Tag Archives: horse people

Holiday Alienation

7 Dec


I have learned the most from not getting what I want.  Often what I want is colored by what I want in terms of what I think is possible.   I’ve always felt out of synch with the modern world’s ideals.  Not that I am old-fashioned, as in churning my own butter.  It’s that I don’t value what society says I should value.

I found myself in a crowd, yet again, feeling like an alien.  I should have a lot in common with horse people, since I love horses and always have.  And I really enjoy being around some horse people.  But most of the time I find that I really don’t.   I feel more at home with artists.  Every city I’ve ever lived in, I’ve gone to an art class and felt at home.  I’ve felt accepted.  When I attended a large college of 40,000 students, I felt lost until I took drawing 101 and felt like I had landed back on my home planet.  No longer an alien!  Or else, we were all aliens and OK with that.  Most of the time, a group will ignore you if you’re different.  A group of artists loves you if you’re different!  The more different, the better.  But being just a tiny bit different is good, too.  Artists care about what is below the surface.  Anyone who creates is humbled by the process.

So, decades later, it seems if I really end up feeling at home with someone, it turns out they have an interest in the arts. This is my tribe.

Oh, back to the subject at hand about not getting what you want.  When I got my property, I wanted to own a riding horse again.  I went through a few bad experiences, ending with our perfect riding horse dying of a sudden and incurable colic.  During our future attempts to buy or lease another riding horse, I felt like I was in a bad movie.  Who writes this stuff?  It can’t be real.  But in the horse world, yes, it can.

A few months later, I tentatively pulled up Dreamhorse (a horse sales website) to kill time and forgot to limit my search to 150 miles from my zip code.  So I pulled up horses so far away I could not drive to see them.  One was an eye-catching miniature horse.  My daughter begged me to inquire about him.  That seemed ridiculous since I could not go see him, so I put off emailing for a couple of days.  A half-hearted inquiry led to one thing after another and the process ended up with a new horse on my property.  There was no drama in the purchase.  I had to do a few things I never do and I listened more to my intuition than what was possible.  I had to trust.  Sometimes you need to give up before things work out.

But back to alienation.  I still don’t know if I will ever feel at home in a group of horse people.  I connect with a few individuals here and there.  And I connect with my horses.  It’s dark and the stars are shining over a frozen landscape.  The crescent moon hangs in the western sky.  I went out and gave my ponies some treats- feeling their warm breath on my hand.  And I felt connected at last.

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.