Horsing Around When ‘Without Horse’

Discover different ways you can stay involved with horses when owning one isn’t an option.

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riding without a horse
Riding while traveling or taking riding vacations is a great way to get your horse fix when you're horseless. | Photo: Courtesy Stephanie L. Church

How to stay involved when a horse isn’t on the books

They say to write about what you know. And after an 11-year break from horse ownership, I am well-acquainted with how to stay involved with horses without having my own.  

I sold my young Warmblood mare in 2004. It was a difficult decision: Mocha was my only homebred, and I loved her dearly, but we were not a good fit. She began another career, leaving a literal empty stall in my family’s barn and a figurative one in my life—I had been riding since before I could walk, had ridden and competed all the way through my childhood into my early 20s, and had never taken a hiatus.  

Five hundred miles from my family and still fresh in my career meant being “without horse” was not the only novel situation at hand. Honestly, the break from the expenses was freeing during this season of adjustment! It allowed me to try some other hobbies and to travel and see more of the world than I would have, had I been tethered by horse-associated bills. But at the heart of it, I really, really missed the tactile experience of horses

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Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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