Owning a horse is undeniably done in spite of something else - sometimes in spite of everything. It doesn't mean we don't love our animals - because that's exactly what we do. Wholeheartedly, in fact. But it's time-consuming, expensive, and filled with worries to be responsible for a 3-600 kilogram animal that can never answer your questions or take care of the practical work in the stable itself. We simply love them in spite of all that comes with giving them a good life.
This is precisely the core of Malgré Tout. The French phrase means 'in spite of everything' - and it also happened to be the name of the faithful horse of Christian X. Thus, Malgré Tout has received its name because the goal is to help you navigate everything that comes with having a horse - both joys and frustrations. Therefore, we asked you on Facebook about the conditions and experiences that you endure in order to live a life with horses around you. This has resulted in 12 insightful points. According to you, we indeed love our horses in spite of:
Despite the fact that the horses drain our wallets, and we must turn every penny to afford ourselves as well. They eat more than the whole family, require new shoes every six weeks, and need the vet too often. In return, we give up trips to the cinema, holidays abroad, and expensive dinners. Despite the financial struggles, we love them, because everything they give us is much more valuable than the money itself.
Despite the concerns about whether our dear horses are thriving; if there is an infection in the small wound on the leg, if all four shoes will stay on for the competition at the weekend, and if they can avoid getting hurt out in the paddock. If only they could talk, we would be spared many worries. Yet we take it in our stride. Somehow, the concerns make the bond with the horses even stronger.
Despite the irritations over destroyed blankets, mischief during training, begging in the stable aisle, and a pronounced lack of sense for the harmlessness of inanimate objects. It can annoy us more than anything else that horses can’t just think and act like us, and yet it’s also what makes it all fun.
Despite always running a risk in the company of horses. Equestrian sports are dangerous, and so are the horse’s instincts. Although we often have to explain to the uninformed that horses do not possess anger and therefore cannot intentionally harm anyone, their flight instinct in combination with their half-ton body weight is not something to joke about. And we are well aware of that.
Despite the fact that horses sometimes become lame or sick, and we do not know when they will recover again – and if they will ever do so. We can also get injured ourselves; we might get thrown off, fall, or feel the horse’s hind hoof. It may even make us unable to mount again. Despite an injured horse or rider, we still spend all our time pampering and caring for the warm muzzles, stroking the soft fur, and melting over the apologetic eyes.
Despite competitions and rides that do not always go as hoped. When the horse always knocks down an oxer or just does not understand what an exercise is about. When it repeatedly runs with you in the corner or bucks at E. Despite a couple of frustrating rides, we know that the good ones will also come – and that’s why we always hang in there.
Despite the constant dependence. Either the practical one, where we are responsible for letting horses out and in from the field, feeding them, and mucking out their stables; or the mental one, where we cannot do without the smell of horses, the community in the stable, the twosome with the horse, and the feeling of its movements beneath us. We rarely go away for a longer time, as we can neither leave nor miss our dear animals. However, the time with the horses makes us forget all the problems at home, at work, or at school – and that is probably not the worst thing to be dependent on.
Despite other people’s lack of understanding, interest, and insight. Often it is the price measured in time and financial expenses compared to the short time one actually sits on the back of the horse, which some people do not understand why we bother to sacrifice. Fortunately, our relationship with the horse and the passion for the sport does not diminish from this, and we can only rejoice that we have been so lucky to fall head over heels for it.
Despite the days when things do not go as planned at all. A shoe is thrown, and we have to drop the trip in the forest. The blanket has become a perforated piece of toy, and we have to rush to the nearest riding equipment store before they close to buy a new one. On such days, the dream of a delicious ride often has to be dropped, the bath is done in a few seconds, and we arrive – once again – too late for the family birthday. We never become good friends with those days.
Despite the mud in the autumn, biting cold in the winter, hair everywhere in the spring, and hefty rain showers, even though the calendar says midsummer. Having a horse in Danish weather is a changeable affair. We always have dirt on our fingers, shed hair in our mouths, mud up to our knees, and a car that looks like a dung heap – and yet the time in the stable is the best we know. The horse person is simply a robust casting.
Despite the fact that the man always has to prepare dinner and the children often have to wait with the question “How was school today?” until it’s almost bedtime. The horse is and remains a part of the family, so we always try to find time for both it and the family at home in the living room. Sometimes we succeed better than others, and it’s a compromise we’ve come to terms with. We’re still trying to convince the boyfriend or husband of the same.
Despite the fact that one day we’ll have to say the hardest goodbye. We know that our hearts will be shattered into a thousand pieces, and that it will take time to pick them up. Every horse owner fears the day, but we are ready for when it comes. The weather can do what it wants, all the uninterested people can look on in confusion, and the family at home may have to wait for a while. Because despite all the times you’ve been frustrated, scared, worried, and irritated, the horse has also given you something you’ll never get again. When the four-legged one leaves one day, there needs to be space to patch the wound together – because it’s going to be really big.
to all of you and all your input! Without a doubt, we can conclude that horse owners are at once stubborn and understanding, eager and patient, robust and sensitive, tough and unusually loving. The same goes for the horses – so where do we get it from? You and your horse are there for each other – despite everything – and you should be proud of that!