“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are a great many horse-related quotes out there, but this is one of my favorites (as I whole-heartedly agree with the sentiment!). Another is:
"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."
This one is often attributed to Ronald Reagan, who was fond of repeating it. It's also attributed to Winston Churchill, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Dr. John Abernethy and Woodrow Wilson's physician, Dr. Gary Grayson. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never heard of the latter two gentlemen. I always figured Winston Churchill was the one who said it. Or maybe it was M.C. Self, writing in Horseman's Encyclopedia in 1946 (a famous and well-regarded tome), who said it first?
Well, no, apparently not! The ORIGINAL author of this quote appears to be the Duke of Beaufort. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of Dukes of Beaufort, but I think they're talking about this one, the 10th Duke:
He was quite a horseman, helping establish major horse shows, serving as Master of the Horse for three British sovereigns, and also serving as Master of the Beaufort Hounds for many years (this is the hunt of choice for the royals - I've seen plenty of photos of Prince Charles, Camilla and the young princes out with them). In addition, his family seat is Badminton House - yes, that Badminton, home of the horse trials. The Duke died childless but thank goodness his relations have kept the estate in the family, and the fabulous 3-day event venue as well. So I think it's probably safe to assume that he was indeed the first person to come up with this apt saying.*
This isn't really a quote, but I've bet you've all heard the words, "It's just a horse." I've also heard it applied to both of my dogs and my guinea pigs. ESPECIALLY my guinea pigs ("You spent how much at the vet, on a RAT??!?"). Don't you just want to slug people sometimes?
And finally, I really appreciate this sentiment:
"Horses are not my whole life, but they make my life whole." ~ Author Unknown
I encourage you to find a couple of these quotes, with nice illustrations, and many more at this entertaining site. Lots of neat stuff on there!
[*Researched via quotationspage.com and Wikipedia]