Horses for courses. (a rant about horses)

I would like to start by saying, it’s not that I don’t like horses, I don’t mind horses. I am quite indifferent to them really. They do a tremendous job of pulling the Queen around London on her really special days out and they look very smart in black carrying a bloke with a tall shiny hat at Horseguards. I don’t mind that thousands of ghastly people turn up in the most vulgar fashion displays to watch horses race each other on the big racing festival days. I am also ambivalent about the jobless or retired men who like to gather to smoke cigarettes, drink beer and gamble their paltry funds on horse races on the other non festival race days of the year to prop up the bookies and the horse racing industry. Which exists primarily to relieve men with poor judgement of their paltry funds.

I just don’t get the thing that horsey people have about horses. I have met many horses and I have never met one with a personality. I simply cannot fathom the little girls who are desperate for a pony, which they then ride round in circles under the gaze of grumpy old women wearing tweed who shout at them. Any parent whose daughter starts wishing for a pony must surely wonder what they did to deserve the pain that is to come. I am of the opinion that you are as well off standing in a field setting fire to Β£20 notes as you are having a horse.

I would love to know what happened to the proper horses of the old days? The ones that did cavalry charges and roared around the wild west covered in cowboys and indians whooping and hollering and shooting each other loudly. Nowadays drop a cigarette paper in the same county as a horse and it is likely to fling its rider into the nearest field in fright. When we are driving why do we have to approach the horses we meet as though the slightest hint of sudden movement will send them skittering into the wilderness trailing their rider? How do the police convince their horses that the angry rioting crowds are less frightening than a chewing gum wrapper fluttering in a hedge? Can I suggest there maybe a little earner there for the Police selling the little “stop being a ridiculous scaredy horse” booklet to prospective horse owners.

I have an issue with how horse owners move their horses around, remember these creatures carried civilisation across the continents pulling giant wagons laden with heavy wooden furniture and artillery guns. But now horse owners put them in vehicles with a speed limiter of 30 miles an hour and drive around with lines of cars 10 miles long behind them and never pull over once. Horse box and horse trailer users are the absolute bain of the nations highways. They are the most selfish people on Earth. Do you not have mirrors? Can you not see the plumes of angry steam coming from ears of the drivers in the queue behind you. Why don’t you just ride your horse near where you live? Where are you going with your horse, all the bloody time! Why do you go so slowly?

So back to horses. Rubbish pets I say. If you aren’t using your horse to relieve men with poor judgement of their paltry funds in the races you don’t need one. If you aren’t supplying expensive ponies for handsome South American men to ride while playing ball games for rich people, you don’t need one. If your home is not a yurt, you don’t need one. If you are not very wealthy indeed with large fields of your own to play with a horse in, you shouldn’t have one. If you don’t like being shouted at by grumpy old ladies wearing tweed in fields why would you get one? If you do like being shouted at by ladies in tweed you are very strange indeed.

Don’t get a cat either, cats hate you! Look at how they look at you, complete contempt!. Oh yes they’ll purr and rub against your leg but they are only there for the food. If they don’t like your food, they will bring you dismembered members of the local wildlife community they had found enjoying life in your garden. They will probably do this anyway. Cats are a terrible pet.

Dogs are what life is all about. Dogs want to please you, look after your Dog and you get unconditional love for life in return. The Dog is not there for food. We have a hound who is not greedy so you couldn’t bribe him with food if you wanted to. He does things for us because he wants to and we make a fuss when he does, so he is happy. What Dogs respond to best is encouragement and reward. None of our dogs have ever been hit and they don’t need to be. Your dog just wants to be with you and make you happy.Our dogs are our hairy children.

A horse though? A Horse just literally eats your money and pisses everyone else but you off when you move it around. When it is bored with you riding on it’s back, it will just stop moving or it will fling you to the ground. Your horse will bite people, including you. Your horse does what it wants to rather than what you want it to unless you thrash it with a small whip apparently. All horsey people have a whip in one hand as far as I can tell but they call it a riding crop. People who read the Guardian and vote liberal frown on this behaviour.

I have watched numerous girls in horse riding uniforms sitting on stationary horses that are supposed to be moving in fields at country shows. Always under the disapproving gaze of the grumpy old lady in tweeds. Why on earth do you inflict this upon yourselves and impoverish yourselves while you are at it.

So if you wish to have a horse, join the Horse Guards or get a job towing the Queen around London on her really special days out. Or become Irish and get a fast one that can make money from men with poor judgement and paltry funds who prop up the Horse racing industry.

31 thoughts on “Horses for courses. (a rant about horses)

  1. Jwoo

    Grumpy old bugger. Not that I mean it as a critcism, you’re spot on.

    Our Russell was born profoundly deaf and has been great fun teaching hand signals. The one thing we just don’t seem to get past though is that she often but not always seems to know when you are going to ‘sign’ something she doesn’t want and refuses to look at you. I don’t mean she makes herself busy elsewhere I mean she stands pointing in your direction but head turned determindly away. So you know she knows, you know.Tinker, but what can you do?

    If she could up her score on Moles that would be good too. So far we have about a hundred holes excavated for every mole caught. I put down two traps and get a hit every time. So she needs to up her game.

    They’re great aren’t they?

    1. sandysview

      We love Jack Russels. We had the greatest little Jack but he had to be rehomed, long story, not his fault. We were heartbroken. See Dogs in our life link on here for pictures of little Jeffie. Your girl sounds amazing! There is a Jack Russel clothing brand. nothing to do with me but their clothing is very good quality http://www.jackrussellclothing.com/. Thanks for continuing to read my rants

  2. Nigel Birt-Llewellin

    Quite right Sand, a little story about riding women: during the time Tony Blair and his cronies were attempting to distract us from the proposed war in Iraq by banning hunting I met a women on a single track road in the Cotswolds. I was in my Porsche Cayenne – she her horse box. I was in no hurry and it was a sunny day – she however was clearly late for the meet. I could see, some fifty yards behind her, a lay-by and the nearest gate behind me was some half a mile (big farms in the area). I stopped and prepared to see her demonstrate that men are wrong – women really can reverse. She leapt out of the cab (in full regalia and red face) and haughtily instructed me to reverse, I calmly pointed out the closeness of the layby. Apparently I am a “f**king c**t and I should do as my betters tell me”. Most amused I pointed out that the upper classes are never rude to those who are not in a position to be rude back, and that given the age of her box and tatty attire it was apparent she had fallen on hard times – given that I am an F – C I was going to read the paper while she decided whether she was capable of reversing a mere 50 yards. Now jumping in the air and an interesting shade of puse she screamed that “you f**king townies should go back to the cities were you belong”. I laughed, I know I shouldn’t have – but it was a rare occasion for me not to be in a hurry and she was being so comical; I charmingly pointed out that this “townies” family own the majority of Pembrokeshire (we are a very big family) and most of them ride to hounds. To which, now purple with rage, I was told “that I should f**king well know better”. Really warming to my theme, I inquired as to how many she had rounded up for the recent London march in aid of hunting, and further how many she had had to stay at her house in London – the really nasty bit was when I feigned charm and asked where hers was in case she wanted to pop over to Kensington for a drink and a laugh about the fact she cannot reverse her horse box – perhaps the real salt in the would was when I suggested she brought a long her husband as I was quite sure he’d like to hear all about her choice use of English to her “lessers”. Perhaps producing a camera and taking a ‘photo of her tired old horse box and then asking her to pose was going a bit far – but I was in full charm mode while being on the receiving end of some remarkably ill-educated English. She suggested most forceably that my parents were not married (actually they were at both conception and birth – but I didn’t feel it was any of her business). Now barely able to contain my laughter, I pointed out that in our country the Master takes a very dim view of late arrivals, I shouldn’t have said “would you like me to back that old box up, if you are not up to it”. I thought she’d had a heart attack and went into spluttering and jibbering mode, before climbing into her box and revving the engine way to hard (in my opinion, for such a tired old thing) and shooting backwards before entering the layby at an unrealistic angle. Do you think I should have walked up and tried to persuade her that if she straighted up went a little bit further back she could drive straight into it? Well I could not resist it – you see the horse was now in a panic and kicking all sort of shit out of the box. So, as she was speechless, I pointed out that people like her, with her attitude, were the cause of the animosity toward hunting – that she had irritated me, one of her backers (and funders) so could she just, for a few seconds, imagine how someone ambivalent to hunting may have reacted to her childish behaviour? She missed the Cayenne but ploughed up the hedge and left a light and some other metal in the debris as she charged the truck passed my still stationary, locked, car!

    1. sandysview

      Excellent story Nigel. Love that! That whole episode would have made your week and all the better you were able to spend some quality time enjoying your exchange rather than having to dash. What a ridiculous woman, bet she wanted to be district commissioner in her spare time.

  3. Jenny Abbot

    This is written by a man who loves shoving a bet (or even two) on a horse race, who enjoys watchng it on TV and even more at the races itself. This is a man who insured some of the most expensive polo ponies in the land and came home and told me how gorgeous they were peering over their stable doors.
    This is a man who has never developed a relationship with a horse, understood their moods and could never understand how enjoyable it is to have a horse that is alert and responsive to all that surrounds them.
    He doesn’t understand that although they cost money (and my god they do … I can thank my parents for their sacrifices for my pleasure) they give it back in bucket loads (and no Sandy I’m not talking shit!)
    He simply really really really doesn’t understand how soft their nose is!

  4. Louise Young

    Sandy, love your article but it shows that you don’t know horses.

    All of mine have a personality, my mare especially. I now have a guard horse who is very protective of me! What horses do more than dogs is react to your feelings and often show you how you feel. We have a subconcious bond which makes riding for those who get it a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. see the world on horse back provides a wonderful view. I don’t get showjumping or eventing due to the waiting around.

    I understand about horse boxes and trailers, many people driving them can’t drive. As for passing a horse wide and slow, cars have increased in speed and unfortunatley too many people to do pass wide enough, and catch horse and often fatally injure them. I love my little Sprout, she is my shadow but she knows I love my Annie. Every evening she chills me out and winds me down, Sprout is with me all day and helps me start the day right with a walk.

    I hope one day I can introduce you to my horses so you can meet some horses with personality, but if you are not open to them, they will be closed to you.

    I would have loved this discussion over a bottle of wine with you and Jen and the dogs. xx

    1. sandysview

      Good old Sprouty. Horses dont have personality, if they do it is very subtley different from the next horse and I have neither the time, money nor inclination to explore the nuances of Horsey specifics. Horses bite and kick. Nasty things.

      1. Kitty Fang

        So you say horses don’t have personalities? Cats are just in it for the food? Well, I know both very well and completely disagree. My cats never bother me about food and are extremely affectionate. One of them is very protective and sleeps at the end of my bed. As for horses, they are very loving and can often understand your feelings better than people. Say you’re riding a horse and you are feeling distracted and not thinking. The horse will sense this and stop, not detecting anywhere you want to go. A dog will come running at you and ask to play even though you are mad. Where do you think centaurs came from. Tell me of some mythical creature that is human and dog. Even Bastet is part cat. (Egyptian cat goddess).

      2. Bababananas

        Dogs bite too, and shit all over your yard and your house, your point? And why open this discussion if you’re going to reject anything anyone who doesn’t agree with you says?

      3. Noname

        Oh shut up sandy, horses are beautiful, wonderful, amazing creatures. Your wrong, not many at all bite and kick, they’re gentle loving animals and you’ve obviously never been near one. Every horse has ats own personality and every one is different. They are most CERTAINLY NOT nasty things. If anything I’d say you were the nasty thing! They can detect the slightest change in your mood and react to it, they can tell when your sad, angry, depressed, and they act out of character because of it. Cats are also lovely animals, they are loving and don’t just come to you for food. What about that kid on the news who was being attacked by a DOG and his pet cat attacked the dog risking it’s own life to save his owner, I’m sure he wasn’t thinking food while he did that. And to be honest, dogs bites are ALOT more damaging than a nip from a horse! Dogs can tear your face off (I know this is often the owners fault) but horses, even if the did bite, can’t do much more than a little cut or a bruise. Don’t get me wrong I do love dogs but Im just making a point about horses, I have been riding for years and I love them to death, I also have 2 cats.

  5. Charlotte Martindale

    I agree what you say about dogs, but your horse-rant is the product of being horse-unaware (I was going to say ignorant). πŸ™‚

  6. Roisin

    O Sandy you send me a link to your blog and the first thing I read is about ‘me’ I am that teenager who yearned for a pony and yes due to being displaced by another member of the family coming into life I got one! Yes it probably cost the parents bucket loads but alas the horse never bit anyone just stood on me at various times but I survived and can now tell the tales! I’m with Jen on this one – unless you really know the circumstances you don’t really know why people bond and when with an animal be it a horse, dog, etc.The only thing I am grateful for and I didn’t know my miss was my mercy I didn’t have a tweed clad person shouting at me as I took out Silver each morning before school. However in saying all of that about your blog – I am completely utterly and 100% with you on the cat issue – Jen will fill you in. Then again I have now completely lost my case with that last line and animals as pets as I said they are all for a reason in life and also maybe timings in life too!

    So be jaysus I need to get myself sorted that I don’t end up as a singleton in the South East of England with a clatter of cats!!

  7. musingangel

    you gotta love it, Sandy, your views are so horsey infra-dig! Hilarious. Reminds me of a snotty Englishman who once asked me ‘Doooh you like horses? (pronounced the snotty way, i.e. horsees) So I answered, ‘Oh, you mean the little ones?’. Had everyone roaring!

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  9. Emily

    You wouldn’t know what it’s like to own a horse!!!! Horses are not a wast of time at all!!!! They are amazing animals and they may not show you a personality because for starters you don’t KNOW the animal and next you wouldn’t be bothered to take the time to create a relationship with one!!!! Horses show you personality and love if you spend time with them and those slow horse floats drivin along mate, yeah that’s what a lot of people get horses for so they can take them to a show you dumby and don’t go saying bad things about horses or horse people until you’ve had a long long experience with one!!!! So please shut up!!!!!

  10. Rebekah Nelson

    Loved this horse rant, even though I own two horses and am a major horse lover and a professional trainer and instructor I always find it amusing how non-horse people think of us and our horses (my husband is one of them lol). I do agree that getting yelled at in lessons sounds miserable and sitting around at horse shows is boring (and usually hot) and thats why I don’t show and don’t yell at my students! I have seen people taking lessons from instructors like that before though and thought man where is the fun in that?! Every horse has an extremely unique “horseanality” though, but most non-horse people can’t even tell one horse from another, much less whether they have a “person/horseanality”, so I don’t blame you for thinking that. πŸ˜‰

  11. Penny

    You are the most insensible person ive ever
    Heard you need to die cuz horses are the best
    Thing that has ever happend to me u are the
    Stupid one!

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