There are different kinds of parents. There are different kinds of dog owners. There are different kinds of cat owners. And there are definitely different kinds of horse owners.
My horse is an animal.
This type of horse owner loves animals, but animals have their place. Hand feeding doesn’t need to happen, and the horse doesn’t need three different halters. A horse needs food, shelter, water and exercise to lead a healthy and positive life. You love seeing your horse in his element, grazing in the field and occasionally running across the pasture to play with his pasture mates.
My horse is an investment.
This type of horse owner is often involved in horse racing, but not exclusively. This horse owner is enamored with the power of the animal and wants to see it succeed in whatever discipline it’s been bred or conditioned for. You give your horse any opportunity it can to work with the best trainers and riders so you can see him become the best equine athlete he can be.
My horse is my best friend and a member of the family.
This would be the category I fit in to. This type of horse owner loves her horse and includes him in holiday cards, celebrates the horse’s birthdays and treats him with all the hugs and carrots he could ever need. You talk about the horse like the he is a person. You narrate his thoughts and opinions, and you can’t wait to bring your friends out to the barn to meet him. You know he can’t wait, either. That means more hugs and treats!
My horse is a workout partner.
This horse owner has found that horseback riding is an enjoyable way to get exercise, and while it benefits the rider, it also benefits the horse. You both get to stay in shape! You may or may not have show aspirations, and you enjoy your time grooming and caring for your horse, but the workouts are what drive you to come out to the barn as often as possible.
My horse is my teammate.
This horse owner has a competitive drive. Whether your sport is eventing, endurance riding, reining or a different competitive discipline, your horse is part of a team. Through long waits at shows to long drives to different competition venues, you and your horse stick together. Without that adrenaline rush, your relationship would lack its pizazz.
So, which one are you?
Allison Griest is a freelance writer based in Texas. Follow her on Twitter: @allisongriest.