I know you can do this without soaking me. I know it, and you know it, too.
Riders and horse owners know that horses make our lives complete. Horses fill our lives with happiness, accomplishments, entertainment, conversation topics and more.
Don’t misunderstand me – I wouldn’t trade my time at the barn for anything. However, sometimes it’s healthy to air my grievances.
Here are just some of the things I love to hate about my barn time.
Dear [insert horse name here]:
- Please refrain from accenting my shirt with a lovely smear of slime when I’ve stopped by the barn in my work clothes. Maybe I’m dropping off a check or checking on an injury. Either way, I’m going to change before riding but I wanted to see you first and now there’s green goop on my blouse.
- Why must you scare my friends? I ride nice horses. Horses don’t usually bite. But I think you and your pasture mates can smell fear, and I believe some of the real schoolmasters get a kick out of giving a non-horsey friend the evil eye and watching them squirm. That’s not nice.
- I get it. When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. But must you really attempt to poop while I’m picking out your back feet? I think you’re planning this. It happens far too often.
- I know you’re thirsty after a ride, but when you act like you want a drink of water from the hose and then somehow spray it onto me, it’s less than ideal. You and I both know you can drink the water without spraying half of it on to me.
- Can we revisit the back feet issue? I’m not going to sugar coat it: I hate when you attempt to bite my bottom when I’m picking out your back feet. It’s for your own good, and it’s not a new chore. Please stop that.
- You seem determined to roll after your bath. I know it’s in your nature, but I just spent a good deal of time cleaning you, and now that I’m covered in your dirt/mud/water/soap … you’re covered in dirt again. Maybe give it a day? I’m just asking for one day.
- You often look unhappy in our photos. You and I both know you are fully capable of putting your ears forward. And I know you’re making donkey ears on purpose. I just know it.
- Why do you act like you’ve never seen the corner of the arena before? I know that sometimes flowers blow in the wind. That’s scary. Sometimes cars outside the barn make loud noises. Eek! Valid fear. The corner – the one in the arena where we exercise twice a week – has not changed. The lighting isn’t different. Nothing new is throwing a scary shadow. Nothing has changed. Stop acting like bending to the inside in a corner is the scariest/most difficult/most ridiculous thing I’ve ever asked you to do. Silly.
- Let’s talk about my helmet. You and I both know that I wear it for a reason, and it has no effect on your job. I usually take care to hang it up before and after rides, but every so often I place it next to my saddle or somewhere near the crossties. And every. single. time … you manage to sniff it so that it falls into the dirt (and hopefully dirt without manure). This is no accident and I know it. Please refrain.
Couldn’t you smile for the camera just this once?
So [insert horse name here], while you drive me bananas for all of the reasons above and more, I still love you. Keep being the ridiculous horse that you are. If you were perfect, I wouldn’t have nearly as much to laugh about.
Follow Allison on Twitter at @allisongriest