When I was a kid, I went through friends pretty quickly. Part of this came from switching schools almost every year thanks to Washington State’s roving HiCap program, but part of it can be accounted for by the natural course of outgrowing old friends to make way for new, more mature friends. There was a time when my friendships were very mercurial (read as unstable), but at this point in my life I’ve got a pretty solid set of friends that I’ve known for 5-10 years.
Most of the friends I’ve had haven’t been interested in horses. Without a horse of my own (at least, not a horse I could ride safely), I wasn’t really included in the “in” crowd at barns, so I had to make due with the friends I met in school. My friends were subjected to horseback riding birthday parties, weekends at the racetrack, and recess periods spent reading books about horses in the library. One girl ended up leasing a horse at the same barn as me just so that I would spend weekends with her, and when I owned my own horse Joey even got dragged along to the stable during our weekend sleepovers.
All of this is to say that, looking back, I cringe at how many people I forced to sit through hour long conversations about horses. As a child I forced my passion on everyone around me, but now I’m careful not to broadcast my obsession. It’s probably good that Missy and Merri asked to come meet my new horse, or I’d never have offered—not because I didn’t want them at the stable, but because I didn’t want them to feel obligated to partake in my time-consuming hobby. It meant a lot that they wanted to come out and meet him, even if they don’t share my burning desire to harness the power of a 1,000 pound animal.
I guess what I’m trying to say that I have some good horse friends at my stable, but that I really appreciate all of my non-horse friends, too. They’re the most kind, supportive people I’ve met, and I’m thankful that they put up with me and my overly exuberant love for all things equestrian—it takes a lot of heart to make room at the table for “that weird horse crazy girl”.