“Intervention” is a series in which we identify horsepeople whose compulsive behaviors have brought them to a point of personal crisis. Here’s the talking pillow, “Window Shopper.”
Here’s our latest submission:
Dear Horse Nation,
I think I have a problem–no, scratch that, I KNOW I have a problem. Basically, I’m addicted to looking at horse for-sale ads online. Dreamhorse.com, Equine.com, CANTER listings, Craig’s List… I check them all, like, a thousand times a day, and it’s starting to interfere with my ability to function in the real world. The last time my boss caught me horse-shopping instead of being on-task (I work in customer support), he told me that if he caught me again, it would be a fireable offense. It is messing with other aspects of my life as well. Sometimes, friends will ask me to meet them out for dinner or a drink, and I tell them I’m “busy”–which I am, horse-shopping! Other times, I know I should be doing something productive, like cleaning the house or going for a run, but I get on the computer instead. I’m not even in the market for a horse; I live in the city, and it would be impossible for me to get out to a barn as often as I would need to to be a good horse owner. I just can’t stop! It’s like a compulsion. Can you help?
Dear Window Shopper,
First, you should know that you’re not alone–lots of people share your passion for virtual horse-shopping, even to the point of distraction. I’m no psychotherapist, but it sounds like you’re compensating for a lack of real horse in your life by creating these imagined scenarios. Fortunately, there are other ways of incorporating “horse time” into your life that don’t involve horse ownership–like taking lessons. If you could get out of the city on the weekend, or every other week, or even once a month, and get some in-the-saddle time, it might go a long ways toward filling that horse-shaped void. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be in a position to go horse-shopping for real. In the meantime, taking lessons on a school horse will help you become a better rider and a more accomplished horseman so that you’ll better be able to cross that bridge when you get there.
If there is a horseperson in your life you would like to nominate for a spot on Intervention, or if you have self-identified that you need an intervention yourself, please email email@example.com.