For individuals who are about to take the plunge.
Most of us that read Horse Nation are 100% horse crazy, but to the people who aren’t quite sure if they want to jump into the world of horse ownership, here are a few facts of horse life that you need to know before you get started. This list might save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
1. Your nails will always be dirty.
If you own horses, there will always be a thin line of dirt under your nails. The two ways to combat this dilemma are to cut or bite your nails so short that nothing can get stuck under them, or paint your nails a dark color to hide the fact you’re smuggling enough dirt to fertilize half of the square states.
2. Your hands will never be soft again.
They will feel like a combination of sand paper and unconditioned leather. They will crack and bleed all winter long. They will be covered in blisters and scars. You will look at other people’s hands and start guessing at what kind of job or hobby they have based on a handshake alone.
3. All of your money will go to the horse.
Between farrier visits, the vet, boarding costs, hay, Smartpak splurges, trucks and trailers, you can kiss your savings account goodbye.
4. Your idea of a vacation is walking into the barn with clean stalls and fresh shavings.
No more laying out on the beach in Mexico, sipping mojtos while the sun goes down. You’ll be lucky if you have time to drink a warm beer between trying to juggle your work and barn time.
5. All your relationships will revolve around horses.
All your friends that you had before horses will dwindle away since the only thing you talk about is… horses. This might ruin your relationship with your significant other if he or she isn’t a horse person. Between the constant horsey smell on you (a combination of horse sweat and manure) and your constant chatter about horses, it can wreak havoc on even the strongest of relationships.
6. You will learn how to go to the bathroom anywhere.
I.e.: the barn stall, the horse trailer, behind the only bush on the trail within a 3 mile radius while you horse frantically lunges circles around you while you’re trying to pop a squat, etc. A porta-potty will be a sight for sore eyes if you’re used to squatting in the stall. If you’re the type of person that puts 7 layers of toilet paper on top of the seat in a public restroom, owning horses might not be for you.
7. Your clothes will constantly be fashioned with two accessories: hay and horse hair.
No matter how comfy fleece clothing is, you will learn to never wear it to the barn. You will also find loose pieces of hay and horse hair stuck between your teeth, in your ears and in your hair. You will become so used to this, you will know the difference in taste between alfalfa and timothy.
8. For Christmas you’ll no longer ask for the newest Louis Vuitton or Coach purse.
You will now be thankful for a ton of hay that has already been stacked in your barn.
9. You’ll have biceps and buns of steel.
Okay, maybe this isn’t a bad thing: between mucking stalls and stacking hay, you won’t need to renew your gym membership. At least you’ll save a little money there.
10. You will break at least one toe every 10 years.
You will have gnarly looking feet that will never look good in a pair of flip flops again. It’s the small price to pay if you want to call yourself a “horse person.”
Sound like fun? If so, welcome to the tribe. We’re happy to have you. Go riding!