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September 25, 2014: Horse Husbandry

I’ve read some very insightful articles about how being around and tending to horses empowers women. This is true. Women who work with horses exclusively or near exclusively end up doing what they might not do otherwise, like (for example) dealing with trailers and trailering. They hook them up to trucks, load up the horses, and take them (at times) in questionable traffic conditions.

However, the few articles that I’ve read about horse husbands have not been quite as insightful. Most have centered around how husband has bonded with Old Dobbin. More, I have been thinking, could be said about the effects that being a horse husband has on a relationship.

Defined, a horse husband is an individual who takes to horses after the wife does the same. The degree of interest varies, but generally, the horse husband is following in the footsteps of the so-called wife. “Getting horses, it was her idea,”

Pete with his Saddle

the man says, pointing to the beaming wife at the horse show. Happens time and time again, anyplace there are couples and woman is horse obsessed. It can happen the other way, but this is less common.

I have a horse husband – both Pete and I laugh at the term, but it is fitting. Pete has never professed to have the horse gene. And since he does not profess to have it, he probably lacks it. However, he has from Day 1, which is the day that I started cleaning pens at Bill and Katie Long’s place, supported my habit, both financially and otherwise. I suppose the otherwise could in part be defined as his listen to me babble endlessly, for hours at a time, about my horse-related doings. For instance, this morning, I went on and on about how I let the horses into the yard (so that I could clean the pen) and after, how Raudi followed me to the tack room and waited for a treat before commencing grazing. Snooze material, for sure. Pete though, did not get glassy eyed. Rather, he asked if I’d shut the lower gate.

It was fortuitous that Pete and Mr. Siggi became riding buddies. And after Mr. Siggi’s death, it was fortuitous that Pete and Signy became riding buddies. And it was fortuitous that after Signy’s death that Pete and Tinni became riding buddies. And it will be fortuitous that in time, Pete and Hrimmi will become riding buddies.

I’m not sure if fortuitous is the right word in regards to Pete since this word implies that fate had something to do with Pete’s decision to take up, and later continue to ride. But it is the right word in regards to me. I started out riding alone – Mr. Tinni was my number one riding horse because Raudi was then not of riding age. But I began riding with Pete when Mr. Siggi came of age.

At the very least, riding together has given us something more to talk about. Not that we didn’t have things to talk about before, but after their acquisition, even more. Yesterday is a good case in point. We got the horses out late yesterday afternoon because earlier, I’d been pony shopping and going over my dressage scores with Vickie. We set out and decided to ride Pat and Ray’s trail, which had been mowed down by four wheelers. As it turned out, it was all ablaze with fall colors – mainly orange and reds. Together, we came upon a tree stand, then minutes later, a poached moose. We also dealt with trail particulars, such as the muffler someone left at the intersection of the Bench and Jim’s Trails. We talked about all this as we rode, and we talked about it all again at dinner. And our conversations were of course punctuated by talk about how wonderfully all the horses were and continued to behave.

Later, after we went to bed, Pete woke up and told me that he’d been dreaming about running (I think on foot) through the fireweed. And I knew exactly what he was talking about.

Pete assists me in doing all phases of horse care. And he also does some things I can’t do, like trailer the horses places. I feel bad about this, but my vision is so questionable that we have both agreed that I ought not. This means that he has to either ride or stick around for the event in question. He’s been a really good sport about this; in fact, on Sunday he should have been given a blue ribbon for having spent almost the entire day at the dressage show. Plain and simple, to someone who doesn’t have the horse gene, dressage is boring. Pete never did say this, but I didn’t see him hanging on the fence and watching every horse’s every move.

There were maybe, at best, four guys at the dressage show. And there were at least forty women in attendance. After, a handful of us onlookers began talking about the next schooling show, and perhaps having a horse husband class. I later asked Pete if he’d participate, and he did not say no. He then suggested that the guys wear black Carhartts, white shirts, and cowboy hats (all items he has on hand). My initial response was that he could propose this ideas to the show organizers; however, I didn’t want them to think that this was in any way my suggestion. Then I got to thinking about it – this is a good idea. He and the others most likely wouldn’t participate if they had to purchase The Outfit. However, they would if they got to wear supposedly male apparel.

We’ll see. I consider myself fortunate to have a horse husband. Never thought I’d see the day.

Next: 256. 9/26/14: The Garden of Eatin’ – The Story Continues