Here at Selwood Equine we have been thinking about all those poor souls who don’t actually have the pleasure of owning a horse, and who would love to experience the joys of owning one. So we put our thinking caps on (it didnt take long!) and we have come up with our ‘Top 5 tips’ on how to feel like an horse owner. Even if you don’t own a horse! This essential advice is for all us non cynical horse owners out there to pass on to those unlucky humans without an equine friend in their lives.
1. Money, Money, Money
“Oh you must be rich, you own a horse!”. WRONG. I would be rich if i did not own a horse. My horse is a constant financial drain on me. The bank tell me my overdraft is at its limit. My ‘at the end of his tether’ husband is threatening divorce. Should you wish to experience the dramatic highs and lows of expenditure (note not profit) and loss within the equestrian world, you can do so by taking the best part of £500 each month and flushing it down the toilet.
2. When competition calls
The glittering world of equestrian competition is….not glittering. Should you wish, as a non horse owner, to experience the delights of a days eventing for example please take note. Wake yourself at 4.30am, head outside and scrape mud off the nearest object and then proceed to wash it in cold soapy water. Load said object onto an ancient lorry that requires prayers to get it started as much as it does diesel. Drive for an hour into the countryside to then be towed onto a mud bath of a field.
Proceed to run round in what turns out to be square shaped circles. Only to receive criticism from an aged old biddy in a headscarf. Next kick a few poles down onto the ground. Run over some logs and throw yourself head first into some water. Do not despair though, chances are you may have managed to get a nice picture of yourself gurning over a fence to upload onto Facebook later in the day….just to prove you can ride.
3. Work Work Work
If you think owning a horse is all about other people doing the hard work then you are wrong! Unless of course your horse is on full livery and then it is exactly that. Other people doing all the hard work, at a cost though. Refer to point one again.
For a lot of horse owners it is all about the joys of the one to one care for their equine friend. Attending to their every whim and desire. For anyone wanting to experience this simply advise that they get up at the crack of dawn and dress like a tramp with an over sized coat and pair of tracksuit bottoms that don’t fit down their wellies. Make sure they head off down the field in the misty dark. Electrocute themselves at least three times securing the gate. Then make their way back to the stable yard to empty ten tonnes of soiled straw from a stable where the ammonia fumes are so strong they singe all your nostril hairs.
Make sure you advise them to tip a bit of water down each welly boot as they carry the bucket and then stick the odd bit of straw in their hair before they leave for work. It is important they feel that they have done a days work before they head into the office and are suitably tired and irritable too.
4. A girl can never have enough pairs of shoes…
Well, neither it seems can your horse. Literally set after set. Stud holes, road studs, remedial shoes – the list goes on. The close bond you develop with your farrier is not because he thinks you are great company but merely because in reality you pretty much pay his mortgage each month. The amount of times he comes out to a lost shoe is no longer measurable. The amount of time you spend looking for said shoe is bordering on the ridiculous.
If a non horse owner wish to experience this joy then advise them to spend at least an hour walking round a field in the dark and wet. Using just the torch on their iphone, searching for a lump of metal that never appears. Then take around £70 – £90 and buy a new lump of metal, ready to start all over again.
5. Refresh your (horses) wardrobe
Fashion changes. Seasons change and your own wardrobe….never changes when you own a horse. This is because you spend all your money on your horses clothing requirements rather than your own. For any non horse owners, please pass on your justification that fashion trends do come round again. Before they know it double denim will be back in for sure. Your horse however will require a new rug in each seasonal weight; indoor and out. As well as fly rugs, travel rugs, cooler rugs and show sheets. Lets add in saddle cloths, matching bandages, boots for jumping and endless tack too. Just keep the running total spend up.
Non horse owners, all you need do to feel a part of this exclusive owners club is to take your wages and spend them on some of the above. Rugs for example; take these rugs and roll them in horse muck, shavings and straw. Make sure you rip and tear them well and then pay to have them washed, repaired and reproofed ready for it all to happen again. If you want to really feel the joy then take some items home to wash yourself. Enjoy how the horse hair, mud and straw all clog up your washing machine and block the filters. You can then pay out more money to have this fixed too.
6. Eating a balanced diet,
Not you, your horse. Horse owners are particularly fussy over what their pride and joy eats. If it hasn’t been passed by a nutritionist, graded and scientifically proven that it will benefit your horse to the point of turning them into the next Olympic superstar then it’s not being put in the feed bowl. You on the other hand will only ever grab fast food or the delights of a mug shot to satisfy your hunger pangs. Meal deals from petrol stations are a favourite. At best a dine in for two option is what will be on the menu.
If a non horse owner like to experience the joys of a balanced (equine) diet they should programme into their sat nav all take away shops and fast food joints within a 10 mile radius. Make sure they only ever spend loose change on themselves and the bulk of their earnings on sack after sack of expensive horse feed. Try to also look good by having a bag of apples in your car but ultimately only ever feeding them to your horse and not yourself.
Ok so it’s not all that bad, is it! We love them to bits, accepting that they cost the earth but thinking it is worth it?!?! Those days when it all goes right balance out the days when we feel like we have fallen off the edge of the earth. The blood, sweat and tears are put aside because these horses just fill our hearts and heads for all the right reasons. But sometimes, just sometimes, we need to let off a little steam. To rant just a bit about being an overworked, penniless and exhausted horse owner!