The Equestrian’s Guide to Coffee Consumption

How many cups should you be brewing in the morning? Use our handy guide to decide, based on the day’s planned horse-related activities.

Flickr/E. Nekervis/CC

Flickr/E. Nekervis/CC

Coffee makes the horse world go ’round. But how much do you actually need in your day? We’ve drawn up a handy guide that shows you how much coffee you should prepare based on the activity you’re planning.

Horse showing: One cup

On Show Day, you wake the rooster up to get ready for a full day of stress-related horse activities … or is that horse-related stress activities? You’ll definitely need the one cup when you have to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn — you have a long day of getting pretty, putting your game face on and winning those ribbons ahead of you, so you need something to give you that extra pick-me-up. But limit yourself at one: drinking too much coffee will get the bowels and bladder rolling, and chances are the only outhouse is a 2 mile walk up hill on the other side of the fairgrounds. Plus, you probably don’t need any help being a jittery hot mess. Drink accordingly.

Mucking out: Two cups

The wisest know to drink a cup before you start, and then save the second cup until later, like a kind of reward. While it’s tempting to bring the second cup down the aisle with you to sip as you go, you’ll wind up picking an awful lot of loose shavings, soiled hay and much, much worse floating on the top. On the other hand, picking it off the top is way better than draining the mug to find a surprise from the stall floor lurking in the bottom.

Holding horses for the farrier: Three cups

If you have a day planned to spend with your farrier as you hold horses while he shoes, there’s nothing nicer than a hot cup of coffee between horses — for both you and your farrier. Have a cup in the morning, and then bring two down to the barn so you can share. This is really nice on cold days when fingers and toes are numb and the snot coming out of your nose has formed icicles that resemble deep cave stalactites. On hot days, pour that cup over a big glass of ice.

Horse hauling: Four cups … or more

If you are planning to spend all day in your truck hauling horses all over, don’t forget your cup of joe and your favorite insulated mug. Things never go as planned, and somehow it’s always rush hour somewhere. Coffee somehow makes the traveling more enjoyable — but remember, the more you drink, the more stops you’ll need to make along the way. Better leave an empty stall on the trailer for your personal use.

A colicing horse: Two pots & some whiskey

You will not have enough coffee in your house to get through the stress and struggle of a colicing horse. Be prepared to stay up all night and have your walking shoes on. Keep the coffee pot in the tack room or barn office going for you, your buddy and your vet. A suggestion: add some whiskey to your coffee to dull the pain … for you at least.

Grooming for a friend: Coffee IV

Unlike horse showing (see above), when you’re grooming for your friend on show day you need that kind of crazed lemur level of energy that only comes from a near-constant flow of caffeine through your veins. Your job is to cheerlead, be in all places at once, make sure your friend gets entered in the right classes and knows their patterns, test or courses and keep that show horse spotless at all times. You’ll need to be prepared hold 8 items at once including said show horse as well as a travel mug of coffee for yourself, so you need to be on your A-game.

Horse camping: As many cups as you want

Ah, the joys of horse camping, where you spend a fortune to live in the woods with your horse for the weekend. In a lot of places you camp, you will be without much entertainment (Facebook and the TV will be waiting for you at home). To pass the downtime between rides, there’s nothing more enjoying than sitting around a campfire and sipping on a cup or 10 of hot coffee, made cowboy strong for the trail.

‘Fess up, Horse Nation — how many cups get you through your day? Go riding!

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