Today we are lucky to have a special guest blogger who weighs in on the life of a “Horse Husband”, the merits of that term (ahem, change it), and offers three tips to surviving life on the road with an equestrian. In his everyday life he’s a Vice President of Business Marketing. But when you least expect it he dons a cape and mask (or boots and a pitch fork) and becomes a horse husband. Or, rather, something much, much cooler sounding (See below). So if you, too, are in the middle of competition season and trailing a girl on horseback, this one’s for you. Take it away, Tom!
Hmm – Yes, I am a husband and my wonderful wife does ride horses and I sometimes tag along when she goes to events, clinics and lessons. I’m lucky enough to work for myself and am able to set up my “Mobile Office” in the passenger seat of our Chevy pickup. Power transformer plugged into the A/C adapter which keeps my laptop humming along, notebook positioned carefully on the dashboard in front of me and Blackberry tethered to that same laptop to send/receive emails that I’m furiously typing to all the world. Thank God the Blackberry has multiple functions…I can even talk on the phone, earbud firmly planted in my right ear while my wireless communications transmit to all who care. All of this going on while my loving spouse (let’s refer to her as “The Rider”, “The Equestrian” or “The Competitor”, all quite complimentary titles by the way) drives us along on the way to our destination. We’ve all cruised these highways and byways, horse trailer in tow, bringing us to the usual circuit of towns of which we’ve all Google Mapped and then wondered how we ended up in Dunworth instead of Durham, Albemarle instead of Aberdeen, Lynchburg instead of Lexington and Norman instead of Norwood.
This is an amazing bonding experience for us all, BUT “Horse Husband”…not lovin’ that name!
It just makes me think of myself as the “Stable Boy” totin’ water and heftin’ hay to all the livestock in the barn. Muckin’ stalls, pickin’ hooves and brushin’ horses, making sure that Ol’ Bessie looks good for the County Fair. Gotta win that Blue Ribbon ya know!
Now look, I’m not saying I don’t do all these things of my own free will, along with all my “Brothers of the Muck Bucket” and we do them gladly. I’ve always said that Horse Sh*t is the only Sh*t that actually smells good. This, by the way, completely grosses out my 17 YO daughter and she lets me know that in true teenager fashion, with eyes rolling back in her head and a deep sigh exiting her lungs while stating “Daaaad…Really…REEEAAALLLYYY!”
My only issue is with the moniker of “Horse Husband”…can’t any one of you educated equestrians come up with a better way to describe the men in their horse-loving lives? I mean come on, if we can derive the following titles for some of the less-than-glorious everyday occupations, we can certainly let flow our creative juices to resolve this issue. To help start the process, here are a few examples:
“Customer Service Associate” – aka the Desk Clerk
“Communications Specialist” aka the Operator
“Culinary Transportation Coordinator” – aka the Pizza Guy
…you get my drift.
In the mean-time, some advice to my brethren. When lovingly accompanying our wives to an upcoming Equestrian Event, always remember to bring along the “3 B’s”…in this order:
BLACKBERRY – or other similar communications device. This way you’re still connected and feeling pretty good about yourself for balancing your personal/professional life.
BIKE – in my case, Mountain Bike. There’s always a trail to be found within an hour that is just crying out to be conquered (I personally love www.trails.com or www.mtbr.com to find the best ride). So, arrive at the equestrian facility early, make sure all is well for your wife/girlfriend. Horse is fed and watered, ride time is confirmed, saddles/tack are clean, boots are polished. Check to make sure she’s ready, wish her a great ride, give her a kiss and hit the road. You go out, you sweat your ass off, you conquer the challenge put in front of you and return by her second ride of the day, usually the cross-country…PERFECT TIMING!
BEER – uh, duh? Let me further clarify, GOOD BEER, ice cold. Left this off my list above under “Bike.” You must never forget this “B” or you will lose your man card and be forever labeled as, “That Guy.” Nobody wants to be “That Guy.” A medium sized cooler is mandatory filled with at least 12 of your favorite beers…but, here’s a key point. ALWAYS make sure 6 of those beers are a just a little more “Girlie.” I know you love a nice heavy Smithwick’s Stoudt, but chances are the girls in the group don’t. So, make sure that half the cooler is filled with Corona, Amstel or Blue Moon. You’ll get even more points for thinking of them…plus it’s the right thing to do.
So – please chime in on a proper alternative to “Horse Husband”. We hubbies deserve better than that!
Enjoy the Ride!
Tom Rushton, SSA (Spousal Stable Associate)