Lindzi Cox: Riding Horses Was My First Passion

03/20/2012 AT 09:00 AM EDT

She may not have captured Ben Flajnik's heart, but The Bachelor runner-up Lindzi Cox is still going home to a loving male: horse Token.

"He's a thoroughbred, and I've had him for like 12 years," she tells PEOPLE.

Though she's a working girl now, Cox previously competed with her horse after college and says she would return to it if given the opportunity.

"I would absolutely love to go back to competing; I had a really great experience," she says. "I'm kind of at that transition phase of life where I'm just sort of trying to figure it all out, and I didn't pick a cheap hobby to get into."

But while she doesn't necessarily have the time or sometimes the funds to spend on her horse, Cox says it's never lessened her love of riding.

"Any time things are good, bad, ugly, it's nice to have one of those four-legged critters there," she says. "I've been riding so long, and it's sort of my first passion in life. It's the thing I always go back to, and I'm like, 'Life's good, I can ride.'"

To hear how Ben took to Lindzi's parents's horses, check out the video above.

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