Like everyone else, I’m familiar with the stereotype of the “snobby horse person” - the rather full-of-themselves rider who’s oh-so-impressed with their own achievements and full of Opinions about “lesser riders” that they don’t hesitate to share. But until today, I’ve found that every single horse person I’ve met, without fail, has been delightful. Kind, helpful, supportive and just generally nice. I was starting to think that the stereotypical snobby and judgmental horsefolk were a bit of a myth, at least hereabouts.
Well, I met one today! She was working in a saddlery store where my partner M and I were looking to get some gear. I didn’t realise at first who I was dealing with, but I did find myself bristling a little when I asked her advice about fittings on a particular saddlepad and she responded “oh, so you haven’t ridden much, then?” We moved on, and I figured I was just being a bit touchy… until we got to checkout time. Whereupon she launched into a detailed Exposition on how the arenas at the pony club I’m going to be joining are Far Too Inadequate for her horse’s lofty abilities, since her horse had won “Dressage With The Stars” … yannow, not surfaced to be flatter than the earth’s curvature and covered with a layer of angelfluff for poor little horsie’s feet, blah blah blah. Then we were treated to a detailed description of how many thousands of dollars she’d spent on “her arena”, getting it Just So, so that Tootsie’s delicate gait wouldn’t be all upset by a pebble or dent in the ground, because when a horse is just that good, you don’t want to use anything but the best….
Oh boy. I kept a straight face. I just nodded and agreed with her that it must be a real trial not having access to a laser level to ensure that the arena’s top layer of angelfluff is flat enough that Tootie’s gait can be shown off to sufficient advantage. I managed to not snort or giggle until we were actually in the car. And then M pointed out that the photo of Tootsie on the back wall that she had been waving imperiously at was clearly being ridden by someone not her, and I’m afraid I lost it completely!
Ah well. Interesting times.