Feminism has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
My mum, an artist, painter, photographer, PhD holder and now university teacher, was always very vocal about the inequalities faced by women.
And so from a very young age, I was called “The Feminist” by my friends, even at primary school level.
Today I work in an industry that is 77.4% female, which means I have a lot of conversations with different types of women, and I think there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
And so the subject I want to talk about today is the feeling of guilt that so many horse women have told me about.
Because I believe that his feeling is, at least in part, a feminist issue, and here’s why.
We live in a society that likes to remind of us of the many ways that we’re just not good enough.
Not thin enough. Not pretty enough. Not good enough as mothers. Not good enough at our jobs. Not present enough for our parents and siblings. And about a billion more things.
And this is all done in insidious ways. Little comments. Small actions to remind us that we’re just not.good.enough.
And I think that part of that guilt that horsewomen tend to feel regarding how they take care of their horses, is at least in part related to that.
Because when I look at the facts, all the women who tell me they feel a ton of guilt for not spending enough time with their horse take INCREDIBLE care of their horses.
From feeds to feet to access to other horses, turn out, saddles, osteo sessions, you name it, including hours spent with their horses!
So there are no reasons to feel any sort guilt of shame.
So. Next time you feel guilty about not spending enough time with your horse, please do these 3 things.
- Make a list of all the care you provide for your horse. And then reread it again and again until it starts to sink in that you already do a lot.
- Remember that, yes your horse loves you, but that no you’re not the most important thing in your horse’s head. Access to forage, a herd, water and safety are way more important. You only having a little time to muck out your horse, do the feeds and feet, give a cuddle and go isn’t the worst thing as long as your horse has access to the things I mentioned above.
- Remember that life is hard and you already have a TON of important things to do. Like, a job, paying rent, doing groceries, feeding yourself, maybe you have a family too that requires time, love and attention. It’s okay if some days you’re not at your best and it’s a friend who puts your horse in the field. It really is okay.