This is a question a friend of mine and I pose when we are truly questioning our horse habit. Evidently the joke that some people are just born with the H gene and there is no getting around it is not a joke. Take tonight for instance. Its snowing considerably and its a Friday night. There is no going out to dinner (not that I really like to, but that is besides the point), there is no chilling on the couch. Its ten pm and I just got to my couch. I am also sitting on my feet in hopes of warming them up. We go out as a family to do barn chores in the late afternoon, take a dinner break and then once the small one is tucked into bed, back to the barn I go to work horses and do night chores.
It really is an addiction. The only real difference is that if someone asked me what I do for a hobby and I said that I was a crack addict they would be horrified. However, if you say you are a horse back rider, normally the response is rather impressed or positive – neutral at the very least.
Seriously, though – why not tennis? It can be done inside or out. It has to be cheaper. You can play tennis on vacation, or even go on vacation to play tennis in exotic locations. If your racket is problematic, you can just buy a new one. Going to the gym on a regular basis would count as part of your tennis habit. You buy lots of cute little clothes to play tennis in and all the time playing tennis would make it so that you looked really trim in said clothing. Your tennis racket will not run out, toss you off or try to die in the middle of the night because it does not feel like drinking for some reason known only to God. And if your tennis racket breaks, who cares. With all the money you have not spend on horses, you just buy your self a better tennis racket. When your tennis balls wear out, you make yourself a hero in the eyes of your dog.
To be honest though – why not tennis? Its simple – eye/hand coordination. I lack that. Like many people I know that are very competent riders, I am one of those lucky people who cannot manage chewing gum and walking at the same time many days. While I have no trouble coordinating myself on a rambunctious warmblood with a talent for bucking and generally exuberant airs-above-ground, the idea of smacking the little yellow ball with the racket would be rather out of my league.