Archive | 9:42 pm

Two types of horse people

30 Dec


There are two types of horse people.  Those who love to ride their horses and those who love the farm lifestyle.  Then there is a third type, the Renaissance horse woman who does everything well, but I’m not going to speak much about her.

Among these types you will find many “alpha mares” who truly believe they can rise to become leader by biting and kicking people.  These are found among both types.  Usually if a scathing look doesn’t subdue you, it is followed by a biting email.  Most horse people, however, are the mares, stallions, foals and geldings (fixed males) of the herd who mostly mind their own business, eat grass and stay out of the way of the alphas.

Amid the first group of horse people are the horse sports men and women.  They may board (keep) their horse at a nice barn and have someone clean the stalls so they can achieve their riding goals, which for many working people involve simply riding at all.  They may do stable chores to save money, but the chores are not their true passion.

The second type takes great pride in watching their compost pile (aka stall cleanings mounded up several stories high) steam.  They may even have a special thermometer to monitor the temperature of the compost pile and record it in a book.  They think of the microbes hard at work decomposing the poop and sigh.

After cleaning the stalls, paddocks, pastures and rearranging the compost pile into an attractive and functional shape, this horsewoman will check over her horses and turn them out to the pasture and watch them play.

During this time, the first horsewoman will have ridden 20 meter circles in an arena, participated in a barrel race, competitive trail ride, steeplechase or won the Kentucky Derby.  She may also have been fox hunting, skijoring, combined driving or jumping her horse bridleless over a picnic table.

The Renaissance horsewoman, of which we won’t speak much, will have done all of this before work.

Magazines are fun

30 Dec


I love magazines.  Especially horse magazines.  One of my favorites is Horse Illustrated.  It has lovely photoshopped posters of Gypsy Vanners and Arabians.  We first discovered this magazine while trapped for 7 hours in the Denver airport.  We had eaten all the ice cream, popcorn and junk food we could, slept, walked and finally wandered into the bookstore.

A beautiful Hackney pranced across the cover.  It had a horse poster!  My daughter was overjoyed.  She liked it so much we subscribed.  Soon she began to notice many of the articles were recycled.  The same horse poster reappeared.  The articles seemed to imply the only real horse you’ve handled is a Breyer.  Those things hanging from the saddle?  Those are stirrups.

So we moved on to the Horse, a more advanced horse magazine.  It was a little too advanced, as in it was geared toward those who were interested in how to reattach a horse’s severed leg and look inside their intestines in search of parasites. After giving the magazine a decent burial in the recycle bin we moved on to Equus.

Equus is a less intense version of the Horse.  It has enough suitably gross photos and articles on hoof abscesses and parasite life cycles to please a vet, but also has informative articles on conformation and even a human interest piece about deep human-horse bonds and struggles.

Now that horse diseases and parasites had been covered, a magazine about actual riding was in order.  What could be more appropriate than one called Horse and Rider?  When it arrived, we realized it was a Western magazine and my daughter rode English.  She didn’t own a western saddle.

But it has a lovely section where a smiling judge (wearing a cowboy hat) asks you to place aged quarter horse mares or Appaloosa geldings.  Once there were even Tennessee walkers.  Western ones, of course.

Nothing new under the sun

30 Dec


There is nothing new under the sun.

That implies you have sun.  Or have seen the sun within the past week.  You can try singing in the rain, but here in Seattle people look at you funny if you do.  The appropriate manner of ambulation in the rain is bent forward, moving briskly with your raincoat zipped or clutched against your throat.

If you are holding an inside-out umbrella, you are a newcomer.