Things Non-Horse People Say
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Things Non-Horse People Say

Things horse people have heard.

Things Non-Horse People Say

I understand that horseback riding, and horses in general for that matter, are not talked about too often. By non-horse people that is. People who ride, or are just in love with horses, never stop talking about them. The horse world can be confusing to someone who doesn't understand that riding is a lot more than sitting on a horse or doesn't understand why someone would even want to be that close to a 1000-pound animal. We (horse people) can't expect you to know everything about our sport and our companions. We know that. But that doesn't mean we aren't tired of hearing the same things. The following are a few things I frequently hear from non-horseback riders.

1. Riding isn't a workout. And it's not a sport either.

Really? I would love to see you take a riding lesson -- a real lesson, not a trail ride through the woods -- and tell me you don't feel like you exercised at the end of it. Riding is fantastic for your legs and core. As to it not being a sport, don't even get us started. For starters, it's in the Olympics. If that's not enough for you, there is a definite competitive aspect at all levels, we have teammates, and serious equestrians work just as hard, if not harder, than any other athlete.

2. I rode a horse on vacation once.

Yes, I'm sure we do the exact same thing. Don't be discouraged -- I'm totally excited that you rode a horse. Once. OK, maybe I'm not excited, but I'm glad you're trying to relate to the horse conversation.

3. So, are you in the Kentucky Derby?

Horse racing is but a small sector of the realm of possibilities the horse world has to offer. Unless the person you're talking to is less than five feet tall and weighs somewhere around 100 pounds, they are way to big to be a jockey.

4. Any sexual innuendo.

I understand that the word "riding" can be taken sexually. Believe me, I've been on the receiving end of a lot of jokes. Please grow up so I can talk about horses, not sex. Also, sorry to disappoint you, but your jokes are nowhere near as clever as you think they are. Unless it's really original, I've probably heard it before. And not laughed.

5. When I rode a horse it tried to buck me off.

Pictured above is a horse bucking. Forgive me, but I would be very surprised if this happened to you on your trail ride. The odds are much higher that your horse tripped or moved before you were 100 percent ready.

6. Is there a difference between a pony and a foal?

I'm going to pretend you didn't just ask that question so that we can remain friends. Yes, there is a difference. A pony is a horse that is less than 14.2 hands (one hand is equal to four inches and hands are measured from hoof to shoulder) and a foal is a baby horse or pony. So yes, foals can be ponies. But they are not the same.

7. What happens if you fall off?

Get back on. After a brief check to make sure nothing is broken and dusting off, we head over to the horse (who is often doing something resembling a walk of shame) and hop right back on. Falling off a horse is just as much a part of riding as falling on the ice is in hockey. It's something to learn from, not something to be scared of. It also makes for some awesome stories.

8. I saw dressage in the last summer Olympics, but don't really know what it is.

If you would really like to know, I would be happy to explain it to you when we both have a lot of time. I can't say much more than "precise movements with invisible aids" when this question is just asked in passing. Seriously though, you're missing out.

9. Horses are all the same.

Hahahaha, that's really -- oh wait, you're being serious? Just like any animal, every horse is different and you'll never find two that are exactly the same. Also, horses have their on and off days too. Just ask any horseback rider and we'll tell you that our horse can be an absolute angel one day, and the next cause as much mischief as it possibly can.

10. Horses smell bad.

First of all, horse people tend to find the smell of the barn comforting and familiar so we'd probably disagree with you. Secondly, this comment often seems to be made by guys who recently worked out or had a team practice. Sorry, but chances are you smell worse than the horse.

11. Why do you love horses so much?

I really hope you've got a lot of time on your hands, because this is not a question I can just answer quickly. Horses are so much more to us than animals we buy and sell at will. We work with them, care for them, and love them, and they do the same for us. We share success and failure, fun times and tears. Our horses are the companions who are always there when we need comfort. They don't judge us based on clothes, friend groups, etc. They see us as the people we really are and judge us based on that.

Next time you find yourself in a conversation with a horseback rider and the topic of horses comes up -- which, if talking enough, it will -- do your best to avoid these statements and questions. You'll likely have a much better conversation and seriously impress whoever you're talking to.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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