horse listening christmasIt's Christmas and you'll surely be spending a lot of time with family and friends - who don't necessarily live, breathe and think horses all the time.

Although it might be almost impossible for us to even think of life without horses, let's face it. The majority of the world's population lives without even a remote access to the four-legged animals that we think of as family!

In the case of your own friends and neighbors, you might have to resign yourself to accepting the fact that it's not them - but you - who is the "not like the other" (think Sesame Street)! Luckily, because you spend so much time at the barn, you don't have to notice exactly how different your life has become since you started being around horses.

Don't worry about it though. Even if you feel like there's little to talk about unless it's about horses, there are perfectly good reasons to keep giving people a chance. Here are five reasons to spend time with non-horsey people.

They politely pretend to understand when you talk about your horse.

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That's ok. Go on about how cute your horse is when he's dreaming in his sleep.

But be sure to be sensitive to their needs too. After you get your fill by talking about your horse, give your friend a chance to talk about something more interesting to her. Be courteous and genuinely interested in her thoughts, too. Appreciate her for her willingness to accept your long horse stories and still be your friend!

They might be intimidated by horses - but they still join you at the barn.

How can that be possible, right? But it's true. Some people are so fearful of the sheer size of the horse that they stand at the far end of the barn aisle. Just keep smiling and look inviting. After all, they did make the effort to go with you to the barn. Don't make them feel inadequate. Encourage them but let them hang back if they must. A little patience goes a long way in this case. Give your friend some time. She came to the barn at least and didn't go on about the awful horsey smell!

You might be able to get them to do some chores for you.

Get all excited when they suggest that they might want to visit you at the barn. As they become more confident around horses, get them to help you with the barn chores. If you catch them early on, before they see you at it, you'll have a good chance to talk them into a little help. Then add a little more, then even more, and soon enough, they'll be reliable barn slaves workers!

They make excellent show grooms.

Same goes with horse show visits. Be super encouraging when they ask you when you'll be in the ring, and welcome them fervently when you see them at the show grounds! As they get comfortable with the show environment, give them small things to do. Maybe they can bring your brushes along. In no time at all, you can quickly build it up to holding your horse when you need to go to the bathroom, wiping your horse's mouth just before going into the ring, and setting up the hay and water while you untack.

They're nice.

Yeah, people can be nice even if they don't like horses. Of course, it would be better if they were nice AND liked horses too...

I'm having trouble thinking of more reasons (!), but I'm sure there must be some great reasons to spend time with non-horsey people. If you have any to share, add them in the comments below.

Before you go, here's a hilarious video by EventionTV showing you precisely the difference between horse people and regular people. Just be sure to not show it to the regular people - they might not find it funny at all!

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Now is the time to re-evaluate your goals and path to riding success!

If you’d like a structured, but personal tool to set goals, take a look our Goal Setting for the Equestrian: A Personal Workbook. The pages are designed for you to set and keep track of your progress over the course of a year.

Included in the book:

  • design your overarching goals
  • long- and short-term planning,
  • debrief your special events such as clinics or shows
  • reflect on, plan and evaluate your goals
  • sample goals and pages

The Workbook is available for instant digital download so you can print the pages right off your computer. There is also the option of a paperback version if you’d rather have a professionally bound book to hold in your hands.

Click here for more information.

Goal Setting For The EquestrianRead more here:

42 Ways to Learn, Play and Grow With Your HorseHorses give to us in countless ways. We play, learn and grow with them, making horseback riding not merely a sport (which it truly is, like no other), but so much more.

Good Day For A Little Horseplay: Snort, snort, snort, SNORT! My gelding couldn’t tell me in any clearer terms how much he was enjoying the moment.

The Night Before Christmas: A heartwarming barn version written by Doris Elradi.

Horse Treats For Christmas: Bake these horse-approved treats for every equine in your barn!

Softly Determined – A Poem: I found this one on the Internet long ago, with no indication of the author. However, it has stayed with me, blending intensity with passion, being so eloquent and yet knowledgeable about the “path”.


  1. But they don’t understand when they ask you what you want for Christmas and you say a gift certificate from your favorite tack shop.