Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weekly Blog Roundup

Round 1, Match 3 of March Madness is open until midnight tonight! VOTE!

Also a PSA: we saw Logan last night, and there was a really terrifying bit with a horse trailer and multiple horses right in the middle of it. Everything turned out ok but if you have any anxiety about possibly awful things happening to horses, be aware. I couldn't watch it.

Can I/Will You Ride My Horse? from Zen and the Art of Baby Horse Management
Are there any other sports where a request like this is so fraught? I can't imagine so.

How the backyard barn lifestyle has changed my ideas about footing from PONY'TUDE
Interesting how a change of circumstances opens possibilities.

Forward and down from Cob Jockey
This is basically exactly what I needed to read this week.

With a side of science from The $900 Facebook Pony

No room for bigotry in equestrian sport from Horse Nation
A bit over-written but hard-hitting, makes excellent points, and is something we're all complicit in.

Your non-horsey read: The Downfall Of YouTube’s Biggest Star Is A Symptom Of A Bigger Illness. An exceptionally well-analyzed read about the ways in which the corners of the internet are testing the limits of socially acceptable speech, and becoming radicalized. It ties together the thrill of being provocative with the echo chambers of the internet, and points out that in any other country we'd call this nascent terrorism, but we don't yet have a name for it in America.

Bonus non-horsey read because this describe exactly my last month in cooking & eating: How to turn a cupboard cleanout into a great meal plan. I'm having a lot of fun being creative with things that need to get used up, with only one bomb so far.


  1. Regarding "No room for bigotry in equestrian sport": great article that I had missed! Thank you for sharing. I kind of want to write a blog post sharing my own experiences, but the last two posts have been 100% political so I'm going to refrain and just share here in your comments section. :)

    It is especially interesting when you are a Latina rider in a hunter/jumper stable in the US. I have been mistaken for another Latino stable hand in the past at big show barns and competitions, when in work (vs riding) clothes + tanned from the summer sun + speaking in Spanish to other stable hands. Americans just assume that if you speak Spanish, you must be a barn worker. Especially when you're one of the few riders who will clean up after herself, tack up and untack her own horse, and help out with your horse's care because the stable hands work hard enough as it is. They do appreciate that extra effort and also being treated like human beings, regardless of whether you speak their native tongue or not. At the time, I preferred to mistakenly be lumped in with the humble and hard-working over the snobby and privileged. I would love to say I am the exception, but this is a common occurrence when you're a Latino in the horse show world, especially at upper levels of competition.

    One of the most incredible riders I have ever had the privilege of working with closely was actually an illegal immigrant from the Dominican Republic that worked as a stablehand at the big show barn where I rode and taught at in Puerto Rico. This barn was one of the oldest on the island and the only one at the time with the capacity to host international-level competitions (which it did host). Roberto was one of the best grooms at the barn and could put an iridescent sheen on any horse in his care, and calmly settle the most nervous, most difficult horses in the barn. He was so quiet and reserved that most people didn't talk much with him at all, but my trainer Ron saw him and recognized his skill. He was one of my trainer's favorite grooms, even though Roberto barely knew English (Ron was American and only spoke English; Puerto Ricans are fully bilingual hence why all of us could understand one another. It is more rare for Dominicans to know English, so the grooms often depended on us students to translate for them) Ron brought Roberto along to all of our shows, taught him English, put him to work in the warm-up ring, helped get his papers sorted out so he could be legal, and when Ron moved back to the US to open his own breeding and training farm, he took Roberto with him. And made him his barn manager and one of his lead rider.

    Roberto had apparently been a major showjumper during his days in the Dominican Republic. The man could ride a horse like a centaur, and I had the opportunity of riding with him in a lesson. He was amazing to watch, and I was so happy that he had found this opportunity. I don't know what became of him after Ron lost everything, but I hope he is still involved with horses.

    Just goes to show that you can't ever assume about a person's background based on their country of origin, their citizenship status, how they got to the place where they currently live in, or their first language. And this is why I get so angry over racism and prejudice. There is no place for these sentiments *anywhere*.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I'm sorry that you've experienced that. I've been at barns where the grooms have been treated poorly, and it makes me crazy. At a previous barn, we all contributed to help pay a groom's immigration-related court expenses; he was the best worker that barn ever had, and it went downhill after he left. I regret that I didn't follow up to see where he went next. I, too, would rather be lumped in with the hard workers than the snobs, and part of my inherited privilege is that people will always assume that I'm their equal. As I said - we're all complicit. :(


Thanks for commenting! It's great to hear from you.