Would you be willing to politely pretend that it hasn’t been 10 months since I posted here? Thank you.
The thing is, I seem to have regressed or, in a more upbeat metaphor, to have looped around the spiral once more to where a youthful horse obsession rules my consciousness. Except this time, unlike in my younger days, the spiral brought with it the internet.
Which leaves us with what we refer to around my house as “horse porn.“ That is where I consume an absurd amount of time reading about, and looking at pictures of, countless accomplished and/or gorgeous equine four-leggeds and (sometimes) their human companions.
Before explaining further, I want to point out that prior to horse porn we had “rug porn.” That was DH though, not me (you know, DH, dear husband). He found a site with, like, tens of thousands of oriental rugs for sale. And spent hours and hours (and hours and hours and hours, I’m not kidding) shopping for one. He bookmarked batches of 20 at a time and asked for my opinion. Which was confusing to me. I mean, they all looked pretty good, and it’s not like they would get up and show off their lofty trot or bascule over a jump. But I looked and, as best I could, separated out a group of favorites to help him narrow it down. This went on for weeks until he finally made a selection.
Since I’d started referring to his obsession as rug porn, it seemed only fair to turn the tables on myself and label my own comparable online time-suck as horse porn.
I’m blaming my horse porn habit on the birth of River, the foal I mentioned back in one of those early posts. Paisley’s foal of 2012 was born May 1; a large chestnut colt with three stockings and a blaze. Adorable. DH and I went to see him his first day on this earth. Paisley was led from the foaling stall into a field and her baby, naturally, followed. He saw the sky for the first time, and grass. And us. I doubt he remembers, but we have pictures. Videos, even.
And that fast, after three years, I owned a horse again.
Not only that, but I became instantly interested in the breeding of warmblood sport horses, something I’d not thought much about before. During my last round of horse shopping, when I bought Paisley, I had met and emailed with two or three breeders, but I didn’t think about the whole breeding thing. I was looking for a youngster to grow up into my riding horse and didn’t think about it much more than that. This time I found myself clicking through many a page of breeders’ websites. I looked at young foals and compared them to mine, drooled at videos of fabulous stallions; contemplated bloodlines; and intensely followed an online forum about sport horse breeding.
The forum in particular was kind of amazing. I’m sure many of these folks are thoughtful, intelligent individuals offline. However as a group they are The Real Horsewives of North America: opinionated, argumentative, rude. Posting stuff no one would say in person. To quote a popular post when things heated up, “bring on the popcorn.”
But the idea of breeding (horses, not horsewives) seeped into my consciousness. I imagined finding my own mare and choosing a stallion for her. Then I started looking at sales ads. I wanted to start riding again, and you can ride a horse through much of her eleven (or so) month pregnancy, and of course again after weaning. So I imagined finding one who would be a nice riding horse too. She could have a foal every few years and I’d ride her the rest of the time.
So shopping for broodmares became another daily activity. I’d make a daily round of sales sites and Facebook pages. And of course, even more stallion pages, researching the best match for the mare I didn’t have yet.
As River grew, I went to see him every few days. He was attractive to begin with and getting nicer as he developed. I chatted with the breeder. We were following the progress of River’s yearling half-sister (out of Paisley, but sired by another one of the breeder’s stallions) in the show ring. I had visited this filly, named Arbor Day, the summer before in the pasture with Paisley, and she was as friendly as could be. I felt like her “auntie” and was excited about her success. I decided to go to the prestigious Devon, Pennsylvania horse show at the end of May and watch her compete.
As you can see, my habit was progressing. Online horse porn was only the first step. Next I began planning a trip across the country for the real thing.
TO BE CONTINUED…..