It’s nearly Valentine’s Day, which means it’s time to show those you love how much you care. For equestrians, it’s just another day of putting our horses first.
For some people, Valentine’s Day conjures images of flowers, candy in heart-shaped boxes and candle-lit meals. Those people clearly are not equestrians.
So what do equestrians think of when we think of Valentine’s Day? Well, we think of balancing our horses’ diets, our horses’ well-being, our horses’ vet bills, whether or not our horse is comfortable/happy/hungry/cold/thirsty/etc. Essentially, we think about the same things we do any other day of the year. After all, we are equestrians, and our horses always come first.
But the truth is, we show our horses how much we love them every single day of the year in the only way that counts — through our actions (okay, and probably through our words).
Here are 14 ways equestrians show their horses they care.
- Not sending them down the road when they act like the occasional (or not so occasional) butthead.
- Worrying about whether or not they are getting enough hay/grain/omegas/etc. all the time while we subsists on Doritos for breakfast and ramen for dinner.
- Making sure the water troughs and hay nets are full, no matter what the weather.
- Schlepping to and from the barn multiple times per day to administer medications, wrap and rewrap legs, do wound care and give our huge, fragile beasts anything else they might need.
- Not hesitating to haul them across the state (or multiple states) through the night to get them to a specialty vet, only to return the next week for follow up work.
- Missing vacations and holidays and any number of events because our horses are sick or need us in some other way.
- Spending hours designing our horses’ fitness regimen while we sit on the couch in our sweats, having not seen a gym in … months? years?
- Having the vet out at least twice a year for shots and wellness exams. Not to mention the emergency visits, Coggins, health papers and … the list goes on. In the meantime, we medicate ourselves (with either wine or our horses’ SMZs , vet wrap our wounds and work despite our own breaks, fractures and pain).
- Meticulously mucking our horses’ stalls and sweeping the barn aisles while our own houses and cars look like bags of garbage exploded in them (maybe they did?).
- Smooching their very kissable muzzles every chance we get.
- Treating our horses to all sorts of pampering like chiropractic work, massage, PEMF, acupuncture and animal communicators while, once again, we pop some ibuprofen and rub our horses’ liniment on our sore and broken bodies.
- Paying hundreds of dollars every four to six weeks to keep our horses’ feet in tip top shape when our own pedicures are but a faint memory.
- If we have day jobs that aren’t directly related to our horses, we carve out the time to get to the barn to feed, groom, clean or just spend some time with our equine pals.
- Repaying their dedication to us by letting them finish out their lives with us, happy in their pastures, even when their competing and riding days are over.
How do you let your horses know you care? Let us know in the Facebook comments!
Happy Valentine’s Day, EN. Go Eventing!
This post was first published on EN’s sister site, Horse Nation.