I have been with my significant other for 7 years.


We are not yet married, but besides that little piece of paper, our lives are a union. We own vehicles and animals together. We share a bank account and a home. 

We fight. About once a year we have a good knock down, drag out, screaming match. And I storm off to the barn for a therapeutic road hack while he heads to the garage to fiddle with a car.

And after a few tears, a couple of verbal bullets, and a handful of new grey hairs, we come back to the living room and apologize. We embrace each other in a hug and move on-hopefully in a better and more healthy direction. Assessing our character flaws and weaknesses. Improved.

My best friend.


Because at the end of the day, he is my best friend. And we are both cognizant of the fact that relationships take work

Seven years isn’t long in the context of his parents marriage (35 years) or mine (27 until my father passed away) but it’s practically a life time in this day and age.

Because in this world of smart phones, facebook addictions, and instant news, we all expect instant gratification. We all demand perfection.

Perfection is displayed to us on every “reality” show and romantic comedies end at the first date. No one depicts the tough times, no one shows the hard work or the resolution. We highlight those who have exceeded expectations, without mentioning much of the work it took. The Cinderella story just blames the shoe.

And while my relationship isn’t perfect, because-lets be honest-no ones is, it’s pretty healthy.

Because at the end of the day, I am in a relationship with my best friend. And intrinsically, we just enjoy spending time with each other. For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

And it made me realize that the same can be said about my horses


I don’t expect constant rainbows and butterflies. I don’t expect breakfast in bed or swooning embraces. I expect hard work. And some bumps and bruises.

 But I am willing to battle for it, because at the end of the day I love them. And I enjoy spending time with them.

I own a horse who is fancy as hell. When he’s good, he’s GOOD. He can canter pirouettes around my other two, and has the scope to be a 4* horse.  And yet about every six months, we battle. 

When he’s good, he’s GOOD


I know the minute that I walk into the barn that it will be one of those days. I know that he will be arrogant. And obstinant. And that there will be an argument.

And just like with my boyfriend, I know I have one of three options:

 1)  don’t take the bait and walk away, but in doing so, at the least rewarding the bad behavior, and at the most, risk repeating this same antic that will only infuriate me more in 6 more months. 

2) get out of the relationship, feeling as though the bad times outweigh the good, or 

3) tack up, swing on, and work through the bull shit.

I choose the 3rd. I know the good outweighs the bad. I know that the relationship can’t be perfect and that there are always growing pains. I know that life isn’t always pretty.

I’m willing to work through the tough times with my horse. I’m willing to put in the time, to develop and nurture the commitment to him.


I’m willing to take the bait. To hold the argument, to state my points and hear his. I’m willing to get off dripping in sweat and turn him out, walk away for a few hours and reassess. Because in that reassessment, I know that he’s worth it. 

I know that at the very basis of this relationship, just like with that of my partner, that there is a bond. A friendship. A respect and fondness for one another. And I know that that’s worth fighting for.


Fight on.

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5 Comments on “Worth fighting for

  1. WOW!!! Carleigh…this came at a perfect time. Although my battle with my mare is more me than her most of the time, it’s a little the opposite (I have 1 good week and then 2 bad) and unfortunately it’s because of my insecurities that I relay to her but she is tolerant, it is improving, and I keep at because I absolutely LOVE her. Plus…I think she likes me because she hasn’t killed me yet and definitely could have by now.

  2. I needed to hear this right now! My gelding has developed an “attitude” and some days throwing in the towel seems like a great option. But I’ve never been one to back down from a fight.. fight on

  3. You are young but very wise and you’ve learned what so many others struggle with in their human and equine relationships. It’s hard work but it’s worth it .

  4. I can totally relate to this. Once you stop and think to decide if it’s worth it (and it’s important to do that because sometimes it’s NOT worth it and you need to get out) then you have to be willing to work on it. I have caught myself thinking ‘god horse couldn’t you just…..’ but I need to do my part too. And sometimes that’s being willing to fight through stuff.

  5. Hi Carleighfedorka how are you doing, I’m Eric Donald i was here reading some military post when i saw your post and some of your write up it was very good and interested to me, i want to know you more better this is my email ericdonald932@gmail.com please contact me Ok…have a good day

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