When I tell people I own a horse, there is generally a mixed reaction. Some think I'm just a rich, stuck up b****h (I'm really, honestly not at all!) or they want to know when they can come and see her - two complete opposite reactions. What a lot of people don't realise are the life lessons you gain from owning and being around horses - things which stay with you forever and you can put into other areas of your life.
ResponsibilityThis is by far the biggest lesson having a horse has taught me and while I've always been quite responsible anyway, it's really stepped it up! Bonnie (that's my horse's name if you didn't know!) or any horse for that matter, relies on me for everything from food to making sure her stable is clean - you can't just suddenly deicide you want to stay over somewhere or do spontaneous trips because they don't care where you are/what you're doing, they know when their food should be there. I guess it's similar to having a child that just doesn't live in the house it probably the best way to describe it.
Time ManagementLinking with responsibility, horses like to stick to a routine so expect you to bring them in/out, feed, ride etc at the same time every day, so you have to know how to manage your time effectively. This definitely applies to competition days when you have to be at the showground at a certain time to get both yourself and your horse ready to go into the ring and also make sure you have enough time to do all the preparation beforehand.
TidinessThis is ultimately a safety thing. Things have to be kept neat otherwise accidents can happen, or cheeky horses pick things up that they should - ever had a bucket thrown at you?! It kind of painful if you don't duck in time and certainly teaches you to pick things up after yourself. This translates into my room and anything I own/any space I'm in as I generally keep things pretty tidy and put things away - I honestly can't stand a mess anywhere!
PatienceLet's face facts, you can't make a horse do anything it doesn't want to do, but you can ask - sometimes many times - but it gets you a lot further than telling! Sometimes you can be stood for a good hour (normally in the rain) being patient waiting for your horse to decide it wants to walk into its own stable - yep, I've been there many times! This has definitely taught me to be patient, not only with animals, but with other people and also myself. This is something that can be used throughout life, no matter what I do or where I go, it is without a doubt a huge life lesson.
Money ManagementWe all know horses are expensive to buy and keep, so you have to be pretty savvy with money. So much so, I actually have a separate account for my horse in case of emergencies or when we need something more expensive, as things can happen from needing a vet to buying a new rug when ones gets ripped - especially the case with Bonnie who has a skin condition which means she needs specialist creams and rugs. While I could go out right now and buy designer bags or high end makeup, I'd much rather spend/save the money for my horse!
Have you ever owned or rode a horse - or owned any other animal for that matter and what have they taught you? Also, let me know if you liked this post and if you would be interested in more about my horse or even my dog?
Love Laura x