Have you ever been talking to a horse person when you have a non-horse person with you? You and your horse person friend exchange a few sentences and both of you go away knowing exactly what the other person meant whereas your non-horse person friend is shaking her head and shrugging her shoulders, “What were you guys talking about?”
If you are nodding and smiling right now, you know EXACTLY what I mean.
For example: “He was being really ouchy on the fore and he was tracking short behind so I looked at his frog and saw a huge stone bruise. Oy. I wondered why he was so bunched up… The vet is going to block it and then we’ll know for sure.”
Now most of you don’t even see the strangeness in the above sentence. You are all probably about ready to tell me your experiences and recommend a treatment. None of you are remotely wondering what the heck I just said.
But I guarantee that my Hubby, for example, would have had no idea what I was blabbing about a few years ago before he became fluent in horse-speak. Truth to tell, he’s still probably a bit shaky on a few terms but he muddles through, kinda like we all do with our High School Spanish/French language skills.
What brought this idea to the forefront was one of my house guests over the Labor Day weekend. It was early in the morning and we were blissfully leaning over the gate in the barn, watching the horses munch their breakfasts. He asked me a simple question and my answer went something like this, “Yes, she’s a Park mare and luckily she throws that hip on her get, but obviously, no In-Hand wins though, sad to say…” as I chortled at my own joke.
Him: Blank stare.
Me: “Uh Whoops. OK, she was my broodmare. She’s had very athletic babies but they didn’t win any beauty contests…”
So, I decided to write a list of all the terms that horse people know well but that make no sense to others… Let’s see how I do.
He’s really snorty today. He’s sick with a cold.
He’s fresh this morning. He was being rude.
He was all crow-hoppy. This must leave such an odd picture in their heads…
He sure is mouthy. “Yeah, so is my 15 year old son…”
He’s a little green. The horse is jealous or nauseous.
What a stud muffin! The horse is really cute.
I think she is kinda sucked-up, don’t you? The horse is a kiss-arse.
He’s hump backed today. Or maybe he’s just cold backed? They are picturing whales in the dark, cold ocean… or that the horse needs a sweater.
He is really high behind. Blank stare.
He swung his butt at me! Were they dancing?
He jigged all the way down the trail. Sounds Irishy and fun to the listener.
He snaked his neck at me! They can do that?!
He looks all strung out. I didn’t know horses did drugs…
He took ahold of the bit and ran away with me! Kinda like the fork running off with the spoon?!
He went up and over. He went up and over … what?
OTHER ODD TERMS
Barn Blind and Barn Sour: Sounds like a bad real estate deal.
She stands for the farrier: She’s having a coat made?
Does he have his Coggins?: Does he have his ….overnight bag… retainer? No clue on this one.
Shake the bag while I take the picture!: You want me to do… what?!
He has a soft eye: Uh Oh, another vet bill…
Don’t touch his poll!: Don’t worry, I won’t!
He’s cross firing: The horse’s gun is jammed.
He stepped off beautifully: He was pretty as he fell off the cliff.
He was foaming with that bit: CUJO!
Flea Bitten Grey: Poor thing.
Hot Feed: Maybe Buffalo Wings or anything Thai…
Lead Mare: She leads the other horses in at meal time like the cow with the bell?
Oh No, it’s a horse-eating mailbox!!: Huh? Do they have those?
She’s waxing so she’ll probably go tonight…: She looks dead and will probably die tonight?
Abrupt dismount: Got off quickly for some reason.
Slipper feet: Soft feet?
Rain Rot: Acid rain in your area?
Lead Change: So the lead mare who brings the horses in from the field with the cow bell has changed?
Float the teeth: Fill the horse’s mouth with water.
She’s a Cob size: She looks like an ear of corn.
Cross-tie: What the horse wears to church.
He needs a Hearing-Aid…: He needs a hearing aid.
We need some Predators: We need some Bears or Mountain Lions to eat the horses.
She’s over corrected: NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!
Pricked Ears: The horse has holes all over its ears.
Nostrils Flared: Some sort of design on the nose of the horse.
Colicky: The horse keeps crying.
She was watching the Mare-Stare: At what?
Since she is lame, how will you bed her?: Don’t ask…
LASTLY, THE MOST CONFUSING OF ALL… LOUNGING.
Why don’t they just call it “lunging”. Why is it spelled “lounging”? That makes no sense. (I know, I know, the origin of the word is French…) If you read it, it sounds like you are setting your horse up on a chaise for the afternoon… And if you say it, it sounds like you are teaching your horse to pounce like a lion. Or, that you are pouncing at your horse as if you were a lion.
Why don’t they just say “circling” or “endless repetitive motion in one direction with speed changes and then the same the other way”.
Can you tell I’m not a fan of “lounging”? I mean, I understand the discipline of it. I understand why a young horse has to learn this from its trainer. However, most people perform the exercise incorrectly in a bunch of different ways. And, more often than not, the horse ends up lounging the person, not the other way around… But, that’s a topic for another blog post…
For now, I hope you’ve had some fun today!
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
The September Bucket Fund will benefit Grace, the skinniest horse still alive. To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate to this incredible horse, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)