1. The Know-It-All
This person has to give their opinion even when not asked. They will make remarks like, “You know, the reason why your horse bucked you off is because your back cinch was too loose…The reason your horse is tossing his head is because his bit is too low in his mouth…The reason your horse is buddy sour is because you haven’t done the join-up method…The reason your horse spooked is because he doesn’t view you as his leader…The reason your horse won’t go forward is because your saddle is on backwards.” Ok, smart-ass, I don’t need you to tell me my horse’s saddle is on backwards, I can figure that out on my own.
2. The Hoarder
This owner has a collection of roughly 30 horses of every shape, size, color and breed. She also has 12 sheep, 3 pigs, 10 turkeys, 2 geese, 5 dogs, 7 cats, 200 fish and a venus-fly trap. She doesn’t actually ride her horses, she’s actually afraid of them, but she feels like they would end up in the wrong hands if she were to sell them. None of them have seen the farrier, vet or curry comb in 3 years and they are so wooly and dirty she thinks she might have accidentally started a yak collection too, but she’s not sure.
3. The Vet
Better known as the walking “WebMD” of the barn. They are the first one to diagnose every horse, sick or healthy. Your horse is colicking and they say it’s not colic but a case of Moon Blindness caused by hard water, sweet feed, alfalfa and your farrier. They suggest you book the next appointment at UC Davis even though you live in Upstate New York. You google everything, just hoping they’re wrong.
4. The Backyarder
This person keeps their horse at home. They put up panels to section off the backyard. Half of the corral is the cinder block wall that encloses their quarter-acre home. Bailing twine helps keep the corrals in tip-top shape. They will occasionally muck the stalls (only in flip-flops) when the neighbors start complaining about the fly problem. Thankfully the HOA requires all houses to have a garage, which doubles as a great horse shelter when the weather is bad.
5. Mr. Natural Horsemanship
This is the owner who thinks it’s cruel to put bits in horses’ mouths and shoes on horses’ feet. They use words like “barbaric” and “torture” in any conversation regarding bits or shoes, but somehow they don’t think it’s cruel for them to ride horses. Because we all know a snaffle bit and horseshoes are much more tortuous than a 300lb rider with a 50lb saddle on a barely 900lb horse. And don’t even mention SPURS. Spurs are the mark of the devil. Spurs are actually made out of little microfibers of Lucifer’s horns.
6. Safety First Sally
Safety First Sally is well intentioned. She’s also very adamant that the reason why any horse-injury occurs is because someone forgot to wear their helmet. Broken toe? A helmet would have prevented that. Strained groin muscle? A helmet would also have prevented that, too. Safety First Sally also makes sure the horse is as protected as she is. She would wrap the horse in bubble wrap if she could find out where to buy bubble wrap in bulk, but settles with dressing the horse head to toe in protective gear. Hoof boots, bell boots, sports medicine boots over split boots, anti-slip saddle pad, rubber bits, breakaway stirrups and reins, and a cell phone attached to her hip and to the horse in case he too needs to call for help. Actually, he is trained to dial 9-1-1. That is the first lesson in safety: teaching the horse to dial 9-1-1.
7. Miss Horse-Poor
This is the owner that will sleep on a park bench, eat out of the dumpster and bathe in a McDonald’s bathroom so her horse doesn’t have to go without. The horse will only get the best of the best – best food, best trainer, best barn, best farrier, etc…Miss Horse-Poor resembles a bag lady while her horse resembles Brad Pitt (in his younger years, before all the kids).
8. Frugal Fred
Frugal Fred is always looking for a way to save a buck. He is a self-taught farrier and only lamed up every horse he’s owned. He will take a tube of wormer and divide it between 3 horses with the mentality that “a little wormer is better than no wormer.” He will sneak his horses over to the local golf course so they can get free meals. He will never spend money buying a horse when there are perfectly good free ones on Craigslist. He is also a self-taught trainer, and even though none of his horses are able to be ridden, they can all shake and play dead on command.
9. The Show-Getter
The Show-Getter is the go-getter of the show world. She only smiles if the judges are looking. If she’s not winning blue ribbons every weekend you’re talking her out of jumping off the bridge. She will stop at NOTHING if blue ribbons are on the line. She will occasionally ask to borrow your trail horse to help her “unwind and get back to nature,” because she can’t afford for her $90k show horse to get injured on the trail. He’s too good for trail riding, anyways.
10. The Significant Other
The Significant Other (“S.O.”) is normally the husband. Once he realizes his wife is having an affair with a 16h, 1,250lb chestnut beast, he decides the only way to win her back is to get a beast of his own. He faithfully goes with his wife and their ponies everywhere, trying his best to find joy in the situation. He still can’t figure out how to post. Diagonals and leads are a foreign language to him, but he tries his best. Sitting home watching Nascar on a Sunday is no comparison to a nice romp in the woods, chaffed butt and bruised balls be damned. He can’t understand why his wife couldn’t just be happy owning a couple of pet hamsters instead of an animal that tries to kill him on a regular basis.
Written by: Maria Wachter