It originally started out as a couple of evenings a week but progressed rather rapidly to nearly every day and every waking moment outside of work. It was then that I realised I had lost my wife to horses, and the only way to see her was to join her.
The first time Reena dragged me round to meet her horse Beau, I was genuinely terrified (and trying not to show it!). Unsure how to act or behave around horses having never had any exposure to them it took a while for us to develop a mutual understanding. Ten years later and we’re nearly there, although like all equestrian husbands there are plenty of things I’ll never understand.
• Rugs: I’ve given up trying to comprehend why a horse needs quite so many rugs. It seems rather unnecessary and as much as she tells me they are bought second hand or on eBay I’m never 100% convinced. More just seem to arrive every year, all with some new and vital purpose, and that’s not even thinking about all the tack and other kit that seems to arrive with them!
• Competitions: I secretly enjoy competition day, despite the requisite moaning about having to get up at 5am and how everything (including my car) gets completely filthy within ten minutes. It’s cost effective too as by acting as chief photographer we save a fortune on professional photos.
• Dressage: I’ve never ever understood the appeal. I get what a flying change is now and how the canter is supposed to look when the horse is working correctly, but why you would do that when you could just “go fast and jump stuff” around the cross country?
• The yard politics: I thought girls at school were bad but I was unprepared for yard politics, put too many of them in one place with a bunch of horses and oh wow… it really gets dramatic! Fortunately while she gets it off her chest all that is required of me is a few encouraging noises interspersed at the right moment.
• The unspoken secret: Despite having plenty of hesitations about buying Archie, and the odd comment of how much of our monthly income disappears into the black hole of horse expenses, I am much more smitten that she is now, and there is no way he is ever leaving us. Fact.
My advice to any of you out there whose wives/partners are entering into the world of horses, just go with it and get involved. They’ll be much happier for it, and happy wife happy life right?!
As it says on the tin, this is a personal blog about the journey Archie and I are taking in discovering the world of eventing. Archie is a 6 year old Irish gelding, and I am a 26 year old horse addict. I didn’t grow up in a family with horses, and Archie was the first horse I ever owned, having loaned for over 20 years. I hope that we can show other riders who perhaps don’t feel that they can achieve their dreams, that anything is possible!
Re-published by kind permission of Journey of an Amateur Eventer|Blog