Anything Worth While is a Challenge…
This is a topic that I was discussing with a client the other day where she was expressing her frustrations and what she felt was the challenges of owning a horse…
What I thought was interesting was the true raw emotion that she had, I could tell she really was trying to decide if horse ownership was for her. After our conversation she shared with me that the viewpoints I expressed to her, had helped her find some peace and so I thought, “Well, if I could help one person find some peace and purpose in owning their horse, then maybe other people were struggling with it as well.”
Surprisingly, when I researched online for a little bit, I discovered that challenges of horse ownership is a common unease that people were struggling with or experiencing.
Top 5 Challenges and Some Ideas on How to View Them Differently-
The top five things that came up as a stress of owning horses were:
1. Money- I think many of us would agree that money can be a challenge of owning horses. Horses cost money in a lot of different ways… but if you care for horses more naturally and true to their nature, it has been my experience that horse ownership can actually be more affordable, vs choosing to feed a diet of food options that are high in chemicals, additives, fillers, and things that are not natural for the horse. Also increasing risk and expense are choices that go against the horse’s nature and design altogether. Although, I don’t have any science to back this up, I know for me personally, my horses really haven’t cost me a lot as far as injuries, vet bills, non-routine exams, medications, or other costs that I hear some people expressing.
I did have one large vet bill about three years ago. My horse Peppy experienced severe colic, I didn’t opt in to colic surgery but he was at the clinic for an extended time and he actually ran me up a vet bill that cost me more than he did!
That was one of the first times I had experienced something like this personally, but I know a lot of you have. It was really frustrating because I provide such meticulous care and I really couldn’t pinpoint why he suffered the impaction. I am certain you can relate to that mystery as well…. But owning horses for over 20 years and only having minimal stories like that is, I believe, is a testament to natural care!
2. Time– There could be two sides to this challenge-
- My horse takes up too much time.
- I don’t have enough time with my horse.
I would like to err on the side of people are more often frustrated with not getting more time with their horses because I would spend all day with my horses if I could! Check out this previous post 3 Quick Tips for Increasing Your Horse Time to get some strategies to help you if you need to find a way to get more time with your horses…
We all have the same 24 hours in a day but making time for my personal horses is something that I struggle with. It seems like I always put my horses on the back burner because they are more my recreation at this phase and stage of my life. That was what inspired the blog post referenced earlier and those are tips I still use to get my horse time set and happening!
But if you feel frustrated with your horse time, I encourage you to reach out to a coach or mentor to pinpoint why that is and what can be done to resolve it. There isn’t much sense to the responsibility that is involved with horse ownership, if you have no fulfillment or purpose behind what you are doing! Contact us if you are open to support on this topic.
3. Energy- I have to be honest the only thing I could think when I saw this mentioned was the chores side of horse ownership. For me, I’m really not the type to choose exercising a t the gym or in a more organized fashion… So the chore side of horses has become a positive for me because I view it as keeping me more fit and active than I might otherwise be, if I was left to my own devices. If your horse ownership or horse time feels energy draining in a negative way again reach out for a coach or mentor!
4. Opinions- This is one of the most common I have heard people be stressed over. There is a wide array of opinions out there in the horse world for sure! Here is an approach I like to use to keep me from stressing out on the opinions of others-
Check the source- is the person sharing the advice someone that you would want to trade horses with? Do they have the relationship or achievements with horses that you would like to have? Is their horse healthy and what is the “track record” of maintenance and care look like?
I do try to keep an open mind to the thoughts of others who are where I want to be or at least are where I am now traveling the same path… DO NOT stress or lose sleep over the thoughts of those who do not understand or are clearly on a different journey.
5. Buying the Right Horse- Yes, I’ve seen this happen to people where maybe you’re a beginner and you end up buying a horse that is way beyond your current skill level and not the right fit…
Oftentimes, when I see people who are in this category, they’re constantly buying and selling horses and they’re always the wrong horse. If that’s happening to you, I would encourage you to ask, “Am I the right person for this horse and how can I become the right person for this horse?”
I had experienced this with my horse Peppy that I talked about having colic. When I first got him, he was not really what I thought he was going to be. I never knew when he was going to explode. I never knew when he was going to take off and I didn’t find that exciting anymore (I did when I was younger…).
I almost got rid of him because I dreaded riding him and he scared me a bit. After he pulled through the colic episode, there was something that switched between us and we connected. With that connection established I did not want to sell him and I began to focus on becoming the person that he needed me to become.
When I look back now, it cracks me up that I even thought of getting rid of him. He’s an amazing horse but I had to become a different rider and a better leader for him.
If you get a horse that is beyond your skill level, that is dangerous, then yes, seek help or think of getting rid of that horse but maybe, just maybe, you need to learn, grow, and get out of your comfort zone.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic… comment below your favorite part of owning horses. If you struggle with the challenge of owning horses, or stress about it like this post discusses feel free to share that too.
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Life is better when you’re horsin’ around!