticing a hoof to combat an abscess.
17) You spend thousands of dollars to win some pieces of satin that will collect dust and dead bugs in the folds.
18) You learn to (eventually) laugh at the hoof-shaped bruise on your foot, the black eye, and your bloody nose.
19) You celebrate their birthdays and gotcha days.
20) You commit to being there for them until the final goodbye.
Horses can complicate your life, but I would not have it any other way. The love they give in return is worth every moment.