“I understand you are a horsewoman. My brother bought a horse a year or so ago and is looking to get rid of it. It is four years old and is too much horse for him. My brother is still learning about horseback riding and has gotten a new horse that is older and will work better for him. He is looking to give the horse to a good home…FREE. I don’t know anything about horses, so can’t tell you much…”

My chuckling started soft as I read Nancy’s words again. “Give the horse to a good home… FREE.” Then they progressed to near hysterical laughter.

I glanced around squinty eyed with mirth hoping to find someone to share the humor with. Sadly everyone in my office is non-horsey and wouldn’t realize the irony.

It was no offense to Nancy- she openly admitted to not knowing anything about horses, ergo she wouldn’t know that acquiring a horse is on the first of countless steps.

Step 2 is the preparation for FREE horse.

New halter – Check.
New riding accessories- Yes.
New color scheme to match the chestnut coat- Uhh…does a bear pee in the woods?

Step 3 comes after you have had FREE horse for 2 months and FREE horse is exhibiting odd behavior.

Vet appointment- Immediately.
Order all new supplements- SmartPak is on speed dial.
Farrier adjust shoes – Whatever will make him sound.

Step 4 generally happens after your first show turned into your first rodeo.

Chiropractor for possible back pain – I’ll just ignore my ruptured disc for another month.
New saddle for possible back pain – But keep the old one because it might fit the next FREE horse.
Add a few more private lessons to tackle the lead change issue – So, honey… about that vacation in Maine.

Step 5 occurs when FREE horse begins coughing excessively right before the summer circuit.

Vet appointment – You’re on a first name basis anyway.
New supplements and feed plan – No stone unturned.
New fly sheet and mask – Can’t trust anything at this point.
Soak all the hay – We want mush, people! I’m talking baby food pulp!

Step 6 occurs once you are nearing your one year anniversary with FREE horse and are about to post a #transformationtuesday when you realize that FREE horse hasn’t physically transformed at all, only your bank account. It’s dry, used up, gasping for air and all close relations have written you out of the will.

Couples therapy (if married) – Because now you are questioning your horse obsession.
Open an eBay account to sell belongings – But not horse belongings! You might need those.
Google part time jobs – You start to wonder if this is how addicts feel.

Steps are directly correlated to the number of years you own FREE horse. For accelerated results and catastrophes, be sure to make a “plan” and even a training schedule. Doing so will seal the fate of no less than the following: thrown shoe, stone bruise, choke, ligament sprain, and any injury that merits a #howdidthishappen?! hashtag on social media.

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