4 Things We Do For Our Horses That We Don’t Do For Ourselves

We know you would sacrifice almost anything so that your beloved horse won’t have to go without. But there are a few basic equine needs that we should consider for ourselves every now and then…

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The author in her natural habitat. Photo by Denny Emerson.

I don’t care what kind of rider you are: equestrians are sort of hilarious when it comes to spending money on their precious pride and joy that they would never spend on themselves. Our horse’s happiness, health, comfort and overall presentation seems to weigh heavily on our priority list as well as our pocketbooks. Of course, not all equestrians are this way, but if I had a dollar bill for every rider I know who drops thousands on their horse but cringes at the thought of spending fifty bucks on themselves, I’d be a wealthy girl! Here’s a list of things horsey folk will do for their horse, but might not do for themselves…

The Dentist

Most of us follow very strict schedules when it comes to our horse’s dental care. Obviously, our horse’s mouth directly affects us both as riders and owners. A horse might be having difficulties in the bridle possibly from a number of different problems that can be found in their mouths. Dental care is extremely important for our horses’ overall well-being. Yet some of us might “forget” that we haven’t been to see our own dentist in a while — but as long as our horse’s teeth are being cared for we are content!


Why would we ever skimp on our horse’s hooves or shoeing schedule? “No foot, no horse,” as the saying goes. Of course we would like to cut down on shoeing bills at times, but regularly tending to our horses’ feet is not exactly an option! Special winter shoes? Of course! Drilled and tapped in the summer? Why, yes, certainly! Oh, should I replace these dingy fourteen-year-old holey sneakers? Why would I do that? They still have some life left to ‘em!


For those of us who blanket our horses, it’s truly amazing the amount of money we will drop on a new deluxe turnout, or a beautiful fleece cooler, or a sheet in our favorite colors. But when’s the last time we bought a pair of jeans for ourselves, or replaced some of our tired old clothing for something nice and new? We just want the best for our horses. They need to stay dry and warm and happy! But for many of us, buying our horses’ clothing comes way before buying ourselves anything new to wear.

Hair care

I would hardly call myself a prima donna. In fact, I usually have something on my head most of the time, whether it’s a helmet, a winter hat, or a baseball hat. In other words, tending to my hair, or better yet, primping myself for a day spent with horses seems about as beneficial as wearing heels to the barn… it just doesn’t make sense! (If you are one of those individuals who shows up to ride every day with earrings, nail polish, makeup and beautiful clothing that somehow stays clean, power to you!) However, for people similar to myself, we have no problem purchasing tail detangler, horse shampoo and other similar horse mane and coat products that will leave our animals looking shiny, healthy and otherwise gorgeous, especially for a competition or show. But please don’t ask me how I normally style my own hair, or how frequently I get my hair cut.

So, what’s on YOUR list that you will happily spend on your horse that you will not spend on your horse?!

My name is Lila Gendal and I am 29 years old. I am from Vermont and have been riding horses since I was 6 years old. I have been eventing since I was 10. I have been riding and training with Denny Emerson for the last 9 years. My goal is to compete at the upper levels someday. I’m currently leasing an awesome ISH gelding named Theatre Royal (owned by Gayle Davis), and we are going Prelim. When I am not on a horse or in the barn I am likely working in my office on what I like to call Equine Media… or social media for equestrians and equestrian websites.

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