Dream: Husband would suddenly develop an interest in horses. We would finally share an activity.
Reality: Husband ignores horses, except for an occasional resentful comment about how I complain I don't have enough time.
Dream: Older daughter would enjoy a pony. We would share an activity.
Reality: Older daughter finds horses too solitary a sport and
too much manual labor. Pony gets sold to a horse-crazy pony-clubber.
Daughter blames me for selling her pony.
Dream: Barn would be my refuge. Riding would be my SRA (Sanity Restoration Activity).
Reality: Dead on.
Dream: Guests who say they know how to ride will be right.
Reality: Most end up falling off and blaming the horse.
Dream: Guests who say they don't know how to ride will be right.
Reality: They're actually not too bad.
Dream: Teenagers who say they want to do barn chores in return for riding will be reliable.
Reality: They are very reliable as long as school, heavy dates, trips and nail appointments don't get in the way.
Dream: Horsey friends will suddenly materialize and we will share many trail rides.
Reality: Everyone else is as busy as I am and trail ride blocks of time are almost impossible to find.
Dream: Boarding someone else's horse would mean we'd share the work.
Dream: I'd be a really good rider after a few years.
Reality: Well, I'm better than I was...
Dream: Horses would be wonderful to own.
Reality: They are.
Dream: I'll only need to have the vet out twice a year for vaccines, and teeth floating.
Reality: The vet is out every _week_ and half my paycheck automatically goes to her clinic.
Dream: I'll find the time to ride at least five times a week.
Reality: On a good week, I have the time or energy to ride once.
Dream: I only need one horse.
Reality: Well, maybe I need two or three (or four or five)
Dream: My barn will be fly free because I have fabulous manure and fly management.
Reality: Flies. Everywhere. No matter what you do.
[In my case change the above to ticks ]
Dream: My horses will all get along.
Reality: Remember that one about the vet...?
Dream: It'll be really easy to find a good barn, close by, with nice people and resonably priced.
Reality: Give up after months of hell holes and build your own.
Dream: All farriers know what they're doing, and a really good one will be as easy to find as that barn.
Reality: Once you find one that doesn't lame your horse, you find out he's always at least two hours late.