How to explain horse life to the non horsey?
This is for those of you who have a significant other that is not into your horse crazy life. How do you explain your lifestyle and hobby to them? How do you explain the expenses that go along with horse ownership? How do you make your relationships work since horses do consume a large amount of time and commitment?
I thank you all in advance as I am in need of some guidance in my own relationship. And please, if anyone else has questions related to the matter, feel free to ask!
Well, I'm not sure about the timing of your situation, but horses did not play a major role in mine (where I had the time and money, children raised) until almost 20 years ago. Up until then, I rode when and where I could, sporadically around my childrens schedules and what I could afford time and money wise.
I don't have to explain anything to my DH as he , while not a horse person himself, can see the joy and sense of accomplishment I get from my horses. He has many interests that I do not share, yet support his choice to enjoy them, so we've never really had the "why do you need to buy all the hay at once, or do they really need bedding, or you spent how much on the spring vet check."
I also pay my fair share in household expenses and budget for my horse expenses. I am happy to go without many things, as I feel I am living my dream having the horses and a loving husband willing to help me with the "heavy" stuff. :wink:
Sometimes you just can't get them to understand it. To my husband my horse is just a pet like a dog or a cat. He is expensive and time consuming. I've had to learn to balance my time to make everyone happy. I may not spend as much time with my horse as I want, but it's better than having no horse at all or not having my DH in my life either..
What has helped is when I encourage HIS hobbies and interests, even the ones I just don't "get." When he spends 200 dollars on stuff for his model trains, or his Disney memorabilia collection I keep the "wincing" to myself. I never compare our hobbies, because you can't and it will just lead to an argument. I try not to argue about hobbies, it's an argument that nobody wins. We agree that we each need hobbies and sometimes those hobbies don't necessarily include each other. Sometimes it's better to agree that you disagree and yet "let go" and let each other off the hook about certain things. This goes for other things in a relationship, you pick your battles. If they keep choosing YOUR hobbies as THEIR battle, then maybe they aren't the right person to be with. Of course if a hobby is putting a FINANCIAL STRAIN on a marriage or other relationship, then you may need to make changes as it's not fair to make loved ones go without necessities so that you can have a horse.
And I try to keep the "horse talk" just for my "horse friends" who understand it.
My BF of over a year, is not/was not a horsey person. Or an animal person as a matter of fact. He grew up in town, no animals/pets, but a bunch of brothers/sisters (7). They are all very close and supportive of one another.
I on the other hand, and a HUGE animal lover. My dog is so important to be that his name is tattooed on my wrist. I've had "George" since before he was born, never intended on keeping a puppy from the litter, had two dogs already. But it was fate. George was 6 months old when my ex left me. I was a hysterical mess and the major constant that dried my tears, made me smile and brightened my day was that little Stinker. (Looking back, I was stupid for being upset...LoL...I should be thanking him for going away!)
When we first started seeing each other, I made sure to tell him how important my animals were to me. I told him my dog was number one in my life and very important to me. I said I would not give up my horses. With my ex, he didn't want me riding. Didn't want me competing. So I stopped. Never again would someone control me THAT much. I laid it on the line, plain and simple. He agreed...And I'm sure rolled his eyes. LoL
He has not rode one of my horses. But went to every single show I competed at this year to support me. As "fun" as it was for him...He helped us add 24 feet onto the barn in the scorching hot sun. He feeds horses for me if I'm unable to. Even goes to the barn with me if I'm feeding. He talks proudly when he tells stories about me and my horses. When Wrecker was born, (we had a fight the night before), He drove up immediately and congratulated me...putting our argument aside, because he knew what a monumental moment this was for me.
And over the summer at 730pm when our hay guy called and said he had 300 bales for us tonight, the other 300 tomorrow, My BF drove up without me even asking and had a smile on his face the whole time we unloaded and stacked the 2 wagons. Especially when he had to work at 6am (me 4am) Then was back the next day to do it all over again.
I must say that I am a VERY lucky girl. He just "gets it" and doesn't question me. He understands the importance of my horses and my dogs.
Especially now with my being in full time Nursing school, and working part-time, and having my animals...Its a lot. I come with quite the "baggage"... ;-)
By the way, we do things he enjoys doing too. My horse do not consume all my time, I have a life too. We go to dinner, go have drinks, golfing, we have things that "we" do, that "I" do and that "he" does. Its well balanced. Or...WAS until I started school. :-P
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Thought I'd share this, as is just happened a few weeks ago, and I'm still kinda shaking my head over it.
Don and I went to speak with a financial planner, just to get things lined up in the hope that we may ever be able to retire.
Well at some point in the conversation, it came up that I had horses. The financial planner, I'll call him Mr. Smith, asked me why. He was aware from other clients that they are expensive to board ect....
I looked him over and decided to ask the following.
Me: Do you golf?
Mr. Smith: Yes.
Me: Do you have a membership at the country club?
Mr. Smith: Yes.
Me: Do you upgrade your equipment?
Mr. Smith: Well, yes.
Me: Do you occasionally take a lesson from the club pro?
Mr. Smith: Er, yes.
Me: Do you take a few trips, during the winter and early spring months to where you can play golf?
Mr. Smith: Uhm, yes.
Me: Why do you golf Mr. Smith, that is very expensive?
We moved on to the next part of our planning without mentioning the horses again. :wink:
I would never make my SO in any way responsible for my horse hobby. Especially if I couldn't afford it on my own. I do understand the expenses that go hand in hand with horses, so I make sure I budget all those in.
I also think comparing eachother's interests to one another definantly adds fuel to the fire. Thank you, Cinny for that bit of advice.
I've had horses in my life for almost 50 years & been "horse crazy" for longer than that. I live a horsey lifestyle-won't look at a place I can't have horses-it's just a given, I need outbuildings for tack, feed, etc. I drive a truck, have a trailer, keep my corrals clean. If a guy can't deal w/it-bye-bye. I just went through a horseless year-I was miserable, as soon as we had $$ again-hubby encouraged the horse-shopping & getting. Just bought some more stall mats & next week he will build a roof/shelter for the newest mare. Should have been done already, but he got a new UTV & had to work on the old one to get it ready for trade-in, along w/his dirt bike, & I was so happy to see the last of that. So I support his hobby, also, since I was instrumental in getting the financing to where we could handle it, along w/all his other debts. (I'm the saver-he's the spender.)
It's not much different from any other big hobby. If someone is really into motorcycles or cars or into a specific sport it can take just as much time/money if not more, than a horse. Difference is, the horse is alive.
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