Thursday 27 October 2011

The Duck Billed Platypus

By now some of you are probably wondering...."why doesn't this stupid woman just buy her own horse?"

Valid question.  In fact I already owned a horse.  We will call him the Duck Billed Platypus.

If you want to find all the cops they're hanging out in the donut shops..

In 1999, shortly before the world was about to spiral into utter chaos and destruction thanks to Y2K (do you ever just stop and think about how stupid it was to worry about this date?) I was set to have my 30th birthday.  Yes, I knew at that time I was OLD.  Like really OLD.  One step away from Depends and a walker.  (do you ever just stop and think about how stupid it was to worry about this date?).

In fact, I had made a vow to myself that I would get back into riding by the time I turned 30, before I lost all mobility and balance and drooled all over my horse (after all, Adult Ams on the hunter A circuit have one foot in the grave at the golden age of 36.  My time had almost come) .   Although I was just a little late (no point in buying the horse when lawlessness and anarchy would be reigning in a month due to those missing digits, I figured) in January of 2000, I bought the Platypus.

What on earth inspired a grown woman to buy an Arab pony?  Yet another good question.  I was 30 after all, perhaps it was the senility of old age setting in.  It also had a lot to do with the fact that I am 5'3" and wanted something young, sound, a decent mover.....and oh yah - my budget was $1500.  Let's be honest, that pretty much decided it for me there.  (This amount of money may buy you something spectacular in today's pathetically tanking horse market, but at the time, it really wasn't much).

I am not going to go into detail of the life and times of the Platypus and me, as really that story belongs in the Hunter Curmudgeon blog, and there are plenty of people that think that since I have time to write one blog I am loser with no life, let alone two.  Long story short, had Platypus for a while, got bored, leased him out to a nice family for a few years... and that few years was almost up.  He would be returned to me shortly.

Now at some point just as the "got bored" phase of this story was about to begin, I crossed paths with a "dressage instructor" who told me that the platypus would be fabulous FEI dressage pony.  Dressage pony?  WTF?  Is there really such a thing?  Ooooh yes.  This was apparently an up and coming thing. Soon, there would be a massive market for such creatures.  Big, big bucks awaited me if I took the time to turn the platypus into a dressage star.

Huh!  That sounded pretty good.  I have a pony, I like money... I love it when a plan comes together.  I kept the thought in the back of my mind.  When the time came, instead of doing the sane and rational thing and selling him as a hunter pony immediately upon his return to me and buying a real horse, I decided instead to bone up on my dressage skills to prepare myself to tap into this lucrative "FEI dressage pony" craze that was about to take North America by storm.

Well I don't need to tell you, I was sadly misguided.  On several fronts.

First, the "dressage instructor" turned out to be... how do I say it gently... insane.  Anyone who's resume includes both dressage master and reikki master is a bit...different.  I really don't want to say too much else because he also has that certain lawsuit flair to him that makes me want to say...nothing.   Secondly, no matter how many times it is discussed on the internet... (in fact, there is a post on EMG right now!) the dressage pony market sucks.  Why on earth would anyone put all of the effort and years into the correct dressage training of a pony when you can get big bucks after six months if you can install an "auto change" and a pony jock can kick the little sucker around hunter course at warp speed with their head cranked to the outside (why do ponies always have to look to the outside?  I have never really understood this).  Thirdly, if someone does decide to spend the time and money to train a pony to FEI pony level - they are sure as hell not going to start off with a platypus.

So, maybe that was a bit of a spoiler, as you now know that things aren't going to end well for the Platypus. For now, he was still safely with his nice little family, as I honed my dressage prowess.  Poor guy.  He didn't see the longe whip coming at him until the working student ran up and hit him in the ass with it.


  1. Hilarious blog.. keep it coming. I don't always agree with your stance on things, but they make me laugh. And so many things are spot on!!

  2. Thanks Kerri, I appreciate the feedback.