Today I’m going to break from work in the middle of the afternoon to ride. ?My sister is off of work today, and she can’t ride late due to another commitment, so we’re riding at 1 p.m. I don’t have a set schedule, so it’s not a problem with getting my work done. In fact, I’ve frequently called someone at one of my sister-publication offices only to be told, ?She’ll be back shortly. She had to meet the farrier.?? This sure is a wonderful place to work! It does remind me that horses are a lifestyle, not a hobby.? They need to be fed, exercised and stalls done every day.? If you board your horse, much of this is done for you or, for a fee, all of it can be done for you, but you still have quite an investment financially, so you make sacrifices to spend time with your horse. When you keep your horses at home, of course, it’s all on you. Not only do we all juggle work, family and friends, like the ?normal? world, we also juggle horses. Not easy, is it’ Have you ever told your workplace superiors that you have a doctor?s appointment that afternoon but failed to mention that the doctor is actually a veterinarian’ don’t blame you. it’s not really a lie, is it’ Do you sometimes work at night, when it’s dark and you can’t do anything in the barn, to catch up on what you put off so you could ride during the daylight, such as on a beautiful fall day like this one’ Me, too (except I usually get up at 4 a.m. to catch up, rather than work after dinner). Some weeks I don’t even step off of the farm property, but I’m so busy I don’t even notice. THere’s always something that needs to be done, whether it’s urgent (broken fence) or something you put off too long (water tank needs to be scrubbed clean).? I don’t have any desire to see the latest movie, browse around the book store (I prefer my horse pubs mailed to me!) or just shop for ?fun? (OK, guilty of that, but it’s got to be a tack store). I spoke with a friend over the weekend. She was at a Quarter Horse show near me. We tried to connect twice, but the show schedule and my schedule simply refused to meet. On the last attempt she had canceled the 7 a.m. class I was going to go see because they had been in the arena schooling at 3 a.m. and decided to rest the horse for the more important classes. Schooling at 3 a.m.’ Yes, I’ve done it before, and I’ll bet you have, too.? But try telling a non-horse person . . . I’m betting they?ll assume there must have been alcohol involved to cause such a thing. Anyway, I was just thinking about how different our lives are from those who do other sports. It doesn’t matter how addicted a person is to another sport (except maybe one with dogs), because it’s not the same. You can’t stick your horses in a closet until the next time you need them, like a bag of golf clubs. it’s a daily commitment. Indeed, horses are a lifestyle . . . the best one.