For real. But before you get all up in arms and incredulous and Judgy McJudgester, let me explain it to you from my side.
I’m not really sure where my hardcore aversion started. I just know that I have two distinct and borderline traumatic childhood stories involving horses in one way or another that may have contributed to it.
First, when I was really little I was at my aunt’s house horsing around (har har, get it?) with my cousin. He was pretending to be a bucking horse and I was having fun riding on his back. At least I was until I flew over him and into the corner of the glass coffee table, slicing the bridge of my nose and requiring a trip to the ER. My first ever trip to the ER, mind you. They butterflied it so as not to traumatize me any more (blood in your eyes is kind of horrifying when you’re little).
I don’t think this was what made me despise horses (since, you know, no actual horses were involved), but I like to point to it smugly to add to my assertion that they are dangerous creatures (even children mimicking them = straight up danger!).
What I’m pretty sure was the kicker was a birthday party I went to at some rinky dink petting zoo. It was rainy. The ponies smelled like wet dog marinated in depression. I watched them poop and they seemed huge and dangerous and unhappy to be there. So unhappy that one of them kept jumping up and whinnying or whatever that scary sound they make is called.
I did not want to ride one but some well-meaning parent more or less forced me to. I blame that parent for the fact that my daughters will never go horseback riding with my permission. I was terrified and disgusted and wet from the rain and did I mention terrified?
I seriously never understood the girls who were totally into them with posters on their wall and long flowing hair to match their horse’s mane. And cowboys? No thanks. The hats and belts and boots are dumb. I’d rather take a bearded dork in a band any day.
Honestly, I think this is the main difference between horse lovers and those who are way less fond of them:
The lovers see them as majestic and bathed in a warm glow of sunshine; pure and magical and carrying a handsome and mindbogglingly polite gentleman who has come to sweep you off your feet.
Come on, ladies. That whole magical thing? You’re getting them confused with unicorns (or maybe My Little Ponies which are pretty pastel colors and have cutie marks on their flanks). I’ve always thought that the knight in shining armor is really supposed to ride in on a unicorn. It makes much more sense than a stinking horse.
I see these beasts in a light that’s a little more realistic:
They’re ugly. They have huge, terrifying teeth that look like they could crush human bones with ease. They’re large and they’re supposed to be wild. If they get all fight or flight on you, you’re pretty much screwed since they easily outweigh you.
Aside from their straight up scariness, can we talk about the pooping? I don’t like watching turds drop underneath a flicking fly-infested tail. Gross.
Also, can I just say that there is absolutely nothing romantic about a horse-drawn carriage ride? Come on people. You’re sitting at the business end of a large and smelly beast. Are you really going to feel all romantic with the smell of horse shit wafting up under your batting eyelashes? I think not.
OK. I think I feel better. Vent session: complete.