Growing up riding has certainly shaped the person I am, and I feel like it's important for me to write about because it is definitely a big part of how I've made it through the last few years with my sanity largely (?) intact. It's a very...different...lifestyle, but in mostly good ways. In recent discussions, it's been decided that pretty much all horse chicks are pretty awesome. Here's why, in no particular order.
1. Horse chicks are hot. It's just true. Ask anyone.
2. Horse chicks can function well on very very little sleep.
I used to go out to a pub, or a club in DC, and get home so late that by the time I fed my horses and made coffee, I was late for work. Granted, work started before 5am, but still. And when you have horses, you ride and care for them no matter what. I think it's a skill that a lot of people are lacking. Now I have kids and the same thing still applies, I mean without the staying out at a bar all night...you know what i mean. I never skipped work due to a hangover or cause I was sick or tired. I only skipped one time and that was for an ingrown toenail. You can't put a boot on with that shit. And I was heckled for weeks.
3. Horse chicks can do pretty much anything one handed.
When you're on the horse, you have to be able to adjust stirrups, girth, bridle, and get the buckles to function with one hand. On a racehorse you do it while in motion. Great skill when you have kids and life in general.
4. I can open a beer bottle with a girth buckle.
This pertains to nothing. I just think its a good skill.
5. It's real. Horse chicks can literally fix anything with duct tape and/or baling twine.
People think we are kidding. We are not. I've impressed the boys working at the CoOp at my abilities to secure something to a Prius (God I sound cool...), and I've fixed more toys with duct tape than I can count. Works better than glue.
6. Most of us are good with pain.
This pertains to so many things. And again, just a good skill to have.
7. We can laugh at anything, even if its inappropriate, or especially when it's inappropriate.
Mike Burns Photo
Horse chicks are just fun(ny) people. You learn to laugh first when you break your arm(s), and cry later. You may not learn it right away, but you learn to roll with the ups and downs of injuries and worse, and how to move on and keep positive. Laughing is always good. Why take a bad or awkward situation and make it NOT funny....
8. Very comfortable with gross stuff. Very. And never have a problem getting dirty. Ever.
Mike Burns Photo
9. We can drink (and certainly have drunk) many an Irishman under the table. Champagne is basically soda. I mean, except way better. I NEVER drink soda.
Again, I just think this is a good skill...
10. "Life isn't fair and neither are horses." Lizzie Olmstead
You can do everything right and something can still go wrong. You can work all year for one competition and your horse can step on a pebble the wrong way and you're stayin home. And you roll with it. Good life lesson to learn. Over and over and over and over....
11. Horse chicks can drive anything. You want to teach a girl to be a good driver? Put her beloved horse in a trailer behind her. I've been driving a trailer since I was 15. I can't even count the times I've heard: "that's a big truck for such a little girl." Awesome. Anyway, I can use mirrors like nobody's business. I do not trust the little camera screen on the Prius. When I was 16, I used to have to back my trailer uphill, around a turn, and thread the needle in between a dumpster and the other trailers (Dana, if you're reading this I'm sure you're laughing). I'm pretty sure I can drive backwards better than forwards. That may not be useful ALL the time...but still.
Have you ever been riding a horse, teaching someone else, texting, listening to music, while removing the sweatshirt underneath your jacket one handed? I think not.
13. Serious horse chicks can pee anywhere and quickly. It's amazing how much time you can save by pulling to the side of an off ramp, jumping into a trailer full of horses, and peeing without getting stepped on (makes for real broke horses too). This can be done in under a minute. I guarantee.
Not only this, but peeing in a stall is necessary for a horse chick. It also has to be learned how to do it super stealthily. You'll never know.
14. Horse chicks can rake a dirt aisle in any formation you'd like. Diamond pattern? Straight lines? You name it. This isn't super useful because we will basically never do yard work...but still.
15. I think we all have an amazing ability to coil a hose or a leadrope beautifully. But we probably won't do this at home either, so...still.
16. Today I gave two horses baths and turned them out while wearing flip flops (and pushing a stroller, but that's neither here nor there). In a pinch, horse chicks can rock whatever footwear necessary. Tall show boots all day? Fine. Paddock boots? Lovely. Go feed and turn out horses late at night in high heels and an evening gown? Done.
17. So super strong. Horse chicks can lug water buckets and carry a bale of hay in each hand, hold on to a runaway horse, not to mention ride for hours. Who does that?
18. So super stubborn.
This benefits no one but us, but I think if managed properly, it's a good thing. We will get done whatever we set our mind to. Sometimes I feel bad for my husband, but he knew what he was getting into. I already apologized to my parents. They laughed because they're waiting for my daughter to grow up.
19. This is hard to explain...but...
20. Lightening quick reflexes. In theory anyway. But think about it, and it makes sense. I didn't actually get this trait, but I'm not super normal...
I basically fell off the fence right after this. HOWEVER, I did not drop my red Solo cup of bubbles. Priorities.
(FYI, these photos were all, clearly, taken by the incredible Mike Burns of www.mikeburnsphoto.com who came to take some really awesome shots at our farm and captured some fairly interesting moments and also took some beautiful pics. Thanks Mike!!)