Nov 10

Crone complains about horse dudes

Big rigGinger Rogers is off to the vet this morning. I want the doc to have a look at her belly-bomb. It is now the size of Guam and is leaking fluid in torrents.

Trailering horses is a nightmare. I just don’t do it often enough to get good at it. I am a lone crone, so even getting the trailer hitched up to the F-350 takes several lifetimes, and that’s with a tailgate camera. When it’s all put together the rig is about 40 feet long. You should see me backing that thing up. High comedy.

Then there’s loading the horses. Godferbid that Pearl, for example, should ever have to go anywhere; loading that loony mare requires an elite team of psychiatrists, Buddhist monks, massage therapists, bartenders, and ninjas. And that’s just my support team. The horse requires a pastry chef.

Sure, she can be lured in with exotic delicacies all right, but she’s no fool. She knows what’s coming. In her mind the dinging of the butt bar bolt is like unto the slamming of a coffin lid. So she dashes in, snatches a bite of your bananas Foster or carrot Wellington in peppermint aspic or what have you, and then backs right out again, licketty split, before you can hot-foot it around back to shut her in.

But that’s not the worst part. When it’s time to bring her home from wherever she was, it is a foregone conclusion that she will not re-enter the trailer under any circumstances. The strain of the trauma is too fresh, sting of my betrayal too sharp. So, no, she’ll be staying right here in this parking lot where it’d be 120 degrees in the shade, if there were any shade. This melodrama will ensure that complete strangers — universally icky backyard amateur dudes with offensive chivalric impulses — can stroll over with their vast horsemanship skills and offer to snap dressage whips at her, or hit her with brooms, or back her up in punitive circles, or whatever other asinine technique they saw on RFD-TV. This happens literally every time.

“No thanks,” I say. “Possibly — though I doubt it — your deadhead quarter horse responds swimmingly to brute force, but I assure you that if you swat this hot little Arab with a broom she will kill us all and then herself.”

Roiling beneath the surface of so many of these horse dudes is a real connoisseurship of sadism and exploitation. It’s pretty amusing the way they get so pissy when I spurn their “help.” See, they don’t really want to help me at all, they just want to assert their dudely superiority, enjoy a bit of mansplaining, get the crowd on their side, and receive applause for solving the little lady’s problems. I know this because when I decline their offer, their immediate response is to let me know how stupid I am. They shake their heads at me and and announce to whoever is within earshot, “well suit yourself, if you wanna be out here all day…”

Seriously? Dude, the reason old Pearl won’t load in the first place is because some big ape like you manhandled her in her formative years.

Fortunately, I will not be going through any of that today. Ginger Rogers is an old campaigner. She doesn’t overthink it. She hops right in and stays put as long as there’s a bucketful of alfalfa silage to stick her face in.


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  1. Lidon

    Ughh mansplaining in 120 degree heat? No wonder you need a support team like that! Shit.

  2. Map

    As the dudes approach, maybe you could say something like, “Stay away or the horse will charge you?” Or is it only bulls that charge. I’ve been charged by a bull. I was lucky to have had a 5 iron in my hand. (My father was trying to teach me to play golf). I turned and prepared to hit the bull in the head He came to a screeching halt when he saw I meant it.

    I was damn lucky. And my father? He had jumped over the fence leaving me to deal with that bull all alone.

    Obviously, I don’t play golf. I believe it to be some sort of sexual game where men are trying to get their balls into my hole. Not gonna happen. Ever. What a pathetic ‘sport.’ As Twain said of it, “A good walk ruined.”

    Or maybe a more effective line would be, “Stay away or I’ll have to shoot.” Or, “Stay away, I have malaria.” Is that contagious? Plague? I know you’ll come up with something. “Don’t come any closer or………”

  3. tarr

    Having just retired a horse due to the gut wrenching uncertainty of wondering if I could ever re-load her if I took her somewhere, I appreciate your angst.

    Unhelpful authorities appeared out of nowhere when I spent about 6 sweaty hours at the dressage barn trying to convince that mare to get on the Brenderup. In my case, it was the particular race of childless older women who have become dressage queens latish in life who spent their time alternately sneering at my predicament and parroting the same sort of “advice” you got. I must give credit to the cowboy who showed up with a stock trailer and who gently led her on.

    Now she’s home in the hills, bossing her two little geldings around and if she ever needs vet care, the vet will have to travel to her. I am leaving for Texas tomorrow to look at a new horse.

  4. pheenobarbidoll

    Sounds like my moms old Palomino. It would take you an hour to get her to take her bit, and then another hour to relinquish it, Best barrel horse around, but if you weren’t my mom, you’d get your guts jiggled out if you tried to ride her. Unless she saw a low hanging branch first.

  5. Comradde PhysioProffe

    The horses I mostly see are the NYC Parks Department Central Park horses. I have seen them getting put into their trailers or being ridden around, and they seem pretty chill all the time.

  6. jenicillin

    Poor Pearl. Since I’ve for some masochistic reason been reading a bit this week about how the horrible things done to children in their wee formative years are the exact things that turn on genes that otherwise would not be expressed (such as for debilitating diseases and unfortunate antisocial behaviors), this is purely troublesome. “Hey Honey (I mean ugly old lady but ima bein’ chivalrousish), I’d be durnd pleased to jest go hed and violate the hail outa that critter’s need for comfort and agency, jest sos I kin look all mannishly mannity manly and rassle that thang forcibly inta that thur terrifying metal box fur yah, even tho I’m a mite late to be home beating hail outa my kids what needs the rod alla time!” Or some variation of that idea. With c’boy hats or gimme hats and wife beaters and maybe just a very manly squint-eye. And a moustache. Is she too old for any kind of cognitive therapy wherein she learns to trust you? Fuck. it is difficult enough to help adult humans to overcome such things. How the hell do you help horses?

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