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by Stephen Hise

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by Stephen Hise
Consultant, Author, and spouse of a horse owner

I’m not a horseman. You could take everything I know about horses, put it in a thimble and it would rattle around like a BB in a boxcar. My wife loves horses – always has. When she was young, she did some show-jumping and won ribbons. Then life happened, and it ended up being about twenty years before we were in a position to do something about it. We came into some money and I suggested she buy a horse. Yeah, I did that.

Like (I suspect) a lot of husbands, I figured my deep ignorance on the subject of horses would insulate me from any involvement with the animal. I was deeply, deeply wrong in this. If your wife has a horse, you will be involved. You will learn. You have a Horse-in-Law.

My Horse-in-Law is named Twister. He is a gelding with delusions of stallion. He’s old with delusions of young. He’s hard-headed, a little cranky, lazy, unpredictable, easily injured, and thinks only of fillies and eating. I think the combination of all these qualities is why my wife chose him. He reminded her of me.

For one reason or another, I’ve become involved with the horse. I’ve loaded him in a trailer (he doesn’t like to get in the trailer). I’ve fed him, mucked his stall, cleaned his hooves, exercised him, turned him out, blah, blah, blah. I don’t even remember how my wife got me involved. I think it happens subliminally.

My wife enjoys doing all those things with Twister. I can honestly say that I do not. I do them only when and because she needs me to. For her though, there is something restorative about scooping up big piles of horse manure. So even on days she doesn’t get to ride, she comes back from the ranch with a little happiness in her she wouldn’t otherwise have had.

I like that. I don’t understand it, but I like it. It doesn’t work that way for me, but it doesn’t have to – he’s her horse; he’s just my Horse-in-Law.

Stephen Hise is a consultant and technical writer, and has also published his first novel, Upgrade, available through and as an ebook, or from in print.

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Copyright 2011 by Stephen Hise, all rights reserved.

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