This post comes after a conversation with my other half who, had to endure listening to his very frustrated girlfriend reel off the events of her evening at the yard...
I have just about had it, livery yards and liveries, I can't do it anymore was a regular line in the rant that engulfed the house that evening credit to him, he was trying very hard to seem concerned or intrigued and even shot a empathetic glance my way once or twice...
I think a lot of you will be able to relate to this entry. I started this post a while ago, however I got a little too self consumed in my own musings that the meaning of it was somewhat lost along the way, so I have tried again.
To those of you who keep your horses on your own property, you are incredibly lucky. To those of you who don't, then hopefully this will make you feel a little bit better knowing you're not alone.
When you finally arrive home from a busy day at work, kick off your mucky boots and 'horsey' clothes, sling your pj's on, chuck your freshly washed hair up in that messy bun and reach for that long overdue class of wine to soothe your head and clear your mind from the comments of 'all the gear, no idea' culprit on the yard that evening... just know that I am doing the exact same, along with countless other horse owners around the country.
My question to you is, what is wrong with us?
I think we are kidding ourselves if we think we are innocent in the act. I think we are all guilty of succumbing to the 'bitching' or the unwanted and unhelpful hints and tips on occasion. Being horse folk, it's inevitable.
Our horses are our lives, there are an estimated 446,000 horse-owning households in the country. That makes an enormous equestrian community.
That should mean there are thousands of yards nationwide with dozens of horses and their dedicated owners, who all have one thing in common - the love for their horse or pony.
My problem then is, and it has been one I have face throughout my childhood and still now growing up without 'horsey parents' is why do some of us find it okay and go out of our way to ruin that life-long love so many of us have by being so cruel, two faced and opinionated day in and day out on the yard...
The yard should be a place of sanctuary, a place where you can really indulge in your passion, to love what you do without negativity, but so often it isn't and I find that such a shame.
An anonymous quote I found and I love is:
"A barn is a sanctuary in a unsettled world, a sheltered place where life’s true priorities are clear. When you take a step back, it’s not just about horses — its about love, life, and learning."
Trust me, I am not trying to change the world with a blog post, no nothing like that don't worry!
I just want to highlight that we are all sharing our passion and surely should enjoy it together without bringing others down... As I have said in numerous heated 'political yard debates' that I find it so silly, and so hard to comprehend when we all have the same hobby, the same passion in life...yet so many of us are out there trying to selfishly ruin it for others.
Perhaps, that isn't the intention of many, I have been a guilty of the phrase 'think before you speak' . I think many of us underestimate the time, effort and pride others put into their animals, that any negativity can have huge effects on the owner's. I think a lot of the time we are so self-consumed with our own hectic lives that we don't stop and think.
I am not trying to preach either, I promise! This is just a story of my revelations growing up on livery yards and growing up as a person.
I remember spending countless cold winter nights cuddled up to my first pony, hands down the sides of her warm rug, tears rolling off my cheeks into her warm fluffy winter fur, after yet again another bout of nasty, malicious comments from on particular lady on our small private yard just beside our house, mainly aimed at my mother's 'incapability'.
'You shouldn't own a pony' was a common shot fired, that hit both me and my mother hard in the chest... being an 8 year old pony mad little girl to hear comments like that from a 40 year old (I thought very experienced and knowledgeable horse woman, whom I had previously looked up to) was soul destroying.
As I got older, I realized the implications comments like those had on my mother... in many ways worse than mine. For a woman who was terrified essentially of horses, but who had (much to her disdain) a very pony-mad daughter, to be trying her hardest every single day to make her child's dream come true but to be constantly criticized on her efforts must have crushed her.
Much more than perhaps I had realized...
She still goes on about it now bless her! She isn't quite brave enough to come and see the new baby though, despite being a gentle giant!
The difference now is, I deal with it alone... I am strong enough not to whimper in my horse's stable sobbing amongst his coat. Don't get me wrong I don't let me mouth run off without me... I just won't have negativity surrounding me or my horse.
Nor should you, but in the same breath, I guess what I am trying to say is everyone battles their own demons, life isn't a walk in the park.
We all have things going on which consume us, often things we are dealing with alone... a person's horse is often their solitude, their escape from the hum-drum of whatever is going on in their lives.
Take a moment to think about this concept and what your horse means to you before you turn up at your yard today, or tomorrow. And maybe, just maybe a few of these inevitable yard debates we all know to well, will become less inevitable if we all adopt this view.
It's A Country Life