Training Tip Tuesday - How To Be A Horse Husband (Or Wife)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Posted by Bonnie Walker - Dressage Different


Hello Dressage Different readers, it is I! Bonnie's husband, Daniel! And I have some tips to share with the horse husbands and pony-girl boyfriends, girlfriends and partners out there. It is my intention to arm you brave fellas and ladies with some of the information you will need to maintain a happy and successful relationship with your equi-centric female companion. These tips will help you answer questions like, “What is Dressage?”, “Will Dressage fit into my budget?” and “How much does my wife's horse mean to her, really?”. So, read on fellow adventurers, I hope some of these insights help you adapt to your life as a horse-woman man (or woman).1. Have you beat the odds and finally, finally become financially stable? Well my friend, you've just lost the game. Hopefully your food stamps will arrive in the mail before you have to spend your rent money on that case of supermarket off-brand ramen you've had your eye on. Don't forget to smuggle home some of that generic non-dairy creamer they give you at work so you can feed your cat!

2. Get used to obnoxious, cutesy terms such as “horse husband” and “pony-girl”. This language idiosyncrasy is part of your forever now.

3. Do you engage in “horse play” in the bedroom? Turn back! You've gone too far, man!

4. You and your wife will eat dry lettuce and sunflower seeds for most of your meals. Your wife's horse will eat the following food stuff supplements multiple times a day: Advanced Cetyl M Joint Action Formula for Horses, Recovery EQ HA, Electro-Plex. Corta-Fix. Neigh-Lox Advance, B-Kalm Paste, SandClear Natural Psylium Fiber Crumbles, Probios Dispersible Powder, Cosequin ASU Plus, Equine Hoof Pellets, Wind Aid Breathing Aid, Motion Potion Liquid with HA and hay, lots and lots of hay.

5. Prepare to experience a reality where your wife and all of her friends live in a world where horses are people too. In this world your wife's horse can now feel even the most complex human emotions, like rage or jealousy. Your wife's horse can absorb and comprehend every word spoken to it. Like a tenured psychology professor, it's aware of not only what you said, but what you didn't say. It can infer meaning from the tone of your voice as well as the most subtle body language.

6. Ready your mind to preform mental and physical labor for free. You will become your wife's unpaid groom, stable boy, stall mucker, tack cleaner, videographer, scribe, test caller, and quiz widget. You will learn more about horses and your wife's sport than 99 percent of the word, whether you want to or not. It will happen slowly, but one day you and your wife will be watching dressage videos on You Tube (oh yeah, this is the only form of entertainment available you now) and you will see a horse and rider attempt a movement and you will think to yourself, “Hmm...looks like the horse stuck in that last walk pirouette to the left. That's a double coefficient movem....oh shoot.” BAM! You just became a subject matter expert in a field not your own, congratulations!

7. Don't try to explain your wife's sport to your friends. Tell them she works at a bank. This will save you a lot of pain and suffering. A typical conversation where you talk to a friend about what your wife does will go like this:
Friend: “So what does your wife do?”
You: “She is a Dressage instructor”
Friend: “What is that?”
You: (oh, god here we go) “She teaches people to ride horses. It's an English style of riding” (they have no idea what this means).
Friend: “So like roping cows and stuff?”
You: “No, it's like in the Olympics when you see people riding horses in, like, suits and top hats”
Friend: “Ohhh, like when they're going over jumps and stuff?”
You: (trying not to make your wife's life's work seem boring and stupid) “Yeah, but without the jumps” (fail).
Friend: “OK...so what do they do?”
You: (sweet Jesus) “They attempt to preform a series of complex pre-determined maneuvers, seemingly without effort, where horse and rider act as one. It is one of the most difficult sports on earth, and is widely regarded as the highest expression of horse training”
Friend: “....but there are no jumps?”
You: “Just kidding, she works at a bank”.

8. Your wife will own more clothes than any one person has any right. It will be an absolute necessity that she owns just the right sock for every occasion. Normal socks won't do, they won't do at all. She will need McGruberhoze brand “riding socks” in all the colors of the visual spectrum. She will also require a different long sleeve shirt/vest/sweater/jacket combo for all 365 days of the year. Blazing hot day in the middle of summer? She will take the “July 12th-15th” jacket to work, perhaps just to and from the car, but by golly she NEEDS it.

9. Her boot library will fill all the closets in your house, plus all the spare storage spaces in your friends and relatives houses. Think about the boots you bought for work, they are made of imitation leather, maybe even some synthetic cloth. They have rubber soles and normal laces, and have the form fit and function of, well, a boot. You wear these boots every day at your labor intensive job and like a nice, reasonably priced set of work boots they get more comfortable with age and they just seem to last forever. Okay, now her boots on the other hand will be made from only the finest blue whale leather, soled with the crushed bones of tar pit mammoths, stitched together with silk from the Ming dynasty, and polished to a shimmering glow with forest pixie tears. Each boot will cost as much as the Apollo moon landing and they will last, oh say, roughly 30 days each. They will need to be constantly patched, stretched, cobbled, re-soled, taken in, let out, softened, and stiffened, and even with all there customizations they will never fit right until the day she need them replaced.

That's it guys! Tune in next time at some arbitrary point in the future where we will dive headfirst into topics such as: your role as a horse husband or partner at Dressage competitions; day to day life with the horse-woman of your dreams; and helping out your wife at the barn.