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You Know You're A Horseperson When...

You find yourself analyzing leg and foot conformation on your friends, and thinking how corrective shoeing could improve their way of going.

You jump out of bed at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday to feed before an early ride, but barely hear the 5:00 a.m. alarm on Monday morning.

You have more pictures of your horses in your office than you have of your family.

You leave work feeling stiff, tense, with a stomach- or headache, and all those feelings disappear the minute you go through the first gate to the ranch.

You think the barn smells better than the latest Calvin Klein fragrance.

You drive up in the yard, get out of the car and inhale the perfume of the manure pile.

You talk to the horses like they were kids.

All your stock has 4 legs.

You hate posing for pictures unless you're on your horse.

You spend a lot of $ on a trip to Europe and end up spending most of your time watching horses.

Most of your social life is with other horse folk.

Cooky McClung's stories in The Chronicle of the Horse, however humorously told they might be, sound like a "normal" life.

You get so mad that you can't get cable TV out at your farm that you put in a satellite dish just so you can get more horse sports coverage.

You have a _terrible_ fall off your horse, and your only concern is if the horse is okay.

You buy watermelon when you don't even like watermelon so that you can give it to your horses.

The concept of sleeping in on the weekends has long since faded from your memory.

You find a human hair in your food and it makes you gag, but horsehair goes down fine.....

You live with electric fencing tape around the lawn, so the horses can mow it for you.

You've got a perpetually skinned place on your knuckles or the heel of your hand, from when the hoof rasp/pick slips....

Folks ask incredulously how many horses you have, because your bulletin board at work is covered with 10 pictures of each horse and only a couple of your spouse or your kids (human, canine, or feline).

You've forgotten what a vacation is, because you spend all your paid time off (re)building fence, meeting the vet, going to shows, etc.

You're about to petition the Town Board and the County Commissioners to grant you a variance to build a larger building than the zoning laws allow. ... Where else is one supposed to ride in bad weather? ... ($20,000 just to have a place to ride????)

You don't try to figure out your to-date-expenses for the critters, because you don't want to know, and it doesn't matter.

You get out of your warm bed at 3:00 AM, and go outside to let the horses in because it's snowing (that wet, heavy stuff). If that's not enough, you scrape off the snow, and even dry them off a little before going back to bed, only to leave for work at 6, and see them back outside, with 2 inches of snow piled on their backs. No, *that* won't happen again.

Your breezeway/mud room has hay & crud all over the floor, a saddle on a rack along the wall, misc. tack hanging from the chairs, muddy boots & gloves, etc. lying about. Someone's coming to visit. You don't care.

After it snows, the pathway to the manure pile is the first thing that gets cleared, then the front porch and sidewalk.

You aren't interested in watching the news, but have to, in order to catch the weather, so you know if the barn needs to be left open for the horses.

Supper time is generally at 8PM, and everyone has been home since before 5.

You RUSH to the front window to watch the horses run & buck in the pasture, even if you're in the middle of a meal. Good, clean fun!

You'd rather stay up with a friend's sick horse than baby-sit her kids. BUT - you will baby-sit a friend's kids while she stays up with a sick horse, even though you HATE baby-sitting.

You go on a diet for your horse's sake, but not your SO's.

You giggle when the horse you're driving farts in your face.

A new friend walks in your door for the first time. Takes a smell and says with a smile, "I didn't know you had horses."

Your bicycle is mostly used as a bridle and saddle rack.

The only thing your friends, colleagues, passing acquaintances can think of when they see you is "How are the horses?" or "How many horses do you have now?" or "Are you still riding?"

You get knocked down and split you lip wide open on the horses halter because you were doing something you KNOW you shouldn't have been doing, and with blood running down your face your first concern is making sure the horse is all right, calmed down, and put in his stall. Then you go to the hospital for stitches.

You spend more on that 6 year old jumper than you've EVER spent on a car!

You get your income tax refund and the first thing you do is head for the tack shop.

You go on a diet, not to be more attractive, but to be a better rider.

Every time you go to the stable, it takes 3 hours and you can't imagine where the time went.

Your first sign of spring isn't see a robin, but seeing a fly.

You get a little whiff of manure smell and breathe deeper to get the full impact. That goes double for the smell of leather.

You buy lime and grass seed instead of the clothes you need for other work.

You live hand to mouth and somehow come up with the $800 for emergency vet bills.

A non-horsey co-worker asks how your horse is and you think: "she's not doing very well since you just changed to a milder bit but you want to give her a chance to get used to it.", and you say "Fine." Because you know if you say what you are REALLY thinking, by the time you're done, your co-worker will be sitting there with a blank look on her face.

You don't think that weather is just casual conversation. It is very important so that you can figure out your horse's wardrobe for the day/night.

Your house is "decorated" with bits, saddles, bridles, halters, blanket racks, trunks, trophies and ribbons.

There are bits soaking in your bathroom sink.

You save every horse magazine you have ever bought.

You drive by ANY field ANYWHERE and look very hard for horses. This includes trips to foreign countries.

You can't make it to work because of bad weather, but somehow still make it to the barn.

You feel tired all day at work and then go to the barn and ride 3 horses.

You can pinpoint anything you might need in 2 seconds in your tack trunk but seem to have misplaced this month's electric bill.

The first bills you pay each month are all horse related. You don't really *need* a phone anyway (unless you have to call the vet -- oops, better pay that one).

You longe your dog and she listens to you.

Your boss says "Gooood God! Are horses *all* you ever think about?! I mean your whole life is surrounded by that dang horse. All your money, time, vacation, friends, lunch breaks (trips to the tack store;*)), even the vehicle that you drive. Man, its worse than being married! And I just sit back and smile and say, "Yep, now if I could only find a man who was as fanatical about them as me!"

You don't have to be asked by your non-horsey family what you want for Christmas anymore, because they now get their own Horse catalogs.

You know there's more horse than computer to you when you will buy new (breeches, boots, tack) rather than that 9800 baud modem.

You are proofing your entries in the phone book a notice the name "ROEMER" and wonder what in the world *he* is doing on campus.

You gladly lug two buckets of water through rain, up hill twice a day, for your horse, but make the kids carry in the groceries.

You find yourself eyeing the rag rug in front of the kitchen sink, wondering if it would work as a saddle blanket ...

You choose your new dog by which breed is best w/horses ...

You tell your small animal vet that your cat's flea bite dermatitis looks like rain rot.

You keep a spare curb chain in your purse for emergencies

The family photos are in the bedroom; the horse photos in the den

The board check is paid before any other bill

Your instructor and vet are the only non-family on your speed-dial

You always have new foal pictures in your wallet

The photo Christmas cards feature the horses

You have memorized the addresses of your breed association and AHSA

You realize that finding a horseshoe truly is lucky because you've saved ten bucks.

You see the vet more than you see your child's pediatrician.

You groom your horse and you haven't been to a beautician in?

Your horse gets new shoes more often than you do. Your horse's mane and tail get better care than yours, and it shows.

Your horse gets more compliments for grooming than you do.

You spend more time preparing nutritious meals for your horse than for your family.

You know more about equine nutrition than human nutrition and it shows.

Your horse has its mane pulled more often than you get a hair cut.

Your horse gets vitamins and supplements every day and you can't remember to take vitamins yourself.

Your friends no longer ask to get together with you on a weekend afternoon because they know you'll say -- "I can't, I have to ride."

Every time you drive past a road construction sight you think what nice jumps the barricades would make.

After arriving at the barn and finding the indoor being watered, you go ahead and ride in it anyway. What's a little indoor "rain"?

You pass up attractive social invitations because they'd conflict with your lesson schedule.

Your mood today depends on how yesterday's training session went.

Your neighbors who have horses as pasture ornaments think your nuts to ride after work in the winter when its 25 degrees out, in the dark, and come spring, there full of envy because your horse is in shape on those sunny weekend days and you can ride for hours, and they can't because there critters are balls of fat and fur!

You’re trying to get by a co-worker in a restricted space and instead of saying "excuse me" to him/her, you cluck at them instead.

You show up in city clothes dressed for appointments and when you get there people reach over the breakfast table to pick alfalfa out of your hair.

Your secretary does a "hay check" on your suit each morning and your first stop in the office is the ladies room to remove the shavings from your shoes.

Co-workers start pointing out green slobber or straw on your clothes. Your solution is to start wearing exclusively "hunter green".

You get to the checkout at the grocery and the only things you're buying are 5 gallons of corn oil and 10 pounds of carrots. Oh and maybe a frozen burrito if you have enough money left...

There are more carrots in the garden than anything else.

You buy more carrots & apples than you can possibly eat.

You buy about 15 lbs. of carrots a week, but wouldn't eat a carrot if somebody paid you.

You buy more carrots in five pound bags and lament because they don't come in 10 pound bags.

You coax your horse into the trailer with a carrot, give him a bite, and walk out finishing it yourself.

The family germ theory extends to your horses.

You bring your notebook to the barn the night before your final exam, so you can study while you groom.

Your Realtor takes you to look at a house and you get out of the car and head straight to the barns to inspect them for an hour and a half, you come back and say I'll take it. The Realtor asks if you would like to see the house? So you take ten minutes, and say I'll take it too.

You Know You Married a Horseperson When...

Your new wife says, "Honey, I have an idea, let's go to this place that offers trail rides!" and six months later you're supporting three horses on a part-time job and a graduate student's stipend.

You can justify any conceivable modification to your pickup truck by claiming that it will make it a better towing vehicle. ("Chrome running boards?" "Less wind resistance.")

Her favorite fashion designer is Carhart.

She treats you like a hero for giving her a home-made boot jack on her birthday.

You start using her hobby to leverage your own. "Sure I can make you some saddle racks. All I need is a new table saw."

You buy her so much heavy duty winter clothing that you wind up on mailing lists for hunting, fishing and survivalist catalogs.

You find yourself unquestioningly trudging through a sleet storm to feed the show horse that she won't let you ride.

You find yourself juggling roofing steel in a New Year's day blizzard to finish "her" horse barn while your alma mater is playing in a bowl game, and you wouldn't dream of going inside to watch.

You realize that not only have you become expert in trailer backing, horse grooming, tack cleaning, and giving her a leg up, you can also repeat her riding instructor's comments from her last lesson verbatim.

You get so used to her doing things like mucking stalls with a broken finger or showing her horse with a stress fractured ankle that you can't understand it when morning sickness wipes her out.

She names your first child "Dan Patch" or "Misty".

You've spent so much time at the boarding stable that people think you're the maintenance man. (with good reason!)

You wear NASCAR baseball caps to horse shows so people won't ask you questions that you can't answer.

You know you caught the horse bug from your wife when you start hoping for a daughter just to make sure you will still be going to horse shows for a long time to come.

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