Horse barn anecdote

Jean, my older sister, just bought a new horse, after her last horse died tragically. In describing her new horse on her blog, she used some jargon I didn’t understand. I left a comment to that effect, and Jean responded with a lengthy post explaining the jargon. (“SLB” obviously stands for “Snotty Little Brother”).

Jean wrote a good explanation of the jargon, and now I feel I know a little more about the World of Horses. That’s probably a good thing, because once when I went to visit Jean, I almost got myself in trouble.

Jean invited me to go out and visit her horse at the barn where he lived. It was a lovely place, although I think I was about the only man there. Jean showed me around, and we stopped at the riding rink, where the woman who runs the barn trains both horses and the women who ride them. An attractive young woman was riding a horse around the ring, and after watching her for awhile, Jean said, “Wow, she has a good seat!” Now, as a heterosexual male, I had just been thinking exactly the same thing, but then because I try to be a good minister and a nice guy, I studiously looked at the horse and not the young woman.

Fortunately, before I started blushing, I realized Jean was using some horse jargon that I didn’t understand (and still don’t).

After that embarrassing moment, I wound up talking with a woman who was a professional ornithologist, who humiliated me by hearing birdsongs I simply couldn’t hear.

All in all, visiting a horse barn was a challenging experience for me.

2 thoughts on “Horse barn anecdote

  1. E

    Having a “good seat” means the rider has a good connection to the horse — the rider’s movements are in rhythm with the horses, such that the seat is good. Sort of like a sailor having sea legs (but not really).

    Why do I know this, you might ask? Among the many things I do not use floating around my head is a lot of horse jargon I learned from my sister.


  2. Jean

    Dear Dan –
    I think you did very well being the only non-horsey person, and a boy, at that barn.

    Having a good seat is probably the best compliment a rider can hear. It *is* a lot like having good sea legs; it’s also a metaphor that can probably be extended into life too. A good seat allows you to stay with and on a horse; it also enables you to guide and influence the horse — where he goes, how he moves, even to calm him down or urge him forward. A good seat means staying focused and strong no matter the situation; I often think of having a good seat as a useful thing in, oh, the classroom, long meetings, dealing with cantankerous colleagues.

Comments are closed.