“When we have each other, we have everything.” – Unknown

Look back at your life and at the role your family played in your passion for horses. Your parents were likely the enablers. They bought Breyer horses, enrolled you in your first riding lesson, drove you to the barn, cheered ringside at your first horse show, and all along the way, financed your very expensive hobby. They might not have known what they were getting themselves into until it was too late, or maybe they were themselves equestrians, happy to see you continue on the legacy. Either way, they were — and probably still are — instrumental to your life with horses.

After the bond by blood, there is the bond by horse. For those spending every possible moment around horses, the barn family becomes like a second family. It can be as happy or completely dysfunctional, but the bonds you create spending time with horses, helping a fellow rider nurse an injury, or dealing with the loss of an animal, are special. No one else quite understands why someone with a successful career would choose to spend time shoveling manure and brushing a furry beast, right?

Your horse friends get you. One, because they’re the same kind of crazy and two, because animals have this amazing gift of bringing down our walls. We can put up a front at work and in social situations, but around animals we don’t have to be anyone else but ourselves. They are uncomplicated and authentic. They make us cut the crap and get real. And that feels a lot like home.