Many people go through a horse girl phase as kids where they get into horseback riding. They take lessons for a year or two, then move on to another sport they are more passionate about. Then, there are people like me.
I’ve been riding horses for more than 20 years. Despite this sport causing a broken hip, concussion, and surgery to fix a torn tendon in my ankle (among other things), I can never resist the urge to get back in the saddle.
I’m a horse girl for life. This sport is in my blood and part of who I am. And whether you are a former horse girl or a current horse girl, there are a few life lessons that can only be learned in the barn and the arena. For example, horseback riding has taught me how important it is for me to get up and try again after I fall, whether that’s literally falling off a horse or failing a math test.
Check out more life lessons you know to be true if you’re a horse girl at heart!
1. We know how important it is to get back on the horse.
When you ride horses, it’s not a matter of if you’re going to fall — it’s when. But when we fall, it’s how we react that matters. And every horse girl knows how important it is to get back in the saddle and try again!
2. We’re not afraid to get our hands dirty.
Don’t even bother paying for a fancy manicure because being around horses is messy work! Whether we are grooming a horse that’s just rolled in the mud, riding around a dusty arena, or distributing bales of hay for dinner, we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty. We know we’ll inevitably leave the barn with hay in our hair, dirt under our nails, and the biggest smile ever!
3. We deal with enough crap. We’re not dealing with yours.
Horse girls deal with enough crap. Whether we’re mucking out our horse’s stall or shoveling his crap out of the crossties, we have seen and handled enough crap to last us a lifetime. So when someone toxic comes into our lives, we don’t deal with any unnecessary drama that comes with them. Nobody’s bringing us down (except our horse when we fall off)!
4. We’re easy to love, but hard to afford.
Horse girls are some of the kindest, sweetest, and most compassionate women out there! But unfortunately for our future spouses, loving us comes with a hefty price tag! Horseback riding is one of the most expensive sports to participate in, but we don’t mind being horse poor because our love for horses far outranks our love for money!
5. We know hard work pays off.
Horseback riding is a sport where hard work pays off, and you can see the result in tangible ways. Whether it’s winning better ribbons at a horse show or earning a new personal best time while barrel racing, we see our hard work pay off. And our accomplishments mean more because of how much effort we put into achieving them.
6. Our horses might break our bones, but they will never break our hearts.
Horseback riding is a shockingly dangerous sport. We can be kicked, stepped on, and thrown off. But while accidents may happen, our horses love us and we love them. There is nothing more magical than a horse nickering happily when they see you walk up to their stall or pony cuddles!
7. Horseback riding is the only sport where your equipment can choose not to cooperate with you.
Non-equestrians love to underestimate horse girls because all we do is “sit there and the horse does all the work.” If only that were true! We are constantly working hard to communicate with our horses to work as a team while making it look as effortless as possible. And our sport is much harder than other sports because our “equipment” can decide it doesn’t want to cooperate or listen to us at any moment.
8. Horses are basically big dogs.
Anyone who’s spent any time around horses knows they are basically just big dogs! Horses love to give kisses, and the key to their heart is treats and belly rubs.
Though being a horse girl isn’t always easy, I couldn’t imagine a life without them. Fellow horse girls, what are some other lessons you’ve learned? Let us know in the comments!