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Politics and Horses

Published: 10/28/2008
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By Maddy Butcher

Fifteen years ago, I learned something about friendships. And during this crazy election year, I've learned it all over again:

I was running regularly with several other stay-at-home moms. Together, we’d run for an hour while a babysitter watched our kids. We’d talk about everything. Run after run, year after year, we’d laugh and share our struggles and successes. It was wonderful camaraderie.
Handsome's tongue
Then one day, during the Clinton impeachment process, we got to talking politics. One friend argued for Clinton. One argued against him. Our pace got faster and faster. The argument became more and more heated.
All those years and I’d never realized what deep-seated convictions my girlfriends held - not just about politicians, but about the issues behind our political leaders.
We headed back to our homes, some of us barely speaking to one another.

Wow! What an eye-opener. (I'm happy to report that we remain good friends, despite our differences.)

It happened again. This time, my circle of friends was horsewomen.
Now, I’m not politically active and I tend to be pretty darn cynical about the whole process. But I still have my convictions. And when one friend voiced her conviction quite to the contrary, it floored me.
  • How could she think that?
  • What planet is she on?
  • How can we still be friends?
I’m sure she wondered the same about me.
Then I thought about our horses. The rants and raves spinning in my brain started to subside.
Our horses give us common ground...Who comes first, the husband or the horses? The horses, of course!
Our horses give us common ground.

  • We can talk about our horse issues for hours at a time.
  • We have the same mindset when it comes to horses.
  • We like to teach them and have them teach us. We like to grow with them. We like to care for them. We’re devoted.
Who comes first, the husband or the horses? The horses, of course!

Yes, we have shared some laughs. And we will continue to share our struggles and successes.
It was clear from this recent non-horse exchange, that we don’t see eye-to-eye on bigger issues. (Apparently, there are bigger issues than horses, who knew?)

I'm sure she probably wouldn't think of me first when her church is asking for new members. And I wouldn’t want her to home-school my kids.

But if I drop dead tomorrow, I’d want her to be the one caring for my horses. Hands down.

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3/11/2009 Kathy
All I can say is, Thank Goodness it's over! Can we just ride for a while?

"Those who look down eventually get there" - Kip Rosenthal