#TBT: 11 Things All Horsewomen Have In Common

Whether you ride English or western, drive or trail ride… there are a few distinct features we all share that mark us without a doubt as horsewomen. Annie Goodwin explains.

Photo courtesy of Annie Goodwin.

The longer I am in the equestrian world, the more similarities I find in myself and my peers! Here are a few of the things that every horsewoman has in common! Go ahead, tell me I am wrong.

1. Calluses

We’ve got hands to make any man feel soft. From digging post-holes, to mucking stalls and everything in between; the equestrian life is not one for the faint of heart (or hand).

2. Farmer’s tan

Ahh, the inevitable farmer’s tan. Looks so great in that bridesmaid dress you have to wear next month. It’s not even that we play in the sun on purpose. I, for one, am definitely not looking to deepen my tan lines every year but at this point, I rock the built-in short sleeve look all year round.

3. Horses come first… seriously.

It takes a special person to be in a relationship with a horsewoman. Married, dating or just friends — the hard truth is that you will come second to our four-legged soul mates. It’s not an insult in the slightest; on the flip side, you should be flattered that we find time to keep you around!

4. Routine oriented

We are a routine bunch. Starting our day off the same way every morning and finishing up the same way every night has a poetry to it. Cleaning stalls and feeding grain doesn’t get monotonous; in fact, the mindless schedule can be therapeutic and relaxing! Life works better out of a routine.

5. Eccentric

Horse people in general are notorious for our “eccentricities.” Yeah, we are a little loony. I mean, who looks at a 1200-pound animal and thinks “Oh no sir, you are not the boss of me!”? WE DO! In all honesty, I think that the horsey lifestyle attracts and nurtures the natural bad@$$. So what if we’re a little loony? We’re all loony together!

6. Cars are really an extension of the barn

Saddles, water bottles, dirty boots, bags of grain, bales of hay, pads that need to be laundered and a broken blanket. What do these things all have in common? They are currently taking up a solid 70% of the available space in my vehicle. Oh and not to mention the sand (with a hint of poop, I’m sure) that covers all of the floor surface and most of my seats…. You know what I am talking about.

7. I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T

Horses have taught us how to stand our ground and to wipe ourselves off when we fall and hop right back on. They’ve taught us to be secure in ourselves and to trust our gut. Horses teach that with a little (okay, a ton of) hard work and determination, anything is possible. It’s so much more rewarding to know that you did it on your own. The equestrian lifestyle has given me that!

8. Not afraid of hard work

We throw around 50-pound bags of grain and push wheelbarrows full of poop like they’re nothing. Working from sunup to sundown sounds like a vacation and unlike the rest of the east coast, we celebrate Daylight Savings time because it means we can work even longer! We don’t just reach our goals, we blow them out of the water because day in and day out we keep those goals in mind and we work toward them with every step.

9. Typically disheveled

The majority of the time I spend in public, I have that “just from the barn look.” Main reason? I probably just crawled out of some barn, somewhere to come into the public realm. We can clean up nice and when we do AHHOOOOGGAA, we look good (farmer’s tan and all)! Most of the time we rock the helmet hair and the freshly sweated look. Sometimes I unintentionally bring some of the barn with me wherever I go. For example, going for a quick run at the gym and noticing little pieces of grain falling out of my ponytail onto the treadmill… totally acceptable. Maybe we’re just ahead of the fashion trend?

10. Small zoo keepers

What’s that saying… “one is one too many, one more is never enough?” Every horsewoman that I know, myself included, has quite the menagerie of fur babies. From horses to dogs to cats and everything in between, we usually are low-key animal hoarders. Find a stray dog? Welcome to the family, Lassie! Hungry kittens in the neighborhood? They get used to the bowls of food being mysteriously left in the barn and start to make themselves at home. We are an animal-loving people and even if it starts with horses, it certainly doesn’t end there!

11. Busy busy busy

My daily calendar looks like it’s written in some weird hieroglyphic derivation, full of numbers, abbreviations and little pictures. At quick glance, the lay person (any non horsey “civilian”) would comprehend very little of it save one thing, the fact that it is absolutely slammed. We sleep like babies at night because the average horsewoman works 25 out of every 24 hours. From farrier appointments to scheduled client rides to lessons, we barely have enough time to grab lunch, most of the time forgoing sustenance in order to complete the day’s activities! Is it worth it? More than anything in the world.

Annie Goodwin was born and raised on a dude ranch in Banner, Wyoming. She has worked her way up through the ranks for top level eventers and show jumpers and has just recently purchased a top class facility in Aiken, SC. She now focuses on developing her young string of promising eventers and show jumpers to be a top level international competitor. Learn more about Annie Goodwin at rafteryequestrian.com.

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