The Twelve Steps of Horse Addiction

The First Step is Admitting You Have a Problem. My name is Bethany Caskey and I'm a Horseaholic. If you have the affliction of horse love, you understand the condescending nods, the bewildered sighs, and head shaking of the "other kind". You are viewed as otherwise sane and but for this eccentricity, a pleasant companion. You may or may not remember the exact moment the horse bug bit. For some of us it was a genetic wildcard that came as easily as our first smile. There was never a conscious effort. It was just always there. Popular for quite some time have been the twelve step programs. I would suggest a similar program for horse-a-holics. There is no hope for a cure as with the other programs, mostly because we don't really want or need one. We can use these steps to help explain our linear passion and to understand just how hopeless we are. The majority of our society has been trained to understand and tolerate an addiction. The Twelve Step tradition is a time tested method used for various obsessive-compulsive behaviors. These simple tools for living have been used by millions of people to successfully change their lives and recover from certain behaviors. Sharing and support in groups with like-minded individuals and ongoing fellowship is a major ingredient in the success of this program. The Twelve Steps of Horse Addiction

1. We admit we are powerless under the rule of our horses - that our lives have become periods of servitude interspersed with occasional chances to purchase new play things for the horses that "own" us.

2. We have come to believe that there is no power greater than our horses that will keep us sane and happy.

3. We have made a conscious decision that we have turned our will and our lives over to the care and entertainment of our horses.

4. We have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our barn, and still think we might have room for just one more horse.

5. We have admitted to God, ourselves and our friends that our shoes will always be muddy and there will be horsehair and horse snot on our clothes.

6. We were entirely ready to remove all these defects of character, but decided against it when our horse nickered and nuzzled us.

7. We humbly asked for removal of our shortcomings - so we could have more time to spend with our horses.

8. We made a list of all persons we had slighted when we were late because of chores or a long trail ride, and became willing to make amends to them all – even though they still didn't want to hear about our horses.

9. We have made direct amends to these people wherever possible, except when they didn't want to help us unload the feed bags. 10. We have continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it to our horse... who knew it from the start and had been telling us all along.

11. We have sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our horses as we understood them, praying only for knowledge of their will for us and the power to carry that will out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we will carry this message to those faced with Horse Addiction and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

(This parody is based on the original Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which can be found at the Alcoholics Anonymous website. In no way should this be looked on as an insult against those with a drinking problem.

Warning! Actually following these steps will only make you more popular with the horses around you, and should not be attempted by those who wish to be anything other than horse people for the rest of their lives.)