The merits of horse discourse
We’re not what my spouse would call “horse people” — we don’t show horses or haul them around or go on long trail rides. We’re just people … with horses (a fact that fills him with disdain, if he’s being honest).
We have three trusty steeds. My horse is 30 years old and these days she does nothing more than graze, sleep and come to the barn for senior feed and supplements. She enjoys a good brushing but can get a bit testy if old age and weather make her ache. The girls bought a horse with proceeds from their 4-H projects this summer. I ride him every so often, and he’s just enough horse for them to handle, pamper and ride around the pastures. And then there’s the pony … a pain in my arse but the kids like her. She’s a good animal if you’re in need of a study in patience and persistence (or swearing).
And although my husband would never let us become “horse people” I still want the kids to know as much about them as possible, because let’s face it: somewhere, down deep, I’m still a horse-crazy little girl with big dreams for my little pony pals. And when there’s opportunity for learning, I try to make sure the kids are paying attention.
We learned a good bit about horse care at a recent county farm tour. Dr. Trish and her cohorts even used Farmboy’s hoof to demonstrate the proper way to make a bandage of duct tape and diapers. (My girls have now added diapers to my grocery list!)
This big, beautiful boy patiently participated in a grooming session. While the girls and I increased our horsey education, my husband perused the farm equipment displays, subscribing to horsepower of a different kind. Eventually, though, he made his way back to the horses. And early on a Sunday morning when a daughter came running to report a horse with a bloody cut, he was the first out the door to assess the problem.
He mends our fences and hauls our heavy loads and even accompanies us to an occasional equine affair … and for that we’re extremely grateful. Just — if you happen to see him there — don’t talk to him about horses. And for heaven sake don’t think of him as a horse person. Ever. He’d much rather talk about Holsteins or hay or Angus cattle or … anything else. And though he’ll never feel the same, he does agree that Winston Churchill was almost right:
There is something about the outside of a horse that is
good for the inside of a man [man’s wife & daughters].