Things That Go Bump in the Night: Five Things That Give Equestrians Nightmares

When you are part of the horse world, there are so many things that can bring about bad dreams and sleepless nights.

Even though Halloween is over and the winter holidays are drawing near, there’s still so much that can haunt equestrians’ dreams. Here’s a list of five things that haunt equestrians. 

Thing 1: When You Leave the Hose Running

Is there any worse feeling than showering, putting on clean clothes, lying down to go to sleep and, just as your eyes close and Mr. Sandman is upon you, remembering with a start that you left the water on? Your eyes open, you leap out of bed. Pull your muck boots up over your fuzzy pajama pants. Your naked feet slide into your boots and you are quickly reminded that in your haste you forgot to put on socks.

You trudge across the yard thinking, “I hope I turned it off…” “I hope I turned it off…” but as you sludge through ankle-deep water you know — you just know — you didn’t turn it off. So you turn off the spigot. Drag the hose out of the trough, drenching yourself in the process. Put away the hose, and by the time you get back in the house not only are you wide awake, but also you are damp and your feet smell like your barn boots. 


Thing 2: Internet Trolls

We’ve all been there. You post a nice conformation picture of your horse who’s been gaining weight and someone comments, “Have you tested for ulcers?” Or you post a picture of your green horse’s second ride and someone comments, “That horse hates that snaffle. Have you tried riding him in a correction bit?” You show a picture of you riding at a gaming show, and someone comments, “Where’s your helmet?”

Basically the distance the internet provides has taken away all sense of human decency from people who would never dare to give advice so freely in person. Sometimes it’s hard not to put yourself or your horse out there without having a nation of nay-saying Debbie Downers rain on your parade. These perhaps well-intentioned people and their unsolicited help haunt many an equestrian. 

Thing 3: People who don’t disclose their budget when horse shopping

There is nothing worse than when you are selling a horse and you think you have found the perfect buyer. You spend hours answering their questions and showing the buyer your horse,  only to have them offer you less than half the horse’s asking price, or to ask if you will consider a free-lease.

Now there is nothing inherently wrong with having a small budget. I am a horse trainer — read as uber-poor, like Ramen for dinner everyday poor — so I do not have a large budget when I am looking at horses. There is nothing wrong with that. But, if I go see a horse, I go see a horse in my budget and not one for triple what I can afford.

These time-wasting tire kickers, who are often then offended when you don’t jump at their ‘generous offer’ have a starring role in many a horse-seller’s nightmares.

Thing 4: When hay slides down inside your boots or other articles of clothing…

This one needs no explanation. To all the world you look calm and peaceful, but somewhere deep in the depths of your boot, hay has slipped down. It is tickling your feet. It makes each of your steps just slightly uneven. And eventually when you come into the house after a long day, and you kick off your boots, it flies all over the floor like unholy confetti.

Even worse, if you are a female, is when you are throwing hay in the hot summer sun, and hay invariably slides down into your bra. It itches. It feels like barbed wire. It is possibly the most uncomfortable sensation in the world. You pull your bra away from your skin to try to alleviate the discomfort, but the sweat makes it impossible to get all of the little shards of pain off of your skin. And men just cannot understand. This nightmare is reserved for the ladies only. 

Original photo by Pixabay/Ulrike Leone/CC.

Thing 5: When you injure yourself tightening a girth

As an equestrian there is no more humbling feeling than when you go to tighten a girth and you end up hitting yourself in the eye. Or you lean off your horse to tighten a girth and you fall head-long off the side. Or you forget to tighten your girth and your saddle rotates around your horse’s barrel. Or when your horse bloats when you try to tighten the girth, and no amount of tightening can make it taught. Or when your horse gives you the evil eye when you go to tighten the girth and you know that he’s just cursed you and your children and your children’s children.

Let’s face it, no piece of equipment can make you feel more like an inept beginner than a girth. It is the great leveler of equestrian tack.

Not seeing the stuff of your nightmares reflected here? Feel free to add the things that scare you in the comments!