Anti-New Year’s Resolutions For Horse Owners

Posted in: Featured, Horse Care, Ranch Life

January 1st is upon us, and many well-intended folks are forming New Year’s Resolutions. They declare their intentions to lose more weight, spend less money, and otherwise improve themselves. But as horse people, we are already a pretty fantastic bunch of people. So I say “Why try to improve ourselves? Let’s keep on doing like we’ve been doing into 2018!”

Here are 10 habits every horse owner should continue doing for the entirety of 2018 and beyond.

1) Savoring the smell of horses

You’ve been enamored with the smell of horse sweat and dirt since you were hock-high to a pony. The heady scent brings contentment to the farthest reaches of your soul, and closing your eyes while taking a whiff underneath your horse’s mane makes you feel like all is right with the world. Don’t change – hey, aromatherapy is a real thing.

2) Impulse buying horses at auction

Without your financial support, the entire horse industry of the US – and perhaps beyond – may collapse. This would leave entire communities (or maybe just you) despondent, destitute, and depressed. So whip out that checkbook, buy that shiny sorrel, and hyperventilate later.

This auction looks a little fancier than any one I’ve ever attended, but spectating would sure be fun, wouldn’t it?

3) Spending way too much money on custom tack

Whether it’s a saddle that took years to receive or a pair of monel stirrups built to your specifications, custom-made gear can inspire you to sit a little taller in the saddle, swing your rope a little stronger, and give you the self-assurance to try those flying lead changes. It’s some kind of confidence-boosting magic, and it’s worth every dollar.

Parking your bottom in a brand-new custom rig won’t instantly make you ride better, but it will make you think you can ride better, and then you will ride better. You follow? Good.

4) Spending more time in the saddle than cleaning your house, weeding the flowerbed, or checking your email

None of us is promised tomorrow, and life is too uncertain to not pack your passions into every day. Unless you’re having out-of-town visitors; then maybe scrub the bathroom a little bit.

5) Volunteering at a therapeutic riding stable

The horses are amazing; the clients are amazing; the instructors are amazing. What’s not to love?

6) Putting your saddle on a rack in your living room, then sitting in it while you watch John Wayne movies

Wait, you don’t already do that? Then you are totally missing out. To get the full experience, periodically sing “Dun dun dun dun dun….dun dun dun dun dun” in three-quarter time, such as that inspired by galloping hooves.

7) Wearing your boots to work/school/church/grocery shopping

They fit your feet. They’re comfy. They’re paid for. They look good with all your jeans. Enough said.

Pretty and functional? Yes, please.

8) Telling secrets to your equine best friend

He’ll never tell anyone that you secretly dream of being a country music superstar (or really comprehend, but who are we to quibble about petty things like reality?).

9) Planning your schedule so that prime daylight hours are reserved for riding

This is especially important during winter, with its long nights and short days when the sun seems so far far away, and frozen ground seems to say “Break a walk and I’ll break your leg.”

Things that make you go “brrrrrr.”

10) Picking out shirts in colors that match your horse

Did you know there is a whole method to coordinating your outfits to best compliment your horse’s coat color? Jewel tones (bright purple, blue, green) go best with bays; neutral shades look great with sorrels; and that’s all I remember from the paper color wheel that I received while attending the Western States Horse Expo in 2000. If you’d like to learn more, look it up, then you will spend the rest of your life analyzing your wardrobe choices against your horse’s coat color. You’re welcome. And I’m sorry.

Posted in: Featured, Horse Care, Ranch Life

About Jolyn Young

Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit

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