Photo Credit: Tiia Monto

If you’ve ever been privileged enough to spend time with a horse regularly, you’ll know it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.

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On one hand, if you were horse-rich, you probably had awesome birthday parties as a kid and owned at least two working Power Wheels cars, but on the other hand your chances for getting drop-kicked in the teeth were exponentially higher than anyone without horse privilege.

For those of you that have never been a-horsin’, I’ll let you know what the experience is like, from someone who’s been around the block a few times with these idiotic beasts.

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Anywhere you go with horses smells like rancid crap, and not the familiar tinge of a dog turd drying itself in the hot sun. No, you’ll know if horses have been around because the ground will have been littered with grassy piles of shit emitting an impossibly dank odor, not unlike that dime bag you bought at 16 that ended up being expired oregano and grass clippings.

Taking charge of a horse is a misnomer, because you’re trying to control an animal that can easily throw you off its back and stomp you to a bloody, screaming death, if not for the fact that its spirit was broken by someone with a sack of oats, a whip, and a weird internet search history. It’s an animal that is so spooked by the outside world that it wears blinders so that it doesn’t get startled by things like falling twigs, sharp gusts of wind, and the occasional horse leg flying in its general direction, caused by the first two things.

When you mount this top-heavy behemoth, you’re given strict instructions to relay to the horse - instructions that any incompetent moron would be able to understand, but as it stands, the intelligence of an average horse ranks somewhere between a dying potted plant and a ten year old bag of rock salt.

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The directions are as follows: Pull the reigns attached to its head in the direction you want it to go, kick it in the ribs when you want it to go faster, and pull back when you want it to stop - except that doesn’t happen. The muscles in its stupid neck can bench press three of you and it doesn’t even understand the concept of mortality. It literally cannot give a fuck.

Even if you were to use all of your strength to subdue this brown monster into completing the objective of getting a goddamn two-hour trail ride over with already, it’s still prone to stopping randomly, not having the common courtesy to at least signal you to stop kicking it in the side because it’s taking its third crap in 10 minutes. My dog at least gives me five seconds of notice when it has to take a deuce, and she’s so dumb she treats her own tail as an active threat.

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And then there’s the ride. If you’re a woman, I’m told it’s like sitting on top of a washing machine on the spin cycle in an open field with the wind flowing through your hair. It’s like an ecstasy binge without the mandatory stomach pump at the end of the night. (I can’t vouch for this personally, but I have my doubts as to its veracity.)

If you’re a man, it’s like sitting on top of the world’s tallest piano and riding it down the steps of Machu Picchu while a bipolar chimpanzee smashes your nuts with a sock filled with nickels.

After your genitals are ground into a fine paste and you come to terms with the fact that you’ll never participate in the physical act of making love again, you’ll then have to deal with the certain type of person that tells you that riding horses is their favorite pastime. Favorite.

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These people will devote twice the average annual U.S. pre-tax salary to ride an animal that will run off a cliff if you tell it to. They’ll name it something like Sir Clopsalot and have their children’s innocence ruined when one of the uncaring brutes invariably bites off a finger thinking that carrots are now pink, meaty, and permanently attached to a kid.

If horses disappeared tomorrow, the world would be no different. They wouldn’t be missed, and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.