“Honey…I am an equestrian.”
– 4 words that can Stupefy any male muggle in a heartbeat.
Lucky for me, my “condition” came as no surprise to my boyfriend. We met 15 years ago in 3rd grade. Neither of us remember this, but it happened. By then I was already a completely horse crazy kid. Fast forward to senior year of high school and after being friends for a few years we started dating.
Sigh, the honeymoon phase. That time where we pretended to laugh at each other’s jokes and acted like we were interested in each other’s hobbies. He came to the barn, rode my horses, and for his birthday we even went on a 3 hour trail ride. I mean, I knew it wasn’t his favorite thing, but he was at least trying to learn about horses.
Come college the whole “liking horses” and having a boyfriend got reeeaallly easy. He went to school an hour away from me. During the week I hung out at the barn and rode horses. Then on the weekends I was with him. It was complete separation of church and state and it was GLORIOUS.
But then everything changed…
Cue Leo. Suddenly horses weren’t just an occasional hobby. I had taken on the responsibility of owning a four legged beast of my own and life got serious real fast.
I cannot imagine what he was thinking when I told him that I planned on buying Leo. After all, it was a terribly selfish decision on my part. I knew that he would get nothing out of Leo other than even less time with his girlfriend and the chance to cover some pretty hefty horse bills. But, my boyfriend beautifully, absurdly, charitably, and magically supported me through it all.
A while back my boyfriend was at the barn grazing Leo (per my insistence!). While staring at him, he says, “I just don’t get why you do this.”
My heart winced. My boyfriend was not being mean, or hurtful, he just honestly couldn’t see the value in Leo that I did. However he was wired he would never share any of the feelings I had for Leo or enjoy time spent at the barn the way I did. This was never going to be something we would share.
I don’t remember if I said anything. I was just processing the entirely raw emotions that his statement had stirred up. On one hand I was hurt and sad, but on the other it was as if I was just hearing something I knew all along. My boyfriend was not an equestrian, and he would never be one.
A few minutes later I think I actually felt lighter? better? uhhhh peaceful? I have no idea what I was feeling, but I just had this crazy new understanding of my boyfriend I had never had before. It was an understanding that I needed to stop hoping he would magically become a horse person. And a realization that despite not caring for Leo the same way I did, he had my back 100%.
The lightbulb clicked and since that day I have felt more confident in my relationship with him and Leo than ever.
Now this is the interesting section isn’t it? Because an equestrian living with a non equestrian sounds worthy of a TV show, or at least a 7 book series.
Well, after nearly 6 years of being with a muggle, we have found our own sort of balance. I do my best to see Leo when my boyfriend is at work or already busy.
I used to work at a horse farm and the horses sort of took over my life, squeezing the boyfriend out. I was working long days, then riding Leo, then coming home and passing out. But, after switching jobs we actually have real, interesting, non-horse related conversations that don’t end (well not always end …) with me complaining how much the horses have broken my body and how tired I am! And we go on dates … I mean totally crazy! The whole question of dating a horse person, vs. dating someone that works in the horse industry is COMPLETELY different and I can say that with us it is much better if I am not in the industry.
Every so often he will come to the barn with me, but I’ve stopped asking all of the time. This isn’t because of some defeated part of me, but because we realized that we are better when we can have a few hours apart to do things we are passionate about.
Our apartment is OVERFLOWING with horse stuff and our car reeks of the barn, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He has his own interests and I have mine and we connect over the things we have in common.
Dating a muggle has its challenges (usually around the time board is due). It also is completely freeing knowing I have a passion all my own and the support of someone I love to pursue it.