Horsey people are a special breed. There’s nobody else with such a devotion to their animals. We wake up before the crack of dawn to make sure they’re cleaned, watered and fed. We trudge through muddy fields to make sure they’re warm in their blankets. We fork out thousands for vet fees when they break out of their fields. They’re a real lifestyle decision, which sometimes means we might want a little break from them! There are plenty of hobbies that horsey people can enjoy, but these are some that might bring a smile to your face, or even tickle your fancy.
Although it might seem a little incongruous, playing poker online is a hobby for a lot of equestrians. The reason is quite funny: there’s a variety of poker called HORSE poker. It’s commonly played at high stakes tables and involves the player simultaneously playing a round of each of the following varieties of poker: Texas Hold’em, Omaha/8 (hi-low split-eight or better), Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud Hi-Low (split-eight or better). The initial letters of each of the varieties spell out HORSE, hence the name. If you’d like to get started playing HORSE, then this is an easy guide to what you need to know. Funnily enough, the next hobby works for a similar reason.
As well as HORSE poker, there’s also HORSE basketball. The reason that this variation on basketball gets the name HORSE is even simpler than the reason that poker does. The game is played with at least two players who take it in turns to explain the shot that they are going to try and make. Both players have to try and make the same shot; if one doesn’t, then they acquire a letter. For whatever reason, the chosen letters are HORSE. The first person to get the whole horse is the loser. This last man standing game is great fun and a good way to show off the athleticism that you gain from your primary hobby.
If you really can’t stand to be away from horses long enough for a round of poker or a game of basketball, then perhaps you could incorporate them into a different hobby. Going to the track to watch the horse racing is a fun way to spend the day and, as an equestrian, you might spot some of the things that go unnoticed by others. For example, it can take years and years for an untrained eye to become a good paddock judge; that is, someone who can see whether a horse is fit or not, just by looking at it. However, after hours spent agonizing over whether your own horse is under or over condition, you’ll have a good head start. If you’re feeling confident in your paddock judging skills then you might consider placing a bet or, if that doesn’t interest you, you could simply keep a tally of the horse you think will win and see how often you get it right. Sometimes the most satisfying person to win a competition with is yourself.
Have you ever been told by your riding instructor that you need to be more supple? Well, now’s your chance. Gymnastics is a great sport to get into for equestrians because you’ve already overcome your fear of falling from height. As well as that, gymnastics is a key skill to have if you want to get into the world of vaulting. It might be that gymnastics starts as a hobby that you do on your own and progresses to become a hobby that you can do on horseback. Either way, it’s great exercise and being able to do the splits is a brilliant party trick, if nothing else.