Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fashion Sense and the Contents of My Console

Note: Have been experiencing technical difficulties due to the weather - sorry for the delay!

Our recent snowstorm has left me housebound with lots of time to think and reflect - always a dangerous thing. I'm pretty active by nature, and being cooped up in my rather small abode does not lead to much good. Luckily, I was saved from self-destruction by a nice long chat with my very dearest friend, Cat. A four hour chat to be exact.

Long before Chef came into my life, Cat proved to me that a non-horse person could in fact live harmoniously with a horse person. When we first met, she told me she had once ridden a pony at the state fair and that was about the extent of her horse experience. Yet there was enough of a connection between us that we became roommates, and remained so for seven years. Face it - any person that you can live with for seven years who is not your relative or spouse is truly a friend for life, a soul sister. That is who Cat is to me, the closest thing to a sister I have ever had.

I think it was the boots that sealed our friendship. When Cat and I first began living together I was still in college and very active on the intercollegiate equestrian team. I was going to school full time, working part time, and riding every moment in between. Often that meant riding early in the mornings before class, and more often than not actually going to class still in my boots and breeches. Lucky for me at the time the "Equestrian Look" was making a comeback in the fashion world and I did not get too many strange looks. In fact, most of my college friendships began in this way:

Random Student: "Hi! Where did you get that darling outfit?"

Me: "Ummm...the tack store."

RS: "Which mall is that at? I don't know that one. It must be new."

Of course, this infatuation with my attire usually only lasted a week or so until RS realized that I came to class like that every day; eventually she would sit close enough to realize that it was more than just a "look". At that point the conversation would shift slightly.

RS: "So, did you go riding today?"

Me: "Ummm....yeah."

RS: "So what, do you ride EVERY day??"

Me: "Ummm... yeah."

Random Student would eventually move to a seat out of odor range, and such was the end of that friendship.

Cat was different right from the start. Although she too shared a fascination with my wardrobe (and did actually borrow my boots from time to time because "they would be soooo cute with this outfit!!), she really made an attempt to understand my lifestyle. She would watch Spruce Meadows with me and made a genuine effort to comprehend what was going on. Once she cleaned my tack and ironed my show clothes for me because I had a term paper due (overdue) and was leaving the next day at zero-dark-thirty for a show. That is friendship you can't put a price tag on.

Still, some aspects of my horse life were just beyond her. One incident in particular I remember. We were in my car and she was digging in my console looking for a pen or some such normal thing. Suddenly she pulled out an object, and the conversation that followed went something like this:

Cat: "What the heck is this thing?"

Me: "A hoof pick"

Cat: "A what?"

Me: "Hoof pick."

Cat: "What do you do with it?"

Me: "You clean out a horse's hoofs with it."

Cat: "Why would you need to do that?"

Of course, it had never occured to me that a person would NOT know that a horse's hooves needed regular cleaning. At this point in my life, I was only beginning to understand that my habits seemed somewhat weird to those who were not, despite their parents' proclamations, actually raised in a barn. Still, her next question took me by surprise:

Cat: "Why is it in your console?"

I mean, who doesn't keep a hoof pick in their car's console? Perhaps there was something to this "horse people are weird" thing. Throughout the rest of our journey, and many more later on, Cat conducted an in depth investigation of my car's contents.

Cat: "What is this?"

Me: "Boot pull."

Cat: "What does it...never mind. Is this a hairnet???"

Me: "Yes."

Cat: "What do you need a hairnet for?"

Me: "How do you keep your hair neat under your helmet?"

Cat: "Ummm...I don't!"

Me: "Too bad. A helmet would really accentuate the riding boots you are wearing, but only if your hair were properly contained."

And so on and so forth. Let's just say Cat learned a great deal of her horse knowledge by rummaging through the console of my car.

Still, the years have passed, and miles are now between us. Yet the strange and wonderful friendship we developed for whatever reason survives - enough to warrent four hour chats from time to time.

And when we do get together, she still wants to borrow my boots. And I have to admit, they do look pretty cute.



  1. Just stopping by and I'll put you in my blog "address book."

    I'm not sure I have a hoof pick in my console, but I did have a braid puller and a double end snap. Heck you never know when you may have to braid a horse or latch something or other.

    Other miscellaneous objects like that are scattered throughout my life. Why, right now, there is a dressage whip next to my computer....I attach a string to it and it makes a great cat "fishing pole," provided you wish to troll for playful cats.

    I'll be back tomorrow. *S*

  2. Ahahaha! Great post! Sorry the weather has you all cooped up...ugh.

    I usually find myself explaining why I have random coils of baling twine in my vehicle, horse blankets in the back seat or oats/corn spilled into the crevices of the seats.