If Only Horses Could Talk: Horse Showing from a Horse’s Perspective
Have you ever wondered what your horse is thinking? Every horse-loving exhibitor wishes they could understand the inner thoughts of their equine partner. There is only so much humans can know from them. Horses are mighty creatures; they pin their ears when they’re angry, nicker when looking for a treat, and perk their ears when alert.
Generally, equestrians can tell whether their horse is in a good or bad mood based on expressions or body language. But have you ever questioned what goes through your horse’s mind when they suddenly spook at a squirrel?
We, as exhibitors, can only guess what goes on inside our horse’s brain at a horse show…
The Moving Box
This story begins with the impending doom of the moving box. My owner suggests that I go in the dark pit of the unknown, willingly – she calls it a “trailer.” Before she leads me to this death device, she makes sure I am bubble wrapped from head to toe.
I sometimes watch the other horses walk into the abyss without a problem, but why should I? There could be a monster ready to attack. Or a black pit of nothingness. At this point, the human pulls out a carrot or some form of food. Usually, I give in after a few treats and accept my fate inside the moving box.
Sometimes the box moves for many hours at a time. I get bored, but at least there is food. Before I know it, my owner pulls me out of the box and into unknown territory.
These places often look familiar, but other times, they are entirely foreign to me. New arenas, stalls, sights, everything is different. I usually do not know how to feel about this. Sometimes I decide to run and act poorly. Other times, I am on my best behavior and am an angel. I like to leave my owner guessing; it’s more fun that way.
The Running Rope
Whenever my owner believes I have “too much energy,” she brings out the running rope. This device allows me to run and buck as much as I want to. Running rope time is my favorite part of the day. Pulling my human around the arena is a fun game. She does not seem to think it is as fun as I do. She shouts at me, but I often choose not to listen. Humans are strange.
While in unknown territories, I often see scary monsters who threaten my life. There are many monsters, such as the “plastic bag” or “baby stroller.” Both are terrifying and make me want to run far, far away.
My owner thinks I am a big baby, but she does not understand the dire situation we horses face. What if the monsters attack when I am not looking? That is why it is best to run and spook. Plastic bags and baby strollers are just the beginning of the apocalypse, after all.
The people who stand in the middle of the arena perplex me. Why do they stand there and look at us go around the arena all day? They have little note pads and write when I jog by.
Sometimes, they look like plastic bags out of the corner of my eye, so I spook. My owner does not like it when I spook, but she does not understand the dangers. I wonder what they think most of the time. Maybe they’re looking at my luscious tail and immaculate hair coat. I guess I can’t blame them; I am majestic.
My owner treats me like royalty when it comes to spa treatments. She skips her pedicures and massages so that I can have them. Most of my spa time is terrific, but there are a few scary aspects.
The humans use this weird thing called a “Magana Wave,” and it was pretty scary at first. Now, I love it. I thought the Magna Wave was a monster, like a giant moving plastic bag.
She also wraps my legs every night and puts this white mud called “Poultice” on me. I am not a big fan of the white clay.
Moving Box Part Two
By the time my owner is ready to go home, I must go back to the moving box. At this point, I won her lots of prizes and ribbons, but she still makes me go in the dark pit of the unknown.
Usually, I am too tired to be scared and walk into the box. It’s okay now because then the human feeds me a lot of treats and tells me I am pretty. By the time we get home, I receive even more treats. This “horse showing” thing is not too bad after all.