Sundays are for Ponies
The first 3 questions everyone asks me about horses
Despite the fact that I mention horses in most of my social media profiles, I don’t really feel like I give this hobby of mine the total credit it deserves. I have been riding longer than I’ve been doing much else — and let’s be honest, I know way more about horses than I know about programming.
So, after thinking about it and having a coworker randomly suggest it, I will be writing a blog every Sunday on the subject of horses, and let my crazy horse lady flag fly free. To start this series off, I’ll answer the 3 questions I hear most often from non-horse people when I tell them I ride horses.
What type of riding do you do?
In the broadest of terms, I ride “english”. English is a style of riding that covers many types of disciplines. Another well known style of riding(at least here in the US) is “western”. There are many other styles of riding that are unique to most geographic region’s where horses have influenced culture.
Western disciplines include sports like: cutting, roping, barrel racing, pole bending and etc… the bulk of these disciplines come from American ranching. For example, cutting and roping were essential skills to have for removing individual cattle from large herds.
English riding, probably did not originate in England, and covers a broad set of disciplines that are from Europe. They include disciplines such as fox hunting, hunter/jumpers, dressage, thoroughbred racing, polo…etc. These disciplines originate from hunting and warfare to just pure sport.
I started riding when I was 6 in hunter/jumpers, and eventually moved into three day eventing. Three day eventing, as the name suggest, is a combination of 3 events that traditionally take place over three days. First dressage, then cross country, and finally stadium jumping (aka jumpers). It requires a pretty well rounded horse that can exhibit discipline (dressage), endurance (cross country) and speed/agility (stadium jumping). However these days, I primarily focus on dressage and jumpers.
How much do horses cost?
A lot. Well…over the long run. My last horse I bought for $750, and sold for $1 to a young girl in Wyoming. She was a mutt so to speak, and had poor conformation that did not make her well suited for being a “sport horse” or sport horse price tags. You can buy horses for hundreds of thousands of dollars if you want, or you can find them for free. Generally, the biggest expenses are paying for the horses keep, riding equipment, and veterinary bills.
Horse board is anywhere from $100 to over $1000 per month depending on the level of care provided and how nice the facilities are. Vet bills can be extraordinarily expensive. My $750 horse racked up over $5,000 in vet bills the 4 years I owned her. Yay!!! *sobs forever on the inside*
How long have you been riding? How did you get into horses?
I’ve been riding since I was 6, so about 20 years now. I got into horses, because my older sister started riding with a friend. My parents thought it would be a cute hobby for their daughters, but little did they know that horses are actually a bottomless pit to throw money into.
My advice to parents considering starting their children in riding lessons: JUST SAY NO.
This concludes our first discussion on horses. Until next week! YEE HAW MOTHER FUCKERS