Your Turn: My horse problem

On paper, Megan Kaiser seems like a pretty normal person: full-time job, husband, house, dog, cat, two kids. But secretly, she struggles with a serious addiction that she just can’t kick.

From Megan:

I was at the grocery store trying to figure out which canned food would be best for my cat that had just had some teeth removed when I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman.  At some point in the conversation that moved beyond savory bits vs. pate style and I mentioned that I had a horse.  He instantly responded with “Oh, that’s a horrible disease” just as any family member of someone that has a serious riding problem would.  I instantly laughed.

I describe myself as someone that “never outgrew horses.”  My mom should have known:  The first “lessons” I took when I was six were from the daughter of someone she worked with.  A high-schooler with a dark bay mare named Sally.  The barn had built stalls in the middle of the indoor, but you could ride around the outside.  When my “trainer” would announce “one more time around and then we’ll go in” I would halt Sally at the far end where they couldn’t see us.  We would stand there until my mother would come over and threaten that if I didn’t get off now we would never come back.

When I was seven we started at a lesson barn closer to our house.  Soon after, on a particularly windy day, the dogs barked, the horses spooked, my sister and I both came off, I promptly got back on and my sister switched to ballet.

I kept going to school, in part, to ensure I would always be able to afford riding.  I now have a full time non-horsey job, husband, house, dog, cat, and two kids.  All of, with the exception of the cat (who is just fine now that the bad teeth are gone) were preceded by my 21 year old OTTB that I drag to an event or two each summer.

I’m not sure what my family says when they tell others that I ride, but I guess it doesn’t matter; it’s not changing anytime soon.  I have every intention of being the older lady who shows up at every local event doing the open intro on some saint of a quarter horse or draft-cross–while my husband is at the grocery store buying cat food.

At a local show in the early '80s--that is the mare my sister came off and didn't ride again for at least 20 years

When I was the groom for my trainer's mother in a driving competition (I weighted the least of all the barn brats, therefore I was chosen)

At a fairly recent event (photo used with permission from Brant Gamma)

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