Horses are the one creature that always seem to kidnap a young child’s imagination. Young girls want to ride and older girls want to compete and succeed. For me riding horses saved my life and I know many other girls feel the same. Without horses in my life to guide me and give me something to work for I would be just another kid without the motivation to work hard. Equestrian life is horses giving young girls a bright future.
Equestrian life is more than just a young girl riding horses. True ground up equestrians can tell you its hours of work, pain staking amounts of labor, larger amounts of cash, and more dedication than both sleep and coffee. Let me tell you I can run on 6-9 cups of coffee and an hour or two of sleep when it comes to horse shows.
The amount of dedication horse people put in is beyond crazy to most. Horses to people like me are like children to mothers. These are 1200lb animals who could not live without us to take care of them. Over the years I, like many others before and after me, have put in more hours into the barn in caring for the horses, riding, teaching, working, feeding, cleaning stalls, cleaning tack, or just organizing things. Ask family, friends, and past boyfriends, if I wasn’t at the barn I was working or catching a few hours sleep so I could get back to the barn.
We have pushed our bodies into premature ageing by pushing heavy wheel barrows, lifting saddles, carrying grain or hay, or falling off. The amount of money equestrians or horse people will spend is unreal. Saddles cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, plus blankets, saddle pads, girths, bridles, boots, clothing, brushes, boarding, feed, etc. None of that is even the cost of the horse, maintenance for the horse, or horse shows. The amount of coffee we also purchase to keep functioning is enough to keep Starbucks in business.
But with all the work, and money, and time that goes into horses. Nothing is quite as wonderful as the things you get back out of it.
A girl or boy will learn what hard work really is. That the care of that horse comes before your wants and needs. You learn to budget to afford to show or buy new tack. You learn how to start your own business and how to always keep reaching for your goals. You have friends and family who are just as crazy and equestrian dedicated as you are, your barn family. And most of all you have a four legged best friend who is there through the good times, the rough times, the break ups, and to carry you over your largest hurdles.
Sometimes giving your child, grandchild, or yourself the opportunity to be more, and succeed is worth the amount of money to get lessons. That lesson could be the difference for their future success.
Want more of Jamie? Like her on Facebook for more great content and to connect with writers behind this piece!