Horses with Birthday Hats

Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares the stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.

As a child, Kristin Gumper of St. Louis dreamed of owning her own horse one day. Last year she fulfilled her dream when she adopted City Girl, a 9-year-old bay mare. Gumper now makes up for her horseless years by spending plenty of quality time with City Girl, spoiling her and even throwing her a horse birthday party!

It’s My Party and I’ll Neigh If I Want To

After volunteering at the Mid-America Horse Rescue to make sure she was ready to take on the responsibility of a horse, Gumper adopted City Girl, a former racehorse whose father, Seattle Slew, won the Triple Crown in 1977. From the moment they met, Gumper doted on the mare. Once she adopted her, the attention and pampering only increased.

To celebrate City Girl’s first birthday with her, Gumper threw a party. “I wanted to make it special for her,” Gumper says. She sent out “horse” invitations, and six horses and five humans attended the celebration in the barn that Gumper decorated for City Girl’s special day.

While the humans celebrated with birthday cake and champagne, the horses enjoyed their own “cake” made of molasses, oats, carrots and raisins. “City Girl loved it,” says Gumper. “She lit up. It was a big mess, but they all enjoyed it.”

Naturally, the guests sang "Happy Birthday" to City Girl and came bearing gifts. “She got presents from her other horse friends,” Gumper says. “The gifts were all in bags, and she was nosing though them!” Gumper also bought her horse birthday presents, which included a shedding brush, some treats and first-aid items. “How can you not have fun at something like that?” Gumper muses. “I’ll definitely do it again.”

A Year-Round Celebration

Woman and her horse

Even when it’s not City Girl’s birthday, Gumper still dotes on her. “Every day is City Girl’s birthday!” she admits with a laugh.

At least three times a week, Gumper spends hours with City Girl at the barn, exercising her or just spending quality time together. “Usually one day is a pure goof-off spa day,” Gumper says. “We do a massage, and I comb her. It’s amazing to watch her respond.”

Gumper is a busy professional, with a husband who understands her commitment to City Girl. She tries not to let anything interfere with her “horse time." She explains that time spent with City Girl gives her a great workout and also makes her feel good.

“I feel the best when I’m in the saddle,” Gumper says. “You just have to focus on the horse. She’s my gym and my therapist, and I find a lot of peace in just being with her. I hope I give her some of the same in return.”

What do you do for love? We’re looking for the funny, sweet and special stories that will make other pet parents smile. Email us at [email protected] to share your story. Please put "The Things We Do for Love" in the subject line.