Memoir

Confessions of a Modern-Day Horse Hippie

Confession time: I used to be like everyone else. Well, like most horse people, anyway.

I rode three or four times a week and went to horse shows (barrel races or rodeos, actually) on the weekends. I was always focused on winning that next buckle or saddle. And I was fairly successful for a while—at least at the local level.

I didn’t aspire to join the ranks of professional rodeo athletes—I just enjoyed setting and achieving goals with my home-trained horses.

I can’t pinpoint an exact time when all of this changed. Like most transformations, it was more of a slow process, riddled with guilt, anxiety, and plenty of self-criticism. But after my fifth barrel horse had to be retired due to injury, I began having some major doubts about what it was that I wanted to do with my horses (and my life, for that matter).

Did I love horses? Or did I just love riding and competing?

Well, I loved all of the above at the time. But I soon realized my horses were more important than the rest.

I am a curious person by nature, so after this final setback, I found myself diving headfirst into the world of horse health—more specifically natural horse health. I wanted to know what I could do to help my horses live better, healthier, and happier lives. I soon became fascinated with equine acupressure and decided to get certified through Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute (which I highly recommend if anyone is into this sorta thing).

Around this time, I also became interested in natural trimming and began a different (and eye-opening) journey into the world of barefoot hoof care.

For me, the snowball effect had begun. Each new thing I learned only further increased my desire to know more. I soon decided to start my blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse, in order to share some of this information with others. (I’m also a former teacher, so I guess this came naturally to me.)

And, of course, everything that I was learning about horses began to spill over into my personal life, as well. I began eating healthier and learning more about preventative and alternative health care for myself and my family.

In the span of about ten years, I became a very different type of horsewoman.

I quit caring so much about having beautiful, perfectly groomed horses and instead just wanted to allow them live more as nature intended, long whiskers, mud, and all.

My desire to ride and compete dwindled away, but in its place sprung a desire to write about horses, whether it be in the form of an article, blog post, or fictional story.

My self-imposed beliefs about what a horse person should be also changed. Now I understand there are many types of horse people. And that this is perfectly okay. You don’t have to fit into one predetermined mold in order for your love and interest in horses to be validated.

No, I don’t wear flowers in my hair or walk barefoot to the barn, but I do partake in yoga. I like to eat organic food. And I use essential oils.

If this makes me a horse hippie, so be it.


About the Author

Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as an owner/barefoot trimmer and certified equine acupressure practitioner. She hosts the blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse, where she regularly shares information on barefoot, equine nutrition, and holistic horse health. Once an avid barrel racer, Casie now enjoys just giving back to the horses who have given her so much.