Whenever I meet someone new and they learn I have a horse and ride, they inevitably will ask the same question. “Does your husband ride?” For a lot of people, it is more of an assumption than a question. I am sure a lot of people have visions of husband and wife riding hand in hand into the sunset. Yep, that is about as realistic as all the rom-coms I love. These non-horsey people don’t realize what most riders know anecdotally: Amateur horse sports are dominated by women. One statistic I saw stated it was up to 80% more women than men ride. Another from the British Horse Society quoted 73% regardless of professional status.
My husband, Ray, has been on a horse a few times. I even brought home a retired roping horse for him. But, after 6 months of feeding, cleaning, and working ‘his’ horse and only a few rides by my husband, I knew this would never be his passion. Happily, I found a wonderful home with a neighbor whose trail horse recently passed. The ponies I had for my boys, also found new homes. Although they both love animals and like having the horses around, it was obvious riding would not be their passion, either. So, the ponies moved on as well. And every horse and pony deserves to be loved by a little girl.
I recently came across the Horse Radio Network (HRN). It is a pod cast with multiple horse related shows. One of my favorite programs is Horses in the Morning, a Monday through Friday pod cast. It is like drive-time radio, only in pod cast form. On the fourth Thursday of the month is their horse husbands edition. It is billed as for men only. Apparently, the men have noticed the disparity and have built a program around talking about it. The topics are varied, informative, humorous and sometimes serious. Not that I have listened to the show. All horse girls do as we are told! (A word of warning the HRN is habit forming.) www.horseradionetwork.com/shows/horses-in-the-morning/
Two of my horse girlfriends, Karen and Trish, (from my Sunday Stroll blog) met volunteering at a therapeutic riding school. Trish met her future husband there, as well. The two young(er) women were both horse crazy girls and quickly bonded. They began hanging out together and of course talked about everything. Karen frequently talked about Joe, extolling his endearing qualities. It was quite a few conversations in as when Trish realized Joe was Karen’s horse, and not her fiance. Karen and Bob had met when they both worked at Knott’s Berry Farm during college. He was a stage coach driver, and she was drawn to the horses. Bob does not drive anymore and has little to do with horses as possible. Trish’s husband has nothing to do with horses, either. He was just helping the center with big equipment for a fund raiser. John admits after hearing the word horse in a sentence all he hears is, “Blah, blah, blah.”
So in answer to the question, no my husband doesn’t ride. However it appears that when the horse girls are busy with their horses, their husbands are involved with their own pursuits. So my husband and I may not ride off into the sunset, but we meet back up at the end of the day and share our experiences. He may not ride, but Ray gives good horse hugs!
*Helmet acceptance and laws have changed considerably since some of these pictures were taken. My friends and I always wear helmets these days.
Enjoy the ride!