Sunday, July 25, 2010

Horse Husbands and Significant Others

Melissa attended a clinic at Southern Promise Farms, Triune, TN which began early Saturday morning. In order to get her there on time we started our chores at the very crack of dawn, which was actually kind of pleasant. Some while after she left, I finished up with chores and I headed over's only 5 miles from home.... to watch her ride like a good horse husband ought to do. I did that for a little while and even managed to capture some (rather poor) images of her riding and jumping Bonnie on camera, but it was hot standing around in the sun, and frankly kind of boring being the only man watching a bunch of women ride at a clinic. I did enjoy a brief conversation with one of our blog followers who, given her equipment, looked to be much more adept than me with cameras....Hi to Kelly from Alabama !

After an hour, I had about as much fun as I thought I could stand and I was thinking long and hard about how to make an appropriate exit, leaving Melissa to her fun. About that time, I spotted my friend Jerry (who owns the farm with his wife Anita), with his truck parked and the doors open, in the shade under a grove of hackberry trees on a hill a quarter mile away (and well hidden) from the clinic. He had his feet resting on the dashboard and the seat reclined which looked pretty good to me. I bid farewell to Melissa and the other girls and eased our Tahoe up next to him for a visit.

In their retirement Jerry and his wife run their 800 acre farm. They board quite a bunch of horses and keep a large herd of cattle so Jerry and I usually have more things to discuss than we have time to get it done in. But we both had time this morning and we took advantage of it. Pretty soon, we forgot all about the girls and the clinic and were deep into discussing torque amplifier failures on International 986's, followed by discussing construction progress on their lovely new riding arena and large new horse barn, followed by a deep discussion on scopes, weaponry and ammunition.

We also delved a little bit into how much it costs us in time, effort and money to keep our respective horse women mostly happy with a dash of sunshine, which we both realize is our main goal in life. Given how much "happiness plus horses" costs, I sometimes wish out loud for better results than I manage to achieve, but since I'm still married and since my lovely wife Melissa sometimes even uses the word "happily" when describing our union to others, I figure I must be doing something right ! :)

So ladies (and gentlemen), today's topic is horse spouses and/or significant others, long suffering or otherwise. I'm always open for new ideas about how to increase the happiness quotient in my marriage, and, more importantly, I'm always open for good stories about spouses, children and significant others, so please feel free to share away !

Slinky, Lightening and Spike

B-Rad, Alex and Ogie grazing early in the morning as the sun was rising

Hemi making his way through the pasture

Homer, Leo and Apollo

A very faded Thomas

Ivan, Apollo, Trigger and Tony

Although I refer to 2010 as the year of the wild turkeys it could be the year of the rabbit as well; in the early evenings I basically trip over rabbits as I walk around the farm.

Norman, Lexi and Sparky


Winston and Faune


Lauren said...

I'm glad you and Jerry got to have some "boy-time" while we had our girl time. You need to arrange to have more of that!

And I hope Melissa had a good time, too! I think Bonnie was looking for more action. ;)

jill said...

Here's the thing about being a horse husband as my significant other sees it. As long as you entered into the "deal"(marriage) with full disclosure as to how much time, money and energy her horse(s) habit takes, then all will be well. Also multiply any number by at least 2, depending on the number of horses.
If a guy gets blindsided by it all, then there's gonna be trouble.
My husband knew up front that my horse would be a perpetual car payment. He sometimes wishfully refers to my older horse as his Mercedes or Avalanche, as we will never own either due to board payments! I am so lucky he is such a great guy...

Jason said...

Lauren; Please make sure to tell Jerry and Anita both that we thought the farm looked fantastic.

As you know, I think the world of Jerry and Anita. You're right, we do need to make time more often than we do. Does Jerry still go to the market for coffee in the morning or has he switched to somewhere else ?

Jill; You hit it about right except I'd use a multiplier of 10, not 2. That means it feels like I could pay cash for a new Mercedes *every year* after setting the old one on fire and it'd still feel like I spent less money. ( Just kidding, Melissa, dear. Ha. Haha !)

Anonymous said...

I'd been married for almost 15 years before my husband figured out that I liked horses - he knew about cats, and likes them too, but the horses were news. But then I'd forgotten how much I liked horses, so it isn't really fair to say that there wasn't full disclosure. My older daughter was horsey from the moment she could sit up in her stroller, so horses came back into my life, and that of the long-suffering husband, about the time my older daughter turned 7.

He's done everything - show duty, cleaning stalls, you name it, in all weathers to support the horse habit of his 3 horsewomen. We've sacrificed financially for the horses too. He's only sat on a horse once or twice (and has no desire to do more), but can competently lead a horse on the ground, and when I was traveling a lot for my job when I first got Noble, he would go to the stable every day to groom him and lunge him (Noble is husband-safe).

Kudos to my horse husband and all the other great horse husbands out there!

Laura said...

An 800 acre farm??? *sigh* How awesome would that be??? I have acreage envy!

My hubby competes in triathlons, so his financial output and time spent training is fairly close (at the moment)to the whole horse deal. He doesn't mind coming out to the barn once in a while, but he can only manage it for about an hour and then gets really bored.

My Dad was the best horse guy ever (when I was young). He had no interest in riding, but he helped me out at shows, helped clean stalls and was really good at handling the horses on the ground. My Mom wasn't really interested in them at all...usually it is the opposite. Funny how that worked out.

Anonymous said...

Jason and Melissa
I do love to "check" in now and then. I love the pictures of the horses contently grazing hanging out, etc. Your ranch is beautiful and reminds me so much of my place in Northern CA.
Well Jason the thing that brings "high" scores is the way my guy loves the horses. His being involved in their lives is the most rewarding to me. I love seeing him caring or fussing with them. Particularly the ones that cause so much mischief (damage he has to repair;). I love we discuss together the welfare of our horses. I have to say I want for nothing on our new place as he has seen to making it happen. Being a master craftsman extraordinare really has its perks!
I never take him for granted and he is always first on the to do list. Unless someone has broken a waterer,is chewing on their barn, is pulling someone elses fly mask off and chewing like gum. woops got to go Brownie just let Toy out! Take care Colleen in SE AZ

SmartAlex said...

Horses according to my husband and step father (I paraphrase, but all the points are very familiar):

Rule #1. Horses are an addiction and should be treated as such. You don't want to deal with the withdrawal symptoms.

Rule #2. Women are emotional about horses. You can talk about "rational" and "logical" all you want, but those concepts do not apply.

Rule #3. Horses are expensive. But not nearly as expensive as rehab or divorce... and at least they're not diamonds.

Rule #4. You never ever ever want to get in a situation where you are dealing with your wife, horses, money and your mother-in-law.

Rule #5. Husbands will probably NEVER understand the need for lessons, clinics, or horse shows. Which is why you should only require their attendances where there is a beer tent. This limits your competitions to Fairs and high society shows.

Rule #6. Horses are destructive. They will destroy everything you build comitting either suicide or murder in the process. Stock up on hardwood scraps whenever possible.

Rule #7 One end bites and eats. The other end kicks and poops. Keep your fingers and wallet away from the biting/eating end. Keep your machinery and knee caps away from the kicking end. Find a good outlet for manure. Like gardening.

Rule #8. You cannot throw a cover over a horse and store it for the winter, and you will never be able to go on vacation or even a day trip without extensive planning.

Rule #9. You will need more tractors.

Rule #10. There are no rules unless it is "the horse rules."

Sylvia said...

SmartAlex, I love the rules!!

Jason said...


I like rules # 5 and # 9 VERY much. I wonder if we could add, "And/Or Las Vegas Style Showgirls" to # 5, but maybe that'd be pushing my luck. You see, lately I've been reading these books by a guy named Roger Welsch.....

I have lived # 4 and I can attest to that particular truth. :)

RuckusButt said...

Show girls?? This Roger Welsch sounds like a bad influence, lol.

I started dating my husband during my non-horsey years. He always knew my horse background and that I would start riding as soon as I had the money and time.

I remember once when we were 21 or 22 he asked me how much a horse costs. How to answer that question! I asked why and he said he was wondering how many more scholarships/awards he'd have to win to buy me one. Clearly unrealistic, but super cute all the same.

As soon as I landed a job after grad school I started visiting lesson barns. I was back in lessons within a month of starting work.

Our biggest challenge has been the time commitment, especially once I started leasing. We worked together to identify what wasn't working well and find a solution we were both happy with.

When I was still at the lesson barn he would come with me almost every time and walk Hazel on the property while I rode. Often, he would get back early enough to take some photos, so he kept entertained. Of course, I valued the company and the photos!

Now, it's a little more difficult because it's not as easy to bring the dog. Still, he comes out once in awhile to take some video/pics and help out. His blanket duct-tape job lasted longer than any other!

The financial part isn't an issue, really. I pay for all my horse activities. Or, um, most. I think my winter paddock boots were a 'present' ;) I wasn't going to buy them, too expensive. He couldn't stand the thought of me freezing my feet, especially since I once had frostbite so bad my toes were kinda black-ish for a month. Now that's love, lol.

I've gotten him on a horse a few times and he's quite a natural. Well, aside from the slumped shoulders. I hold out hope that one day he might take more of an interest but if he doesn't that's ok too.

RuckusButt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Actually, I've got to confess that at my age, showgirls and tractors combined with a beer tent would likely add up to more than I could take and would probably be a recipe for an emergency room visit at best. But it's nice to dream, and I think the point has merit.

Before we were married, Melissa and I attended a three day horse clinic in upstate SC. Each morning, I would drop her off at the clinic and then I'd leave for the day to make my own fun. I went to Chimney Rock, sat on the front porch of quite a few general stores and spent the better part of one hot afternoon wading a mountain stream. We both had a great time AND we got to share our day with each other over dinner every night! Perfect.