The equestrian community is remarkably generous in its support of fellow horsemen. It’s exemplified by people who give selflessly, not only to care for their own horses, but also in aid of other individuals, organizations and causes. And nobody, but nobody, pulls together in times of crisis like horse people do.
I’m sure even you non-horse people out there have heard or read about an equestrian who has pitched in and done whatever a situation called for—even at risk of harm to themselves—while asking nothing in return. Each time you’re regaled with tales of these valiant deeds, I know what you think. You think, “Wow, these horse people are amazing. I wish there was something I could do for them.”
Well, now there is. YOU can make a difference in the life of a deserving horse person right in your own community, and in doing so, give them the means to be even more amazing.
You can sponsor your very own Needy Equestrian.
Pretty much every equestrian is needy, so it’s easy to connect with an individual you have personal affinity for. Perhaps we remind you the horse-crazy kid you used to be, or your horse-loving great-grandmother. Or maybe you’d just like to experience the exciting life of an equestrian vicariously. It doesn’t really matter, as long as something about us pulls at your purse…er, heartstrings.
Why are equestrians needy? It’s not a lack of ambition, as anybody who has mucked five stalls before breakfast or spent all night walking a colicky horse will attest. It’s the fact that our love for horses is so irrepressible that we cannot survive without these noble creatures in our lives. Horses, for us, are as necessary as the air we breathe.
Air is free. Horses cost money. Lots of money. They’re like children that will never grow up, get a job and move out of the house. They’ll figuratively live in our basements for the whole of their lives, and never pay rent. We can’t get them a social security number or declare them as dependents on our taxes. Still, we make them our priority and pledge to care for them throughout their lives.
Horses can live for a really long time.
That’s why it’s so important to start your sponsorship of a Needy Equestrian today.
Needy Equestrians can be found everywhere. They are universally recognizeable by their stained clothing, dirty boots, mismatched striped socks and odiferous emissions. They are most often observed late in the evening in grocery stores. If their characteristic attire is hidden beneath a coat, they may be identified by their shopping carts, which will contain only carrots, red vines and the maximum limit of wine-of-the-week.
Another distinguishing feature of the Needy Equestrian is their conveyance. A “barn car” may be any make or model but is always covered with dirt, filled with horse gear and held together by varying degrees of duct tape, Bondo and bug splatter.
The abode of a Needy Equestrian is home to mismatched pieces of tack, stacks of dirty boots, extra bags of feed and itty-bitty crunchy things. Electricity and other utilities may or may not be working, depending on the size of last month’s vet bill. There is rarely food in the house, as Needy Equestrians are either too tired to eat by the time they get back from the barn or had to write their last good check at the feed store.
The Needy Equestrian is usually single, as daily demands of working, riding, grooming, feeding, stall-mucking, tack cleaning, hay-hauling, feed/tack store runs and late-night laundromat missions leave little time for a relationship. While some may speak of spouses and children in a very believable fashion, proof of their existence is rarely documented.
Needy Equestrians devote all of their resources to caring for their horses. They will feed and shelter their equine partners before providing for their own needs. They hoard expensive bridles and horse blankets which they afford by shopping in thrift stores and finagling invitations to potluck dinners. There, they will feign interest in non-horse related small talk while surreptitiously staking out the buffet table, awaiting opportunity to knock a week’s worth of appetizers into their oversized tote bag. They’ll slip out unnoticed, leaving others to wonder where the finger sandwiches went and why all of the carrots are missing from the vegetable tray.
It is a precarious existence.
But you can help change all of this.
Your generous sponsorship of a Needy Equestrian can provide food, clothing, shelter, money for horse expenses, and other lifestyle essentials.
$100 per month will ensure your Needy Equestrian a daily ration of medicinal beverage from Starbucks. The vast majority of bad decisions made while riding is a direct result of an improperly caffeinated equestrian. Equestrians have been known to subsist for days on nothing other than coffee and red vines, so even this entry-level sponsorship provides critical support.
$175 per month will provide the basics of electricity, ultra-high-speed wireless internet and an unlimited cell phone data plan for your Needy Equestrian. This will enable them to post cute photos and videos of their horse from any locale, live-stream important equestrian events and make time-critical bids on more bridles and blankets on eBay.
Many Needy Equestrians have a congenital defect that makes operating kitchen appliances impossible, or at the very least, dangerous. $350 per month will provide your Needy Equestrian delicious, nutritious food from the prepared foods section at Whole Foods and minimize their exposure to kitchen hazards. It will also free up their dishwasher for bit cleaning.
$600 per month will buy your Needy Equestrian quality medical coverage, affording them unlimited emergency room visits, tetanus shots, x-rays, metal screws and plates, and, for more “mature” equestrians, the inevitable vertabrae fusing and knee replacements. For just $30 more per month, they can enroll in the Ibuprofen Auto-ship or the Wine of the Month program, both of which pretty much do the same thing.
Equine therapy, critical for the Needy Equestrian’s well-being, is not covered by health insurance and requires additional funding. $750 per month will provide your Needy Equestrian’s quadruped counselor with shelter, food, routine veterinary and farrier care, a custom pressure-relieving, ceramic fiber, gel-infused saddlepad, and more blankets.
$900 per month will pay rental on a nice converted garage-studio that will keep your Needy Equestrian from having to sleep in their car or horse trailer. For an additional $150 they can put fuel in their car, eliminating the risk involved with siphoning gas from the water truck at the barn. Or, they can buy another blanket.
You can be assured that 100 percent of your contribution will be spent by your Needy Equestrian on horse-related purchases, because none of it will be left over for anything else. In return for your generous sponsorship, your Needy Equestrian will provide you with photos, Youtube videos, daily Tweets and Facebook updates, and most likely requests for more cash.
You’ll be kept apprised of your Needy Equestrian’s accomplishments and given additional opportunities to fund clinics, horse shows and catastrophic vet bills. Such opportunities will come to you in the form of texts, emails, pleading, begging, demands and, eventually, coercion and notarized legal documents.
Remember—not everybody can have horses, but anybody can spend money on somebody who does. It’s a gift that just keeps on giving. Sponsor a Needy Equestrian today!
Yeah, I know—that’s a little over the top. Because in reality, we needy equestrians don’t actually need much to be content. It’s enough that our four-legged family is healthy and happy. Those of us bound by love to a life filled with horses may not be lucky enough to have big houses or expensive cars or vacation homes. But we’re lucky enough to have horses.
And that makes us lucky enough.
After years of trying to fit in with corporate America, Jody Lynne Werner decided to pursue her true passion as a career rather than a hobby. So now, she’s an artist, graphic designer, illustrator, cartoonist, web designer, writer and humorist. You can find her work on her Misfit Designs Cafepress site. Jody is one of the winners of the Chronicle’s first writing competition. Her work also appears in the 2013 and 2014 Amateur Issue print editions of The Chronicle of the Horse.