This is the first topic - so I'm going to start off with something humorous that my husband wrote.
Today's topic is about Horse Husbands.
These are the men whose wives have taken up the sport of horse riding - and are now relegated to duties that help support their wife's aspirations.
Lets start at the beginning:
Your wife has found a new hobby/activity with which to occupy her time - horse riding. So, you automatically think you are finally free to pursue your own hobby of golf, fishing - or just sitting back on the couch to watch your favorite game, right?
With your wife getting a new hobby, you get her new hobby too. It'll start off with "I'm just going to take a riding lesson once a week" or "I'm just going for a trail ride for kicks".
Then it will escalate - maybe increasing to 2 lessons a week.
Shortly thereafter, she will try to convince you to give it a try because "its just so much fun" - and if you hesitate, you'll get hit with the "I thought this would be something good that we could do together".
Oh man. Guilt trip......
WARNING: Do NOT fall for this. Purchasing of the appopriate equipment (breeches, boots, helmet, gloves, etc - not including saddle, etc) can get VERY expensive quickly.
And even if money is not a consideration, let me give you an idea of how the "fun" goes down:
First off, you get up at 6:00 am on Saturday - because, it gets too hot in the afternoon, so you have to get up at the crack of dawn on your day off.
You then have to get all your riding gear on and drive out to wherever you and your beloved are taking riding lessons that day.
Its now about 6:45 am. Upon arrival - you have to go retrieve the horse from the field, who at this time is far more interested in getting his breakfast than in getting some couple hundred pound person that doesn't know what they are doing on his back.
You bring the horse back to the area to be cleaned up. Brush him out, pick his hooves.
Then you get your tack (horse equipment) and start putting it on the horse - who by this time, has realized that there is no breakfast.
Its now about 7:15. Once you finally get the horse geared up, you are finally ready to start having "fun", right? Wrong again.
Like any athlete, you have to warm his muscles up some before you start exercising him strenuously. This means you get to just basically walk around with him until he's limber.
After that, you can begin trotting/posting (basically bouncing up and down on your saddle in rhythm with the horse) - and I can speak with first hand experience: make sure you don't have too small of a saddle! Coming down with your groin using your full body weight against the pointy pommel of the saddle, is a quick way to wake up fast in the morning - painfully.
After about 15 minutes, you are then ready to "ride" and do your lesson. Cantering the horse, jumping over things, etc. Reasonably fun stuff.
By now, the horse is tired/sweaty - so now you have to cool him out, so again: more walking around until he cools off.
Then, back to the barn, untack the horse - clean up the gear, hose the horse down if needed, and either take him back to his field, or get him his breakfast which is all he really wanted in the first place.
You then hop into your car, and head back home - and get a shower/cleaned up - which puts you about in the 10:00 am range by the time you get out of the shower and dressed.
So, basically for 4 hours of effort (6 am - 10 am), you got to "have fun" for 15 minutes.
After some time of participating in this, I finally conveyed my thoughts about the matter to my wife who responded with "What do you mean?? ALL of its fun".
I continued: "All of it? The brushing on the horse? The bouncing up and down on a saddle too small for you". "Yes", she responded, "all of it".
I explained that for me it wasn't fun, and that we would have to find other things to do together.
I then "retired" from my horse riding days and thought I was done with it.
How wrong was I.
As the horse riding "virus" as I like to call it, continues to infect your wife - things escalate.
After horse riding lessons, then will come the horse riding shows/clinics/competitions.
Then will come the purchasing of her own saddle - and what comes next?
You guessed it. She'll end up buying her own horse.
And this is where you end up getting dragged back into it.
At this point, you will assume several jobs to help her with her hobby.
These jobs include:
Brides and weddings? Hardly. This is the person that brings the horse in from the field, brushes him to make sure no burrs are in his fur that could potentially rub between him and the saddle, picks his hooves to make sure no rocks are going to make him lame - and then tack the horse up with the saddle, stirrups, and reins.
Think you are done there? Heck, no. You still got stalls to clean, feed to give and hay to put up.
This is the person that ends up driving her back and forth to the various horse obligations: parties, competitor's meetings, events, clinics, etc.
Heck - you may end up even being the guy that has to drive the Truck & Horse Trailer.
Recording/documenting of your wife's various endeavors - from clinics, to events - you get to be there.
And lastly: The Wallet
You know what this is - money. From vet bills, to entry fees, horses are quite expensive. Theres a reason why the world over, its usually royalty that are having "fun" with horses.
I certainly hope you enjoyed this story.