Understanding the stereotypical crazies in the horse world – A brief guide

BitOfBritain

 

WARNING: Uncensored language. But all in fun.

 

Understanding the stereotypical crazies in the horse world – A brief guide

Horses as a species are a paradox in the extreme. For those of us who love the world’s most improbable mammal – and insist on attaching ourselves to it mentally, physically and worse, emotionally – it is simultaneously the greatest waste of time and money imaginable, and yet also our very favourite thing to do.

As berserk as the horses are, though, the people who frequent the industry are doubly questionable. I doubt there is any other sporting activity that brings out quite so many different types and kinds of humanity. I bet you don’t come across skiers and canoeists who dress head to toe in their version of Ariat, and tell everyone how to ski or canoe despite being less than proficient themselves. It’s a certainty that promising track athletes aren’t living on beans and no sleep like so many young and dedicated equestrians are, struggling away ignoring the jeers of those more fortunate and just hoping that their hard work and talent will get them to where they need to be. As with every sector of society, there are some stunning and wonderful people on the horsey scene – and also some genuine horrors.

Regular participation in the horse world can be as hilarious as it is tragic. Whilst some people frown upon stereotyping, horse people were positively designed to be defined. Whenever you add a competitive aspect to something, it can seriously bring out the crazy in folk…

Take Judith for example. Judith keeps her horses on livery. Judith has lots of dosh at her disposal, so she likes to dress head to toe in the latest designer horsey gear. Judith isn’t a very experienced rider, but she knows EVERYTHING and goes to great lengths to point out the mistakes of all the others at her yard. Judith is expecting to make it to Badminton to ride, any day now. Judith likes to remind everyone at her yard of her glittering Eventing career (that there is no record of). She drives a lovely new BMW Jeep and lives in the leafy suburbs of a large town. Judith has two horses, Pompom and Excalibur. Excalibur is a large bay Dutch import gelding. He is beautifully bred, and cost an eye-watering amount of money. So far, he has bucked Judith off eleventy billion times. Judith blames the Dutch. Excalibur has now gone away ‘to be professionally produced’ by the fancy professional rider down the road. Pompom – in contrast – is a small, Irish coloured cob. Pompom can’t be bothered to buck anyone off and is a civil soul. He was Judith’s first horse, and he was a diamond. However, although Judith secretly loves Pompom for his safety and reliability, she simply cannot be seen on him in public. Going out and enjoying yourself on a safe horse is no exchange for looking like you came out of a riding school. Ariat’s autumn range simply won’t coordinate with Pompom’s coat coloring or excess of hair. Pompom has been reduced to ‘companion’ status for that twat Excalibur.

 


 

Then there’s Jenny. Jenny is talented, brave and absolutely committed to becoming a top event rider. Jenny shoveled shit in many yards for top riders, hoping to grab any crumbs of wisdom she could find. Jenny isn’t from a wealthy background and she has had to make do trying to wrestle with freebie unrideable feral gnus, attempting to magically transform them into event prospects. Jenny suffers at least one concussion and two fractures every six months and has a ‘frequent flyer’ pass into her local ER – they know now in the hospital that if they see Jenny coming, it’s gonna be bad… Jenny is a size zero because she can’t afford to feed herself as well as her horses, and she works twenty-five hours a day in pursuit of her dreams. Jenny says ‘fuck’ a lot of times a day. Jenny is not religious, but she prays daily for a decent owner or sponsor to recognize her ability and commitment. Jenny won’t quite achieve her ambitions, but she will go on to become a vastly knowledgeable and somewhat cynical type of Oracle in later life, whose phone never stops ringing with folk needing advice and direction.

And then there’s Geraldine. Geraldine has one daughter, Persephone. Geraldine recognized early on the staggering talent of Persephone in the saddle. Geraldine contacted the Eventing High-Performance manager to request that Persephone be fast-tracked onto the development squad when the child was only three-years-old. Geraldine is hugely competitive. She spends a lot of time barking orders at Persephone, and pointing out her faults. Geraldine spends thousands every week on lessons, equipment, and on the height of fashion. Geraldine nearly caused her own demise by divorce when she popped out one afternoon and returned with a pop out side Whitaker six horse lorry, with white carpets and walnut interior – and two new horses inside. Most commonly heard to be bitching wholesale at the side of the collecting ring about the other competitors – whilst simultaneously screeching ‘More leg! No not like that, you bloody idiot! All this money I spend on you for you to ride like a clown!’ – at Persephone, Geraldine is widely disliked, whilst believing herself to be the life and soul of every party or important get-together. Persephone HATES her mother and fantasizes about stabbing her in the eyeballs with something sharp. So does Geraldine’s husband.

There are a million different stereotypes in the horse world, and we meet and encounter all sorts. The one message that I think we should all convey is that this sport is tough – it is SO TOUGH. We really need to strive to support each other as best we can. Horses are incredibly humbling, and we are all only really as good as our last ride.

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