?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Fragments of Los Angeles: Horses

So. Five days spent in Los Angeles is, apparently, all it takes to flip a person's most basic, fundamental perceptions of himself completely upside-down.

Take the matter of horses, for example. Throughout the ebb and flow of my entire adult life, through all the ups and downs, all the explorations of distant shores, all the joys and sadness of a life spent testing boundaries, there have always been a few constants I could hold on to. Among these constants is the certain knowledge that horses don't much like me, and I don't much like them.

The last time I encountered a horse, I was still living in Nebraska, so I would have been twelve years old or so. The horse was at a camp high in the Rocky Mountains, where the air is thin and stabs you in the lungs like a drunk with a broken bottle. "Experience the wilderness!" the camp brochure said. "Ride on horseback!"

The horse I rode, whose name I've long since forgotten, spent the entire time, as we rode down the trail, reaching back and trying to bite me. I came away from the experience with two lessons: first, horses are bad-tempered and somewhat aggressive animals that like to bite, and second, nothing made of hay should ever be that hard.

The horses and I have existed in a sort of détente since then. It's an easy truce; they stay in the farms, I stay in the cities, and we're all happier for it.

Then I went out to visit Gina. And Gina, as it turns out, has a horse. A horse named Rockstar. This is her horse.



It was with a certain trepidation that I met Rockstar. Horses are big, terrifyingly big animals, and even the most casual glance at horse physiology reveals that they appear to be half a ton of muscle in service of a set of back legs capable of kicking a Toyota Prius through a cinder-block wall.

And you know what? Her horse is awesome.

Take a big, affectionate, kind of slow-moving puppy dog, give him a fondness for having his nose scritched, and make him capable of kicking a Toyota Prius through a cinder-block wall, and you've got Rockstar. Plus, he's fun to ride. When did they start making horses fun to ride, and why wasn't I notified of this?

We returned to the farm many times, "we" meaning Gina, her dog, and I, and I rode the horse muchly. And Gina rode the horse muchly also, and even rode a different horse while I was riding Rocky, and thus did we ride together.. And verily, it was fun.

And now, gentle readers, I must go off to test some of my other most basic and fundamental assumptions about the world, for truly does it seem that the sky must be falling. Plus, I'm sore in muscles I didn't even know I had.


Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
dawnd
Sep. 26th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Heh. You have discovered that, in a sense, horses are people too. They really are all individuals. You just met cranky ones before.
zotmeister
Sep. 26th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
First sushi, now horses... - ZM
tacit
Sep. 26th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
I know! Where will the madness end??!
jonnymoon
Oct. 3rd, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
You know, I hearken back to conversations of yore, and I consider once more trying to make you see the light.


Nah.
indywind
Sep. 26th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised that you judged the spcies on basis of that early acquaintance. It'd be like thinking all Americans must be Dubya. And I'm glad you've been inspired to re-assess that judgement.

Horses are extremely nifty, as a species. Like any group, there will be many with potentially detrimental (or funny like hell) quirks, and a few that are just unredeemable assholes. On the whole, though, nifty: much like dogs, only huge, strong, and convinced they are still the fox-sized prey animal that Eohippus was; a fasinating psychology.

FWIW, it's a truism among people who know horses that the ones most people will meet first, and the circumstances in which they meet--rent-a-ride at dude ranches, camps, and public stables--are the least suited to giving anyone a good experience, for approximately the same reasons you don't expect to learn about really good sex from one-night stand with someone you met in a bar.

Plus lots of horses really like beer and they're funny as hell after a couple bottles.
tacit
Sep. 29th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
they meet--rent-a-ride at dude ranches, camps, and public stables--are the least suited to giving anyone a good experience, for approximately the same reasons you don't expect to learn about really good sex from one-night stand with someone you met in a bar.

True that, though I can honestly say I've never had anyone I've met at a bar try to bite me.
winterlady
Sep. 26th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
It can be an incredibly beautiful experience to share time with a horse. They can be gentle, fun, loyal and fast. Some like to play and some are pains in the butt.

But as a species on the whole, they're just simply incredible. I think the world would be a much better place if we all went back to riding horses, instead of polluting our world with automotive noxious emissions. (at least in teh summer - lol not so much in the winter).

:)

It sounds like you had a great time.
tacit
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
Ironically, one of the great benefits of the horseless carriage, back in the day of the Model T, was its cleanliness. Another thing I learned about horses while in LA: they produce staggering quantities of horse manure. And other things still more foul. Fouler, in fact, than the most dreadful discharge from the land of Mordor, and there's a lot of it. Can you imagine if all New York City's population of two million and however many it is decided to commute to work on horseback?
skitten
Sep. 26th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
awwwwwww :) My only ride was on a preggers girl horse that refused to gallup..... sounds like you had a good time :)
blyssmouse
Sep. 26th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC)
Horses rock! I've surprised a number of people that this little girl knows how to curry and clean a hoof or two without getting stomped. :) Glad you enjoyed.
cheerilyxmorbid
Sep. 26th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
Your world is just getting turned upside-down now, isn't it? ^_^
I haven't had much to do with horses for a while. I do like them, but I haven't had much opportunity to go riding or anything. My last horse encounter, in fact, was with a friend's horse. Who was tied to a stall door while getting his hooves cleaned (BAD IDEA), freaked out, ripped the door off its hinges and nailed me in the leg with it. I had a bruise the size of a dinner plate.
Rockstar is CUTE! I want to scritch his nose.
joreth
Sep. 27th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
When did they start making horses fun to ride, and why wasn't I notified of this?

I tried to tell you, in fact, several of us tried to tell you at the Vortex, but you didn't want to listen!
tacit
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
Of course I didn't listen! You were speaking nonsense! The lash for you!! :P
joreth
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
I was not speaking nonsense! I spoke the truth, as I always do, and as you have now learned. You should listen to me more often!
grey_evil_twin
Sep. 27th, 2008 08:59 am (UTC)
Nice. At least now you know.
quaryn_dk
Sep. 27th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
And now, gentle readers, I must go off to test some of my other most basic and fundamental assumptions about the world, for truly does it seem that the sky must be falling.

Perhaps now would be a good time to do a periodic check-in on your sexual orientation? ;)
tacit
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Why is it hat so many folks are concerned with my sexual orientation, anyway? I mean, everyone knows that girl-on-girl action is hot, but guy-on-guy action isn't, right? (Said tongue firmly in cheek.)
jonnymoon
Oct. 3rd, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
Check.
big_sarah_yeti
Sep. 28th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
There are few things more beautiful than being able to turn a previously held assumption of ourselves on its head. Well done, Tacit, I only know you through these posts and yet I feel proud! Hehe
red_haut
Sep. 29th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
sent you more pictures
just finally emailed you a few other pictures -- we just weren't thinking about cameras and don't have a lot of record of the event! i meant to get video of you riding but in all the horseness, i didn't remember that video existed.

there's gotta be a pic of rocky in which he doesn't look so cranky, though.

as for the scratches across his face, well, no, i don't beat him with a cane. those are the price he pays for his inquisitive nature. i have no idea what he scraped himself on and didn't go looking for clumps of horsehair on any of the trees,but ... /sigh LOL
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )