In the past few months, my social media and closet have undergone a huge transformation. I’ve ditched the black sweaters for Ariat pullovers and my knee-high boots for paddock boots. I traded in my writing magazine subscriptions for equestrian and style ones. I’ve been blaming it on “branding”. I work in horse media, so of course my entire life looks like it’s about horses. Well, I’m coming clean. I’m admitting it. My media make-over isn’t about fitting in with my co-workers. I’m actually really (still) obsessed with horses.

It started young. I loved playing with Breyer Horses and wanted to ride all the ponies at the fair. Every chance I had to ride horses, I took it — even if that meant going to Ohio to manually bale hay and pull pre-show all-nighters. I was the little girl who wanted a pony for Christmas, even more than a puppy. I’m not going to lie, I still ask for a pony for Christmas. But not just any pony: a 15 – 16hh Arabian, warmblood, or thoroughbred that’s bomb-proof, amateur friendly, and a dressage prospect. Plus I’ll want the trainer to go with it, and the nice stable with the Instagram-ready tack and viewing room. You know, something generally not in the budget of the average new homeowner.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t spend every second I can at the barn I’m at now with the horse I’m leasing. It’s not enough for me to just take a lesson a week. If I go too long without being around horses, I get moody and unfocused. I lose my inspiration. If I just go to the barn and I’m around horses, my mood lifts. Throw a great hack or lesson in there, and I can ride that high for at least the rest of the day.

And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

We’re all horse junkies here. That’s what brings us all together: what makes us spend our girls weekends at clinics and horse shows. It’s what pulls us out of bed in the morning when it’s pouring rain and the temperature is dropping. We’re all part of this secret club. Our official uniform is helmet hair, dirty breeches, and a slimed-on tech shirt. We spend more money on taking care of our horses than on taking care of ourselves. It’s not just a passion for us; being a horse junkie is a way of life. And there’s no way I’m going to give this lifestyle up.