“Oh Chevy, you don’t understand. Your husband is a horseman. He gets the horse thing, and supports your riding.”
This comment from a client recently had my head spinning.
Mostly because she was right. I do have trouble relating to partners that don’t “get” the horse thing.
My husband rides, and he is pretty punchy. He likes his horses hot, and he likes to ride fast. Confidence is not an issue for him! He understands the amount of time, blood, sweat, tears, and $$ it takes to make a good, safe horse. While he doesn’t show, he understands it and gets that it is important to me.
He also has an appreciation for high quality tack, and himself has a collection of custom bits, so in that regards I am spoiled. He doesn’t blink when I buy a new saddle pad, and if anything I need to monitor his tack spending!
So when the topic shifts to encouraging partners that aren’t familiar with horses to be more supportive, I feel a little out of place.
What I can confidently share is that all relationships (human and equine) take work.
It takes clear communication.
That means talking with your partner ahead of time when you plan to go to a weekend horse show (and not the night before as you are packing the trailer when it turns out he was planning on using the truck to haul hay....)
That means both being on the same page about how much money your family can afford to spend on horses (or cattle, or fishing/hunting trips.)
No matter if your partner is horsey or non-horsey, your attitude when you come back from riding is key to how supportive they will be of your horse habit.
If you regularly come back after a ride grumpy and frustrated, your partner will rightfully so wonder why you bother with such an expensive hobby if it doesn’t even make you happy! If you make a point of coming back from a ride with a “Thank you for taking care of dinner so I could ride, I really appreciate it,” it will go a long way!
It also helps to be supportive of your partner’s hobbies. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you have to do everything together!
For those of you with horsey partners, here are a few things that I have learned along the way: