As follows is what I know about horses: Point-of-fact, very little

A friend tells me that she is seriously contemplating the ominous spectre of having to expedite her horse to that great pasture in the sky.

That has to be harsh. I don’t mean to be callous, but it is surely not a simple matter. I mean, it’s not like you can create a little plot in the back yard like you might for a budgie or even a cat.

But, that’s not the harshness that comes to mind in any case. The harshness will be for her, the emotional one. The faithful steed has been with her for many, many years and they’ve had happy times together. While, I have never had a horse, I suspect that the relationship is similar to the one we have with a dog, and I know I fully want Max to live forever. I shudder to think what it will be like when the ‘time’ comes. So, I feel my friend’s pain.

Now, I like horses well enough. And having grown up in a semi-rural place I am fairly familiar with them. I must confess I have only been astride a horse once in my life. It was one of those adventures similar to riding a roller-coaster, which I’ve also done once and was left feeling: “OK, I’m good with that. Don’t want to do it again.”

So, no, I have no yearning to get back in the saddle again. My FB friend Judi posted some pictures yesterday of her and assorted family members out for a trail-ride and I must confess it looked like fun. But, I was left suffering no trail-ride envy.

My recall of riding involved feeling horribly uncomfortable during the process and being left with a sore bum at the end of it. Plus, I was on a rather cranky steed. I don’t blame her for being cantankerous with me on her. And no, I never had a wife say that, though perhaps they were too polite to say.

Don’t get me wrong, however. I do like horses. I think they’re probably pretty smart and they’re gracious enough to treat us fairly nicely considering they’re big enough to kill a hapless rider easily. They don’t do that a lot, though I am often enchanted by tales of some toff asshole in England being terminally thrown during a foxhunt. There’s justice for you.

I once went to a gathering for the hunt when I lived in England. I wasn’t participating, for I disapprove of the concept, I just wanted to see what a whole bunch of rich nobs looked like on their horses. One of the horses on the village high street was skittish and was bucking and rearing and the rider was having a difficult time keeping it under control.

“Fucking idiot,” said an onlooker.
“Which one? The horse or the rider?” asked his companion.

My favorite horses by far are the huge draft-horses like the Budweiser Clydesdales. We hardly get to see those anymore, though they once were commonplace. Those were the horses that were the mainstays of commercial transport one time before there were trucks. They were also the breeds that armored knights rode into battle, not sleek steeds like the ones in the movies.

The illustration for this blog is of a team delivering beer to a London pub in a photo I took in 1981. I don’t know if they still use horses in the heart of London, but I hope so.

OK, that’s about the limit of what I can say about horses, but I do feel for the plight of my friend and her poor old horse.


8 responses to “As follows is what I know about horses: Point-of-fact, very little

  1. I rode a horse once. Then he decided to gallop and turned left. I, on the other hand, continued straight ahead. Ouch.

  2. I rode a horse once, also.

    Broke my left arm when she threw me.


  3. I was always wary of horses, but got on them off and on when the occasion arose, which was not often. But when the horse in New Orleans bit me on the arm, that was it. I keep my distance.

  4. I’m a bit scared of horses as they are huge animals, but I’m also in awe of them. When I used to walk my children to and from primary school many years ago, we passed a field and the Black Beauty looking horse there, used to gallop over to the fence every morning and afternoon, just to watch us go by and he/she was beautiful. We never fed or touched him/her but he/she seemed to find us as fascinating as we found him/her

  5. I used to ride horses every summer when I was young because my grandpa in Oregon owned horses and we would visit him. We always rode with no saddle, only a horse blanket on them. Nothing like riding on a rough textured blanket on a sweaty horse. We were kids, what did we know!

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