The reality of owning a horse...
What people don't realise is that buying a horse is the cheap part...the livery, shoes every 6 weeks, dentist (every 6 months in Maxis case), osteopath, new rugs incredibly regularly when horsey decides he doesn't want to wear one anymore or wants to sleep on it (not in it), feed, and don't even get me started on the vet bills are a horrendous misfortune on my life and leave me begging for money on the street in an outfit that probably cost more than an outfit from Prada, oh my De Niro boots how I love (loath) you..at least pony and I look good eh?
As an example, Maxi started behaving recently and we got very worried because he doesn't normally behave...I DON'T CARE THAT ITS NICE BEING ABLE TO HACK MY HORSE ON A BUCKLE ITS NOT NORMAL! We splashed out on an examination, and blood test (They are really expensive as I found out) to find out he just needed the osteopath for a slightly sore shoulder.
Don't even get me started on saddles, its a very sore subject for me, I have 2 Saddles that don't fit him sitting around, since he decided he only likes expensive French branded Saddles (Otherwise I'm on a bucking bronco) so I should really be taking out shares in Equipe to fund his new dressage saddle (the saddler laughed at me when I told her my budget)
Owning a horse means being up at 6:30 and leaving the house without breakfast to queue on the A21 from anywhere between 20mins to 40mins to get to the yard, for horsey to grace me with a new cut, injury or he will just generally be in a bad mood and decide to stamp on my foot for 'the lols'
You might think, oh it must be so nice in summer though! No. It's not. It's too hot to wear Breeches, the flies are relentless, horsey, even in a full fly suit is still upset about the flys, and he can't handle hacking for more than 30mins before he has a mental breakdown because of them flying round his face, despite him being doused in a whole bottle of hella expensive fly spray daily. There is about 4 weeks of the year I enjoy, when the horses are out 24/7 but it's still cool enough to enjoy yourself. Apart from that it's hell. I don't think I even need to explain why winter is cr*p. Do I?
It's about being bronked off and chasing your horse through 2 fields and up the road whilst wondering whether you have broken any bones/have concussion and still getting on the next day dosed up on what is probably a highly unsafe level of paracetamol
They say horses show unconditional love whether they reach their full potential or not, what they don't tell you is that love means a different word to horses, they show unconditional "I don't give a shit - ness" on a daily bases no matter how much money you throw at them or how much crying you have done. You sit there thinking of how you can write his sale ad without making him sound like a lunatic because you can't do it anymore, but then you realise no one is ever going to want to buy him no matter what you write and every time he puts his head into your arms your heart of stone melts a little and you realise you can't imagine life without him, so you continue throwing money at a horse 7 times out of 10 you despise riding (been there got that T Shirt thanks very much)
Thankfully my horse has never been lame or thrown a shoe (TOUCHING AS MUCH WOOD AS I CAN FIND, AHHHHH FIND ME A FOREST!) so I can't even begin to imagine how shit your life is if your vet and farrier pretty much live on sight and have the log in details to your bank account.
If you don't believe me that this is the reality of owning a horse, here are some other peoples anecdotes:
Kirsty Pearce "The struggle is real guys, and some of us may be a little more OCD than others. We may not want to admit it but Equestrian OCD is probably more of a bigger deal than the average kind of OCD. Reason being, our horses are very precious to us meaning every fine detail needs to be just so. I for one am one of "those" who care to turn my water buckets each and every night if the handles aren't facing the right way or, if the buckets aren't in size order! I am pretty sure my mare, Lizzy doesn't actually give two flying bucks whether the handles on her bucket are facing North, South East or West" www.equispire.co.uk
Anna Howlett "I discovered how crop circles were made the day my mare bolted with me... she galloped straight up the bridleway, skidded, and jumped into a field of wheat. She landed on her belly and did what I must imagine was a barrel roll looking at the damage to my saddle, whilst I ate dirt (quite literally), splitting my bottom lip in half down my chin. We both eventually healed from our injuries thankfully, and no hard feelings. When I went back on foot to check on our landing site, I discovered a rather impressive crop circle! It's on a busy bridleway and I do wonder what people thought when they passed by. Aliens...or just a horse?" www.annahowlettartwork.co.uk
Hayley Files "I spent three hours walking behind my pony whilst she maintained a very safe 2ft distance from me to evade capture. No chasing. No running away. Just walking and maintaining the distance. If I stopped, she stopped and watched me. Boyfriend appeared with a bag of crisps. Pony canters over to him to be caught..." B*stard... www.equissentialsdresage.com
Sari Maydew "When we bought our youngest mule home he jumped the partition into the grooms area, we stopped, put him back, and he did it again! Eventually we turned him to face the other way and I had to travel in the back with him, singing for him, for the 4 hour journey home" www.mulography.co.uk
Jane Clark "When I started taking my boy out as an unbacked 3 yr old, as I was leading him back to the lorry, he legged it, through the lorry park, through the show ground, travel boots on and lead rope flapping, into the working hunter class, and proceeded to jump all 9 of the 3ft jumps before I managed to catch him...we have never returned..." www.photonichealthuk.com
Shannon Stubbs "We took my horse out hacking and we were ready to load him back into the box to drive him home when he suddenly reared up, ran backwards, and disappeared into the woods! We spent an hour tracking hoof prints and the police were even called before he was found tied to a lamp post because he had gotten into some poor mans garden!"
And yet we still find it in our hearts to adore these stupid animals unconditionally (sort of), and continue dealing with all this on a daily basis, because you know what? My life would be rubbish, boring, and I probably wouldn't do any other exercise without my horse!!! My horse creates my social life, I mean I would barely ever get to see my osteopath and the lovely people at the hospital if I didn't have him...