From the [Horse] Husband’s Mouth: Wealthy is as Wealthy does?

My oh-so-wonderful husband has agreed to experiment with a monthly blog post for House on a Hill! Last month we played ’10 Questions’, but today let’s look at a trickier subject…

A lot of people think that equestrianism is a hobby exclusive to the wealthy. Based on your experience sharing finances with an equestrian, how would you respond to this stereotype- is it justified? Why or why not? 

Of course there would be Champagne jumps at the Trump Invitational Grand Prix.. caviar, anyone?

First jump in the Champagne / Caviar combination?

No, this is not a realistic stereotype.  I remember when Britt and I first started dating her typical meal was simply Rice-a-Roni because most of the money she earned working 2 and sometimes 3 jobs went toward gas to drive to the barn, vet bills, and boarding for her horse.  She did not even eat it as a side – it was the whole meal.  She did not have much money left over for many other things, but I do not want to imply she was starving.  No problem, as I am anything but a picky eater.
Ah yes, my old friends, Rice-a-roni and Chef Boyardee

Ah yes, my old friends, Rice-a-roni and Chef Boyardee

I think most people’s image of horse riders is that of people who house their horses on their own luxurious properties.  This feeds the stereotype that all horse riders have the funds to own a lot of land and multiple horses.  Very few non-riders (myself included until I met Britt) knew anything about boarding barns/farms.
Most of us frequent barns of the non-chandelier sort / PC: Pegasus Builders

Truth: Most of us frequent barns of the non-chandelier sort / PC: Pegasus Builders

Most riders I see at horse shows with Britt do not appear super wealthy.  Britt notices some of the nicer trailers and points them out to me, but overall it is a regular [Britt: isn’t it nice to hear the word ‘regular’ applied to equestrians for once?] crowd.
The fanciest trailer I could afford

The fanciest trailer I could afford / PC: Toystogrowon.com (ironic!)

Now that Britt and I completely share finances, I have even more of an appreciation of the investment she puts into riding.  The most obvious is boarding and gas, but when those vet appointments come up I really start to notice [Britt: uh yeah, me too].  However, I know that when you have a working horse that you are constantly training to move on to the next level then it takes a lot of time and also money.  In the end though, seeing the satisfaction and joy that Britt gets from riding definitely makes it worthwhile.
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From the [Horse] Husband’s Mouth

My oh-so-wonderful husband has agreed to experiment with a possible monthly blog post for House on a Hill! To get the series started here are 10 questions answered from a horse-husband’s point of view!

What was your first experience with horses?
I was on a trip in Costa Rica when I was 14, and we decided to do some trail riding one day.  I had never been on a horse, but I expected them to be quite big.  These Costa Rican horses seemed tiny compared to what I had imagined: shorter, thinner, and not very energetic.  Afterward, I mostly just felt bad for the horses.

Do you have any interest in riding horses yourself? Why or why not?
I do not.  I think that having one member of our marriage with a very expensive hobby is enough, but I will always be supportive of her at shows and while filming lessons.  I have learned enough about horses up to this point to be of help whenever Britt has to travel for competitions so I guess I can vicariously take part in her riding.  However, one rider in this family will do. 

The early days- dressage shows with Ivan

The early days- dressage shows with Ivan

Let’s pretend like you ride competitively on your own horse. What would his/her show name be?
I have racked my brain trying to come up with something either witty and funny or  obscure and legally related (Britt: Tyler’s a lawyer by trade!), but I have reached the point of over-thinking the question.  Therefore, I must resort to my ‘go-to’ name that I know I will eventually assign to something: Bob.

It should be noted that Jackson almost became a Bob, too.

It should be noted that Jackson almost became a Bob, too.

If you could change one thing about Foster, what would it be?
If there was a way to eliminate his occasional need to avoid capture in the pasture, that would definitely be one thing I would change.  Not that I have ever personally had to chase him, but I can tell how frustrating it is whenever Britt tells the story later in the evening.

In the House on the Hill you deal with horses, dogs, and cats. What do you relate to best?
The cats – I am one of the few guys that is a cat person.  They’re chill, like to lounge, and you do not want to get on their bad side.  It is also funny when the two cats “fight” – they’re declawed so they mostly just smack each other on the head and yell at each other which is always entertaining. 

Family Christmas Photo

Family Christmas Photo

In 3 words, how would you describe horse people?
Competitive, Focused, Crazy – horses are tall and I do not like heights so y’all are crazy to get up there.

Husband and the dog

Husband and the dog

Are there any benefits of being married to a horsewoman? Cons?
Benefits: makes for very interesting conversations with friends and co-workers who have no interaction with horses; it is therapeutic for her, and I like to see how much satisfaction she gets out of riding; all the ribbons she wins helps out at Christmas time when we are severely lacking ornaments for the tree; her green jumping vest makes her look like a ninja turtle – one of my favorites growing up; go-pro videos are cool to watch when she gets home.

Cons: some days we do not see each other as much as we would like – long practices in the evenings or overnight weekend shows/events; horse smell (although I have really gotten used to it so not really a con any more); cross country always makes me nervous.

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PC: Robyn Van Dyke Photography

Describe your role at a typical horse show/event.
I wear several hats at a typical horse event: help load the horse on the trailer with a treat in hand as encouragement whenever he is being difficult to load; shoveling horse crap after arriving; holding him whenever Britt is unloading all her gear; filming when possible and trying to zoom in and out correctly – harder than it sounds; trying to provide verbal encouragement to Britt before each phase of the event

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Riding in competition often requires outfits that are, let’s say, a little outside common fashion trends. What piece of equipment (horse or human) caught you most off guard?
Human: the pants.  I had no idea you needed a special type of pants to ride.
Horse: the weird ear covering hat – there is no way the horse likes that thing.

PC: Robyn Van Dyke Photography

PC: Robyn Van Dyke Photography

If you were to describe eventing to a non-horseperson, like a co-worker, how would you describe it?
I explain it to my co-workers all the time as a triathlon on a horse: dressage (choreographed riding like you see in the Olympics), show-jumping over poles mostly, and cross-country jumping (multiple mile course with jumps over trees and other immovable barriers throughout)

 

I hope you guys enjoyed hearing from the husband’s point of view! Look out for another post next month!