I have horses. What that means exactly, is that I have a built in excuse not to attend weddings, not to attend funerals, not to go anywhere or do anything that I really don't feel like doing. If I get the call from a friend or family member asking me to help them move, or go furniture shopping, I have that covered with a simple begging off with "Oh hey, I would love to go, I really would, but I have horses! I have to feed them. They live far away you know, and I have to go to them, feed them, and one of them needs farrier work. Wouldn't you know it, this is the day the farrier is coming to the barn!" It works every time. What are they going to do, argue with me? Have you ever seen a horse person NOT take their horse over a date, over a show, over a movie, or anything? Well, if you had horses you'd understand. I may be broke, and yes, it's because I have horses, but I do have my priorities straight. I'm not out drinking, I'm not out gambling. You won't find me spending money on art work for my house, a new mattress, or on even a new pair of shoes. Why would I need new shoes? You don't wear shoes to the barn!
There are really only two types of people in this world; horse people and non-horse people. Horse people get it when I say I haven't seen what Kim Kardashian is up to. They understand if I don't ask questions about the latest fashion, or the next big thing in electronics. I haven't seen an online game in over ten years and I think I heard My Space wasn't being used anymore, but I didn't really care because I really never got on mine. It was made for me by my kids back when I had the Haflinger - did I just refer to a time frame with a horse analogy? I think I did. Some old people will say "Back when I had a good knee to stand on.." I use terms like "I had Rocket then, he was about 4, I remember!" Those without horses do tend to stare at me when I wipe my hands before I eat rather than wash them. They also shake their head when I don't apologize for walking into the store with mud on my boots. It's not that I'm being rude, but I have to get back to the barn soon, and this little trip to the store to get toilet paper was a necessity! It is what it is. I have horses.
We board now, but when we were living in Indiana we had our own place for a while. I can't tell you how great it felt to wake up to a frosted window with the automatic coffee pot calling out to me. I'd look outside, past the initial backyard to see five fuzzy faces staring at me just wondering if I was going to get around to bringing them their first feeding. I never really missed a day, but with horses you have to remind them every now and then (every damn day) that you're not going to let them starve, that you are a responsible owner, and that you do have their best interests at heart. Some mornings I took my time sipping my liquid brain-opener and other times I let them get the best of me and put their stomachs first. Most mornings I spilled coffee down my coat trying to do both.
Now, because we live in the city, Laura and I board our babies at a nice little facility just outside of town. We have access to the indoor arena, the outdoor arena, several acres of land, and of course the best part is I get to drink my coffee every day without the pangs of guilt slamming me in the chest each morning. I pay people do take on that guilt. They don't mind - I don't mind. The horses could freaking care less who it is that brings them oats and hay as long as someone brings them oats and hay. Most days they are fed twice and most days I go out to see them in the evenings to bring them apples or carrots. I don't know why I spend so much time, so much energy and my very last dollar on them, but when I don't, if I didn't, I think the horse-sized void would be too much to bear.