Horse life has plenty of uncertainties, but there are a few facets that will always hold true, no matter how much we wish we could avoid them. Maria Wachter brings us nine.
There is a saying: the only things certain in life are death and taxes. While this is true, there are plenty more certainties if you own horses. Either they will happen directly to you or to someone you know. While reading through these, they might sound like a buzzkill, but really we mean this as “we feel your pain, because we’ve been there before. You have our deepest sympathies.”
1. The !@#$$ horse that won’t load into a trailer.
We’ve all been there, even with the “best trailer loading horse in the world.” Eventually they JUST WON’T GET IN! Normally these moments happen when you have: 1. a crowd, 2. someplace to be at a certain time. 3. trying to show a horse to a potential new buyer how well they load in the trailer.
2. A mare losing a foal
In the wild (and on Craigslist) these horses are popping babies out like an Easy-Bake oven. What seems to happen a lot in the horse world is that a dedicated, responsible breeder picks a registered, proven stud, makes sure they have no genetic issues, gets the mare artificially inseminated, spends a buttload at the vet who orchestrates the whole thing, builds a foaling stall, gets padded walls, covers the mare in bubble wrap, waits 10 months and 30 days and then is greeted by an aborted foal in the stall. It happens. It sucks. We feel for you.
3. Falling off
The art of riding: keeping the horse between you and the ground. It’s not if, but when. Do not consider yourself lucky if you haven’t fallen off: it will happen. You will be lucky if you don’t break anything. It normally happens on the best-trained, safest horse in the world. The monster horses that are out to kill you tend to keep your guard up so you stay put in the saddle with a death grip on the reins and a UFC fighter style leg lock hold in the saddle.
4. Going lame
Even the soundest horse in the world can go lame. Abscesses, stone bruises, founder, white line disease, ring bone, navicular, strains, sprains and tears. It happens, it blows. Nothing wrecks your world more than your favorite horse who walked perfectly yesterday greeting you for breakfast walking on three legs today.
5. Vet bills
“Yay, I finally have saved enough money, have a nest egg and will be able to afford a vacation this year…. just kidding… I got an unexpected thousand-dollar vet bill on top of my expected $500 one.” *breaks out the bottle of booze in the back of the freezer*
Someone somewhere once said “all a horse is, is a thousand pound animal looking for a really expensive way to die his whole life.” Ain’t that the truth! Why was the horse created to not be able to throw up? That’s just wrong. Very wrong. What goes in must come out… the other end. Sometimes there is a hiccup from point A to point B.
7. Everyone wants to be your friend
“You have a horse? I know how to ride! Can I ride your horse? Please, please, please? You’re my new best friend!”
Even though you just met this person they want to be your best friend. Everyone has ridden before.*rolls eyes* Yes, they might have rode a horse, but it probably was 35 years ago and led by a handler who was hired to lead a snot-nosed kid around in a circle for a birthday party.
Every time someone asks “can I ride your horse?” please respond with “can I sleep with your husband?” The shocked look on their face will be worth it, I promise you.
(Most of us are happy to offer our well-behaved horse for our friends to ride. This is for the people you meet in public that you want nothing to do with and will hopefully never see again.)
8. The never-ending skyrocketing price of diesel and hay
Why is the cost of a gallon of milk cheaper than a gallon of fuel? This is not right. Someone didn’t get the memo.
Every time the fuel price goes down just a little bit, we rejoice. A month later, the fuel is twice as high and we just wish it would be as low as it was last month when we thought that was too high.
Even when the price of fuel goes down, why do hay prices keep going… up… up… up?
9. No one looks good in breeches
It’s just not physically possible. Even if you look halfway decent in a pair, from a distance to the untrained eye it will look like you’re not wearing any pants. Who actually made the rule up where to show a thousand-pound animal with a mouth bigger than their brain that poops at will, they need to wear a dress coat, gloves and fancy pants? Why do you think so many people ride western?