Horse People Problems: Help! Horses Are Ruining My Life
Horses are running my life. I have it said before and I’ll say it again, but always with a smile on my face. These are the true confessions of horse people problems. I know how much horses take away from my daily life: a solid 3 hours a day 5 days a week. That’s around 15 hours a week, and 60 hours a month… an entire part time job.
Of course, I don’t make any money off of this side job. Instead, my horses just keep me busy paying a lot of bills. Horses always need new food, a visit from the farrier, a new fly mask because they ripped theirs to shreds overnight, and when one of them undergoes a bout of colic I clutch my wallet in fear. Annual shots, teeth floating, even little things like brushes and fly spray start to add up! Then there’s the stuff us equestrians don’t necessarily need but just want, like soft new breeches, a better-fitting saddle, or a new pair of riding boots.
They’re not kidding when they say horseback riding is one of the most expensive sports out there. Not only am I missing 60 hours of work each month to care for my two horses, but I am also bleeding more money than I ever would otherwise.
Sure, I’d love to buy a house in the next couple years, but the only way to do that is to save, save, and save some more. And of course, my life-ruining horses are complicating the whole ‘savings’ thing.
There’s a reason my phone case says “I am really busy” and it’s not because I’m a workaholic, or socially super popular. I’m really busy because I have horses and I have to work, in other words I have a full-time job and a part time job that doesn’t pay. Between horses, work, yoga, social obligations, cooking and cleaning I have hardly a free moment during the month. My friends go days without hearing back from me, and all too often I’m too busy to even meet up for lunch… are you kidding, ain’t no one got time for that! On an average day I’m eating lunch at my desk because I’ve only recently gotten to work after being at the barn.
Often when I’m with the horses I get this rushed feeling, one I never knew as a kid. It’s that pressure that comes with being an adult, the one that tells me I better get home and get back to work soon, that no responsible adult spends this much time running around with horses. Sometimes I even berate myself, saying I’d be further in my career and have more money tucked away in savings if I didn’t have horses. Sure, it’s true, but I suppose I’ve signed up for a life of horse people problems–I just don’t know how to live otherwise.
If something is ruining your life you usually strive to change it. My future plans include making it worse. My perfect vision for the future doesn’t include 2 horses… but instead a whole barn full of horses–please, do not tell my fiancé this! My fiancé will tell you I spend way too much time looking after my horses as it is. He will tell you I don’t sleep enough, or have enough free time… but don’t be fooled by his concerns; I have no plans of changing.
The very thought of life without horses causes dark clouds to roll overhead and a bolt of lightening to strike my spine… without horses life would be my definition of hell. I’ve been riding since I was 7 and horses are a huge part of my identity. No matter how upset I feel, horses always have the power to make me happy. I consider myself a skittish person but I’ve never felt fearful of horses. How could I be afraid of something that makes me feel whole?
So while I worry I’m getting behind my peers career-wise because I lose so many hours a day being up at the barn, I have to ask myself what’s truly important. All expectations and pressures aside, I’m a horse girl, and without horses life losses its luster. The amount of money in your bank account or the number of hours you work every week shouldn’t define you or your happiness—I know, it’s a hard concept to grasp in our money-driven world.
I suppose it’s the whole ‘give and take’ thing. Horses give us so much but when properly cared for they require a lot in return. So while horses might “ruin” some facets of life, they most certainly make up for it by completing my life as a whole.