- Going to Florida for the winter. Another horse blog did an article about just how much money it costs to go to somewhere like WEF or Ocala for the winter, and it was astronomical. Now, I do hope to one day go to one of those locations, but I hope that those of you who get to go, even if it’s just once, never take that for granted. There are so many of us who would absolutely love the ability to go to Wellington or Ocala, but don’t have the means, whether it’s finances, a horse, or a facility that goes down there to train. You are incredibly lucky, and most of us are incredibly jealous of you.
- Being able to get an import. Yet another thing that many equestrians dream of but cannot do because of monetary or other reasons. Not to say that there aren’t many, many good, talented horses in the United States, but we all know we do lust after getting that gorgeous imported horse from one of those faraway European countries. If you’re lucky enough to have an import with fantastic bloodlines, don’t take that for granted. You’ve been blessed by the equestrian gods and goddesses.
- Being able to travel to Europe to try horses. This goes along with number two, but a lot of times young riders are able to travel to Europe to try out horses they are going to import. Again, this takes up a huge amount of time and money – and again, this is something most of us don’t have. Be thankful you have the opportunity to do this once-in-a-lifetime thing (or maybe it’s more than once-in-a-lifetime for some of you). Some of us will never be so lucky.
- Having a horse that’s a complete packer. If you’ve ever read that article about school horses and the value they have in our riding education, then you know what I’m talking about. A horse that builds your confidence, forgives your silly, stupid mistakes, and packs your ass around without a care in the world is a god send, and he or she is something that should never be taken for granted. That is what my horse Rascal was for me, and then that is what Luther became for me as well. Those horses are rare and deserve all the love and attention in the world. They seem to have an understanding beyond that of other horses. They know exactly what we need, when we need it.
- Parents who will write a check for anything and everything horse-related. Horseback riding is incredibly expensive – from equipment, to apparel, to owning or leasing a horse, to showing – depending on what circuit – and to a certain extent, we depend on our parents (well, most of us), to help fund our passion until we get to an age where we either have to a. become a working student to keep riding, b. get another job to keep riding, or c. have our parents continue to fund our riding – no questions asked. If you’re a member of Category C, I applaud you and encourage you to thank your parents every day. And I am in no way knocking on parents that don’t fund their child’s riding – but to those of you who have never had to pay for anything related to your horse, take the extra time to say thank you and tell your parents you appreciate them and what they do for your riding career. Again, not all of us are so lucky, and not all of us have bottomless bank accounts or investors who will literally write a check for whatever we ask.
What do you think a rider should never take for granted? Leave a comment below!