Jitterbug's Guide To Halloween

Oct 28, 2016 - 8:33 AM

October is upon us and as I have learned, this means that the Humans celebrate cooler weather in some very strange ways.

While I am on board with flavoring every imaginable drink and dessert with pumpkins and apples (as long as the Biped shares), I must say as someone who has studied human psychology, I find the costume element all too predictable.

It isn’t the least bit surprising to me that Humans spend a day fantasizing about being someone different. Someone smarter, quicker, more accomplished, or more interesting. Which in some cases, really shouldn’t take much effort. Really,

Halloween isn’t so different from the average dressage show—the Human dusts off an ill-fitting outfit from the darkest corner of her closet and pretends to be her alter-ego, which I assume is a Dressage Queen, while ad-libbing the role with misdirected enthusiasm.

However, since she insists upon her bourgeois escapism each year, I’ve compiled a list of potential Halloween costumes that I think are much more fitting for her character.

Ever the diligent teacher however, I am determined that each option could teach her a valuable lesson about horsemanship. I am still paring down the options, both store-bought and homemade, and plan to order her the necessary components off of Amazon.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • The Wailing Banshee: Inspired by her instinctive response to the first three cross country jumps on any course. There are lots of costume kits available for this one but I prefer the ones with green face paint. I think the best lesson here is that screaming at trick-or-treaters may hurt your throat, but it’s likely to hurt the ears of Bipeds (and, by extension, Quadrupeds) around you first…perhaps a hint that she should save the soprano edition for the trailer ride home after the horse trial.
  • The Slug: Weirdly, not many Humans seem interested in dressing as slugs for Halloween (which is ironic, given what similar beings they seem to be around dinnertime). I find this an appropriate representation of her toward the middle of our cross country course, where her plan of attack seems to be ‘the slower we canter, the longer I can spend panicking about the fence.’ Pinterest suggests sticking the offending Human in a giant yellow plastic bag, but I figure if I hip bump her into a slimy water trough, that should work just as well. Appropriately, this option would teach her to get a move on, away from the stinky water trough and toward the feed room.
  • The limp spaghetti noodle: Inspired by her instinctive response to the final three cross country fences in our average course. All she has to do is wear beige and take a no-stirrups lesson with me, and she’ll be sufficiently wobbly in no time. And, even if people can’t figure out what she is, a no-stirrups lesson could do wonders for her lower leg. 
  • The inaccurate tape measure: A way for her to remain in touch with the obsessive side of her brain that insists upon measuring every stadium fence down to the millimeter, certain that something will be higher than six inches, or whatever the max height is for the starter division. For this one, she could dress all in yellow and have another Human write random numbers up and down her sides. A personal tip: to reflect reality, the numbers should jump from ‘Meh, 2 ft 0 in’ to ‘Ohgodthat’s 4 ft’ somewhere between the ankle and mid-calf. I consider this option a great teaching opportunity, as I’m hoping people will ask her why her perceptions of space and distance are so comically poor, perhaps inspiring her to let me pick our takeoff spots from now on.
  • The Michelin Man: What? Those pumpkin spice lattees are doing her fanny no favors.
  • The Octopus: I imagine this would be a somewhat disorienting costume, as she’d have to disentangle the fake tentacles from shrubbery and fellow party guests, but hey—it would finally provide her with an excuse for her natural tendency to trip over her own feet. I also hope this option could give her an appreciation for what it’s like to deal with more than two feet.
  • The Sled Dog: This gets really old really quickly if one of her dippy friends pretends to be a dog sled driver. The internet advises me that pre-made Husky dog costumes are pricey, but if being ordered to run around ‘pulling’ a buddy all night long convinces her never to try to ‘harness train’ me, it’s worth it.
  • The witch: C’mon, I don’t really need an explanation for this one, do I?

Jitterbug is a Michigan-bred Professional Draft Cross who skillfully avoided saddles until age 5. Since then, she has been lauded for her talent in successfully managing humans while training herself to one day achieve eventing greatness. Jitter and her human live in central Kentucky.
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Photo by Dark Horse Photography.

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