Tuesday 30 October 2012

Oh Platypus...how I miss your evil orange ass.. NOT

But enough about me and my obsession with watching others fail.

You may be wondering how Ms. V was making out with her new career as a Draaah-saaagh Hass.

Very well, thanks for asking.

In fact, after the surly sideways glances and constant scheming of the of the Platypus, she was truly a delight to work with.

Let me put it to you this way.  Pretend the Platypus and Ms. V were students at the same high school.

The Platypus would have been busily flirting with the cougary Ms. Crabapple type teachers, to distract them from the fact that he was using the wimpier children as drug mules and selling pot in their classes.

Ms. V on the other hand would be distraught and crying in the corner because she got 97 on a test instead of 100, and wondering why-WHERE-HOW she possibly went wrong.

Now, there are owners out there that are perfect matches for both of these horse personality types. To be honest, I don't think I have exactly the right personality type to own anything besides maybe a bicycle, and even Mr. Motard doesn't think I am quite cut out for that.  (Did you know they require something called "maintenance"?)

Thank goodness I wore pants.  I didn't offend dressage people, and had no inner thigh chafing either. Win-win.

To be honest, in retrospect the Platypus really was a much more amusing horse. Do you ever spend time fondly remembering the total asshole bad-boy type you dated in high school, then thanking the lord that he is permanently gone from your life?  Yah.  When I think about the Platypus, I have that same sort of feeling.  Ahh-hahh-haa... good times, glad you are long, fucking, gone.

The funniest thing about him... and we all know a horse like this.. is that he was constantly scheming and cooking up some plan to get out of doing whatever it is you wanted him to do.  But he was such an incredibly bad actor you could practically smell the smoke coming out of his ears as the little hamster in his brain ran on its wheel. This was of course most obvious when you were longeing him, as you could stare right into his sneaky little eye and almost read his evil mind.  It was usually saying something like this...

"Hmm.. I am going to make a run for it.  Yep, I am going to tear over to the gate, and rip that bitch's arm right out of it's socket.  Picture waterskiing through dirt at the end of that longe line - that's what I am envisioning for her.  Here it comes.  Waiiit, wait for it, waaiit, got to make this turn.. then..."  

And he was always shocked when I was ready, braced, wearing sturdy leather gloves, and weilding a longe whip. Typical man. They never expect you to be so well prepared, do they?

Mr. Motard's very very favourite Platypus story revolves around a visit from a work friend of his who had a lifelong dream of riding bareback (yes, I am sure there is something in there that Freud could have a field day with too, but let's stay on script here, shall we?).  And so, we brought him out to live his dream with the Platypus.

He was not a particularly small man, however Arabs in the western world have to deal with much worse, and he was by no means hurting the Platypus in any way as he rode around bareback, hunched over and gripping a hunk of mane in one hand, reins in the other.  But what was annoying the Platypus was his insistence on thump-thump-thumping him with his legs every time he wanted some action, instead of squeezing as I asked him to do repeatedly.

Every time he thump-thump-thumped, I could see the unmistakable look of an annoyed Arab flash across the Platypus' face.  Kind of like the look of a teenager being asked to pick his underwear up off the floor of his filthy bedroom - as I understand it, they are very similar expressions.

Now - I am usually a nice person. Well, sometimes I am a nice person. Ok, I have been nice to people a time or two in my life.  But something came over me that day as I watched this dude ride around in a fetal ball on the pissed off Platypus.  I suggested to him that what he should do - if he really wanted a good ride - was to kick the Platypus again.  Also - sit a little further back.  Yes - right there.  Now give one more good kick.

Mr. Motard still says I am mean to have told my horse to buck off his co-worker.  But I am telling you, it was just too perfect.  I felt some synergistic at-one-with-the-horse power come over me, like some warped and twisted horse whisperer. Yes, I have whispered with this horse.  He says he thinks you are an idiot, and he wants you dead.  Or at least off his fucking back.

And so - riding Ms. V on the typical night was just so easy compared to the psychological mindgames posed by the Platypus that in all honesty, I remember very little of the first 6 months.  Each ride, we longed first in sidereins and surcingle, switched to saddle, walk-trotted around, and that was that. Nothing really memorable happened.

Err.. I guess that is not entirely true.  Because although I really and truly don't believe in payback or Karma or whatever you call it (I just pretend to, in order to keep you new-age type readers intrigued), sometimes it really does seem to come and get you, doesn't it.

Shortly after I moved to Lilliput, Coach Ritenau's father showed up at the barn, coincidentally right about the time I was getting ready to ride. I proudly showed off my horse to him, and told him the wonderful work his daughter had been doing with me to get her going under saddle.  I then lead her up to the mounting block, swung my leg over ... not quite high enough, kicked her squarely in the ass, and sent her bucking bronc-ing across the arena, for about 20 metres or so before she put me into the kickboards and then squarely onto MY ass.

I got right back up, jumped on, and continued on with my ride as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Dum-de-dum. But I am sure I heard a sound.. it was faint, but I am certain that somewhere, out there, at a hunter barn east of Toronto, the Platypus was tenting his little evil hooves and laughing demonically.

Touche, Platypus.Touche.

Ahhh- haaa - haaaa!


  1. LOL It happens to us all. I actually put my first boyfriend on the back of mine and thought (No we shouldnt do this she has never been ridden double).

    He thought it was a dream to have his hands all over me when I usually said NO WAY!

    Only to have the horse take two steps and proceed dump us both like sacks of flower.

    We lasted about a week after that.

  2. The Platypus sounds exactly like my ArabX! Such a grouch and constantly scheming ways to get out of work! I was also reminded of a time when I took a long-ago boyfriend on a bareback ride with aforementioned grouch. He had been perfectly behaved my whole ride and then I told the boyfriend to hop up. It was then that the murderous red furnace in the corner became something worth spooking at and Reck decided he'd try and make a break for it! Boyfriend was dumped on the ground, but I knew the bugger too well to let him get me off. It was hilarious!
    And we also didn't last long after that, I think Reck was trying to tell me something ;)

  3. When people who don't ride, ask to ride my horse (even after I've told them he's only two **rolls eyes**), I ask them if they'd let someone drive their car that didn't have a license. They say no. I say "Well, there you go then." Most get it. The ones that don't, make me even happier that I didn't let them ride my (unbroke, two yr old) horse.

  4. My horse is smart enough to figure out that it is easier for him to do what I want than to NOT do what I want. If he pleases me, he gets to stop doing whatever insane thing I have in mind quite quickly (I am sure he views all lateral work as completely nuts). If he doesn't please me, he has to keep working at it. So he does his best to figure it out.

  5. Dear DC,
    I am an equestrian ignoramus, who stumbled across your blog nearly by accident. My 11 year old son, who has been riding just over a year, has decided to replace his dream of being an NHL star with being a dressage rider in the Olympics. WTF?? Anyway, you have managed to simultaneously educate, entertain and completely horrify me! Please, please keep 'em coming!

  6. I have a place in my working student program for any boy who gives up his dream to play in the NHL in order to pursue a chance to ride dressage in the Olympics. It's so daft it's brilliant. Please send your kid my way when the time comes :-).

    1. Be careful what you promise, Liz, we might just hold you to it! (And, in fact, my husband just asked if we could send him to you now by parcel post :-) )

      He is learning a bit of dressage now. His lessons seem to consist of him going around in circles, endlessly, while his instructor yells "On the bit!" "On the bit!" or "Bend that pony!". He *loves* it. I would have thought the daredevil in him would have made jumping a more natural choice, but I think it is much, much cooler that he has chosen dressage.