My Horse, Myself

A rider's stages of life parallel that of a horse's in unexpected ways.

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Illustrations by Chris Ware

We develop a lifelong synchronicity with that glorious beast, the horse. As proof of my theory, I offer this comparative table of development.


Foal


Everyone thinks you’re adorable until you suddenly whirl and kick them in the shins.

Infant


Everyone thinks you’re adorable until you suddenly spit up on their cashmere sweater.


Weanling


Despite having the face of a fawn, you harbor what seems to be a fiendish urge to head butt everyone, including your own mother!

Toddler


Deep within your psyche lies the soul of an artist. Thus, you feel compelled to draw masterpieces on the livingroom wall.


Yearling


Why did you chew off your own tail?

Kindergarten


Why did you eat paste?
Horse and Human Life Stages


Greenie


Yes, you must pick up the left lead.

Teenager


No, you cannot drive Dad’s Porsche.


Pro Training


Now you’ll learn how to go on the bit, collect your canter, move laterally and execute flying lead changes.

College


Now you’ll aquire the education and skills that will (hopefully) get you a decent job so you can afford to continue riding.
Horse and Human Life Stages


First Show


Yikes! The far corner of the arena is scary!

First Job


Yikes! The boss is scary!


Prime of Life


As a testament to your years as a trustworthy and much beloved mount, you receive a leather halter with a brass nameplate. This accolade prompts you to act a little snooty toward the younger horses, especially in the crossties.

Adulthood


After years of overtime and some orchestrated groveling, you get a promotion at work. You even get a nameplate for your desk. With this new sense of empowerment, you feel it’s finally safe to wear your boots and breeches on casual Fridays.


Aged Equine


The vet says you have creaky joints. As a result, you’re put on daily supplements and get corrective shoes.

Active Senior


Your doctor says your creaky joints are due to age-related arthritis. He suggests hip replacement surgery. That very same week you receive your AARP card in the mail.
Horse and Human Life Stages


Retirement Activities
  • Collect treats and carrots from children.
  • Hang out with the broodmares.
  • Go barefoot.

Retirement Activities
  • Collect model horses.
  • Weekly lunches with your posse of riding buddies from “back in the day.”

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