Friday, January 8, 2010

Horses and Sports Cars

My husband, bless his heart, is not a horse person. He doesn't really even like them very much. And somehow he ended up marrying me and living with three of the beasts. At best, he tolerates their presence. At worst, he threatens to haul them off when they cause trouble. Most of the time he just shakes his head and wonders what I find so interesting about them.

My saving grace is that he loves mechanized things. The presence of horses on the property gives him an excuse to acquire ATVs and tractors and play with excavators and augers and all those manly types of things. He doesn't care much for the horses, but he does love to play farmer.

And since I have my horses and he helps (sort of), I can't really complain when he shows up with new toys. His favorites are motorcycles and sports cars. I really don't see the attraction, it seems like such a boring pastime. After all, if you tell a motorcycle to go left it always goes left. You don't even have to train it. Sports cars never spook, never have meltdowns, never have bad days. Where's the challenge?

But in some ways, a well trained horse is a lot like a sports car. Sports cars are light, have sensitive handling, well-built suspensions and powerful rear wheel drive engines. That's not too far off from what I look for in a dressage horse. I want a horse to be light and sensitive. He needs to respond to my cues immediately, a horse with a dodgy transmission or stiff steering is no good. Neither is a front wheel drive horse. I need a powerful engine in the back, so powerful that when I hit the gas pedal the front end lifts. Doing doughnuts in a parking lot? Pffft, that's kid stuff. I need an engine that can do pirouettes.

That gives me an idea. Next time I'm having trouble with Spider and complaining to my husband, when he gets that blank stare of "What is she going on about?", I'll just say "It's his transmission, honey. I think he needs a rebuild! Can I have more money for another lesson?"


  1. Great post!! I've ridden horses that feel like buses with no bend, too. Love the sports car feel with the engine behind. And as far as the transmission goes, if you have every really galloped a Thorougbred and let him run at speed, you can actually feel the gears change as he moves up in the pace of his gait. It's amazing.

  2. Good analogy... I wouldn't mind having a sports car, but I far prefer having a horse. They're just something about working with another living being and trying to get them to understand what you want that I love.


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