Cheryl and her mare

From my husband, Jim Figures:

It wasn’t long after we got married that I began calling my wife “Elly Mae”. I mean I knew she came with a horse but…

Raise your hand, if you grew up in the city, live in the city, work in an office and have received a phone call from your wife “could you please stop and buy some pig food on your way home?”


At the time of this call, my wife was the administrator of a private intercity school in Detroit, so of course I needed her to repeat and clarify this need several times.

Yes! I came home to find a small, not baby, pig in a box in the dining room and two large golden retrievers hiding under the bed. She BORROWED!! the pig from a friend to take to school. It soon became a habit of her’s to borrow farm animals to take to school with her.

Every spring, she would do a project with the kindergarteners to hatch chicken eggs and then bring the chicks home to live with us until she could find homes for them. Over the years, there have been countless phone calls from my family and friends… “I think I just saw Cheryl drive by with a lamb in the back seat of her truck.” YEA!! Most likely it was her.

I looked for a 12 step program but finally had to move her out of the city before the neighborhood banned us.

After feeling like a bumbling idiot at the first horse show she had me come to, I decided to learn more in order to be helpful.  At one point in our lives, she toted to shows not only our son but about 10 other local kids. She needed me… but I still make mistakes…

Did you know you should not repair a girth with a staple gun and duct tape?  Can you say BUCK!!!

There were a few years where I felt that my wife tried to get me out of her hair at shows. She signed me up to work, I pulled gate duty and arena maintenance a lot. At one show, she came to me and told me they were in serious need of an announcer and could I please fill in, it would be only for a little while. I feel this backfired, I was in an air conditioned booth, ALL DAY!, while she was in the 90 degree sun.

Now that the kids are gone and it’s only her, I have found a new niche: I AM A GOD!!!

At the last horse show I decided to play the perfect show husband up right. There were some young new wives that dragged along their poor suckers.. oops.. husbands.  While the other husbands sat on a chair reading or watching sports on their smartphones, I adjusted braids, watered the horse, wiped green spots and bits, cleaned her boots, hauled tack, made snacks for both her and the horse, kept her hydrated. I was even allowed to hold her horse while she ran to the bathroom, which is when I feed her horse a can of Coke… YEA!! that was wrong.

I was awesome! My wife heard from the other women what an amazing husband she had. I heard several ladies tell their husbands “why can’t you be more like that??” Come on guys… I was leading by example, it’s taken me 30 years to figure this out. The other women loved me; the men, not so much…

As my wife drove home that night, she turned to me and said “ SO!! where has this husband been for the past 30 years?”

Jim Figures