A little while back, I read a blog that has been circulating the fascinating world of Facebook. You may have seen it. It was called ‘Don’t Call Me Horsey’ and was written by Abigail Butcher, for Derby House.
I can’t actually decide whether it’s written seriously or tongue in cheek. I’m even wondering if it was an April Fool, but considering Derby House haven’t mentioned anything, I’m assuming not. But, I was so gobsmacked by it and by the fact that it was put out by horsey company, that I felt the need to reply.
I just wanted to say, on behalf of everybody that Abigail bashes in her article, with her sweeping stereotypes and hideous generalisations, that I am Proud to be Horsey!!! I will shamelessly admit that I do fit into some of these stereotypes and I don’t apologise for that for a second. But there are also some very arrogant and closed minded statements in Abigail’s blog that make me wonder, despite her claims that she used to own a horse, if she has actually ever spent any time around ‘horsey’ people, at all.
Nope. My car isn’t spotless. There’s always a bit of mud and hay on the floor and mud splashed up the side. I spend a lot of my time getting lost in country lanes and my faithful, beloved little car bares the evidence of this.
And yep. I go to the supermarket in my horsey clothes, a lot! Life is way too short and I am too busy to be worrying about what the people in Tesco’s think of the way I look. I really could not care less! In fact, when I was little, I used to love going out in public wearing my jods, boots and one of those jackets with my pony’s name on the back. I was so proud that everybody would know that I rode horses. If my Mum would have let me go in in my riding hat with my bridle slung over my shoulder, I probably would have, just to really drive the point home.
As I’m sure many of you will relate to, for most of my life I’ve had to pretty much sacrifice everything else so that I can afford to own horses. So I’m sorry if my chunky thighs and curvy bum offend you Ms. Butcher, but no, you’re right, I don’t have the money to join a gym. Nor do I really care. I’d much rather get my exercise from mucking out a stable.
And on that note; to insinuate that a horsey girl’s ‘thighs and bottom might spread a little more each year’…?? Are you for real??? I don’t even know where to go with this…
You say you are aware that this will insult a few people? Try the entire Derby House target market!!!
Just like all ordinary people, us horsey folk come in all shapes and sizes. And that’s a good and healthy thing! I happen to be quite a curvy girl, but I have a strong feeling that that has more to do with my penchant for chocolate and cheese, than the fact that I ride horses.
As for enjoying getting ‘togged up’ to go out, I enjoy making myself look pretty and presentable as much as any non-horsey girl. I might not have money for monthly mani-pedis. My nail varnish might be perpetually chipped. I might not always have my highlights done as soon as my roots start to show. And I might not have the money for a full blown shopping addiction to replenish my wardrobe every week or so. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to scrub up well enough.
I’m also very capable of conversing about things other than equitation. Shocking, I know. But I am an eloquent, intelligent enough young adult, with experiences outside of the horsey world and plenty to add to a conversation with ‘normal people’.
And if said ‘normal people’ look down their nose at the fact that I live in muddy boots and spend most of my time covered in horse hair and the obligatory addition of slobber, I don’t try to pretend I’m not that person, in fact, it will only make me shout it from the rooftops even louder. A snooty reaction to the way I choose to live my life is more likely to make me all ‘Yes, I’ve often got horse s**t down my nails and hay in my bra. Problem?’ than make me ashamed of it.
So yes, I am horsey. And I am damn proud to be! I consider myself extremely lucky to have found a passion that without a doubt, defines me and that has shaped me as a person, when many people go their whole lives without a passion of any sort. Personally, I wear my ‘horsey’ status as a badge of honour, not as an embarrassing label and in all honesty, considering that many people aren’t lucky enough to have these fantastic animals in their lives, I think that if you are ashamed to be horsey, perhaps you don’t deserve to be.
Having read this article, Abigail’s words conjure visions of a woman who would arrive at the yard for her lesson, expect her horse to be tacked up, ready and waiting, for her. In my imagination, she would then pass said horse off to the nearest groom, as soon as she hopped down, so that she could go and strip off the offending jodhpurs, whilst somebody else put poor Neddy to bed. Perhaps she might then visit him over the stable door to say goodbye, once he was all clean and tucked into his snuggly rug. But she probably couldn’t stay for too long, because afterall, she would have to get to the gym, have her car cleaned and spend a couple of hours de-horseyfying herself, getting togged up to go out with her superiour, non-horsey pals. Not to mention that before she can do any of that, she would need to nip home to get changed into her normal clothes that don’t smell remotely of horse, so that people wouldn’t know she is ‘horsey’ when she goes to grab a pint of milk. It would be a stressful existence.
As for her opinion that being called horsey is the ‘ultimate put-down’, I so strongly disagree. Horsey people are often tough, resilient, strong, resourceful, nurturing, determined, humble, responsible… I could go on. Please, do feel free to call me horsey whenever you like. Because it’s what I am. Just as much as I am female, an Essex girl, white etc. etc. I take no offence. And as far as I’m concerned, it is in fact the ultimate compliment!