I love a lot of the articles I read on Horse Illustrated but I will admit this one bothered me. I have five horses that we rescued over the last year. Three from kill pens up north and 2 from the boarding barn we currently board at. We do 100% self care because quite frankly, We couldn't stand it any other way. What bothers me about this article is the implication that horse owners should look for the "easy" way out to avoid feeling trapped.We have put our heart and soul into these boys, helping them go from neglected, abused, frightened horses with dead eyes to five of the sweetest, funniest, and most playful horses I've been around in some time. We didn't rescue them to have someone else take care of them, not even to feed them a bucket of grain.We want to be the one that checks over each and every one of them when we bring them in after being in the pasture or when we arrive in the morning after a night of being away from them. We love being able to figure out what each one of them needs at any given time and be the ones to provide it. We know them inside and out, literally, and to leave that care to someone else is unthinkable to me.We did have to go away once for a couple of days over the almost year we have had them and hired someone to come care for them and they did fine but we were able to tell her the specifics about each one and that made it easier for her as well as easier for them because the care was consistent. It was very difficult to be away from them, but we handled it.Obsessive? Maybe, but CARING for these incredible animals is part of the joy of having them. We have bonded with each and every one of them. Our goal IS to have a property where the horses ARE right out our kitchen window. We are well aware of the responsibilities and maintenance required but again, this is part of owning these wonderful boys. We make repairs around the barn we board at NOW so having this responsibility at our own place would be a pleasure.To ME, "owning" a horse is not about having the barn hands take care of them so I can show up, run a brush over them, tack up and ride and that's it. It's about staying there for hours one night because one of them wasn't acting quite right and I wanted to be sure he was ok. It's about coming up with the perfect feeding regimen for our newest rescue that desperately needed weight and watching the jutting ribs and low top line improve steadily and seeing the light that is starting to show in his eyes. And it's about coming into the barn and seeing five bright eyed beautiful boys excited to see us and them knowing that with all they've been through, their people have arrived to feed them, love on them, and protect them.Feel tied down? We've been out to that boarding barn twice a day, EVERY day except for those two days we were gone watching our son become a Marine. Not once have I felt tied down. Am I the perfect horse owner? Of course not and I'm not trying to imply that I am... but to me these boys are not "just animals" they are part of our family so everything that goes into caring for them is just more things I can enjoy and look forward to.