18 Irrational Rationalizations Every Equestrian Understands


We love horses. We love horses a lot. We are equestrians, and our love for horses is often a passion misunderstood by our non-horsey friends and family members.

We love horses so much that non-horse people might consider things we often do or say weird or inappropriate. We validate our actions and thoughts with what can often times can only be classified as irrational rationalizations. We attempt to use these irrational rationalizations to make our actions and thoughts seem OK.

Here’s my list of 18 of these equestrian rationalizations:

  1. It’s okay to go to the grocery store in muddy boots. (Let’s be honest – it’s not wrong, but there’s a reason people stare. Maybe some people don’t think it’s OK to track barn dirt through the produce section?)
  2. Muddy Boots

    Muddy Boots by Phil on flickr/CC BY 2.0
  3. I can’t afford a monthly lease on a horse, but I can consider a $20,000 horse. Just for a day. Let’s pretend, for a day, I can buy that horse.
  4. It’s okay that there’s some horse hair in my car. My friends who don’t ride horses won’t care that much. They have children’s toys in their cars, after all. It’s totally the same thing.
  5. I can totally ride on Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. The fact that I have to catch a plane at noon the same day is irrelevant. There is time.
  6. Winter: It’s freezing outside. I can barely summon the courage to open the back door to let my dog into the backyard. I dread getting into the car. I can’t wait to visit my horse. I don’t care what the thermometer says; It’s warmer at the barn.
  7. Summer: It’s nearly 100 degrees. I’m drenched in sweat by the time I’ve walked from my car into the grocery store. I will be fine at the barn. The heat is tolerable at the barn despite the fact that I’m wearing boots and pants as opposed to a swimsuit.
  8. Horse slobber on the front of my shirt doesn’t look weird.
  9. Slobbery Horse
  10. I’m done mucking stalls. It’s lunchtime, and it’s fine to eat a sandwich even though I don’t have anywhere to wash my hands.
  11. The barn probably isn’t that muddy after yesterday’s rain.
  12. I won’t get that wet while washing my horse.
  13. My horse is annoyed. She doesn’t like the direction the wind is blowing. She’s telling me with her ears. I speak horse.
  14. The smell of leather and newly oiled tack is lovely and completely (and always) appropriate for my living room.
  15. The sweaty saddle pad I left in the back of my SUV doesn’t smell that bad.
  16. A long text message conversation about saddle pad colors is more important than washing the dishes.
  17. A long text message conversation about anything to do with horses is more important than folding laundry.
  18. Horse shows don’t always run behind.
  19. My horse and dog love each other. They can both sense how much I love them and know that I always want a picture with both of them. They don’t mind.
  20. Horse and Dog
  21. Horses are an expensive hobby, but they’re not that expensive.

Tell me I’m not alone here. Surely you’ve made some irrational rationalizations yourself, right?

Allison Griest is a freelance writer based in Texas. Follow her on Twitter: @allisongriest.


  1. I bought a farm so I could see money on board.?? ?? ?? I could have boarded all 3 for a lifetime on what I have spent on fencing, grading, fertilizer, lime, and a retrofit for a barn. Yet, my babies are right outside my door and I work from home. It’s worth every penny!

  2. Oh, those are great, I was trying to think of a few to add to that list. I do where my boots in the store, “if” I am out, while work, but I make sure they are at least clean. No telling what is on the bottom.

  3. It rang a bell, even though it did not mention those entirely female preoccupations: 1) Shaving horse whiskers 2) cleaning geldings’ unmentionables 3) plaiting mane, trimming coats

  4. I can guarantee you can STOP any dinner conversation cold….. if you describe how your vet showed you how to clean your gelding’s sheath.

  5. It’s good you have established that we are all special needs. Our horses are also special needs and must be treated as such by the lovely barn staff. If you have questions plse feel free to contact us.
    Thanks so much!


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