‘Horses for courses’

The other day I awoke to a new follower. ML Kappa who blogs about Greece and things here. In the comments on my about page she took issue with one statement, namely that I love all sports except those involving horses. But she forgave me my failings of an equine nature.

But she did make me ponder why so many love Equus Caballus with such a passion and I don’t. I don’t get it.

Now I’m not playing some sort of evolution bingo here and deciding if I could remove one species what would it be. I’m happy for horses to run wild and free – just a long way from me.

I live in the UK. We don’t do mean critters really. Nothing that’s going to eat you and, unless you’re prone to anaphylactic shocks nothing to poison you to death through fangs or stings. If I wander the countryside there are big beasts which I can understand. Cows and the odd bull mostly but since I drink milk and like the odd steak I’m quite prepared to share my space with them. Ish.

But horses?

We don’t eat them like most other Europeans. We no longer need them for transport. So the fact I have to run their gauntlet when on a walk is, well, a bit of a bummer.

It’s not like I haven’t tried. Or spent time in close proximity. That’s maybe the problem. As a youngster in the New Forest they and their ancestral forebears, the ponies, were everywhere. As was their effluent.

2014-10-09 15.44.02

New Forest Pony: eeyore having a bad day

I cycle. A lot. Well I did.  And countless were the skids on freshly moistened horse dung. The smell, as mum scrapped some fresh ordure into a sack and popped it in the boot for use on her roses will remain one of five defining smells of my childhood alongside gripewater, toast, boiled handkerchiefs and beery breath.

I’ve been on their backs. In one excess of parental courage I even agreed to try horse riding with the Vet as a fourteen year old while we holidayed in Barbados. She was given  a cutesy bay called Apple or Angel or some such.

2009-05-11 21.39.34

Here she is, swimming in the Caribbean sea abroad the bareback of her sweet natured horse. The fact that I’m taking the picture tell you what I thought of the idea of a bareback swim

I was given the beast that even the Four Horsemen thought too frisky called Macho. It was like doing an animated weights programme where the weights fight back as I struggled to contain the beast’s urges. Having some smug stable lad tell me to ‘relax’ and ‘be less tense’ was as helpful as a set of Ikea instructions.

So lots of people love them. They get great pleasure spending time in the great outdoors astride these great mammals. I just can’t see it myself. Dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle, as I heard them described.

2009-05-13 21.23.06

The Lawyer pretends he’s happy but really? I mean REALLY?

Someone once suggested that you should try everything once except folk dancing and incest. I’d add horse riding to that list.

And so, in one fell swoop I reduce the number of follows by a third… Though maybe ML will hang around at least to comment and put me right!

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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46 Responses to ‘Horses for courses’

  1. blondeusk says:

    My daughter rode and jumped then for years. Could not see attraction myself. I like them in paintings, on films and in books

    Liked by 1 person

  2. colinandray says:

    I think the problem is semantics rather than horses! I don’t love them either, but I have no problem with them. I would even suggest that I do like them… but not love them. I have never loved a dog before I got to know Ray and, by extension of that experience, I am not likely to love a horse unless I ever get to know one. I have friends who love horses, but that is based on having a relationships with one or two over the course of time. I have not had that opportunity. The only negative aspect of horses that I learned in my mid/late teens, is never to expect much attention from a girl who loves horses. You cannot compete! I tried … and failed miserably! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. M. L. Kappa says:

    Good post! I didn’t mean to put you on the defensive there! And, btw, the Lawyer does look quite happy…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve ridden horses as afternoon entertainment but that’s the whole of my experience. I don’t think of them either way, good nor a pain in any way, but do find them majestic and I’ve met some funny characters.
    Everyone has a right to his or her opinion. Sheesh.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jools says:

    I’m with you Geoffle. The memory of a Devon pony trek, an uncontrollable equine – and the resulting trauma of having my knee rammed up the stinky (and I mean fresh and wet and stinky in the way your mother might have claimed for her roses) end of the beast in front – will live with me forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Judy Martin says:

    I am terrified of them! When we were small me and my sister were petting a horse, and I don’t know what happened exactly, but I do know she ended up with a badly broken arm! Neither of us has been near them since!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jan says:

    I think horses are beautiful animals but have no desire to ride them. Not all of our followers are going to agree with us but that doesn’t mean that we need to become vanilla if we’re chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whaddya mean, no folk dancing???????

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rogershipp says:

    Horses are beautiful beings that should stay on their side of the fence!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anabel Marsh says:

    I’m with you, but probably for different reasons. I don’t like animals being used in sport.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hahaha! 😂 “Having some smug stable lad tell me to ‘relax’ and ‘be less tense’ was as helpful as a set of Ikea instructions.”
    I have never ridden a horse. I don’t get it either, really. I don’t NOT like them… Let’s ask Charli. She’s going to yell at you. But I suppose you can get her back with her comments about cricket.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. willowdot21 says:

    I am with you on the horses I am terrified of them !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. At the age of eleven, I fell off a horse called Bumble. I swore he just decided to throw me off rather than me just falling off but it put me off from riding a horse ever again. However, I don’t object to seeing them. There’s far worse I’d get rid of if I could like, for example, wasps! I think they are far more dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sacha Black says:

    The wife hates them too, it’s heir big buggy eyes

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Rachel M says:

    Haha, I love horses but I’m not going to unfollow just because you don’t like them. It sounds as though your scared of them. I hate cars. I’m scared of them and they smell.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sherri says:

    I loved horse riding in my teen years, but when I was 22 I had a horrible fall, thanks to a riding instructor insisting I attempt horse jumping (something I never wanted to do, afraid of any heights you see…). I heard my neck crack, everything went black for a second, if that, and I thought: this is it! Not been riding since, other than just sitting for a calm walk on my brother’s horse (he and sil are horse mad, have two of them). i do still get a hankering to go riding now and then, but now I do it cyber fashion, galloping over to Charli’s barely in time to get my flash in on time.. and I’m so glad we don’t eat them…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Collecting pony shit. Now there’s an idea

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Charli Mills says:

    Ha, ha! I have a cousin who finds horses evil (at both ends). There must be some sort of horse aversion or phobia with an actual name. True, it’s rare. What a lovely experience — the Vet on horseback in the sea! For many, horses are therapy. For some, horses might send you there!

    Liked by 1 person

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