What Goes Bump In the Night- As Told by an Equestrian

What Goes Bump In the Night- As Told by an Equestrian

Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Eve-- whatever you call it, most people have a sense of what would give them goose bumps on a cold, dark, full moon night. Scary Michael Myers masks, skeletons, and crafty witch’s brew are all appropriate decor for typical Halloween festivities for the normal people. Trick or treaters grazing on thousands of calories in zombie costumes, fake blood, princess dresses and everything in between.  

For equestrians, there are much more terrifying things that walk the aisle of the stable! 

Equestrians are usually classified as hair-brained, but tough people that hardly care about much more than their horse(s). When scary things happen or think they MAY HAVE happened- we are easy panickers. Listed in no particular order are the things of equestrian bedtime scary stories and nightmares. 

  1. Finding out you’re riding the mare in heat for your lesson. Taking her out of the field or stall and leading to the cross ties is no issue. All of a sudden you curry them at the wrong angle and you’d think you were trying to hold the Basilisk Monster with a halter in Harry Potter. Will they calm down a bit after you lunge for a bit? Probably not, but the benefit of a doubt makes you feel better. Your trainer tells you to stop gripping and tensing the entire lesson- easy for them to say.
  2. Coming out to the barn on the first “cold snap” of the season. Wind can sometimes get all of the horses in the barn or outside worked up. Group schooling becomes a game of sudden death- remind you of a particular horror movie? You hear the strong whistling gust of wind against the building and suddenly your butt is in the sand. You’ll be skittish from fast movements and need an appointment with your therapist. 
  3. Looking in the field and not seeing your horse right away will give you instant creepy crawlies and nausea. Did they escape? Were they taken? Did that one lazy stable hand leave the gate open?! To whoever is responsible, you say to yourself, “I don’t know who you are...I have a very particular set of skills… skills that make me a nightmare for people like you... I will find you”. Then, you lift your head a quarter of an inch and see all horses there, hiding just out of sight. Lazy stable hand lives, this time.  
  4. Dreaded vet bills- there are some words that are not to be said aloud while at the barn. Legend has it that if you say “vet bills” 3 times in a row, your horse will be dead lame the next morning.
  5. Plastic bags- we’ve all seen the cartoon of the horse in the movie theatre watching The Return of the Plastic Bag. Horse shows always have flying debris at some point. Even worse? Flying umbrellas. An absolute phobia for mounted riders… anyone have an ice pack?

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