As equestrians, there are certain unarguable truths that we all know. These are tidbits that, small or large, we gather over time as we care for our horses and manage their stabling.
1. It’s the little things that count.
That’s right, the devil’s in the details. And anyone who has ever doubted the truth of this phrase clearly has not used a muck rake that looks like this:
2. Very few things in life are as satisfying as a freshly raked arena.
4. Hay migrates.
It migrates into your shoes, into your socks, down your shirt, into your bra … and the list goes on. Anytime I thought I had appropriately armed myself against the inevitable hay migration, I have been proven woefully wrong.
5. Shoes will always come off at the worst possible time.
Headed to a show for the weekend? Your horse will throw its shoe on Thursday afternoon. Guaranteed.
6. There are three people a horse person needs in their life.
A good vet, a good farrier and a good hay supplier. These are the folks who will keep your ponies happy, healthy and fed. And once you have these, don’t cross them. Keep them paid and keep your appointments. Sure, there are others who you should probably keep happy, but these are the ones who are pretty much irreplaceable.
7. Major life decisions are made while cleaning stalls.
T.S. Eliot may have measured out his life with coffee spoons, but horse people measure theirs out with muck rakes. There’s just something about methodically shoveling piles of manure and urine-soaked bedding that leads to levels of introspection heretofore unmatched. This is another one of those things that people who don’t spend their lives in the barn won’t understand, but many a great idea was borne and many major life decisions have been made while mucking stalls.
8. Hoses will get left on.
No matter how methodical you are or how much you pride yourself on remembering to turn off the spigot, you will inevitably flood portions of your pasture because you forgot you were filling a water trough. And if you do a really good job at it (and under the right circumstances), you will manage to run your well dry in the process.
9. There is no larger paradox than a horse.
How is it that a 1000 lb animal can be driven berserk by one small fly on its leg but in the next moment will completely blow off your leg as you try to ask for some lateral movement? Or how can a horse figure out how to get itself untied, out of its stall, out of the fence, or whatever (to the extent that you’re certain it’s some sort of genius escape artist) and in the next instant manage to scare itself with a fart or a plastic bag (to the extent that you’re convinced it’s the dumbest creature you’ve ever met)? Or one minute the horse is the most majestic creature you’ve ever seen and the next it looks like this:
10. No one but other horse people “get it.”
Don’t expect your non-horsey significant other to share your love of your four-legged, hooved, money-sucking equine. It won’t happen. In fact, if that significant other tolerates your passion, you’re in pretty good shape. And, shockingly, non-horsey people don’t experience the same sense of joy when inhaling the smell of horses. That’s unique to us. We can’t expect others to get it — or get us! — unless they, too, are equestrians.
What truths have you come to realize as an equestrian? Let us know in the Facebook comments.