… a tongue-in-cheek list.
A happy, willing partner means letting your horse do everything he wants… right? Well, there’s always too much of a good thing. This tongue-in-cheek list might take it just a little too far.
1. Grab your horse from the barn, tack him up, and then decide not to ride that day. You don’t like other people telling you when to exercise, and he probably doesn’t either.
2. Hook up the trailer and try to get him to load; when he refuses, stuff a treat in his mouth and take him back to the corral. He must know something about the trailer that you don’t.
3. When your horse won’t stand still to be shod for the farrier, find a holistic barefoot trimmer whose star sign matches your horse and who also appreciates you shoveling treats into his mouth during the whole process.
4. Never, ever bathe your horse. Your horse spent a lot of time trying to get that dirty. If he wants to be hosed off, he’ll let you know when you’re filling water troughs.
5. Flies are bad; fly spray is even worse. You know he doesn’t like the smell of fly spray, and the spraying action actually scares him. But he also can’t stand to be eaten alive by flies, so for the love of God, bring your horse into your house during the middle of the day. That’s why you have all those fancy screened-in windows and central air.
6. Don’t ever ride your horse — he’s your pet! You don’t ride your dog, do you? Why would you discriminate?
7. Only sweet feed and alfalfa must be fed to your horse. Regular grass hays and grain without molasses are tasteless. We have all evolved for millions of years and now we have things called taste buds. To feed anything lacking flavor is like going back to the cavemen times, where we would be lucky to not be eaten by a saber-tooth tiger and not lucky enough to own a horse. You wouldn’t want to eat something bland and tasteless, so why would your horse?
8. When your horse acts buddy or barn sour, make sure he gets his way. If he bucks or rears under saddle, you should get off and walk the rest of the way. Clearly if you loved him, you’d let him be a horse.
9. Don’t suppress your mare’s inner witchiness. She’s mean for a reason, and the reason is probably you. When she pins her ears back at you, give her her darned space, and whatever else she demands. She’s trying to communicate with you, and you’re not listening. Haven’t you heard of horse whispering? Maybe you need to go to another clinic!
10. Your horse’s happiness revolves around you. You need to check on your horse 24/7 to prevent anything bad from happening to him. Never go on a vacation, and make sure you have a job that allows you a lunch break to check on your horse. The ideal situation for your horse’s happiness: work from home and sleep in the barn.
All jests aside, it takes a careful balance to create the perfect horse life. Have fun walking that tightrope! And go riding.