I have friends who get all dressed up to attend high teas every Sunday afternoon. They meet for martinis two evenings a week and lunch together several afternoons. They play golf, tennis, and host card parties.
For years it was never a conflict, since I lived hundreds of miles away and flew in a couple times a year for short visits.
But now that I am local full time, I constantly hear comments about my dirty, smelly hobby. Grumblings that I am acting like a child running off to the barn to play and that at “my age”, I should really consider making changes.
Through the brutal winter I was able to commit more time to these friends. On the “too cold to move” days I met for lunch more often, had a martini or two, hit the club and even broke out some little black dresses and joined them for high tea.
But once that temp creped about 15 degrees, I was at the barn again. Dirty and smelly and happy.
After hearing all their pleas and whines, insults and stabs, because I ride horses and not golf carts. That I prefer the company of a mud incrusted 1200 pound mare then them. I came up with a compromise.
For Christmas I purchase several new riding helmets, paddock boots and breeches. I created cute gift coupons that read:
“Exchange this card for one riding lesson and I will exchange one afternoon at the barn to spend time doing something with you.” Each friend received a box with riding gear and 3 little cards.
There is a slim chance that at least one if not all find as much pleasure in riding as I do.