Choose Your Own My Adventure

All work and no play. You know how the saying goes. Same applies to horses—all work and no play does make you dull—whether you’re talking about too much time in the arena or many hours at the desk and not out at the barn.

I’m more likely to fit in the second category right now. Confession: I haven’t touched a horse in almost a month. Since I don’t have my own horse at the moment, it’s kind of a hazard of my situation. I live vicariously through others: I hear about my friends’ horses and my mom’s horses, I ask about the milestones in their horses’ athletic careers or their antics on the trail, and I ooh and ah over the photos they show me.

My love of the horse and my passion for their care is what got me into this business in the first place. So how did it happen that I’m clucking at this year’s colts and fillies as I cycle past them, and how is it that I’m longingly looking over my shoulder at round broodmares lazily grazing in the warm evening light as I drive by … but I’m not riding or caring for them? Yes, it’s not my horse ownership chapter, so I must be very intentional about seeking out horse experiences.

Last week a team from The Horse decorated a table at the American Horse Publications’ annual conference to meet the theme “eventing.” Some brainstorming and a memorable craft night led to this The Horse Herd at American Horse Publications 2010, a not-too-shabby table decorating contest entry. And I donned breeches. And boots (yes, they still fit), and my vest, and my (stinky) helmet that I used to use for cross country. And, for photo ops, I pretended I was jumping an invisible horse over a chair, crop in hand.

Clearly, I need a horse fix.

This is where you come in. Do you remember the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? ( Page 2, “If you want to jump over the stream and chase a butterfly, turn to page 6. If you’d rather swing on a vine and rescue the stranded koala in the tree, turn to page 8.) Well, I need for you to help me choose my horse/equestrian adventure, because I need accountability and some inspiration. Otherwise the behind begins to fit more to my desk chair and forgets what a saddle is.

Within the next week or so I could:

  • Go for a trail ride on Gandy (Gandalf, the horse in my photo at left)
  • Clean my saddle that’s been sitting in my garage for a few months, begging for oil
  • Watch Seabiscuit and go out and brush all of Gandy and Guinness (his barnmate)

What do you do to reconnect with your horses after busy, demanding days? What do you think my next horsey adventure should be?