Just like with their food, your horse lives a life of luxury with constant spa-like treatments. Photo © Blake Weis

The 9 Daily Struggles of Equestrians

Most exhibitors are passionate, dedicated individuals who devote their entire life to this crazy sport. Every ounce of their being is centered around their horses, twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. However, this does come at a slight cost.

We have all been there; walking through the store with your breeches and muck boots on, hair in a mess and dirt all over your face. That is when regular people can sense the equestrian presence. That pungent smell of sweaty saddle pads and dust is the signature scent of the hard-working exhibitor.

Equestrians must also not forget the vet, training, and farrier bills that ensure that the horses live a life of pure luxury. This extravagant life for them comes at the cost of fast food dinners for us.

But, no matter the struggles we endure, there is not one person with a passion for horses who would change a thing.

1) Speed/Showmanship walking anywhere and everywhere

If you are a showmanship exhibitor, chances are you have experienced this one before. Speed walking has just become a natural part of your life, even if you have not yet realized it. That constant thought of “heel, toe, heel, toe” while you walk through the grocery store, quickly passing everyone in your path. You have the hours and hours of showmanship practice to thank for this.

2) Clucking to make people move faster

Have you ever been stuck behind that slow walker who cannot seem to pick their feet up? Or maybe your dog decides he/she does not want to wake up? Then, all of a sudden you let out a cluck to try to move the energy faster. Non-equestrians will not understand this, and it may seem odd, but it can be quite effective.

3) Waking up early for horse shows only

Waking up at 4 am on a weekend seems like pure torture. However, the early mornings are well worth it for shows – and shows only. Exhibitors everywhere know how the conditional morning wake ups go. And only equestrians understand the importance of them.

4) Everything is horse related…everything

Equestrians have this innate ability to turn anything and everything into something related to horses. At the barn, at the store, even at the doctor’s office, you can usually find someone who owns or loves horses. If there is not one hour of the day that goes by where you do not talk or think about horses, then you are an equestrian obsessed human.

5) Your horse eats better than you do
Your horse gets the best quality hay, the best grain and, of course, the best supplements. Do not forget about the horse treats too. These show horses live in luxury while us equestrians eat PB&J and mac & cheese.

6) Your horse gets a spa day before you do

Chiropractors, equine massage therapists, soft rides, the list goes on and on. Just like with their food, your horse lives a life of luxury with constant spa-like treatments. Equestrians themselves can be lame, but it is perfectly fine as long as their horses are comfortable and happy.

7) Going to the store in your barn clothes

You can spot an equestrian from a mile away – beaten up boots, breeches, ripped up jeans, etc. Your everyday barn outfit can definitely get some questionable looks out in public. However, at a certain point in each equestrian’s life, they own their weirdness and strut the barn look with pride in public.

8) Constantly showing strangers pictures of your horse

“Do you want to see pictures of my horse?”
“My horse did the cutest thing today.”
“Look. Here is my horse on his birthday with all his treats.”

Every equestrian has said something like these phrases above at least once in their lives (if not at least once a day). Horse pictures are comparable to cute puppy or baby pictures therefore, you probably feel the need to show any stranger in sight who is willing to look.

9) Barn smell – everywhere

You know that barn smell – the one that is impossible to get rid of. The scent of a hard day’s work in the dirt. To equestrians, a barn is a place of solitude. Therefore, we love the aroma. However, not when that scent seeps into every aspect of your life; your car, clothes, and even your hair. Barn smell is everywhere which is a genuine struggle.

Do you have equestrian struggles you deal with on a daily basis?  Let us know in the comments.

About the Author: Cat Guenther is a devout equestrian and a senior at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She has been riding horses for almost nine years and has loved every minute of it. Cat started and runs her successful show clothing business, Behind the Bit Show Clothing. Her favorite classes are horsemanship, showmanship, and trail. She plans to attend Michigan State University in the future to study veterinary medicine and possibly also business. Cat is excited to show the all-around classes in 2019 with Zippos Kat Man Do aka Teddy.