If your favorite valentine is one who eats hay and is currently in the process of shedding, you probably don’t need any specific reason—you love your horse, it’s as simple as that. But sometimes people ask: why would you want to do all that work? What’s in it for you? Why are horses such a special part of your life? While the reasons may be diverse, you could say that you love horses because:
Sure, that passion-filled whinny and Bonanza-like gallop might be aimed partly for the carrots in your pocket, but there’s no question that some horses develop strong relationships with their favorite people. They nuzzle us when we’re near, they come (sometimes) when we call, and they just seem to enjoy spending time with us. Horses are generally affectionate.
2. They get us outdoors … regularly
Be honest. If it weren’t for that hungry horse out in the barn waiting for breakfast, you might not spend time outdoors each day. On days of poor weather, in particular, you could probably find a million reasons to avoid the heat or cold. But it’s a great thing to have the daily care requirements of a horse: it forces you to get exercise every day, it keeps you on a routine, it keeps you rising early, and—best of all, to my mind—it provides you the opportunity to work and observe nature under all conditions. You’ll get rained on, snowed on, and blasted with heat—and you’ll better appreciate the world because of it.
3. They take care of us
Too often the rider is seen as the mind and guide, while the horse is diminished to mere muscle and machine. This of course is an oversimplification and ignores the true teamwork that can be present in so many horse and rider relationships. Additionally, many horses take care of their humans. How many of us learned to ride on a sweet, wise old lesson horse that clearly understood more about the game than we did, and helped us learn? How many ponies gently care for their young riders during a trip around the ring in a walk-trot class? Horses are so easy to love because they deserve it.
4. They’re good listeners
There’s just something about talking to animals. Sometimes you need a sympathetic ear; a friend who won’t judge you; a creature who doesn’t mind if you boast, whine, dream, or sing in front of them. Of course, you can do the same with a dog or cat, but horses have the added advantage of movable ears that flick back and forth as they listen to your story.
5. They’re beautiful
I don’t know if it’s true (or how you would verify the statistic), but horses are supposedly the second-most photographed subject in the world—second only to people. True or not, there’s no doubt that horses appear frequently in art. Wonderful to watch, beautiful to behold, and pretty to take pictures of, horses evoke a sense of awe and loveliness that transcends culture. There’s something uniquely peaceful and soothing about watching horses, even if they’re just grazing.
6. They’re funny
Beautiful they may be, but that doesn’t stop horses from also making us laugh. One sure way to lift your spirits is to step back and observe some of the quirky things that horses spend their time doing. From funny faces to herd dynamics to “I’m so happy to be alive” antics, horses are always a good source of fun.
Why do you love horses? Share the love in the comments below.