Brian Rutledge is a horse hubby. In his fifteen years of marriage, Brian has seen his wife Colleen develop from an adult amateur into one of the most accomplished riders in the US today. Along the way, he has supported her by managing her Facebook page (I am learning that this is a very common way that us horse hubbies help our wives who, excellent though they may be, are terrible at self promotion…it’s all about the ponies), serving as a constant source of encouragement, and doing barn work with his ‘guns of destiny’ (can you tell he served his country in the US Army?). Brian is an experienced blogger, having written for Horse Junkies United, and I am pleased to announce that he is joining HorseHubbies.com as a regular contributor.
I recently had a chance to ask Brian a few questions, and get some sage advice from someone who is a horse hubby ten years my senior. His advice? Run!
BR: I knew nothing about horses before I met Colleen. I had seen them at the county fair where they had horse racing, but other than that I had no clue about them. I absolutely did not think horses would be any part of my life before I met the wife. I do like horses a lot, although there are some I like better then others. It all depends not the personality of the horse.
TH: What are the greatest benefits of being a horse hubby?
BR: I would say being able to be around my wife while she is doing something she is so passionate about and that she loves so much. The traveling is also fun.
TH: What is the biggest mistake you have made as a horse hubby, and how would you suggest that others avoid it?
BR: When Colleen is having a bad event the best thing to do is to leave her alone and not bother her until she is in a better mood. I have made the mistake of trying to talk a lot to her or try to make her feel better but I found it is better just to let her get through it herself.
TH: Horse shows can be a challenge for even those of us who have been around them for a while. If you could offer a horse show survival tip, what would it be?
BR: Help out as much as possible. Offer to do the heavy work and make it easier on her by just letting her concentrate on her riding at the event. Take as much pressure of her as possible.
TH: What one item should no horse hubby be without?
BR: Patience and more patience. Horse Shows are long and if you don’t have patience you will go out of your mind. Oh!…and also bring a change of shoes. You never know when it is going to rain or when the dew on the grass is going to soak your feet [HH: the dew is ALWAYS going to soak your feet ;)].
TH: What advice would you give to someone in the early stages of a relationship with a horse woman?
BR: Run as fast as you can!!! Haha just kidding. Just don’t think you are going to have a normal life. You will eat dinner later then you are used to, and you will probably never be on time for anything ever again. Be prepared to learn stuff you never thought you would ever learn, like what ‘mucking stalls’ is, and how much hay to give each horse, and how much grain to feed them. You will figure out that straw and hay are not really the same thing (I learned that the hard way).
I am delighted to have Brian join HorseHubbies.com as a regular contributor, and look forward to more wisdom and woes from the front lines. Please join me in welcoming Brian, and in following him on twitter @rutledgeplus4. Please also follow Colleen Rutledge Eventing on Facebook. Go Team Rutledge!