To all my fellow "horse people," this one is for you. All you barrel racers, equestrians, ropers, horse owners, etc., can relate to the weird habits, odd smells, time consumption and total lifestyle change that comes with being a "horse person." Owning and partaking in sports involving these quirky-yet-beautiful creatures definitely requires a lot of time and commitment. Hay becomes a part of your wardrobe, boots become your new favorite shoes, your horse eats better than you do, you confuse and impress your non-horse friends with your equine jargon, and you spend more time with your horse than you do people because even mare moods are sometimes easier to deal with.
1. The Money
If you're broke already, please do not think that buying a horse is a good idea. I have played a lot of sports in my life: tennis, softball, dance, cheer, cross country and soccer. None of those sports compare to how much it costs to barrel race. Supplements, saddles, tack, boots, clothes, food, hay, trailer, truck, gas, entry fees, farrier, vet, dentist, chiropractor, etc, etc. Needless to say, you better have some pocket change if you wanna get involved in the equine world.
2. The Time.
Free time? What is that? If you're a horse person, you are constantly riding, grooming, fixing something around the barn, mucking stalls, feeding, hauling, competing, shopping for, etc, etc. The to-do list never ends, and if you want to compete, it's an everyday commitment.
3. The Language
So my boyfriend actually used "trotted" to say he was jogging the other day. I have definitely rubbed off on him. At least he is beginning to understand the horse jargon. To non-horse people, we probably sound like we are speaking a foreign language. I mean hocks, mane, latigo, lope, bridle, breast collar, dressage, frog, hoof, shod, etc. These words seem like a normal part of everyday language but to others, expect some funny looks.
4. The Smell/Appearance
Owning a horse can show even in your appearance and smell...sometimes unfortunately. Hay becomes stuck to clothes and in hair, manure is a permanent attachment to your boots, dirt under your fingernails, hair all over (especially in the spring), bruises (this one is definitely for barrel racers), and that smell... but it's not all bad. Rodeo attire is pretty cute, boots are my favorite shoes, and jeans, t-shirt, and ball caps are my go-to.
5. Understanding/dealing with horses themselves
So, there were countless pics on the web that would fit this point, but I thought this one was appropriate. The mare mood swings, the goofy geldings, being spooked by literally everything, their love for pooping in a freshly cleaned stall or trailer, their obsession with treats, etc. We all begin to see that each and every horse is very different and has a personality of its own. I talk to my horse more than I do most people, and she gets me. I remember how I was with horses when I first started, and how far I've come once I learned that they are just like us, just better.
These are just a few of the many horse parts of life that we all know and understand too well. It's definitely a lifestyle of its own and something you just have to experience to understand. Being a horse person is one of my favorite parts of life and I wouldn't trade it for the world.