Friends are everything. There are good friends, close friends, best friends, long-distance friends, new friends and old friends.
There’s something special that connects us as equestrians, and there’s also something hilarious. After a great ride, an unfortunate fall, or a terrible day at a completely non-horsey related job, sometimes a barn friend is the exact friend you need to call. Or better yet – meet at the barn.
There are conversations with barn friends that just can’t be had with those of the non-horsey persuasion. Here are a few of those topics:
The Fall Conversation
While watching a Grand Prix of wonderful riders softly and accurately navigate a jump off, a horse has a dirty stop and the rider is in the dirt. Thankfully, both horse and rider appear uninjured.
The next topic of conversation? You and your friends jump head-first into the ‘fall’ conversation. We’ve all had it. It’s never meant to start as a competition, but it ends up being a competition to see who:
- had the worst fall
- had the funniest fall
- sustained the most ridiculous injury but is okay now
- fell off the most times in one ride
- has fallen off the most horses
The Barn-Sustained Injury
It doesn’t matter if it’s instigated by a current injury or if some random event brings up the topic, barn friends have the tendency to discuss crazy injuries that happened around horses. Sometimes they have to do with horses. Sometimes they have to do with Mother Nature. Sometimes they’re just unfortunate incidents.
- the bruised/broken toe from a horse stomp
- the finger injury due to feeding a mouthy horse a treat by hand
- the bruised knee caused by the horse running you up against the wall when the wind blew from a funny direction
- a sprained ankle – from falling while walking*
*I sprained my ankle while walking. I tell people that this one of many important reasons why I ride horses: they walk for me.
The Sweet and Sappy Story
Do you know who was my best friend and best listener when I broke up with my boyfriend in high school? My pony, Gabby Giggles.
I find myself telling friends how Gabby helped me get through that first breakup, but the truth is, I really only tell my horsey friends that story. They just get it. And I’m so grateful for them for that.
The “Horsey High” Convo
I frequently call one of five people after an incredible ride. And then I post a fun pic on Instagram. And then I text the other three horsey friends who didn’t answer their phones.
When you have a great ride, you want to share! And it takes another equestrian to truly understand a great ride.
The Arena Secrets
While I may have been able to tell my friend secrets at a horse show, we all know that a discussion in the far corner of an area really can’t be overheard. And our horses won’t tell anyone!
Allison Griest is a freelance writer based in Texas. Follow her on Twitter: @allisongriest.