I think one of the things my mom probably felt really sad about when I was a kid that I just didn’t really ever get into the horse and dog books that she loved. I had and read Misty of Chincoteague but I just couldn’t get into Black Beauty or My Friend Flicka or any of the other typical books about horses that young girls are supposed to like. And even though I grew up on a cattle ranch and several of our neighbors had horses, I was never one of those girls who was really into them (or their fantasy counterparts, unicorns or pegasuses. Pegasi? Pegases?), into drawing them or wanting to ride one or wanting a pony or anything.
I didn’t ride a horse, other than one year at May Day when I was really little on a pony ride, until I was 21 years old and visiting my friend in Michigan. We’d driven to Mackinac Island and he wanted to do the ‘explore the island on horseback’ tourist thing. He was a bronc rider (literally) and quite comfortable on and around horses, but I was kind of nervous even though my horse was one of those ones who only wanted to follow the horse in front of her and plod along. My other personal horse experiences have been minimal and limited to mostly observing, though I do have a sense memory of how soft a horse nose is.
It wasn’t until recently, and I can’t say what it was in particular, but I realized I kind of have a phobia of horses? Not really a phobia. They are just…BIG and powerful and not especially bright and easily frightened. A few months back, Dan and I were on a hike in a local park and two volunteer ranger types rode by us on the trail, mounted on horseback, and as we stood there and talked to them about the family of deer that had just ambled by, I realized just how BIG and TALL and person riding on the back of a horse is. I finally really understood why an army with cavalry has a distinct advantage and why people trained horses to be tools in combat. If I were part of an army on foot and all I had was a spear or a sword and a shield and a whole bunch of people on horses came at me really fast I would run away as quickly as my cowardly legs could carry me.
My opinion of horses must be in the minority, because they’re a huge part of popular culture. People keep making movies about famous horses and I know tons of people must love them or those movies wouldn’t make any money. But for whatever reason, horses and the movies about them don’t really appeal to me. We’ve had War Horse on loan from Netflix for weeks or months and I’ve had no interest in watching it. Horses just ain’t my bag, baby.