You’ve heard from Manfriend, who gets dragged around to all sorts of questionably-smelling events. But what about the person who has to actually LIVE with the stink? Now presenting my wonderful roommate/best friend/life partner:
Olivia is a Crazy Horse Person. I say that endearingly — she is wildly passionate about perfecting her riding form and refining her craft, and even more passionate about the animals themselves. She tried to put up a horse shower curtain, which I quickly vetoed. Our living room is adorned with ribbons from various shows, and the foyer will always have a dedicated place for her gear, no matter where we live. She is a Crazy Horse Person, and she is wonderful.
I am not a Crazy Horse Person. I’m not even a horse person, really. They’re majestic creatures, but I have a healthy fear of them (they’re humongous!) and it turns out I’m fairly allergic. And while I knew that riding a horse wasn’t easy by any means, I always wondered, how hard it could really be? Could I do it? Would I have a knack for it the way I had a knack for basketball, soccer, weight lifting?
No. The answer is a resounding, all-consuming no.
I discovered this lack of ability after Olivia and Olivia’s Blog Friend (OBF) suggested stopping by the barn on the way home from an outing so I could hop on Addy (this was before Frankie). (Editor’s note: waivers were signed, helmets were worn, and all reasonable safety precautions were taken! Just covering my butt here.) Addy is a brick house of a lady, but my traitorous brain assured me that there was no way I wouldn’t master this horse thing after a couple of minutes.
Olivia and OBF figured I could go up bareback and be perfectly fine. Note to horse newbies: NEVER DO THIS. To my credit, I held on for dear life with my tree trunk legs, and I probably could have cracked a walnut with the force at which I was doing this. I also was told to hold on to her mane, and I was laugh-crying about how I didn’t want to hurt her and she has to feel this and I’m so sorry and oh my god I’m hurting her. Olivia assured me that it doesn’t and OBF agreed, but instead of holding on properly I decided that both of them are liars. How does hair pulling not hurt? Anyway.
We started walking. Not trotting, but simply walking. Holy god. I’ve ridden mechanical bulls that were easier to stay on than a walking horse. Not to mention that it’s a huge animal that you have to control, otherwise you could literally die. LITERALLY DIE. All aboard the Nope Train, people. My, ahem, “areas” were already feeling bruised (I was trying to post, I swear, but not having a saddle was hard!) when we decided to try out a little trot. It took approximately 7 seconds for me to realize that the amount of skill necessary to stay on a horse, saddle or no saddle, is both immense and terrifying, and also that I should have had a good talk with my lady parts before hopping up on that beast.
I left the barn a different person that day. And possibly one who can no longer have children.
All of this is to say that, I respect you Crazy Horse People. What you do is damn hard, and your passion is necessary to keep you motivated. I’m in awe of your dedication and your ability to harness such an extreme talent (see what I did there?). You should buy horse shower curtains, because this isn’t just something you do. This isn’t a hobby for weekends, or something you get around to. This… this is who you are.
Keep riding, keep sharing, keep getting better, keep getting stronger. Crazy Horse People 4 Eva.
I give you the eternal fist bump, my friends.