Intervention: We think you have a problem

“Intervention” is a series in which we identify horsepeople whose compulsive behaviors have brought them to a point of personal crisis. Our latest at-risk reader is Bernadette Kilcer.

This is a picture of Bernadette.

Like some of our “Intervention” subjects, such as the event rider who admitted she “would much rather jump one of the red concrete balls in the Target parking lot” than an upright vertical, or the reader who was tortured by a compulsion to jump picnic tables, Bernadette seems aware of the fact that she has a problem. She openly acknowledges her equine co-dependency issues. She uses the word “addict” freely.

Yet, she doesn’t exhibit any signs of stopping.

Here’s the talking pillow, Bernadette.

In November 2010, in a time before I had my mare in my life, I had made arrangements to go on vacation with my cousin to the Adirondacks. For those of you unfamiliar with the East Coast, the Adirondacks is a 6 million acre mountainous section of Northern New York of which 2.6 million is a state park. As the time drew closer to go on vacation I started to have anxiety. A whole week without horses?!?! Are you kidding me???? You know you are a horse addict symptom #1.

As we drove into Lake Placid (home to the 1932 and 1980 Olympics) and home to all things winter sports (hockey, ice skating, skiing, etc.) I was in Day 3 of going “cold turkey” and getting crankier by the minute when what caught my eye but a flyer in a window for the Lake Placid Horse Shows. REALLY?!?!?!? I immediately began to perk up. (Symptom #2.)

After seeing hundreds of girls walking around in skate gear and listening to small boys argue over which hockey team is the best (apparently the Rangers suck) I saw two small girls walking down the street in breeches and tall boots. Oh sweet manna from heaven, finally my own kind!!! (Symptom #3.) Given the fact that they were probably 9 or 10 I figured running up to them and hugging them was not a prudent idea. “I was wondering when you were going to see them,” my cousin said, laughing at me as I stood in the middle of the sidewalk and watched them walk down the street away from me. (Like I needed ANYONE to point out tall boots and breeches… geesh.) I asked one of locals how to find the showgrounds and off we went.

In the shadow of the 1980 ski jumping facility lies the Lake Placid Horse Show facilities. The grounds are exceptionally well maintained, but more importantly in what would have been a horseless week there were horses–lots of them! They weren’t starting the Grand Prix until Wednesday so I didn’t get to see much in the way of activity other than schooling, but the shops were open! Most people go on vacation and come home with “useless” trinkets. I came home from vacation with a new girth and Hoof Flex, oh, and a tan.

Who knew that Lake Placid had so much to offer!

Honestly, Horse Nation, I’m really on the fence about this one. On one hand, Bernadette willfully sabotaged her perfectly nice vacation in the majestic Adirondack mountains to attend a horse show. Exhibit B: The photo of Bernadette riding a small stuffed horse in public. On the other hand, wouldn’t you do the same?

Let’s put it to a vote, shall we?


If there is a horseperson in your life you would like to nominate for a spot on Intervention, or if you have self-identified that you need an intervention yourself, please email [email protected]

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