Sometimes I wonder that.
Horses are SO MUCH WORK. And MONEY. They get hurt a lot. God willing they live a long time, and they need care, they need attention, they need, need, need.
Occasionally I get away down to Eugene for a few days to visit friends and family. I actually forget I have horses for minutes on end. Sometimes an HOUR. A whole hour. And when I remember I always feel guilty that I'd forgotten and been just a normal person for a little while.
I'm still relatively young--I just had my 31st birthday. But I've had horses since 2005, when I got my Ben. I was 20 at the time. My subsequent decisions about employment, schooling, and moving were all bound up in my horses. I didn't want to move Ben because he was a fragile old man, so I put off grad school.
I haven't regretted these decisions, exactly. But horses have been my first responsibility and that was my choice.
I am one of those people who occasionally kind of dreads going to the barn. It's hard physical work, I'm exhausted, and there's always something to fix or something more to do or worry over. But the second I see them it all changes. I love them with something entirely irrational. Leaning into them after a rough day makes the all work and the money and the sacrifice just fall away into that place the things that don't really matter go.
I wonder if this is sort of what having kids is like.