Do you have what it takes to be a horse owner?
Do you have the loyalty to stay by your horse’s side when he’s colicking and you have to wait for the vet to arrive? Do you have loyalty to an animal who gives his all every time you ride him? It must be in your heart to reciprocate that loyalty—especially in his time of need.
Do you have the dedication to work two jobs while going to school so you can compete on the weekends? Can you find time to ride and keep your horse show-ready, even if you have to use truck headlights as arena lights at midnight…because that’s your only free time? Real horse owners know the true meaning of dedication; nothing will stop them from, yes, riding at midnight—or waking up at 4 a.m. to head out to a show. And horse owners are dedicated not only to competing but also to making sure their horses are cared for in the best way possible.
Do you have the responsibility it takes to put your horse’s needs above your own? Horses can’t take care of themselves, and it takes immense responsibility to make sure a horse is well cared for. So he eats before you do—and always will.
Do you have the sportsmanship it takes to sit in the stands to cheer on your friend as she walks out of the arena with a blue ribbon, even though you didn’t advance from your heat? Do you have the mindset it takes to understand that even though you didn’t win, it’s OK because you know your friend is equally deserving of a win? Horse owners have sportsmanship because their competitors turn into friends, who eventually turn into family.
Do you have the confidence to ride a horse even though a previous rider said he “has a little buck”? Do you have confidence in your horsemanship to handle any situation a horse puts you in? Horse owners understand the power of a horse but know their place as his rider and teacher.
Do you have the patience to keep your cool when your horse is trying to understand what you’re telling him to do? Horses don’t always instantly understand what we’re asking of them, so it takes a lot of patience to teach a horse.
Now, take a look at yourself—are you loyal, dedicated, responsible, a sportsman, confident, and patient? If you embody these characteristics, you have what it takes to be a horse owner. If not, don’t worry…because your horse will teach you these qualities.
[READ: BUY A HORSE, THEY SAID]