Maybe it’s because of work and/or time constraints, maybe you’ve just had a baby, maybe you’re broke — whatever the reason, horse ownership is not within your grasp right now. You know it’s the sensible thing, but it’s so difficult to live with! Here’s why…
1. You can’t go to shows
Well, you can, either as a spectator (and feel jealous of everyone who’s there competing), or you have to beg, borrow or steal a horse to ride, either from a friend or your local riding school. (On balance, probably never a good idea to steal a horse, from anyone. Scrub that bit!) And then you need to do the same with regards to a horsebox or trailer to get there. Such a palaver!
2. Practice makes perfect
By that, unfortunately, ‘they’ don’t mean a riding lesson once a week. Your horse-owning friends have a huge advantage in that they can spend hours in the arena mastering shoulder-in, or riding the dressage test in preparation for the weekend, whereas you are stuck trotting round your living room, trying to learn it. And now your housemate thinks you’re nuts, too.
3. So many missed riding opportunities
You wake up on a gorgeous, crisp autumn morning, with the mists rising off the fields, and you yearn to go out on a hack — but you can’t, because you haven’t got a horse. Console yourself with the fact that most of your horsey friends will have to work, so will be just as sulky as you all day anyway.
4. It’s harder to make horsey friends
Horse people are pretty friendly and inclusive — but there’s no denying that, like parenthood and the shared experience of mums at the school gate, horse ownership provides a unifying bond. There’s nothing horse people like better than talking about their horses — but even the most dedicated will eventually notice that her monologue about Snowy and his laminitis has gone uninterrupted, twig that you don’t have a horse of your own, and feel a bit awkward!
5. You want a string of rosettes to hang from your wall
OK, so you know that this is something 12-year old Pony Club girls do (well, actually it isn’t, it’s just they’re the only ones who admit to it) but having missed out on this experience yourself, you’re damn well determined to put it right one day, even if it doesn’t happen until you’re 40. Or 50. Or 60!
6. You get all the horse mags and read them religiously
You know more about hoof care, navicular disease and correct pasture management than 90% of horse owners. If only you had an actual horse to practice it all on!
7. You want all the gear, but common sense intervenes
Well, it tries to, saying things like “is it really worth investing in a pair of Ariat Bromonts that you’re only going to wear once a week?” Tell common sense to bog off and buy the boots anyway. You need cheering up!
8. You’re obsessed with horse ads
You feel like you know all the horses for sale in H&H personally, and you spend hours on the various horse-selling websites, favouriting the ones you like the best. The good news is, with a fantasy selection, at least you can totally live the dream. No point going for an affordable, family-friendly cob when you can ‘dream-buy’ a flashy 17.2hh warmblood with grand prix potential, is there? You can guarantee you’ll never fall off him either! It’s not all bad…