Don’t lie, we’re all guilty — share this guide with your loved ones.
Even though I have been riding horses for the better part of my life, it wasn’t until recently that I heard of a new word to describe those crazed or enthusiastic horse folks who can only discuss horses: equibabble. How genius and slightly hilarious this word has become in my household and neighboring homes and barns! My boyfriend and his friend, who also has a professional horse woman in his life, refer to equibabble quite frequently, usually with a negative connotation to attached to it.
Let’s define equibabble a little bit more in depth: I would describe any horse person who the second you strike up a conversation with them, you instantly become suffocated by the excruciating details that revolve solely around their horse, their pride and joy, and their universe. Of course, I am extremely guilty of carrying on such conversations and I am completely aware of it.
So what are some coping options in case equibabble takes over the conversation? Here are my top three options:
- Smile and nod! This option might be the most appropriate and graceful way to acknowledge someone who is talking about their horse incessantly. Even if you’re dying inside and you would rather watch paint dry than listen to someone talk about their dressage test, or the way a cut is healing on some horse’s left hind leg, it might be best to simply smile and nod.
- Just walk away! This might seem incredibly rude, or insensitive, but walking away during a dissertation about four-legged creatures might be your best option in certain situations. I might even go one step further and suggest coming up with some arbitrary excuse, something like you’re late for a meeting, or you just remembered you need to make a phone call, or pretend your phone is vibrating and you have to take an important call, and then make a run for it!
- Lastly, attempt to change the subject! Again, this might seem rude, but standing around listening to someone gush over their horse for what feels like eternity is not something everyone cares to do. Perhaps try drumming up a new topic of conversation — maybe start talking about politics, or baseball, or the prices of fuel, or China’s economy, anything to get their mind off horses and onto something else. Of course, you might try discussing China and somehow the conversation steers back to this person’s horse — if that happens, then you’re most likely doomed.
To my fellow equestrians — we know we’re all guilty, so let’s think of our friends and family when equibabble threatens to rear its head in conversation.
My name is Lila Gendal and I am 30 years old. I am from Vermont and have been riding horses since I was 6 years old. I have been eventing since I was 10. I have been riding and training with Denny Emerson for the last 9 years. My goal is to compete at the upper levels someday. When I am not on a horse or in the barn I am likely working in my office on what I like to call Equine Media … or social media for equestrians and equestrian websites.