When horse people talk with each other, we often find ourselves laughing at how we view the world versus how non-equestrians see it. For instance, other people see the spacers in sidewalks, we see them as cavaletti. Non-equestrians note the mile markers on highways, we count the number of “strides” between them. Other people simply get on the moving sidewalks at airports. When my son misjudged how to get on one, he turned to me and said he “chipped in.” Most people politely wait for others to move out of their way. Equestrians poke the person in the side, cluck, and say “Over!” (I’m not joking. One day while traveling for business I absent-mindedly did that to someone in the TSA line at La Guardia. The poor man I poked was so shocked he just grabbed his stuff and hurried off.)
I was reminded of this when my son was on a school trip in New York touring the Body Worlds exhibition in Discovery Times Square. The exhibit is composed of preserved human and animal bodies and body parts that are preserved using a technique called plastination, which shows the inner structures, muscles and tendons and ligaments, as they would appear without the covering of skin. Pretty cool, seeing how everything under the skin works while performing a task, right? While other kids were noticing the various muscle groups in action, my son saw something completely different. He sent me the picture below in a text with the comment, “His heels aren’t down.“
Later in the day he sent a text from the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center: “Watching the skaters at Rockefeller Center. They look like they’re doing spiral-ins and leg yields. Excellent crossover of the hind legs.” That little observation caused me to spit my coffee all over my laptop keyboard.
A few days later we found ourselves at our favorite Christmas tree farm for our annual evergreen sacrifice to the gods of Yule (Or Amazon, depending on your viewpoint.) Now, anyone else might look at discarded evergreen branches as garbage. Others might look at them as greenery for wreaths or garland. An equestrian, however, sees nothing quite so mundane. Nope, an equestrian sees that pile of evergreen branches as a brush jump, specifically fence #1 in the Cherryville Farms 2014 Hunter Derby.
And of course, there are the hay bales, which to most people might appear to be outlining the parking area for Christmas tree patrons, but to an equestrian is clearly fence #2.
Yep. We’re equestrians. When your viewfinder in life is between two furry ears, you just see things differently.