I wrote of my hatred for horses the other day and since you can’t just say you hate something without having evidence as to why, I will begin with one of the MANY stories depicting horses trying to ruin my life.
I take you back to a year we call 1993. Bill Clinton was president, Michael and Jessica were the most popular baby names, the sultry sounds of Dr. Dre were filling the airwaves and I was being dragged to a birthday party being thrown by friend’s of my parents.
I didn’t know the birthday girl, all I knew was that I was seven and a half, and she was four. The hierarchy is clear – 7 year olds don’t hang out with 4 year olds. I also knew that I didn’t want to go, especially dressed in a stupid pink dress with a giant bow that seemed permanently affixed atop my head for all of the 90’s.
But when you’re seven, you don’t have much choice in the matter.
And so my mother dragged me to this party despite my reluctance and like setting some beast loose in the wild, she pointed me in the direction of the other children and left me alone to fend for myself amongst the sea of toddlers.
The saving grace however was that this particular party was being thrown by parents that wanted to simultaneously please their daughter (who was young enough to surely not remember any of it) and show off to their guests. This resulted in a pony being brought over to give rides.
Now, I know what you’re saying –a pony isn’t technically a horse. But c’mon, what’s the difference? Size? That’s just pedantic. So you know what? A pony is a horse of course of course. At least it is in reference to my quote: I hate horses.
Unfortunately my seven-year-old self didn’t know I hated horses. In fact, this seven year old thought the idea of a pony ride to be singularly thrilling. And so pushing myself to the head of the line (in front of the birthday girl herself) I demanded a ride.
Now, if you had been there and looked critically at this pony at the party situation you would have noticed several things. First off – this operation was being run by a shady guy that lived down the block. This was not a regulated pony ride production. This was a guy wanting to earn a few bucks and happened to have a pony in his backyard (farm). Secondly the pony was really on its last legs.
Also, I think the guy was drunk.
But still, I climbed atop this mighty beast, ignoring the fact that I was a head taller than everyone there and that this pony was really not all that impressive. But I didn’t care – look at me, Mom! I’m riding a pony!
All of a sudden I became aware of a sickening feeling of tilting. With the blind faith given to the adult that had procured this pony and affixed its saddle, I gave no thought to it. Adults do everything right. So the guy who owned the pony surely tied the saddle on correctly, right? Well, that’s what I believed.
Until I fell off.
Turns out the saddle wasn’t as secure as everyone thought. And in my rush to be the first in line, I hadn’t given credence to the fact that I weighed more than the target demographic of this party; 4-year-olds. And so the saddle slipped, tilting me over the edge and directly onto the ground under the pony.
Oh and that stupid pink dress my mom had insisted on me wearing? Yeah, that rode up nicely, showcasing my underpants to all the party-goers who had come running at the sound of my terrified screams as I fell to my doom.
And as if it couldn’t get worse, when I blearily opened my eyes, my head spinning from the fall I was affronted with a sight that would both confuse and horrify me for the rest of my adolescence.
A pony dick.
At which point, I suppose I realized the proximity of my face to that pony dick because I began to shriek wildly, crying for my mom while all the four-year-olds looked on in amused silence as my mom rushed forward, saving me from the savage beast and consoling me.
And, in a defining act that would ensure my ass would forever be fat, my mom decided to calm my nerves by offering me cake. And I ate that cake with a feeling of misery and humiliation. And from that moment on, I began my crusade of hatred against horses.