Fugs brought up an interesting topic the other day on her blog. It got me thinking about what I would do and buy with all of the spare time and money not having horses in my life would free up. Wow. They are expensive, high maintenance little buggers!
I started imagining the house we could be in if we didn't have to have the land, barn, arena, pasture, fencing, etc. for horses. Wow. The car I could drive if I didn't have to have my big truck and horse trailer. Wow. The clothes and shoes I could indulge in with the money I now spend on shoes, blankets and tack for the horses. W-O-W! The travelling I could do and vacations I could take with all the money I spend on hauling my horses to and from shows and entry fees, stall fees, arena fees, etc. Amazing.
I thought about all the crafty projects I could do if I didn't have drill practice every week. I thought about all the home improvements I could make if I didn't have horse shows that took up whole weekends. All the books I could read and pictures I could take if I didn't have horses to ride, feed and clean up after all the time. All the travelling, camping and spontaneous road trips we could do if we didn't have to worry about who would feed all the animals while we were gone. And the extra time that I would save just on my commute because I wouldn't have to live out in the boonies!
But then I considered what I'd be missing and all that I'd have to compensate for. First off there is the bill for my therapist that I would have to have. Horses are the best therapy I know of and it would take a whole lot of hours on the couch with a mighty good therapist to make up for that. Then there is the gym membership and/or exercise equipment I'd have to have because horses are my main source of physical activity. Then there is the question of what hobby I might pick up instead. I don't think I could spend that much time on crafts. Possibly quads/dirt bikes, but I'm not sure I could really get hooked on them like I am on horses. I suppose I could pick a sport, but the only one I've ever really enjoyed is volleyball and apparently 5'2" isn't an ideal height for that. I just can't come up with anything that could even come close to filling the void.
Then there is everything that horses have taught and continue to teach me. That is just priceless. There is no way to compensate for that. None. They have taught me to be responsible for my own actions, the way no one and nothing else could. To do what I can to make things work and to find different ways to accomplish something if it's not working the first way. To pay attention to details or slight changes, such as a limp or change in condition. To be considerate of others feelings. To be responsible for another living creature and not take that responsibility lightly. How to be a graceful winner and loser (many more lessons on gracefully losing!) Patience. Kindness. Gentleness. Firmness. Fair discipline. Bravery. Humbleness. Humility. That food is a highlight of any day. That you can earn a friend for life if you know the right place to scratch. That you can scar a good friend with just a moment of losing your temper. I could go on and on.
Bottom line is growing up with horses has made me who I am today and I like me. I would not trade that for all the Jimmy Choo's, Gucci, Prada, trips to France, spare time or Mercedes in the world. Mind you this was just me day dreaming. I'm not saying I could actually, really afford trips to France, Jimmy Choo's, Gucci, etc. if I didn't have horses. It's all hypothetically speaking.
Besides all that, I would not have met the boyfriend if neither of us had horses in our lives. That would be a sad, sad thing!