Canadian Invasion: A COTH forum Thanksgiving tradition
Horse Nation’s resident Canuck Kat O’Riley gets to the bottom of this annual Chronicle of the Horse forum phenomenon.
Top: From this 2010 COTH forum post
HEY, IS THAT A MOOSE IN MY MOUSSE??!!
Ah, Thanksgiving weekend… the aroma of a turkey-with-all-the-trimmings dinner, football games and Black Friday shopping (TWO contact sports to choose from!), not to mention tearful reunions with friends and family. OK, so things don’t always work out quite like a Hallmark movie or card, but let us have our hopes and delusions! Whichever way you end up spending Thanksgiving Day, if you’re an equicentric like me, you’re not going to let a little ol’ holiday stop you from checking the web to catch the latest action on your fave horse sites.
After you’ve perused Horse Nation, ‘natch, and enjoyed that trademark irresistible mix of wacky witticisms and wildly entertaining info, you might just mosey on over to the Chronicle of the Horse (COTH) bulletin board forums. As your turkey tryptophan-slowed finger sluggishly clicks on the Off Course category, you lazily scan the topic—which is when you feel a wild jolt of adrenaline kick you right outta that 30,000 calorie stupor.
Yup, ready or not, you’ve just entered the Twilight Moose Zone: home of poutine, Tim Horton’s, Celine Dion, the loonie, polar bears, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police et al. It’s the annual invasion of COTH by the [just north of] Toronto-based Equestrian Management Group (EMG) bulletin board; these scheming Canadians knit toques, break moose to harness, and slurp maple syrup all year long in anticipation of this annual holiday raid on their southern cousins.
According to the recollections of the head moderator of EMG, ‘Tandy’ a.k.a. April Hallock–who politely stopped choppin’ wood long enough to chat–it all began about a decade ago, with a little friendly holiday bantering back and forth across the border. Since then, any kind of Canadian stereotype you can think of has probably been borrowed, and tweaked and prodded into some bizarre sort of snow flavoured post, although the majestic moose (doing a passable piaffe, or with a lovely bascule over a fence?!) is a perennial favourite.
Although COTH regulars are somewhat prepared for this November onslaught by the Cackling [Equcentric] Canucks, that aforementioned tryptophan-induced torpor is something these nefarious neighbours count on to work in their favour. Canada may have a much higher tree to citizen ratio and less aircraft carriers (try none) than the USA, but for a day or so every year, sneaky EMGer’s stick handle their way onto COTH, and besiege the board with ye old Maple Leaf forever… or at least until the, um, moose, come home.
About Kat: I’ve heard that fortunate people have one great passion in life; aside from dark chocolate and my husband–not necessarily in that order!–mine has been “everything equine.” Beginning with lessons as a kid, I’ve been lucky enough to break a variety of bones riding a wide selection of breeds, in a number of disciplines–from TB racehorse (clavicle) to eventing Appaloosa (tibia) to endurance Arabian (ribs). It’s also been my privilege to play Ponybutler to my own hooved beasties on a succession of scarily rustic farms, over the past 20 [very] odd years. The dream continues!
Kat and her ex-hunter pony partner of 14 years (Provincial Velvet a/k/a the Amazing Velveeta a/k/a “Velvet, NO!!”).
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