So everyone has likely seen the “weird horse girl” memes and articles on the internet. The world has branded horse people as a breed of weirdos, and I can’t say it’s totally without merit. We spend all of our money on creatures who routinely try to die or kill us, and then when it’s going super well, we pay money to people to tell us everything we’re doing wrong. Not exactly normal sounding.
Some people think horse girls are weird because they talk about them all the time, own all sorts of horse stuff and talk about their bond with these majestic animals. For me personally, I can’t say that my weirdness stems from horses, but rather horses are an extension of my natural weirdness. I totally dance like Elaine from Seinfeld on purpose. Or should I say, “dance.” I cuss like an artistic sailor, make weird noises and faces, have no filter and generally behave as if no one is watching. I am in a land of perpetual no shame.
Even in the horse world, I sometimes stand out on a lonely Island of Weird, with sometimes just my bestie to keep me company in holy weirdness together. Pretty much every barn I’ve been at, I have been simultaneously the Fun One and the “Oh That Girl, She’s Weird” One.
Perhaps you saw my previous article in which I attended a horse trial while being tacky on purpose. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. At my first jumper show in the teeny tiny two-foot jump (so among many children) division, I yelled out “GOD BLESS… AMERICA” at the top of my lungs when my horse refused a jump. I am known to air hump inanimate objects like saddles and statues in jest (don’t ask my thought process. You really don’t want in my mind).
I’ve jousted with my friend Sarah, putting pie plates on our boobs as targets and using pool noodles as lances. We spent a whole afternoon planning it and buying supplies before we started our jousting at a walk. The horses weren’t big fans of the experience, but we sure were.
I’m a perpetual 12-year-old boy and “that’s what she said” my way through lessons all the time. I’ve been threatened with a swear jar at the barn in the past, too, but I think everyone has now given up on me as a lost cause.
I’m also a public nuisance with professional riders. My friends and I made “Doug F***king Payne a thing after a clinic with him a few years ago. We made T-shirts.
At The Kentucky Three-Day Event, I really let my freak out. My friend Sarah and I shackled ourselves to Kyle Carter with a giant polo bit. I kitty-claw rawred in photos with Michael Jung, Hawley Bennett, Joe Meyer and a few others. I made Rolex Bingo T-shirts a few years ago with gems such as “awkward touching during a photo opp” and “Boyd Martin gets fan-girled“.
I can’t even count the times that I’ve been slowly backed away from at shows, or side-eyed until eyes bled. I probably have about 50 restraining orders filed against me, and at this point, a warning about me is likely a part of the riders’ briefing at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day. I might have to dye my hair this year or something.
But my mantra is to go weird or go home. My freak flag flies high and waves violently. Basically, I am a walking shameless, disgraceful weirdo who happens to be in the horse world.
And I am totally OK with that.