A Maniacal Choice

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 🙂

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