Horses 101

Usually when we think of starting something new, it seems kind of daunting. We know we want to give it a go because we are interested in it for sure, but we talk ourselves out of it until we take that first step. With girls who love horses, that tipping point might be a book they read, a riding lesson they watched a friend have, a trail ride taken on a family vacation or watching a horse show class during a trip to the state fair.

That’s the beginning bit. After that comes the desire to get more proficient, acquire some skills and get started in the particular discipline such as dressage, eventing or competitive trail.

You have already learned that it’s a physical investment if you are taking lessons. It’s a time investment that you’ll need to work into your week and it’s a huge financial investment if you decide to stick with it. It’s no different than many other sports in those respects, but this sport involves a 1,200 pound animal that needs daily care, his own doctor, his own farrier, special feed, hay (not cow hay), living quarters, safe fencing and a list of equipment and supplies long enough to rival War and Peace.

For the rest of the column, see the Sept. 4 edition of the Times Virginian.