Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Truth About Horses

You like horses? Fine. I’ll sell you a horse property. That’s what I do. I’m a Realtor and my wife and I own two horses: Tennessee Walker mares named Zora and Divna-Serbian for Dawn and Beautiful. That’s what you name horses when you first bring them home and they’re the most incredible things you’ve ever owned, tall, elegant and full of power. But if you’re a first time horse buyer, there is something you better know about horse ownership and it is not something you would have learned from Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

When they were singing “Happy Trails” they were alluding to trails of-how do you put it delicately? Excrement? Feces? Manure? Let’s call it what it is. Crap. Horses crap. A lot. And, I mean a whole lot. They crap when they’re standing still and they can do it while they’re walking. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

When she was younger, my horse, Zora, could crap at a full gallop. Of course I never saw it because I was on top of her facing forward which how you generally ride, but you can ask my wife, Regina. She’ll tell you because she and Divna were always behind us, you can bet with their eyes wide open, staring at a jet-fueled, lunatic animal, tail up, head down, blasting brown matter out of her black rear end like a Mexican volcano.

Creating toxic waste is a horse’s version of the “circle of life.” If you buy a horse, it will become your version too, and there is nothing you can do but try to avoid tracking it into the house. It all begins when you bring home hay. We won’t get into the fact that hay costs money, sometimes lots of money. Hard-earned money. The kind you earn while listening to your boss telling you need how times are tough and there may be more layoffs.

If you are like us you have a two-story barn with the upper level for hay storage. In other words, you’ve got a situation where you have to get your hay up into the second story. There are different ways to accomplish this, but almost all involve backbreaking work hoisting up bale after bale after bale. Most likely you will do this at least once during the summer when it’s nearly ninety degrees and your skin gets coated with a noxious mixture of hay dust and sweat. Do the math. Two horses plus throw in an idiot goat or two like we have and you’re talking about 350 bales a year. Each one manually lifted to the second story.

Of course your horses don’t live on the second floor. They live underneath the hay on the ground floor. That means you have to turn around and drop the hay back down so that it will be available at feeding time. That’s right. First you lift it up so that you can drop it back down. So, what happens next in our “circle of life”? We feed it to the animals. And what do they do? Convert it into useless energy because they don’t do any work, then crap all over the place. Then what do you do? You pick up the crap and the whole cycle starts over. What you do with the crap is a whole other problem. You can spread it out over your property to dry, make a big pile for the kids to play on or throw it over the fence to show the neighbors what you really think of them.

The interesting thing is that horses don’t seem to care very much if you enjoy any of this or if the next muck rake of crap that you lift is the one that sends your heart into full cardiac arrest. They just watch, expressionless. Then crap some more and think to themselves, “You pick it up. Or don’t. We don’t really care one way or the other. Just don’t be late at feed time and make us mad or we’ll piss all over the stalls.” Which they’ll do anyway. And you clean that too.
So, it you still want to buy a horse property let me know. I’ll be happy to find one for you. Just don’t plan on moving next to us. Our fence isn’t tall enough.


  1. Very funny...and oh so true. But you know what the old saying is, "horse shit happens"!

  2. LOL Great perspective John!

    Horses keep us young.. or not! ;)

    Have fun shoveling out there.

  3. You made me laugh ! Reminded me of when I was a kid, neighbor girl and I had a horse turd fight one winter. She came over while I was mucking stalls I didn't see her before I flung my fork full. She picked up a frozen turd and hurled it at me... and the fight was on!

  4. Horse manure toxic waste? Our composted manure is more valuable to us than gold.

  5. OH you are so right, they just get mad if your late to feed..kind of like a baby...it goes in, and it comes out..