Saturday, January 23, 2010
Horse Lovers Defined
Here's a funny thing I ran across, does any of it sound familiar? :)
THE BACKYARD RIDER:
Usually found wearing shorts and a sports bra in the summer; flannel
nightgown, muck boots, and a down jacket in the winter. Drives a Ford
150 filled with saddle blankets and dog hair. Most have deformed toes
from being stepped on while wearing flip-flops. Has a two-horse
bumper-pull trailer, but uses it for hay storage, as her horse hasn't
been off the farm in 6 years. Can install an electric fence, set a
gate, and roll a round bale, solo. Rode well and often when she used to
board her horse, 5 years ago. Took horse home to "save money" and has
spent about 50 grand on acreage, barn, fence, tractor, etc. Has two
topics of conversation -
1) How it's too hot/cold/wet/ dry to ride.
2) How she may ride after she fixes the fence/digs drainage
ditches/stacks 4 tons of hay.
THE NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP DEVOTEE:
Looks like a throwback from a Texas ranch, despite the fact that he
lives in the suburbs of New Jersey . Rope coiled loosely in hand in case
he needs to herd any of those kids on roller-blades away from his F-350
dually in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Cowboy hat strategically placed,
and just dirty enough to look cool. Levi's are well worn. "Lightning"
is, of course, this natural horsemanship guy's horse. Rescued from a bad
home where he was never imprinted or broke in the natural horsemanship
way, he specialized in running down his owners at feeding time,
knocking children off his back on low-hanging branches, and baring his teeth.
The hospitalization tally for his previous handlers was 12, until he was sent to Round Pen Randy;
after ten minutes in said pen, he is now a totally broke horse, bowing
to the crowd, and can put on his own splint boots (With R.P. Randy's
trademark logo embossed on them). R.P.R. says, of all this, "Well,
shucks ma'am, tweren't nuthin'! It's simple horsemanship. With this
special twirly flickitatin' rope ($47.95 plus tax), you'll be
round-pennin' like me in no time!"
THE ENDURANCE RIDER:
Wears Lycra tights in wild neon colors. The shinier the better, so the
EMTs can find her body when her horse dumps her down a ravine. Wears
hiking shoes of some sort, and T-shirts she got for paying $75 to
complete another torturous ride. Her horse, Al Kamar Shazam, used to be
called "you bastard" until he found an owner almost as hyper as he is.
Shazam can spook at a blowing leaf, spin a 360, and not lose his big
trot rhythm or give an inch to the horse behind him. Has learned to
eat, drink, pee, and drop to his resting pulse rate on command.
He has compiled 3,450 AERC miles; his rider compiled 3,445 miles (the
missing five miles are the ones when he raced down the trail without
his rider after performing his trademark 360). Over-heard frequently:
"Anyone have Advil?" "Anyone got some food? I think last year's Twinkies
went bad." "For this pain I spend money?" "Shazam, you bastard-it's
just a leaf" [thud]!
THE HUNTER RIDER:
Is slightly anorexic and trying her best to achieve the conformation of
a 17-year-old male in case she ever has a clinic with George Morris.
Field marks include greeny-beige breeches and a baseball cap when
schooling or mud-colored coat and hardhat with dangling chinstrap when
competing. Forks over about agrand a month to trainer
for the privilege of letting him/her "tune" up
the horse, which consists of drilling the beast until it's going to put
in five strides on a 60 foot line no matter WHAT she does. Sold the
Thoroughbred (and a collection of lunging equipment, chambons, side reins) and bought
a Warmblood, a ladder and a LONG set of spurs. Talks a lot about the
horse's success in Florida without exactly letting on that she herself
has never been south of the Pennsylvania line.
THE DRESSAGE QUEEN:
Has her hair in an elegant ponytail and is wearing a visor and gold
earrings sporting a breed logo. A $100 dollar custom jumper (also with
breed logo) is worn over $300 dollar full-seat white breeches and custom
Koenigs. Her horse, "Leistergeidelsprun dheim" ("Fleistergeidel" for
short) is a 17.3-hand Warmblood who was bred to be a Grand Prix horse.
The Germans are still laughing hysterically, as he was bred to be a
Grand Prix JUMPER, but since he couldn't get out of his own way, they
sold him to an American. His rider fell in love with his lofty gaits,
proud carriage, and tremendous athleticism. She admires mostly while
lunging. She lunges him a lot, because she is not actually too keen to
get up there and try to SIT that trot. When she rides, it's not for
long, because (while he looks FINE to everyone else), she can tell that
he is not as "through" and "supple" as he should be, and gets off to call the
chiropractor/ massage therapist/psychic, all of which is expensive. But
he WILL be shown, and shown right after he perfects (fill in the blank).
The "blank" changes often enough that the rider can avoid the stress of
being beaten at Training Level 1 by a Quarter Horse.
Is bent over from carrying three saddles, three bridles, three bits,
and three unrelated sets of clothing (four, if she is going to have to
do a trot up at a 3-Day). The hunched defensive posture is reinforced
by the anticipation of "a long one" a ditch and a wall, and from living in her
back protector. Perpetually broke because she pays THREE coaches (a
Dressage Queen, a jumper rider, and her eventing guru, none of whom
approve of the other) and pays trailers/stabling/ living expenses to go
600 miles to events that are spread out over 5 days.
She is smugly convinced that Eventers arein fact the only people in the
world who CAN ride (since Dressage Queen's don't jump,
the H/J crowd is too afraid to go OUT of a ring,
and the fox hunters -- a related breed -- don't have to deal with
dressage judges). Hat cover on cross-country helmet is secured with a
giant rubber band, so she can look like her idol, Phillip. Her horse,
(who has previously been rejected as a race horse, a steeplechase horse
-- got ruled off for jumping into the infield tailgating the crowd -- a
jumper, a fox hunter, and a polo pony (no bit stops this thing) has two
speeds: gallop and "no gallop" (also known as stop 'n' dump). Excels at
over jumping into water, doing a head first "tuck and roll" maneuver,
and then her horse, exiting the complex (catch me if you can!), before
his rider slogs out of the pond. He often stops to lick the Crisco off
his legs before continuing gaily on to the merciless oxer jump just
ahead. Owner often threatens to sell, but as he has flunked out of every
other English-riding discipline, he will have to be to a barrel racer.
"Saddle (n); An expensive leather contraption manufactured to give the
rider a false sense of security. Comes in many styles, all feature
built-in ejector seats.."