Monday, January 21, 2013

Blog Hop: Horse Staff

Welcome to my second blog hop! I was thinking of making a theme of the people who we rely on to help us in the horse world...and this picture says it all:
From vets to farriers to instructors to the people who support you at home, it really takes a village to make this whole riding thing work. So in honor of all the people who have kindled our love of horses...share the best story you've got about:

An instructor:
A barn manager:
An "unofficial" member of your equine staff:

And for a special bonus prize of 1000 unicorn sparkles, just keep adding people to the list so that we have the whole picture of what a horse staff looks like by the end of the hop. 

Not everyone may have memories from all the different people (ie. not everyone uses an equine masseuse), so you don't have to respond to all of them if they don't apply. But if you have a special memory with a chiro or animal psychic or what-have-you, go ahead and add it. You might jog someone else's memory!

Here are my memories from:
An instructor: So this isn't the most positive memory (I feel like I've already shared plenty of those: here, here, here, and here) but it is one that I won't forget. During my long winter breaks from college, my mom was nice enough to pay for a month of lessons as my yearly Christmas gift. In those days I didn't see much point in taking a lesson if I couldn't jump, so I found a fancy-pants hunter show barn not too far away. To give you an idea of the kind of money that frequented this place, I remember chatting with a 10-year-old girl about her pony...and she told me about how she was flying down to Ocala for the weekend again (!) to show a friend's horse for them. Just, you know, no big deal--this was a regular thing to her.
Me with my terrible bangs and Magic Carpet, as photographed by an artsy friend
Anyway. So it was a pretty fancy place, with beautiful grounds, personalized golf carts, a staff that kept the place immaculate, and (my favorite) a horse vacuum. Everyone there had Joules pullovers, Ariat vests, custom boots--they were basically outfitted entirely in expensive, name-brand horse gear. When I go to the barn in the winter...I look like a hobo with all my layers. I don't care. It starts looking more normal once I get warm and start shedding them, but I still don't like to wear things I want to keep nice to the barn. (Now that I have a bunch of technical shirts that are meant for sweating in, I look neater, but in those days it was pretty bad)

So one day when my instructor approached me before a lesson, asked me to pull my hair back, and to "look more professional" when I came to lessons, I was mortified. The hair thing made total sense, but to think that she had a problem with the way I dressed for the whole time I'd been lessoning with her was really embarrassing. I knew I didn't dress as fashionably as everyone else at the barn, but I wish I had been told that they had a dress code from the beginning. I stopped taking lessons there the following winter.

A barn manager: This isn't so much the barn manager herself as the experience I had meeting her. I was home for the summer break and about to go interview for a summer job doing the evening feed and chores for a field board facility 40 minutes away.

So I left my house an hour early for the interview. Now, to get there I had to take a left turn at a traffic light. The  light stopped traffic on one side of a busy highway, but I had to merge into the left lane of the other side of the highway, which didn't have a light. I had gone through this intersection literally hundreds of times before. So I waited for the light to turn green.

And a minivan crashed into the stop light, tearing it out of the ground and dragging it into oncoming traffic. Cars ground to a halt on both sides of the highway, and people got out to see the damage and call 911.  My first thought: "How am I going to make that left turn?!" (I'm a great person, I know.)

So I ended up having to turn right and go 40 minutes out of my way. I was WAY late to the interview. But when I finally got to the farm, no one else was there. The manager was also a foster mom for pit bulls, and she was coming from DC traffic after inspecting a potential home. So it was over two hours past the original interview time when we met...and it turned out fine.

Until the next day when she asked me to come out to learn the routine and I locked myself out of my car and my house. But that's a whole other story and this is getting long.

An "unofficial" member of your equine staff: I'll keep this one short and sweet. Byron was an important member of my equine staff when I didn't have my car with me at college and he encouraged me to borrow his car so I could take lessons during the school year without having to go home for the weekend. And of course my mom when I was younger--probably the best memory I have of her helping me out was when we bought my first pair of tall boots...but no boot jack. Until we got one, I would sit in the back seat of the car, brace myself against the door, and she would yank the boots off, which lifted me into the air almost horizontally while I hung on to the car frame.

And I'll leave it up to you all to add to the list :)


  1. That second story is pretty funny! I will be posting mine on Thursday probable :D

    1. That would be a huge favor! It appears that the first hop was so successful in no small part due to your wider audience, so I really appreciated the support :)

  2. I may join in too!

    And might I recommend adding the "Follow" (thru Blogger) gadget? That's how I read 99% of my blogs and I know other Blogger users are the same.

    1. Neeeever mind. I found it. It didn't show up on my iPad, haha. Oops.

    2. Yep, you might have been viewing it in mobile mode which doesn't have any widgets.

    3. I was in web mode, but there was no Follow gadget for some reason.

  3. Hey! I just added my blog to the blog hop, but as of right now, the bottom isn't listing blogs - it's just saying how many entries there are. Maybe it's just my computer, but I'd like to be able to read the other ones as they come up

    1. Also, that fancy barn you described is crazy! That instructor would hate our barn. The kids ride in sweatpants and I always look like a hot mess when I ride. I feel like it's kind of pointless to look pretty so that a horse can slobber on you and cover you in hair.

    2. Sigh...I guess I couldn't escape technical difficulties this week either! Thanks for letting me know; it should be fixed now. Pretty important since that's the whole point of the hop!

    3. It seems to be working now! Thanks