Equestrian Life

Horses: Expectation vs. Reality

When it comes to horses there is one thing that equestrian quickly learn, and that is that there is horse expectation vs reality … here are some of my favourites!

horse expectation vs reality

Expectation: You’ll get to ride all the time, enjoy trails with friends, go to shows, meet new people…

Reality: You’ll spend most of your time at the barn doing chores like cleaning stalls or paddocks, grooming your horse, treating your horses various issues and generally just taking care of him/her.


Expectation: You’ll get to wear beautiful riding gear all the time!

Reality: You will actually get to wear beautiful riding gear all the time, but it’ll be covered in horse poo and you’ll forever be poor.

Expectation: You’ll be able to ride bareback and it will be magical!

Reality: You’ll ride bareback, it’ll be painful… and you’ll seriously consider never doing it again.

Expectation: You’ll tell yourself you’ll only buy the gear you need.

Reality: You’re a big fat liar and every time you go in to the tack store for one thing you’ll leave with hundreds.


Expectation: You’ll get to spend time with my horse and bond over grooming.

Reality: Your horse will always be beautifully clean and shiny and you’ll be covered head to toe in mud, dirt, poop and this years biggest fashion statement, a shedded coat.

Expectation: You’ll tell yourself that once you have the horse of your dreams you will be the happiest person in the world. Everything will be perfect and nothing else will matter.

Reality: It will be, sort of. But you’ll also be constantly worried – is he too fat/too thin? Should I rug or not? Should he have more turnout time? Less turnout time? Does he like this food? Should I not hand feed treats? Does he need more training? When is the right time to start showing?! Horse ownership is a roller coaster, it has ups and downs, twists and turns and sometimes it even throws you for a loop. But the reality is so much better than the expectation, every single time.

What are some horse expectation vs reality discoveries you’ve made that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments!


  • Reply Dionna Chambers

    So this is my favorite one: You’ll get to ride all the time, enjoy trails with friends, go to shows, meet new people…!!
    LOL. Whenever someone from the outside looks at horseback riding (me), this is what we think!! And it’s funny to see that, that is not reality. But it’s kind of the case with a lot of things… Having children, owning a home, etc!

    Mar 30 at Mar 30
  • Reply Chandra@The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen

    True Story! I don’t have a horse of my own but I have ridden for a few years and am lucky enough to have friends with horses. So I know all these realities oh so well. Love your blog and am sending it to my goddaughter who is an Olympic hopeful!

    Jan 05 at Jan 05
    • Reply alyssaknee

      Thanks a bunch Chandra! Glad you could relate! 😛

      Jan 05 at Jan 05
  • Reply Jenny

    I don’t own a horse but I thought that this was an interesting read especially because it was slightly humorous and lighthearted.
    Your horse is so beautiful 🙂

    xoxo, Jenny

    Jan 05 at Jan 05
    • Reply alyssaknee

      Thanks so much 🙂

      Jan 05 at Jan 05

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