[DWJ] Horse fantasies

Jackie E Stallcup jstallcup at juno.com
Tue Jun 23 18:21:09 EDT 2009

I'm an inveterate horsegirl too--caught the bug at 10 and pined for
horses until I figured out that you can take lessons--you don't actually
have to own a horse to be able to ride.  Did that for years until I was
able to purchase my own horse and haven't looked back.  I think Ehsan is
right--if you really have the bug, it doesn't matter how much poop you
gotta scoop.  It's worth it--even when, for a time, my horse spent his
days working out how to kill me or at least make me completely nuts and I
cried every time that I rode.    As for why.... I think that power does
have a lot to do with it.  I also love the partnership aspect of it.  I
grew up riding motorcycles as well, and while that's a lot of fun, it's
just not the same.  

It's funny how much you even become a kind of "in-group" reader--if you
know horses, you can spot in a moment when a writer is faking it. 
Although (as far as I know) dwj isn't a fellow horsegirl, she does get a
lot of the details right in The Pinhoe Egg.  Horses are big and
scary--and you can't really understand how big and scary until you are
standing next to one.  Nearly every non-horse person that I introduce to
my horse to says immediately, and with trepidation, "Gosh, he's REALLY
BIG!"  So I have sympathy for the girls' reactions!  And as for the way
that Cat can feel the horse's feelings, that's very true.  I can usually
feel what my horse is thinking and anticipate what he's going to do (as
in, bolt) when I'm riding him even though he's not showing it to, say, my

There have been a number of horsebooks that just had me rolling my eyes
in disbelief  (how about a book in which a horse wins the Kentucky Derby
even though the stirrup leather has broken and the jockey is flopping
around on his back, for example?  Ridiculous!)  On the other hand,
there's Dick Francis, who captures the horsey life in quite wonderful
ways.  I've never ridden in a race--but after reading some of his books,
I feel like I have.    


P.S.  here's how you can tell someone's not a rider:  

1.  They ask, "How can you possibly get tired when riding your horse?
He's doing all the work."

2.  They say, "Riding lessons?  You've been riding for years--how can you
possibly need riding lessons?"  
On Tue, 23 Jun 2009 20:53:11 +0100 Ehsan Roudiani <es at historicalfact.com>
> I've been riding for 26 years (I'm 31), and for several of them I did 
> it professionally. Horses are like crack - they're expensive,  
> addictive and dangerous. Once you're hooked, few people come out the 
> other side... However if you don't 'get it' from the start then you  
> probably never will. There is for some people an element of  
> unconditional love (not with my old sod of a horse, admittedly), and 
> for some it's controlling a big powerful animal (again, my old chap  
> would have something to say about that, he very firmly trained me 
> when  
> I got him 22 years ago and is still in charge) and for some it's 
> just  
> addiction.
> Anyone else read 'the big book of lesbian horse stories'? That's  
> hysterically funny.
> I've not heard of vinegar on the backside, but then since I've been  
> riding so long I suspect my backside is tough as old boots anyway 
> and  
> has been for years. You do put surgical spirit on the horse's skin 
> if  
> it needs toughening up, so it might be something similar to that.
> Ehsan.
> On 23 Jun 2009, at 13:10, Helen Schinske wrote:
> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Gili Bar-Hillel" 
> <gbhillel at netvision.net.il 
> > >
> > To: "Diana Wynne Jones discussion" <dwj at suberic.net>
> > Sent: Monday, June 22, 2009 10:31 PM
> > Subject: Re: [DWJ] Horse fantasies
> >
> >
> >
> >>
> >> ObDWJ: DWJ does not strike me as a particularly horsey kind of  
> >> author. The
> >> only horse I can think of is the one in "Fire and Hemlock" who is 
> >> not half
> >> as fleshed out as the car that succeeds him.
> >>
> > But Gili, you've forgotten the COUNTESS! (Who is a gelding, 
> IIRC.)
> >
> > I have always been dubious about the benefits of vinegar on the  
> > behind after riding. Too dubious to try it (either the riding, not 
> > that I can afford it anyway, or the vinegar). Did DWJ make it up?
> >
> > Helen Schinske
> >
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