I am the first person to admit that horse people are weird, but society automatically makes us even more weird because we wear leather boots, “ride horses”, and use whips… kinky, I know. We really aren’t like that, but it is always fun going out in public in breeches and boots.
I was standing in line at 7 am on Saturday to get my scone and coffee from Sunrise bakery in Lex when some college kid asked me if I ride horses. What gave it away? The breaches, the boots, the fact I smelled like horse butt, or that Lexington is the horse capital of the world.
It always amazes me how the general public reacts to people wearing riding clothes. Gawking is not appreciated or polite. People don’t stare at girls wearing soccer stuff into Kroger, but breaches throw up a huge red flag and EVERYONE asks about riding, but the best part is when they tell you about their riding experience.
The guy I meet at the bakery was telling me about how he rode a horse on vacation… that’s great. He then told me that the horse must have been seven feet tall. NO! Horses are not seven feet tall. He went on about how he wanted to gallop a black stallion breed of horse. Black is a color, not a breed, and you would not want to ride a stallion because it would try to kill you. The one-sided conversation went on for about fifteen minutes, my internal commentary was great, but I tried really hard to be polite and pretend like I cared… then I was late to the barn and my breakfast was cold.
Society is very awkward when it comes to equestrians and categorizes us as something we are not. So the next time you have a encounter an equestrian in full attire, don’t tell them about your pony ride on vacation, or stare. Just keep walking because they are probably going to make fun of you.
Have you ever wished you could have a new family? Well, the luxury of riding allows you to pick and choose which barn you ride with, but it is a huge decision to make.
After an extended period of time away from the hunter ring I have decided to get back in the swing of things. Now, I am picky… like I want all of the focus on me, but that comes with a pretty big price tag. After extensive research and a ton of Facebook stalking, I have found my new home. I have ridden at huge farms with over 20 showing clients and my dad and I have even owned our own farm, but the focus has never been on me. I was the owner’s daughter and had no fun doing what I love. It makes no sense, so it is time to change.
I found a small farm outside of Lexington that caters to the training and selling of young show horses, but their website didn’t say much about showing and boarding with clients. I took a leap of faith and visited the farm and I was home. One, they have a super cute red- headed gelding that I must have. Two, they didn’t refer to themselves as professional trainers, which I despise. Three, I haven’t even taken a lesson with them and I have already been invited to go clinic with George Morris…. GEORGE MORRIS!
A very young George Morris aboard Sinjon. (showjumpingnostalgia.com)
George H. Morris is like the founding father of hunters and jumpers. He is one of the biggest names in all things horses. Morris began riding as a child. In 1952, at the age of fourteen, he won the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Finals and the American Horse Show Association Hunt Seat Equitation Medal Final at Madision Square Garden. Morris rode on eight winning Nations Cup teams between 1958 and 1960. He went on to train numerous riders at his Hunterdon stables in New Jersey. This man is my idol. I have read all of his books and I read his column in Practical Horseman called Jumping Clinic. Riding with him would be an honor, but I am going to have to pass because I have to attend my favorite cousin’s wedding!
A simple invitation to this clinic made me feel so much better after my decision to start riding at a new barn. I am looking forward to many long days and great times with my new family! 🙂