There Are No Stupid Questions
I sat on Studly today! This was particularly thrilling for several reasons. It’s a Monday, of course, which makes everything a bit more challenging since Studly gets weekends off. He had a long weekend this time because on Friday the new students were taking their midterm so I didn’t work him. Our session on Thursday was rather tense because Ron decided to come out to the arena to shove and drag Studly around to “make him listen.” The weather dropped a good twenty degrees as well, so the little colt was feeling a bit frisky this morning.
Ron is out of town for the next two weeks, which gives me freedom to work Studly the way I’ve wanted to all quarter. We had some very calm work on the lunge, which was a huge relief after Thursday’s session. He was a bit worried when Jo came into the arena but settled into our routine easily. Jo and I joked around while we did the usual mounting stuff, then I swung my leg over and sat down. His hear came up and his ears were locked on me, but he didn’t tense his back or try to move away. I wiggled around and scratched his withers, then jumped down. Jo turned him around and we did the other side. It’s still tricky for me to coordinate everything on the off-side but he was pretty calm about the process that direction too. I let him be done with that because we only had ten minutes left and I didn’t want to get greedy. It was also freezing in the arena and I knew I could go into the viewing booth to warm up and answer questions.
The last day Ron wasn’t there I answered questions for the students and they really enjoyed it. Apparently Ron would rather read them poetry he wrote in the sixties than explain what I’m doing with Studly, so they had a lot of questions for me. They also wanted to know if I could explain things more often, so I told them that when Ron wasn’t there I would come into the booth to answer any questions they could think of.
They can think of some pretty weird questions. Most of them were relevant but pretty basic, some were a bit surprising and some were just plain stupid. I’ll share some of my personal favorites below, along with the answers that I did not dare to say out loud.
The question: “How do you keep from getting attached to him? I fall in love with every horse I work and I want to know how you stay separated.”
What I wanted to say: You’re fucking weird, kid. You need counseling or something. He’s a little western pony, what the fuck am I going to do with him?
What I actually said: “He is pretty cute and I do enjoy working with him, but the school changes training horses around every quarter so I know I won’t continue to work with him. It’s easier to not get attached if you know there’s no way to keep the horse.”
The question: “What would happen if he decided to run away while you’re sitting on him?”
What I wanted to say: Well, I’d either hang on and hope he stopped or fall off. And then we’d start over. Duh.
What I actually said: “I hope I would be able to ride through it. We do a lot of work to make sure he’s relaxed so that won’t happen.”
The question: “What are his bloodlines?”
What I wanted to say: Do I look like I care about his bloodlines? I’m just the kid who trains him for you idiots to watch. I don’t have to know a damn thing about him. He’s a Quarter Horse, those are his damn bloodlines.
What I actually said: “I’m not sure, I only know his barn name. Ron might be able to tell you.”
The question: “When will you ride him?”
What I wanted to say: Whenever he goddamn lets me. The sooner the better, because Ron has been making me go so fucking slowly I’m about ready to tear my hair out.
What I actually said: “I hope by the end of the week, but you never know with horses. He might have different plans.”
Of course no one asked the questions I was prepared to answer. You know, the ones about what I was DOING in the arena? Apparently there are more important questions out there. What the fuck, kids. What. The. Fuck.
At least Studly was a doll. That really made my morning.