Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Best Presents aren’t Wrapped

I planned on posting this on Christmas day, but the time got away from me and I never did.

Over the years I’ve been married to Denny, I’ve never kept a horse at home. I’ve always boarded her. It was with some trepidation that I hauled Gailey home last September.

My former husband had grown to resent my horse and the time and money I spent with her. Though he’d originally been supportive, he’d never been overly thrilled regarding my horse addiction. I think a lot of women will agree that horses are a sore spot with their husbands in one form or another. Over the years, I think my dedication to horse and horse showing and his dedication to his boat and boating caused too many conflicts. When we finally went separate ways, we did so as friends and are good friends to this day.

When I started dating my new husband Denny, I made sure he understood that the horses and I are a package deal. He didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he jumped into the horse show life with gusto and enjoyed it as much or more than I did.

Regardless, I wasn’t sure how Denny would handle having a horse at home. We’d gotten in the habit of taking frequent weekend vacations at the spur of the moment. With a horse to care for, this wouldn’t be so simple to do.

After I brought Gailey home, I vowed to make the transition from horseless to horse-keeping as transparent as possible for my husband. The first day I came straight home from work with plans to clean the stall and paddock and feed the horse. Denny gets home a half-hour before I do. I found him in the barn, manure fork in hand as Gailey happily chomped away on her dinner. 

The next day the same thing happened, not to mention a bucket of apples from our apple trees sat near the stall.

A week later Gailey had a bout of cellulitis. I can give shots to a horse, but I’m not thrilled about it. After a few days, I just couldn’t do it anymore. Denny took over, not having any problem giving her twice daily shots. In fact, I had to go away for the weekend, and he took care of her, giving her meds and shots as prescribed by the vet. Of course, I’ll give Gailey some credit. She’s a great patient. Most of the time, you don’t even need to put a halter on her before you treat her.

It continues to amaze me that Denny is so into taking care of the horse and our little farm. He loves coming home in the evenings and taking care of the animals. I find his love of and dedication to the animals in our care is one of the greatest presents I could receive.

I hope your new year is filled with such priceless gifts and precious moments.


Linda Benson said...

Wow, Jami, you are a lucky woman, and that Denny is a keeper. ;)

While I can't imagine my husband giving shots, mine has supported me through the years by building barns and fences, and always making sure we have a barn full of hay. And yes, he even feeds and cleans the barn for me on occasion. I believe I'll hang on to mine, too. *grin*

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Sounds like you found a good one :0)

Alison said...

What a great story, Jami! I think if more 'guys' cared about animals instead of motors or weapons, the world would be a gentler place.

Laura Crum said...

Jami--That is a lovely post. And I agree with you that horses (and our passion for them) can cause dissension in a marriage. My husband isn't interested in horses (nor am I overly interested in bagpipes), though he has been supportive of me in many ways, just as I am supportive of him (sure, honey, buy another set of pipes--for about what I might spend on another trail horse). We tease each other about our individual obsessions, but we both very much want the other to be happy. But giving shots and doing the stall cleaning...that is really impressive. What a gift.

Anonymous said...

KEEPER!!!! :) lucky lady!


jenj said...

Wow, you are so lucky! My husband is very supportive too, building fences and tackrooms and barns and such, but on a day-to-day basis horse care is all me. Which is fine, I get to spend a little time decompressing with the boys. Sometimes the hubby helps putting out hay, but he hates mucking and such. Luckily he does ride and has his own horse, so we are able to enjoy horsey time together.

Yay for horsey husbands! We are so lucky to have them!