I remember the first time I realized not everyone in the world wants to ride horses for a living. I was kind of shocked. What? There’s more to life than getting my horse’s feet to be my feet, long trotting several miles a day, craving the sore muscles from sitting in a saddle all day?
When I went to college in Chico, California, I realized a whole lifestyle exists where people’s days aren’t begun and ended by feeding livestock. They take weekend trips without calling the neighbors to feed. It was fun for about a week. I missed the smell of leather, so I decorated my apartment with my chinks, saddle, boots and hat. A friend once walked into my room and said, “This is more leather than I’ve ever seen in one girl’s bedroom.”
I crave the feeling of riding a horse so much that I’m sick of riding horses. It’s a strange sort of masochism. I like to ride with a purpose, either pushing/sorting/roping/gathering cattle or working on something specific with my horse, such as shoulder control or collection. Horsemanship is more genuine when there’s a job to do.
Horsemanship/cowboying is a strange type of lifestyle that choose a person. It’s an inner compulsion, not an outward choice. It’s kind of a maniacal choice, really. I mean, it doesn’t pencil out financially, there are no health benefits, paid vacations or sick days. You supply all your own gear and risk your life and soundness of body on a fairly regular basis. For fun on their days off, cowboys go to ranch rodeos and pay money to do the same things they ordinarily get paid to do.
Have a good day, all you maniacs, cowboy or otherwise! Thanks for reading 🙂