Best of HN: 7 Reasons Why Horses Are the Worst

In honor of National I love Horses Day yesterday, Horse Nation’s DeAnn Sloan came up with these 7 reasons why our equine pals actually drive us crazy.

Yesterday was National I Love Horses Day (apparently there is a day for everything and everyone — yesterday was ours!). We love our horses. We know you love your horses. But we also know that horses can be the worst. From paying vet bills to those moments that leave you wondering what in the world happened during your ride, horses can be endless sources of frustration.

At Horse Nation, we believe in promoting an educated love of our equestrian pals — and by “educated love,” we mean a love that is much like the one we have for a long-time partner. This is the type of love that can only exist when you’ve seen all of someone’s flaws, laughed at them, cried over them, and somehow still manage to keep them around.

So, in honor of National I Love Horses Day and in the spirit of being able to laugh at that which sometimes wants to make us cry, here are seven reasons horses can be the worst:

1. They make you smell like, well, horses. The smell of a horse is one of the things most of us love about them. When we walk into the barn, the smells of horse sweat, manure, and hay combine to make an aroma that we find irresistible… until we have to be someplace where we don’t want to smell like horses. The grocery store is one thing. As an equestrian, you’ve pretty much gotten used to tracking mud through the aisles and getting weird looks from people who aren’t used to seeing someone with hay clinging to her ponytail and manure stains on her pants. But when you’re going some place that requires a bit of civility, that’s the time when you notice that you didn’t quite manage to get all the dirt (sure, let’s call it dirt) out from under your finger nails and you smell that lovely horse aroma as you dab your mouth with a napkin.

2. They trash your vehicles. You may have just cleaned out your car — maybe you even had it detailed. It was shiny and clean. You felt proud. It doesn’t matter, though. Within a few short days, your car will be full of your boots, mud from said boots, miscellaneous pieces of tack or brushes that you somehow had in your hand when you got into the car, hay particles and any number of things that mysteriously migrate from the barn to your vehicle. It becomes the receptacle for any and all debris related to the barn.

3. They run from you when you need them to be caught. We’ve all been there. It’s the day of a show, farrier day, or vet day. You’re probably running late. Your normally docile, eager to greet you pal has decided that today is the day that he will. not. be. caught. You’ve shaken the grain can at him, you’ve tried walking him off, you’ve brought in all of his pasture mates, but nothing seems to work. You’re about ready to go full cowboy and jump on another horse and grab a rope with which to lasso him. If only you knew how to rope…

4. They go lame when you have plans. Oh, you have a big show this weekend? There’s a clinic that you’ve been looking forward to since January? You’ve already paid your entry fees? That means this is the perfect time to go lame. Much like refusing to be caught, our horses somehow manage to do this at the worst possible moment. Most of the time, it’s nothing major — just an abscess or a stone bruise, nothing a little stall rest and hoof packing won’t cure. But it always happens right before an event. Always.

5. They worry you to no end. Speaking of lameness, horses are great at stressing you out all. the. time. Was Flicka bobbing her head when she trotted out to the pasture? Does Spirit look a bit thin to you? Maybe Onyx has ulcers. These thoughts and more are constantly going through our heads as we scrutinize our horses’ movement, body condition and any other thing we can. Good ole Duke may be perfectly fine, but if we look long enough, we’ll find something to worry about.

6. They empty your bank account. Whether it’s board, grain, hay, supplements, tack, apparel or vet bills, horses are excellent at emptying your bank account. You think you’re getting ahead a little? Looks like it’s time for Dakota to slice his leg open on a mystery object in the pasture he’s lived in for his entire life. Or maybe Whiskey decides to drop weight randomly, so it’s time for you to go on a ramen diet and for him to get the best alfalfa money can buy. No matter what the cause, nothing eats up money quite like horse ownership.

7. They destroy all of your other relationships. Our love of horses is not something we can help — it’s in our blood. It’s an obsession we are born with and one we can’t escape. As a result, many of our other relationships tend to get… well, let’s be honest — they get ignored. You told your partner you’d “be home soon” as you headed to the barn. “Soon” really means sometime before tomorrow. When people say they want to spend quality time with you or catch up, you invite them to your next show and assure them you can catch up between classes (in reality, you want them to hold your horse while you go pee). Our dedication to our horses means that if someone cannot accept this as part of the package that comes with being involved with you, the person has to go.

Pixabay/Luciano Marelli/CC

Happy National I Love Horses Day, Horse Nation. Go riding!