The Bare Minimum

What would you do without horses in your life?

I cannot imagine my life without horses in it. I may not have to own a horse, I may not have to ride almost every day, and I may not have to compete, but I have share the air I breathe with a horse at least some of the time. Although I do not eat, sleep, and breathe horses day in and day out, I easily could if such a lifestyle were within my reach. As it is today, I do own a horse, I do ride almost daily, and I do occasionally compete and anything less would be a deeply felt personal loss to me. Seriously, what do people do with their time if they don’t have this all-consuming passion for equines?


It started early …

I try to imagine my life without horses, and my motivation disappears. What am I working toward, if not horses? Could I get into dog training? Go back to writing daily? Travel a little, I guess? For a period of time in my adult life, I did not own a horse of my own but I still managed to ride frequently, more than one horse a day even. Eli happened to be one of those horses. What if, horseless, I didn’t stick like glue to the people who were generous enough to let me ride sales prospects? Where would I be, and where would Eli be?


This guy came along at mostly pretty much the right time although my checkbook slightly disagrees …

I can’t answer these questions, because that is not the path my life took. That is not the path I chose for myself. For some people, their lives are such that they must choose between horses and something else, maybe even among many other things. My life is not that way–I plan everything around horses. I knew early on in my own life that horses would always be a part of it, and I committed to an education that would keep me employed, so that I could at the very least pay for a lesson here and there. I committed to riding as much as possible at every chance I had to do so, so that friends wouldn’t hesitate to offer me a ride on a horse every once in a while if I ever found myself horseless. I committed to buying a horse again, probably a little too soon in my personal financial picture, but I have no regrets and I don’t hesitate to hustle daily to make sure my horse is cared for. My life is as good as it is BECAUSE of horses.

Being around horses a few days a week would be the bare minimum of pony time necessary to maintain my quality of life. I have found a way to incorporate horses into my life much more fully than just a few days a week and I am happier for it.

How important are horses to you? What impact have they had on your life?

34 thoughts on “The Bare Minimum

  1. I am definitely going to make this a hop… or I’m hopping in over to my blog later this week.

    I tried to be without horses and it’s not good for me. When I stopped riding in 2014 I felt pretty lost. I also had sooooo much free time. And money. But nothing I really wanted to do with either. I threw myself into baking, gained some weight, and drove anyone that would listen insane. Then I got another horse and here we are! Riding is about more than competition for me. I’ve always felt at home at the barn and it has always been a place of solitude for me. Can’t be replaced and I definitely don’t plan to let go again. I now believe where there’s a will there’s a way and I’ll do what it takes to keep horses in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have no idea what normal people do with their lives, because like you I really thrive on the purpose that horses bring to my life. I guess other people just have kids and throw dinner parties and all that crap? Leave work, come home, cook dinner, watch a couple hours of mindless sitcoms? Or go to a bar for happy hour and socialize all the time? That all sounds awful to me. The two times I’ve taken breaks (ultimately both very short ones) I’ve totally lost my mind into other hobbies that are equally time consuming. I’m not good when I don’t have something to constantly work toward and obsess over.

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  3. Great Idea by Hillary! I think I will Blog Hop this, as it is a topic I have been thinking of writing about since Justin has been out of work for over a month. My entire adult life so far has been centered around horses. I even moved hundreds of miles away from my family to have a horse job. And now I find myself not having as much daily interaction with horses. I don’t know what normal non-obsessive people to, but I actually took up CrossFit to fill the void (Crossfit people are crazy people of a different nature). To each there own, but I don’t plan to make this horse break very long!

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  4. Definitely gonna Hop on this one too 😉 I took a few years off in college, which I really needed to focus on school and kinda reset myself mentally. But now, I have no idea what I would do. I only take one day off a week, and my roommate jokes that I have no idea how to relax because I legit have no idea what to do with that free time.

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  5. My life definitely revolves around horses. When I didn’t have a horse in college I actually spent my free time earning money so I could buy one when I graduated (enter Stampede). I go to the barn daily unless I’m out of town and ride every day as long as my horses are both in working order. If I’m ever at home for more than a couple hours I start doing things, I really just can’t sit still. I really can’t imagine how other people don’t die of boredom. The other night I was home alone for less than two hours and proceeded to get bored and finish a fleece knot blanket I bought stuff for a couple years ago. Horse people aren’t meant to sit around. Not to mention that being around horses is what keeps me sane. After a long day at work it always helps to find my home on a horse’s back and forget about all that crap! Of course if I have a bad day at the barn, watch out. My husband can tell the second I walk in the door how the barn went, lol.

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  6. I love this post. I was just discussing this with my mother, also a horse person. My life tends to get insanely busy, and as I get older and try to figure out things; what I want to do, what I want my career to be, what path I want to take, I find myself asking that same question. How important are horses, and how do I make sure that they keep a place in my life? I can’t imagine my life without them, but I’m also in the middle of a time when I need to really dig deep and figure things out if I want them in my life. Right now, 99% of my life is devoted to them. I’m at the barn daily, my horse’s care comes before my own. I’m devoted to them, and I never want that to change, even if the dedication gets harder.

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  7. People have other all consuming passions. I had an ex that was super into endurance sports, training for that shit was far more time intensive than my riding and I am serious about my riding. I’m not sure what I would be into, rowing maybe. Maybe I’d be more into race running than I am now. I don’t even own a dog but I love watching dog shows so maybe I would show dogs. Maybe I’d love putting those tiny ships into jars!

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    • Oh, I don’t doubt that other passions can be as all-consuming as horses. I love dog shows, too, so I wonder if that would be fun to try? Probably just as intense and involved!


  8. We, uh, bought our house because of horses so yeah, I guess you could say our lives revolve around them!

    If we didn’t have horses we’d probably travel more, but we already travel quite a lot. I know I’d have to actually go to the gym (*shudder*) because it doesn’t take me long to lose my fitness if I’m not riding and doing barn/farm chores. Let’s not thing about that, mmmmkay?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I stayed in the boonies and convinced my husband to buy property so I could always have my horses with me. I would say my obsession waxes and wanes (sometimes I ride almost every day and show a ton, sometimes I ride once a week and just snuggle them every day), but they’re a constant in my life and will be forever. Riding is what keeps me out of intense therapy and off pharmaceuticals, haha.

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  10. I always wonder what I did with all my time and money in the brief period I did not have a horse and wasn’t riding a horse. I’m sure I had really nice stuff. Or something.. Totally not worth giving up horses for, that’s for sure!

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  11. I would echo your post pretty much exactly- I can’t imagine life without horses and I worry what will happen when I’m too old to look after them. But for now I revel in how necessary they are to my well-being.

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  12. I can not even begin to picture my life without horses. Even if I would physically unable to ride, I would have horses. I would not be who I am without them. It is why I chose the career I have. To afford my hobby.


  13. Pingback: Looking Back on 2016 | Patently Bay

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