My tirade on Southern California mentalities. And a need to educate!
I'm just your average girl who likes her critters. I don't want to show. I don't want to start a breeding program. I don't care about the newest styles in Horse Tail Fashion Magazine. I don't mind that my corral is built from left over pipes and tie ties. I don't even mind having to use a hackamore from old yellow rope when my tack was stollen. Best hackamore I ever had. I even go to Tijuana, Mexico for leather goods!! Perish the thought! I don't care if my name is emblazzoned on a hat in rhinestones. I don't have stickers on my bumper declaring what I compete in. I don't compete.
Don't get me wrong...I am not a red neck. Our home is a historical icon around here. Very nice. We drive new SUVs just like all the other idiots in SoCal. We shop at Nordstroms and Bloomies (on sale days, of course!). We're not mud covered yokels or anything. I just don't think you need to extend materialism to your choice of pet! For cryin out loud, horses used to be just service animals! They carried us to a destination or lugged something too heavy for a human.
When did it become a status symbol?
Are we so idle that being able to spend the neccesary money to own a horse/pony has become the icon for the rich? Here in Super Happy Fun Land where everyone examines each other at the red light, it has. Owing an equine is now akin to owning your own island. Remeber back in the 50s when it wa something to say you had a pool...IN YOUR BACKYARD!! Kinda like that.
Maybe it's the constant sunshine or the air tainted with smog. Perhaps it's the rich diet of star spotting. (I just saw a "singer" who is very famous for being the party girl at the Rite Aid in Newport Beach. I guess she didn't get enough candy from Santa...) Could be the requirement to dress in the Local Uniform (as me and the kids call it) of a teensy strapless dress and big wooly boots. (I'm hot on top but my feet are freezin!) Don't forget the requisite accessories of sunglasses the size of a 16 wheeler's hub caps and a tiny, anemic dog.
What leads me to all of this venom and label trashing? I was trying out a prospect. A stocky lil guy of 14.2 hh. A very capable worker. Know one knows his pedigree. He looked like a mix of a quarter horse and Jabba The Hut. Awesome mover. Just legally a pony. More like a semi tractor! He was like Monstro on steroids! You get the picture. Not a skinny, underdeveloped slip of a pony by any means.
So I'm swinging my leg over him when I hear this loud gasp. I abort the mount and turn to see what's up. There's a gaggle of about 4 women standing there with their mouths in a variety of positions. I think there was a stern frown, a perfect "O", a stunned incredulous gapping maw and one who's mouth I couldn't see due to her hands being clapped over her mouth in utter horror. My eye brows went up and I gave them a look that clearly said "Oh my gosh...what's going on"?
Ya see, by now, I assumed that perhaps the pony's leg had fallen off. Or maybe a handgrenade had rolled under him. Could it be that my jeans had a giant tear in a strategic spot? Or had one of my girls popped out from my shirt? Or maybe it wasn't me. Maybe they were looking beyond me at a massive scene of auto carnage on the street outside the stables! Of course, I didn't hear any cars smashing into each other. A sound you wouldn't miss.
So I asked them..."what"? Seriously alarmed.
"Oh. My. God. You are NOT going to actually think of putting yourself on that itty bitty baby pony...are you?!" (Imagine this done in the perfect Valley Girl tone).
"Why yes. Yes I am... (Dumb gets dumber here) WHY"? (NEVER ask one of these vapid know-it-alls WHY!!) I guess I was still not aware of the enormity of the carnage I was about to inflict on this poor little creature.
"I am calling the Animal Protective Services RIGHT NOW!!" said one of the girls in the Gucci boots. Another whipped out her bejeweled cell phone and began snapping pix furiously. Still, another started waving and jumping to attract the attention of every living sole in the approximate 50 mile radius. A few people drifted over drawn by the hub bub.
As clarity dawned on me, I calmy stated, "You see, I am thinking of purchasing this guy. I though it might be a good idea to, you know, actually give him a try". To which near fainting, gasps and screams of horror were produced. It was almost surreal. Like a movie script was being acted out unbeknown to me.
After trying to get them to shut up for a minute so I could explain the mechanics of an equine body, I finally gave up and handed the reins over to an impertinent stable boy. I told them that ponies of smaller stature than our friend here had been lugging thousands of pounds for thousads of years. That, actually, this was the largest pony I'd been on yet. That there was a world of folks doing just as I was this day. Riding ponies.
One of the girls said "It doesn't matter what you think or even what the reality is. What matters is there are more people than just you that look at you on a little pony and find it hard to keep quiet. It just looks cruel and wrong. No matter what you say, you can't ride a pony. And if you do, I would stay away from crowds."
And I realized as I drove away that she was right. That IS the mentality of the status quo around here. If it's not 16hh, don't ride it. Register it as a miniature species and let it in your dining room. Take it for a ride...in your SUV. Put cute lil doll clothes on it and parade it around on a leash.
All of this has strngthened my resolve. I will make it known that adults can and should ride ponies. It has now become my mission. I will create a media blitz, of sorts. I will advertise onn the bumpers, backs and notebooks of the public. Stickers, signs, shirts. Whatever. Maybe I'll get my car wrapped in a custom ad proclaiming the news. Ponies are capable. Enjoy a simple pleasure. Don't over think it (or overspend on the fluff!). Short, compact precise expressions and slogans. So even the 4 Dumb Flaxens, as I've come to call them, can understand.
Let's turn this ugly experience into something right! Give me your best shot! Succint, filled with information... what's your ad going to say? I'll start...
Ponies...Not just for coal mines anymore!