I posted something on social media a while ago and recently I was reminded of the post again this week. It was something along the lines of, “I will never complain about taking care of my horses, because I am grateful for them and lucky to have them in my life.” I think it was in response to some complaints I was reading from people in snowy, icy, blowy nasty weather complaining about the conditions, or people in rainy, flooding weather complaining about cleaning stalls, or people in hot weather complaining they had to get up at 5:00 a.m. to ride before it got too hot. Sorry – no sympathy.

My friend Dr. Michelle Egli and Arty. Photo by Holly Covey

My friend Dr. Michelle Egli and Arty. Photo by Holly Covey

Taking care of animals means no matter what the outside conditions, you go out. Having emotion about weather is so useless. It is what it is. That is why any good horse person has rubber boots, raincoats, gloves, scarves, hats and at least one good down-filled item of apparel. I don’t sympathize with those who complain about the day to day care, because when you take a horse home and put it in your pasture, paddock, backyard, or barn, you accept that weather isn’t a factor in the commitment to the animal. It’s what you do.

I think you also accept that no matter how many times you have to soak the abscessed foot, or call the vet, or buy the expensive medication or feed, you also do it because you love that horse and want to keep him as healthy as you can. Sure, we all do everything we can to afford horses and be able to enjoy them without robbing a bank. But sometimes, a problem is beyond your knowledge. That’s not the time to turn to social media, it’s time to bring in your educated professional and get some answers, even if that means a farm call and a bill. It’s what you do.

Because we want horses in our lives, we accept that responsibility. It’s OK to complain a bit now and then, but I would never sit in the house, dry and comfortable, and look out the window at wind-driven rain soaking my horses to the bone out in the field, and not want to reach for my rain coat. Even if they don’t want to come in, I just make sure the shed is open and has hay. It’s just what you do.