By; Ambassador Erica Koch
‘Hotties on Horseback’ occurs on a convenient Friday night, when any of the adult amateur riders at the barn can get together, and are able to fit in some time to our busy schedules to take a group riding lesson together. After our lesson and the horses are all tucked in for the night, we spend time socializing with cocktails, appetizers and good cheer.
Convenient is the optimal word though in organizing these evening social events. Sometimes it just simply doesn’t work on certain Friday evenings. Kids’ hockey practice, family commitments, dinner parties or other engagements sometimes get in the way. But there is usually one Friday night that multiple adult riders can make it, and the more the merrier. Now I say ‘Friday nights with the ladies’ but I’m sure if we had any men riding at the farm, they would attend as well, as it’s a pretty fun time, and really I think men like to gossip with friends just as much or more than the women do.
It’s a great time to share camaraderie about the latest horse show and its events, sales at the nearby tack shops, get updates on the kids, husbands, and significant others’ latest doings. It’s also a time to meet and get to know the new owner of the latest cute horse who has just come into the barn. Of course there may also be some time spent complaining about the sore muscles or aches and pains from riding as an adult, as we are not quite as resilient as we once were in our younger years. And the food…don’t forget the food! I love good food so I love trying different appetizers and hearing other’s recommendations for specialty food stores, brands and restaurants. This is a time that I enjoy connecting with those I may not have otherwise if it were not for the common bond of the horse.
‘Hotties’ members come from many different backgrounds. Multiple different age categories are represented but all are adult amateur riders. Some single, some married, with or without kids. Some recently started riding, some recently got back in the saddle after a hiatus due to life circumstances. Some own horses, some don’t and catch ride anything available, some lease, others borrow their kid’s horses. All different riding levels are represented, which really doesn’t matter on a ‘Hotties’ Friday night. The commonality of the horse brings all of our diversity together and helps form bonds with some you may never have met or connected with if it were not for the horse and this sport. I find it rewarding to cheer each other on and show camaraderie to others like myself who have gotten back in the saddle after a few years. Sometimes we even get together outside of Friday nights and head to a polo match on a weekend or have wine tastings after a member’s trip to Napa Valley.
There’s just something about the horse that connects everyone together no matter our backgrounds. Others in our lives, that are great friends but are not involved in the horse world, just don’t understand why we do what we do. ‘You and your horse exercise in 90-degree weather wearing a long sleeve shirt, black jacket, stock tie, black hat, long pants, and tall black boots for how much money?’ It’s a funny world isn’t it? There’s no way to reasonably explain it, but our fellow barn family get it. Barn family…it’s an amazing thing. Hotties on Horseback is a time where we all pause from real life, connect with our barn family and enjoy the connections we make with other horse-crazy adults. I highly recommend starting a ‘Hotties’ group at your barn. What more could you want on a Friday night but good horses, good friends that get your crazy addiction, good food and good cheer.
How do you connect with your fellow adult amateur riders?