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The Alphabet of Horses
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The Alphabet of Horses

As horse lovers, the alphabet soon starts to have new meanings. Here are some of the things I think of for each letter.

A

A is for apples. Horses love apples, and some even have preferences over red ones or green ones. Others are not picky and will eat any apple they are offered.

A is also for Appaloosa, the adorable spotted, speckled breed, known for stubbornness, and not having the greatest tails.

A is for accident prone. Horses are always looking for ways to hurt or kill themselves. Ways to run up huge vet bills. Accident prone is one of the most common characteristics among all horses.

B

B is for breeds. There are tons of them, and everyone thinks that the breed they own is the one and only best breed there is.

B is for broke. Broke as in, broke to ride, meaning the horse has been trained to be tacked and carry a rider.

B is also for broke in many other senses of the word. Broke as in, they are expensive to keep. Often times between their board, farrier, vet, and training fees. Many horse owners find themselves broke from time to time.

We can also use B for broken bones. Many of us that have chosen to make a life with these 1,000-pound animals have had our fair share of broken bones. It comes with the territory.

B can also be used for the break. Horses like to break things. They break fences, halters, etc...break is one of their favorite words. They even like to break themselves.

C

C goes along with B, being for broke, keeping up the theme. Horses are costly. This is a common theme with the horse alphabet and owning and riding horses in general.

Continuing on the C theme, C is for a credit card. Be prepared to max it out!

C is for confusing. Horses can be confusing. When they don't act right it can be confusing to figure out what is up with them. Confusing is also a good descriptive word because learning to be a good rider involves multi-tasking, which can be really confusing at times.

C is for Concussion. Take my word for it, it can happen with horses, I have had 5 of them in my riding career. Wear a helmet, all the time. Enough said.

D

D is for drama. It seems that horse farms tend to all have their fair share of drama. If possible, I suggest steering clear of it. If you are lucky enough to find a drama free horse farm, thank your lucky stars and ever leave!

D is for dressage. That fancy discipline that makes horses look like they are dancing. Beautiful to watch, hard to do! It seems that people either love or hate dressage, there is not much middle ground there it seems.

E

E is for eventing. Eventing is a three-phase horse sport. That includes dressage, cross-country jumping and show jumping. Eventing goes from the beginner, lowest levels all the way up to the adrenaline junky level!

E is for everything goes wrong at the worst times. The shoe comes off the day before the show when the farrier is on vacation. The horse colics on Christmas Eve or during a snowstorm when the vet can't come. It pours rain on your day to feed, or at your time to ride at the show.

F

F is for farrier. Every horse owner needs a good farrier. They are hard to come by. If you find one treat them well and be grateful.

F is for feed. Horses need lots of feed. All different horses need different types of feed and there are a million choices. This goes back to C (confusing).

F is for a farm. If you want a horse, you will either board your horse at a farm, or you will have to buy a farm on your own. Maybe you are just taking weekly lessons right now. Horses and farms go together.

G

G is for grass. Horses love grass, but be careful, it is possible for them to get too much of it (there is that C is for confusing again).

G is for goals. If you work with horses, you will be more successful if you work towards goals.

G is for girls. Horses and little girls go together like peas and carrots. If you are at a lesson barn, be prepared for girls. Lot of them.

H

H is for Hopefully. Hopefully is a very common word in the horse lovers vocabulary. Hopefully, the horse won't be lame. Hopefully, you can afford the vet bill. Hopefully, your horse doesn't slam on the brakes in front of the jump. Hopefully, if you fall off you don't break anything.

H is for a helmet. Wear one! I don't care if they are ugly. Buy a cute one or a cover. I don't care if it messes up your hair. I don't care if it is really hot. Just sweat a little, it won't kill you, but hitting your head hard enough might. Wear one every time every ride.

H is for the hospital. The expensive ones we have to put our horses in when they get sick or hurt. Or god forbid, the ones we end up in after we have an accident with our horse. You will visit them both at some point in time, unfortunately.

I

I is for insurance. If you ride horses you need health insurance. If you teach people to ride horses or let people ride your horses you need liability insurance. If you spend a fortune on a show horse, you might choose to buy mortality insurance for the horse. Horses and insurance are very familiar with each other.

I is for ice packs. The ones you will put on your feet when they get stepped on. I is for ice packs, like the one I put on my forehead for the post-concussive syndrome. Eventually, if you are a horse person so you will be wanting an icepack.

I is for ibuprofen. Riding horses is a workout on the body, taking care of them is hard work out on the body. Getting beat up by them is hard on the body. Every horse person should have ibuprofen readily available at all times.

J

J is for jumping. Both the kind people practice as a discipline or competition, or the kind we all experience from time to time, when our horses jump up in the air when they are afraid of something.

J is for justifying. You will have to justify your spending on your horse. Justify your horse's bad behavior. Justify your dirtiness in public... Justifying is a big part of horse ownership and riding. Oh yea, Justified is also the most recent triple crown winner.

K

K is for Kentucky. The bluegrass state. Known for its thoroughbred horses. Kentucky Horse Park, Churchill Downs, Keeneland, it is horse lovers paradise.

K is for kindergarten. Just when you think your horse really understands what you want it to do, he will act totally clueless. He will act like he won't understand and it will be back to basics. Horsey kindergarten if you will. If you don't take your horse back to kindergarten and close those holes in his education he will never move successfully forward.

L

L is for liability. There is a lot of liability involved with the horse business. Which goes back to the letter I, we need insurance. All different kinds to protect us from these liabilities.

L is for Lame. Your horse will go lame at the worst times. When you have a lesson or a show. Maybe when you can't get the vet out. Lame is a term you will become familiar with, but hopefully not too often!

L is for Lunge Line. Everyone will become familiar with this at some point in time. Whether to get the crazy out of their horse before they get on. To train him to voice commands. Maybe to check if he is lame. You will at some point us a lunge line.

M

M is for money. Don't count on having much of it if you have horses. They cost money, and you have to find a way to make a lot of money to support them.

M is for a mare. Otherwise known as, girl horse. Some people love them, some people hate them. They can be moody and hard to handle. Depending on the mare you cross paths with will depend on if you are a fan of mares or not!

M is for a miracle. A miracle is what you will pray for when your horse is running away with your or trying to buck you off. A miracle is what you pray for when you are at the tack or feed store and your credit card is not declined.

N

N is for a normal life. Something that you won't have anymore once you get wrapped up in the wonderful world of horses. Kiss it goodbye now while you still have the chance!

N is for neigh! We can't have the horse alphabet without mentioning the word neigh. We all love to hear the horses talking to each other every once in a while. It's fun to imagine what they might be saying! Hopefully, nothing to bad about us!

O

O is for outdoors. Yep outdoors, you will be outdoors in all kinds of weather. Hot, cold, rainy, snowy, icy, you name it. Hope you love the great outdoors.

O is for opinions. In the horse world, you will hear tons of opinions. Horse people can be opinionated. Just beware of who you take advice from. Trust the opinions of experienced horsemen and woman. There are many internet experts that would love to ill advise you with their opinions.

O is for old clothes. You will try to use your old clothes for the barn, and then keep some clothes strictly out of the barn to keep them nice. Be prepared, eventually, if you live the horse life, all your clothes will become old clothes that are only fit for the barn.

P

P is for Pony. Sometimes they are cute and sweet. Often times they are miniature spawns of satan that get away with murder because everyone good enough to make them listen is too big to ride them. You will meet good ponies and bad ponies. Pretty ponies and ugly ponies. Be prepared, your horse life will include ponies too.

P is for Preparation. If you have a horse, you will learn to be prepared for everything. For both you and the horse. Prepared for changes in the weather, prepared for natural disaster, prepared for a minor injury, prepared for a flat tire on the horse trailer. As a horse person, you learn to be prepared.

P is for Positive. This is part f the alphabet of horses because if you have a positive attitude and a positive outlook, you will be more successful with horses. As well as being able to handle the up's and down's of horse life a lot more easily.

Q

Q is for Quiet. We all want a nice quiet horse. We want a nice quiet riding ring to ride in and a nice quiet barn to keep our horse in.

Q is also included because we want to keep quiet so our parents or significant others don't know how much money we spend on non-essentials for our horses. We would never hear the end of it.

R

R is for riding of course. We can't have the R in the horse alphabet without riding.

R is for rest. That is one of the things that you will be wanting a lot more of once you are living the horse life. Keeping up with riding lessons, being present for vet and farrier appointments and all that good stuff, makes for a lot of running around. You will be learning to appreciate any chance to rest.

R is for Remember. If you ride in shows you will have to learn how to remember jump courses and dressage tests. If you are learning to ride you will have to remember to check diagonals and leads. If you are riding or owning horses, there is always something to remember.

S

S is for a saddle. There are all different kinds. We each have our own favorite brands and styles of the saddle. Some prefer English, some prefer western. Either way, most everyone who is involved with horses will eventually either use a saddle or own one.

S is for sale. You will always look for things that are on sale. Things for your horse of course. Also though, things for yourself, since you will want to be able to save as much as you can to pay for your horse's bills and all the color coordinated equipment you want them to have.

S is for sound. You will hear this word a lot. Sound meaning the horse is not limping, not sore anywhere, that it is rideable. We all want our horses to stay sound. Some of them seem to have a harder time at it than others.

T

T is for Time. I will never seem like you have enough time for your horse because you are always working extra hours at work to make money to pay for the horse. It will never seem like you have enough time with your horse. Once you start living the horse life, you will want to devote all your time to it.

T is for Trust. There is a lot of trusts involved in living the horse life. Do you trust your horse? Do you trust the people who take care of your horse? Do you trust your trainer or instructor? Do you trust your vet? Do you trust your farrier? As I said, there is a lot of trust involved.

T is for Treats. Every horse owner knows that they better show up with treats for there horse at least some of the time if not all. Apples, Carrots, Peppermints, gourmet horse treats, any kind, it doesn't matter. Horses just appreciate treats!

U

U is for Unicorn. Which is what we are always looking for. In other words, the perfect horse. You know the one that is pretty, and sound and cheap or free, and fully trained of course. People look far and wide for these elusive horses. They are so elusive that they might as well be unicorns.

U is for Useless equipment that you will hoard just in case you need it in the future. Pieces of tack, bits, blankets, brushes. Things you can't dare to part with because you might, eventually need them again.

V

V is for Victory. I'm not talking Olympic gold medals or anything like that. Small victories feel huge when you have been working hard on something for a long time. It is a good feeling.

V is for Vain. Don't be one of those vain, snobby horse people that nobody likes. It isn't about the fanciest clothes or the most expensive horse. It's about the love of horses and horsemanship, no need to be vain about things.

W

W is for weird. Horse people can be weird. Horses do weird things. Hurt themselves in weird places at weird times. Your instructor might say something that sounds totally weird, but that might be the way it finally clicks with you and makes sense.

W is for wondering. You will spend a lot of time wondering why your horse is doing something. Why he is reacting he is reacting the way he is or maybe not reacting. You will wonder why he does what he does and if there is anything you can do to change it. Then there is the obvious, you will wonder how you will pay all the extra bills your horse runs up.

X

If you do dressage X is in the middle of the dressage arena, where you start and end your dressage test. Sort of like X marks the spot.

X or Crossrail is a jump that many people jump to warm up. A good beginner jump. If you ride English you might jump over an X or two from time to time.

Y

Y is for yelling! Whether it be you yelling at your horse. Maybe your trainer or instructor yelling at you. Maybe getting yelled at by your significant other for spending too much money. I'm sure at some point you will experience yelling, hopefully not too often!

Z

Obviously, Z is for zebra! What horse loving person doesn't dream about owning a Zebra? Oh, wait? Is that just me! It can't be!!

We All Have Our Own Version I'm Sure

This is my interpretation of the alphabet of the horse world. I'm sure there are many others out there! Maybe I will write another one someday.

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