We are all proud of ourselves when we actually manage to adult. Pay our bills on time, go to bed at a decent hour, go to work, or eat something other than a crappy 99-cent frozen pizza for dinner – all worthy adulting activities. I practically gave myself a gold star when I decided eating ice cream for dinner was not the best idea. I mean, that’s amazing, right?!
And then there’s the horse world part of our lives, where adulting is often…. non-existent. It’s so hard to manage adulting when you’re literally living out your childhood fantasy, playing with ponies and brushing their manes and kissing their muzzles with glee. You might manage to adult in the other parts of your life, but when it comes to horses? Nah, man.
First is the purely financial aspect. Horse expenses might be more than your rent each month. But, you’ve somehow managed to sign up for a 401(k), create a paltry savings account and generally make good decisions. Yay you! Aside from horses, that is. Then you see that lovely new Antares dressage saddle, and suddenly you’re wiping out your savings and then some because OH MY GOD IT’S BEAUTIFUL AND BROWN (Because I didn’t just do this or anything. Not me. Nope.).
Then it’s the self sacrifices that maybe an adult wouldn’t ideally make. Your horse is getting 15 supplements, you pay more for the extra-awesome turnout area and more alfalfa, and he has nothing but THE best blankets, bridles and saddle pads, because HE IS WORTH IT, OK? Meanwhile, your shoes are 10 years old, you haven’t had a haircut in two years and your car operates like that of the Flintstones at this point, but who’s counting?
And then there’s just the general behavior that’s more fitting of a five-year-old than that of a theoretically fully fledged adult. Oh, you know what I’m talking about. Squeeing at ponies, wiping whatever whatever on your breeches instead of a towel or napkin, going in public with hay in your hair. You know, the usual. When you talk to 12-year-old barnmates as equals when it comes to dissecting rides and rounds, it’s kinda difficult to act age appropriate. Or, that’s my excuse, anyway.
Let’s not even talk about time management. You go to the barn for a quick ride, promising yourself that you need to be home in two hours to finish that report for work. Because adulting and priorities. Instead, you have that short ride, but then join your barnmate for a trail hack afterwards. Just real quick, of course. Then you start talking to more barn friends and help Susan assess if her horse is lame. Then you give Dobbin more carrots. Then you decide to deep clean and condition all your tack, because that’s totally necessary right now. Then more carrots. And then, inexplicably, it’s five hours after you arrived at the barn, and you’re in the middle of an impromptu jousting session with your best barn friend. Because why not.
And then, you go home and look at your unfinished report, your worn-out-as-hell shoes, your poor bank statements, your hay-filled head of hair and dirty breeches. You wonder to yourself, How did I get here, in this state, as an adult? It’s crazy.
I’m so freaking lucky.