Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Horse People Are Funny

Horse People Are Funny

In my opinion, horse people are some of the funniest people and have the best sense of humor. I don’t know if the perspective provided by being with horses somehow makes us witty or amusing, or if we’re just inherently born with an ability to find humor in the oddest of places right from the beginning.  Over the years, I’ve been privy to some of the funniest stories and experiences that have left me gasping for air. It seems that un-horsey people just don’t have as much fun as we do.  Don’t you agree? How many people can actually laugh about having a horse stand on your foot - and then when it turns Technicolor find that comical? Or, find the absurdity of cleaning out a sheath and doing a “jelly bean” counter commentary while you’re up past your wrist in unmentionable places…

There’s always a story that begins with: “remember the time when…” and then the most hilarious tale comes spilling out about some mishap involving a horse or riding.  Even if the anecdote isn’t all that funny or embarrassing, it’s in the telling.  Horse people just have a droll manner of relaying an equine episode. I’m sure there must be a favorite story that has happened to you and your horse. One of those times when you looked around after doing something really stupid to make sure no one actually saw that particular catastrophe (of course, you probably couldn’t wait to get back in the barn and tell someone about it, though!)  Or perhaps it was something so out of your control that it led to a “whew, glad I made it through that alive!”  I would love to hear your tale and I’m sure everyone else would too.  At this time of year when the winter seems to be dragging on and on and we’re all looking forward to Spring, I think if we all shared our most embarrassing or humorous stories on our blogs, at least we could roam around the blogosphere and get a chuckle or two to brighten up the days. To get it started here are a few amusing moments or blasts from the past that I find memorable:

Some Amusing Falls

--Here’s one that stands out in my mind. My eldest daughter was in a lesson when the horse stopped dead in front of a jump. She gracefully somersaulted over his head, landed on the other side of the jump and stuck the landing; still holding the reins and facing the horse, she took a bow and said “Tah, Dah.”

--One of our trainer's daughters was a bit of a know-it-all, and was showing off one day when she was unceremoniously deposited in a manure puddle face first. Should I have laughed…..probably not?  But even her own mother did, and turned to us to ask with a mischievous chuckle, “do you suppose she’s swimming, or drowning?”

--Then there was the time my daughter was too lazy to walk her horse in from the back paddock. The setup: one very hot day, slick wet grass, riding bareback on Mellon, of all horses, with halter and rope. The deed: Riding at a leisurely walk towards the gate, all the other horses think it’s time to come in and start galloping towards the gate; he decides to join the herd. You know how when you’re riding bareback and you feel yourself slipping you instinctively grip extra hard with your legs?  Well, when you do that on Mellon he starts bucking like a madman.  In a flash, she is flying through the air faster than a speeding bullet, just like superman, landing and sliding tummy first on the wet grass, hands splayed in front of her. Really, she just needed the cape. He launched her so far, she made it to the gate before he did.  Naturally, the construction crew working on the barn really appreciated this to break up their day.

--Although it wasn’t laughable at the time, I can appreciate the humor of it now. During a jumping lesson my horse Erik pulled out of a jump and stopped for a split second.  I sat back to regroup when, from almost a standstill, we then sailed brilliantly over the 4ft. standard beside the jump.  I slid off his back to land on mine. My helmet took the impact to my head before ricocheting across the arena. The truth is I never wore a helmet with a harness for vanities sake; the look just didn’t do it for me. Since that day, I have always worn a helmet with a harness.

--One more, uh, incident:  the time Dusty cantered off as I was mounting; of course, I landed in the dirt. When my head hit the frozen ground, I bit down hard on my tongue.  While I was still lying there in agony, she came over and stomped on my foot. Nice mare.  I thought she was trying to help me get up, sort of like stepping on the tines of a rake or one of those punching dolls.. With my swollen tongue and throbbing foot, it was not my best day. With the limp and the lisp everyone probably thought, “poor thing, she must have had a mild stroke.”

--Then there was the time my daughter was riding along a wooded trail; to the right of the path was a fallen tree, with the branches at the top of the tree pointing toward them as they approached.  Just as they were passing, her horse (in this case, Mellon again) spooked sideways into the tree.  She was caught in the fork of a branch just below the waist and was lifted off the back of her horse and hung suspended in the tree as the horse continued along the path; she flailed around a bit and then promptly fell out of the tree. To this day she does not count it as a fall as, technically, she fell out of a tree. Luckily, her horse eventually stopped and just stood there eyeing her with a mix of confusion and horror, especially when she climbed back onto the tree to use it as a mounting block. Her riding companion could certainly have helped, but unfortunately, she was laughing so hard she could barely stay on her own horse, so aiding my daughter was impossible.
--A friend of mine once used the “grab mane” technique in the most unusual way, but it kept her from hitting the ground. Jan had lost her balance and was hanging off the side of her horse. What did she do, you ask?  She grabbed mane - with her teeth - and pulled herself back up into the saddle. This may be the single most inventive way of grabbing mane, but it worked.  At times, you have to do whatever it takes to save yourself.
--I took great care in tacking up for my lesson: saddle in correct spot?  Check.  Clean pads? Check.  Clean horse?  Check.  Bridle on?  Check.  Standing on the mounting block, about to put my foot in the stirrup, Lifeguard put his head down to scratch his nose and the bridle fell right off of his head, reins still hanging around his neck.  That horse could give you a look, and this time it was priceless, almost as if to say, “You know that was really stupid of you not to buckle the throatlatch!”  Anyone who thinks a horse can’t be sarcastic never met Lifeguard.

Of course, there are many more stories, but I thought this was a decent start to some funny anecdotes. If you’re interested in sharing why don’t you put up your most amusing anecdote on your blog or comment here?  I hope lots of you decide this would be a fun way to become more acquainted with each other.  The sharing of good and bad times always seems to bring people together.  Looking forward to your stories.

Until next time

Quote for Today

There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; one is a sense of humour and the other is patience.

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It's so nice of you to take the time to visit. I appreciate your stopping by and commenting on what I've written. Even though I sometimes don't have the time to reply to each comment, I do enjoy reading them.