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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Shit People Say to Horse Owners

Happy Friday! To pass the time, cruise on over to YouTube and look at "Shit People Say to...." videos.

Here's my "shit people say to horse owners/riders", with a few handy replies!

"I rode a horse once, but it bucked me" ...It did what, exactly? Bucked while you were on it? Bucked and unloaded you? Can you be more specific? You know what, actually, don't - because the phrase "bucked me" gives me the creeps.

"I rode once, but my horse was really stupid" Oh, so you mean it ignored your clumsy cues and elected to eat grass instead. Sounds smart to me.

"Horses are really expensive...*uncomfortable pause*" I know, if I didn't unload all my disposable income on horses I'd have so much more money for recreational drugs. Care to hook me up?

"I would never have time for all that, what with my children's activities. I'd feel too selfish. Don't you want kids someday?" .....I'm barren, but thanks for the reminder. Just kidding! The judge recommended I not have children.

"I'll have to stop out and ride sometime" Yes, you will! I always prep for my ride by de-cobwebbing the barn and medicating the barn cats. Later we can check the live traps and see if that skunk has still been hanging around.

"Nice pants" (from some rando at the gas station) Thanks! They're deerskin fullseats, my favorite. They're a little spendy but so worth it. Guess my husband will have to give up beer and cable tv for the next few months!

"With all the money you spend on horses, you could buy a luxury vehicle/Eat Pray Love vacation/kitchen remodel!" No Lexus deserves the dust/animal hair/dirty blanket collection that I tend to create. Eat Pray Love translates to Groom Ride Cuddle. And nice kitchens are for people who underestimate the value of a kick-ass mud room.

Got any of your own? Feel free to post them! You don't have to sign up to comment - none of that password crap :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I'm still trying to decide whether or not War Horse left an impression on me. I'd better decide, because I'm sure to receive it on DVD within the next year. I did like it more than Secretariat. Too much Diane Lane, who I tend to think of as Susan Sarandon's LifeTime Movie twin sister.

My very favorite is National Velvet, which I saw after reading the book. I read the actual BOOK (haven't touched paper since I got my Kindle) and did a damn book report. Poor sixth-grade teacher. We were each to read our favorite passage from our book, and mine was paragraphs of tack gifted to Velvet. (I'm going to paraphrase here) "bridles, martingales, head collars, saddles, reins, surcingles...." He had to stop me. I was lost in a fictional account of what I would later know as components of a tack swap. Wheeee! A garage sale comprised of all horse stuff!

It's a maddening rush of great things that go great together....shopping and acquiring horse stuff. Right after I acquired my horse, I felt more and more the horse owner with each new item I got. I keep raising the stakes on myself.

I own all the (horse) things! (Real horse owner) Some of them are in my car! ( Real horse owner) My trunk is full of rice bran! (Real horse owner) Nobody but the dog would ever want to ride in my car! (Real horse owner) There are saddle pads drying on the Bowflex (Real horse owner).

Okay, seriously, the arms race toward enmeshing my life with all things equine needs to calm down. But part of me will always be a middle school kid dreaming about the horse lifestyle, so I can't help but drape myself in it. Where do I draw the line?

At the actual acquisition of horses, of course. One's my limit. But one is my bare minimum. I won't be horseless again, and my surroundings may be less pristine for it, but they're a lot more blessed.

Monday, January 9, 2012

All I ever Needed to know about Dating I Learned from Hunter Seat Equitation

You know one thing that makes me proud to be a horse person? We're one of the only corners of society that gets to objectify MEN. So many other pursuits - politics, music, athletics - have women standing at the sidelines or backstage or off-camera, waiting to lend support.

(Fun quote: behind every successful man is a surprised woman)

In the horse world, men are often the ones hanging on the sidelines with cold beverages and snacks. Wallets, too. Because we look good in tight pants. Because we're tough and elegant all at the same time. Because we're not to be trifled with. They know we own whips that are taller than they are. We aren't scared of spiders and we only get worried about bumps in the night when we're sleeping in the barn with a sick horse.

I don't watch The Bachelor anymore because they stopped picking hot guys a long time ago. I'm not sure they ever did, come to think of it. I did catch the premiere last week, long enough to see that one of the contestants is an accomplished rider. I hope she doesn't win. She's too good for all this. Why is she on there, again? And how does "I'm finally ready to find love" translate into "I'm ready to compete with 24 other women for a guy I may or may not want"?

Good luck, Lindsay/Lindzie/Lyndzy(?)! I hope you find your distance. Which means you don't win, but walk away without hemorrhaging dignity and can parlay this little contest into something lovely. All of you looking for love, I wish you the same....the trophy probably isn't the prize you once thought, so the trick is to find your distance so you can make it over this obstacle and on to the next jump. In the world of men, dirty stoppers abound and all the good ones are either taken or on the wrong lead. Heads up!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wanted: Horde of Angry Self-Righteous Do-Gooders!

There is nothing in Craigslist for me to snark at today. At first I felt disappointed. Then I remembered that that was in fact a good thing! Are we having so much fun snarking that we light up at the sight of something bad?

Remember the Fugly blog in its heyday? Fugly had the right balance of cruelty, whip-smart commentary, and humor. Yes, I said cruelty. Some of what is most funny in this life is a bit cruel. Some of the funniest people I know are abrasive as hell. Remember the comments? Hee! Anatomy of a comment on the Fugly blog comment back in the day: a) description of bodily harm they'd inflict upon the abuser, b) attempt at snarkcasm (which typically fell flat), and c) praise of Fugly.

*Kicks rocks* I want a Mafia! How can I possibly assemble a Mafia when folks in my area are feeding and training their horses? A quick search of the heavily rednecked area from which I came yielded almost no horse ads, which was creepy. Most of the horse dealings there probably involve trades of four-wheelers and meth.

What I'm getting at here is that at one point people almost seemed overly excited to find awful things. I want a Mafia, but I want things to improve enough that I'm unable to form one, you know?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I know I should wait till the caffeine kicks in to check my messages. Maybe some things are best discovered in a semi-awake haze.

It was a message on Facebook from a well-meaning friend. That's where it usually starts, doesn't it? Someone well-meaning? Seems she had a friend for whom she put some horse ads on Craigslist. She wasn't a horse person. Apparently the horse-owning friend wasn't a Craigslist person.

Could I take a look at the ads for her?

You know, kudos to my non-horsey friend for caring what the ads looked like. They were photographed in a paddock near the barn. Ever seen the series on Discovery (I think) called Life After People?....."Two years after people, the infrastructure begins to collapse. Fences, once solid, begin to sag and fall down. Rats, with no natural predators, grow to the size of dogs and take over...." Okay, I'm joking about the rats, but the background in the photos had a definite Life After People (stopped giving a shit) vibe to them. Creepy, cluttered, and gloomy.

The horses themselves were gawky-looking two year olds whose whites needed whitening and whose manes needed pulling, combing, or probably a de-burring. All had the ubiquitous grungy, bleached in the sun nylon halter.

I told my friend the horses needed to be cleaned up, trimmed up, and photographed in nicer halters. I spared any comment on their conformation and emphasized that the owner should put a metric fuckton of show sheen on them and photograph them against a more scenic background.

I didn't go in for the online dating comparison, but if I did I would have said: "Think of them as trying to land dates so that they can attract the best possible partner, in order to marry and not have to leave the country!" Which is a really cute comparison but not at all the case here.

....Oh wait.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Where would you like to be in 2012?

Seriously, where? This isn't a philosophical question.

I hate New Year's. It begins the march onward toward things I loathe......winter, the Stupidbowl, more winter, February (January's boorish friend), winter, an extra fucking day of February this year, and more winter. I want to kidnap those clowns in warm climates who bought fake snow machines and make them look at crusty brown snowbanks for an hour. Kind of like a frosty version of scared straight.

Winter turns me into kind of a bitch like that. And we're having a mild one, so I suppose I'll turn into a mild bitch.

Obviously I'd be happier in a warmer climate. The one thing I like about where I live is that it's in a horsey area. The area in which I grew up, not so much. Here I've been exposed to good things like quality schooling shows, people who keep track of whether their horse is drinking enough water, and properly fitting tack. Swoon.

There are warmer areas, but are the good horsey ones a bit expensive? And though it's like a foreign concept to me, there are warmer spots where summer riding takes place in the early a.m. or perhaps around dusk. Such begins the various permutations of making sure horses are comfortable in the heat.

I wonder where that "sweet spot" is that is warm but not punishingly hot, non-redneck yet affordable, adequately horsey, and somewhat scenic, and not too far from my relatives.

But not too close, either.