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View Full Version : The $700 Pony is Diagnosed with Social Anxiety (Chapter 3, as it were)



Reynard Ridge
Dec. 5, 2004, 09:38 AM
Sadly, the $700 Pony suffers from Social Anxiety.

You’ve see the TV ads, haven’t you? (Softly Soothing Gender Neutral Voice Over): “If you find yourself with excessive, persistent fears about upcoming social situations and if the anxiety you feel in social situations is so severe it disrupts your daily life, it is possible you are suffering from social anxiety disorder.”

I immediately went to paxil.com and gave the $700 Pony the Paxil SPIN (Social Phobia Inventory) Test: Are you afraid of people in authority? Yes! Do parties and social events scare you? Yes! Do you sweat excessively in front of other people? Yes! Are you afraid of doing things when people might be watching? Yes!

There you have it, classic Social Anxiety. Odd thing to find in a herd animal, but hey, these things happen.

Now, Social Anxiety might not be the number one criteria on your list if you were seeking a new event prospect, but (verbal shrug of shoulders), what do you expect for $700? Next question: so now that we have ascertained that the $700 Pony suffers from Social Anxiety, what can be done about it? Well, I can tell you what NOT to do.

First, don’t exacerbate the situation by having the $700 Pony live with chickens. This did nothing for her self esteem.

Second, don’t make the situation worse by THEN moving the rather scruffy $700 Pony, sadly spotted with chicken poo, to the Fancy Schmancy Facility where she will be surrounded by the groomed and clipped within an inch of their little equine lives Pony Elite, not to mention a pack of over bred Rogue Jacks and a troop of unfailingly menacing Corgis. This will not result in an immediate decrease in Social Anxiety, let me tell you.

Who knew that there are ENTIRE BREEDS of canines on this planet in worse mental condition than Psycho Mutt? These two hooligan gangs rival the Bloods and the Crips for sheer testosterone run amuck, although on a significantly lower to the ground scale. My perspective on Psycho Mutt is shifting in her favor. At least she is tall enough to see coming.

But I digress.

The Fancy Schmancy Facility is all you may imagine. I have boarded at some nice barns in my day. Some with indoors even. Some that I would describe as “fancy,” but this, THIS, was fancy SCHMANCY.

There are 100 – let me repeat that – ONE HUNDRED – stalls on the property, each larger than my first condo. The horses are like none I have seen in my sheltered lifetime (although to keep it in perspective, I think a $700 Pony is a BIG DEAL). These horses and ponies are tick fat, sleek, clipped within an inch of their lives, gorgeous bug eyed, sculpted heads, like horses conceived by Michelangelo, like creatures from another equine planet. Some of you may be saying, “Hey, rube lady, where have you been all your life!” Well, I have not been around anything like this.

The FSF is cared for by a super efficient team of gentlemen for whom English will some day be a second language. These guys are serious workers and keep the FSF and its resident Super Equines in tip top shape. For someone used to self care, this is all a little intimidating.

The (many) grooming stalls have individual lights, fans, and wet bars and are covered with this soft, rubberized brick stuff that feels a bit like a down featherbed for the feet. I thought it a little odd that there were no drains. How in the heck did these people keep Super Equines as spotless as they obviously were without access to water? Then I opened the door to what I had thought was the “bathroom.”

Forgive me, I almost burst into tears. First of all, the ‘”’wash stall’”” was exponentially, nay, light years nicer than the single bathroom my family of four shares (although, technically, only two of us are potty trained). Hot and cold running water, insulated and yet well ventilated with an electric fan, cedar lined, unbelievably gorgeous and totally functional. Oh, and wait, there are TWO of them! Waaahh!!

But I dither. Let us swing back to our Socially Anxious $700 Pony, shall we?

So my therapist called me today. Well, technically, she’s my trainer, but for the sake of argument, let’s just call her my therapist. The conversation went something like this:

Trainer/Therapist: “So when the heck am I going to get to see you ride this mythical Pony?”

Me: “Well, she’s going really well, despite her Social Anxiety Issues. She’s a little intimidated by her surroundings, you know, so we’ve been taking it easy. Lots of lunging. She has a GREAT walk! Her trot’s a little quick, but that’s just because she’s a little, well, you, know, Socially Anxious. But it’s going GREAT! I’m sure we’ll be ready for Flora Lea in the spring!”

Trainer/Therapist:: “So what’s she like when you ride her?”

Pause the length of, oh, say, the Triassic Period (35 million years, give or take).

Me: “Ride her?”

Trainer/Therapist: “You have been riding her, haven’t you?”

Pause the length of, oh, say, the Jurassic Period (68 million years, give or take).

Trainer/Therapist: “You have had this Pony for a month! Are you telling me you haven’t ridden her yet????!!”

Pause the length of, oh, say, the Cretaceous Period (80 million years, give or take).

Me: “Um, well.”

Way too astute for her own good Trainer/Therapist: “Let me ask you another trick question. I heard nice walk, ok trot. Nothing about that mysterious third gait. Do we know if it CANTERS??”

Me, proverbially nailed to the wall: “Um. Probably? I mean, they all do, don’t they?”

Tough Love Trainer/Therapist: “OK, Girlfriend, reality check time. You have some crazy a$$ notion that you are going to EVENT this Pony come spring. It MIGHT HELP IF YOU ACTUALLY THREW A LEG UP OVER IT AND RODE IT.”

Me: “Well, we’ve been working on her Social Anxiety Issues.”

Pause the length of, oh, say, the entire Mesozoic Era (encompassing the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods). And longer, actually. She hung up on me.

Maybe next time: The Socially Anxious $700 Pony Gets Ridden?

Many thanks to all who enjoy the Chronicles of the $700 Pony. As I mentioned, I have been lurking on this board for YEARS and am glad to finally provide some entertainment for those who have entertained me for years.

Reynard Ridge
Dec. 5, 2004, 09:38 AM
Sadly, the $700 Pony suffers from Social Anxiety.

You’ve see the TV ads, haven’t you? (Softly Soothing Gender Neutral Voice Over): “If you find yourself with excessive, persistent fears about upcoming social situations and if the anxiety you feel in social situations is so severe it disrupts your daily life, it is possible you are suffering from social anxiety disorder.”

I immediately went to paxil.com and gave the $700 Pony the Paxil SPIN (Social Phobia Inventory) Test: Are you afraid of people in authority? Yes! Do parties and social events scare you? Yes! Do you sweat excessively in front of other people? Yes! Are you afraid of doing things when people might be watching? Yes!

There you have it, classic Social Anxiety. Odd thing to find in a herd animal, but hey, these things happen.

Now, Social Anxiety might not be the number one criteria on your list if you were seeking a new event prospect, but (verbal shrug of shoulders), what do you expect for $700? Next question: so now that we have ascertained that the $700 Pony suffers from Social Anxiety, what can be done about it? Well, I can tell you what NOT to do.

First, don’t exacerbate the situation by having the $700 Pony live with chickens. This did nothing for her self esteem.

Second, don’t make the situation worse by THEN moving the rather scruffy $700 Pony, sadly spotted with chicken poo, to the Fancy Schmancy Facility where she will be surrounded by the groomed and clipped within an inch of their little equine lives Pony Elite, not to mention a pack of over bred Rogue Jacks and a troop of unfailingly menacing Corgis. This will not result in an immediate decrease in Social Anxiety, let me tell you.

Who knew that there are ENTIRE BREEDS of canines on this planet in worse mental condition than Psycho Mutt? These two hooligan gangs rival the Bloods and the Crips for sheer testosterone run amuck, although on a significantly lower to the ground scale. My perspective on Psycho Mutt is shifting in her favor. At least she is tall enough to see coming.

But I digress.

The Fancy Schmancy Facility is all you may imagine. I have boarded at some nice barns in my day. Some with indoors even. Some that I would describe as “fancy,” but this, THIS, was fancy SCHMANCY.

There are 100 – let me repeat that – ONE HUNDRED – stalls on the property, each larger than my first condo. The horses are like none I have seen in my sheltered lifetime (although to keep it in perspective, I think a $700 Pony is a BIG DEAL). These horses and ponies are tick fat, sleek, clipped within an inch of their lives, gorgeous bug eyed, sculpted heads, like horses conceived by Michelangelo, like creatures from another equine planet. Some of you may be saying, “Hey, rube lady, where have you been all your life!” Well, I have not been around anything like this.

The FSF is cared for by a super efficient team of gentlemen for whom English will some day be a second language. These guys are serious workers and keep the FSF and its resident Super Equines in tip top shape. For someone used to self care, this is all a little intimidating.

The (many) grooming stalls have individual lights, fans, and wet bars and are covered with this soft, rubberized brick stuff that feels a bit like a down featherbed for the feet. I thought it a little odd that there were no drains. How in the heck did these people keep Super Equines as spotless as they obviously were without access to water? Then I opened the door to what I had thought was the “bathroom.”

Forgive me, I almost burst into tears. First of all, the ‘”’wash stall’”” was exponentially, nay, light years nicer than the single bathroom my family of four shares (although, technically, only two of us are potty trained). Hot and cold running water, insulated and yet well ventilated with an electric fan, cedar lined, unbelievably gorgeous and totally functional. Oh, and wait, there are TWO of them! Waaahh!!

But I dither. Let us swing back to our Socially Anxious $700 Pony, shall we?

So my therapist called me today. Well, technically, she’s my trainer, but for the sake of argument, let’s just call her my therapist. The conversation went something like this:

Trainer/Therapist: “So when the heck am I going to get to see you ride this mythical Pony?”

Me: “Well, she’s going really well, despite her Social Anxiety Issues. She’s a little intimidated by her surroundings, you know, so we’ve been taking it easy. Lots of lunging. She has a GREAT walk! Her trot’s a little quick, but that’s just because she’s a little, well, you, know, Socially Anxious. But it’s going GREAT! I’m sure we’ll be ready for Flora Lea in the spring!”

Trainer/Therapist:: “So what’s she like when you ride her?”

Pause the length of, oh, say, the Triassic Period (35 million years, give or take).

Me: “Ride her?”

Trainer/Therapist: “You have been riding her, haven’t you?”

Pause the length of, oh, say, the Jurassic Period (68 million years, give or take).

Trainer/Therapist: “You have had this Pony for a month! Are you telling me you haven’t ridden her yet????!!”

Pause the length of, oh, say, the Cretaceous Period (80 million years, give or take).

Me: “Um, well.”

Way too astute for her own good Trainer/Therapist: “Let me ask you another trick question. I heard nice walk, ok trot. Nothing about that mysterious third gait. Do we know if it CANTERS??”

Me, proverbially nailed to the wall: “Um. Probably? I mean, they all do, don’t they?”

Tough Love Trainer/Therapist: “OK, Girlfriend, reality check time. You have some crazy a$$ notion that you are going to EVENT this Pony come spring. It MIGHT HELP IF YOU ACTUALLY THREW A LEG UP OVER IT AND RODE IT.”

Me: “Well, we’ve been working on her Social Anxiety Issues.”

Pause the length of, oh, say, the entire Mesozoic Era (encompassing the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods). And longer, actually. She hung up on me.

Maybe next time: The Socially Anxious $700 Pony Gets Ridden?

Many thanks to all who enjoy the Chronicles of the $700 Pony. As I mentioned, I have been lurking on this board for YEARS and am glad to finally provide some entertainment for those who have entertained me for years.

wanderlust
Dec. 5, 2004, 10:14 AM
Hee hee... http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Looking forward to the next installment. And if makes the $700 pony feel better, chickens do nothing to help the self-esteem or confidence of my 17h TB, either. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

frugalannie
Dec. 5, 2004, 10:46 AM
Reynard Ridge, you have a gift, a true gift. And you're getting another one: the bill for cleaning my computer up after spewing my tea all over it.

Please keep it up. I thnk there's a terrific book in this material, and I need the laughs.

JSwan
Dec. 5, 2004, 11:58 AM
My dear - you MUST write a book. But first, canter that pony. Then - go and write.

Really.

phoebetrainer
Dec. 5, 2004, 02:10 PM
Now I have to go back and read the previous issues!!

BarbB
Dec. 6, 2004, 08:08 AM
I love the adventures of the $700 Pony.

My horse also recently moved to a FSF.
He deals with his feelings and insecurities by rolling in the mud and threatening to rub it off on the million dollar dressage horses....who shy away in terror.
It isn't making him any friends, but he seems to enjoy it.
http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

monstrpony
Dec. 6, 2004, 08:27 AM
Can someone link to the other installments? I found the one about going to the vet, but there is apparently a third one as well?

slp2
Dec. 6, 2004, 08:38 AM
RR: http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif It sounds like maybe *you* are the one that is suffering from Social Anxiety about having the $700 pony at the FS barn (at least from the sounds of your reaction to the "washstall")! Hee, hee! Just pop a couple of your pony's Zantac's before heading to the barn and enjoy! No doubt most of the horse owners at THAT barn are on some sort of mood-altering prescription medication already--so you'll fit right in. It will help you in getting a grip on your fear of the unruly gang of Jack's (although that fear is FOUNDED!! Don't ever turn your back on those little rascals!)

And heck, after a few months of longing (at the trot only) and grooming--your pony will look sleek and gleaming like the rest of the 5-figure horses that live there. Why--he'll probably look like an . . . . $800 pony! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

texang73
Dec. 6, 2004, 08:50 AM
Oh, I really needed that today! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif Thanks! You are too funny, and truly have a gift with the pen and paper!

But you must now get ON that pony! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Good luck, and keep us informed!

dianad
Dec. 6, 2004, 09:27 AM
Ahh... you are right up there with Cooky McClung... please don't stop.

IFG
Dec. 6, 2004, 09:32 AM
Thanks for the update! Oh, and that single bathroom becomes even more fun when your kids are potty-trained.

Madeline
Dec. 6, 2004, 09:55 AM
I really needed that account of the Fancy Schmancy Stable right when I came in from poop scooping the run-in shed. With the assistance of two corgi puppies (the real kind with tails) and our most successful show horse backing up to me so I could conveniently scratch his butt with the lawn rake.

Should there be a clique of the non-fancy-shmancy stable people? We'll let Reynard Ridge be our spy, as well as our spokesman.

Nancy!
Dec. 6, 2004, 10:56 AM
I'm seriously concerned about poor $700.00 pony. Exactly how much does it cost to board $700.00 pony at the FS palace? His price is going up everyday! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Nancy!

FrittSkritt
Dec. 6, 2004, 01:16 PM
Oh RR, can we PLEASE see some pics of the FSF? Please?????? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Calvincrowe
Dec. 6, 2004, 02:01 PM
Oh. My. God. I am not supposed to laugh so hard, it isn't good for the old ruptured disc! I think I've set myself back a few weeks in therapy!

RR you have THE GIFT. I was bouncing up and down with glee when I saw the new installment.

I have had the FSF Reaction me ownself ... disgusting isn't it? My '73 Ranch (with original shag) is a hovel compared with the FSF we just left!

Just whisper in her ear, "you are lovable and capable" "inner beauty is what matters" and maybe she'll feel better about herself.

I hate Jack Russells. Horrible, nasty little critters. Corgis... well... I have one, and despise him at times as well, if it makes you feel better.

Write again soon! We all need some cheer at this time of year.

Saskatoonian
Dec. 6, 2004, 02:09 PM
http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif
You write very well. More more more!!!
Many thanks.

Hannahsmom
Dec. 6, 2004, 05:51 PM
I love it RR, my JRT would like to visit that barn and join 'the gang'. You have them pegged.

janedoe726
Dec. 6, 2004, 06:41 PM
Ok RR... I'll make a deal with you. I'll come up and canter $700 Pony for you if you START ON A BOOK for all of us. For an extra chapter, I'll even start him/her over some jumps... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

HandsomeRansom
Dec. 6, 2004, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the update! I anxiously await the $700 pony tales!

Inyureye
Dec. 7, 2004, 06:34 AM
My, my. I am looking forward to the next installment, which is surely titled "Wherein it is Uncovered that the $700 Pony's Social Anxiety is Cured With Her Owner's", LOL! Very clever, and well done.

Erin Pittman
Dec. 7, 2004, 10:10 AM
I LOVE these stories!!! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif I also think you should write a book (or series of books) particularly aimed at children. I know there are several gifted artists on this site - where are you??? You guys need to get together and write/illustrate The $700 Pony chronicles. Too funny.

Erin

adamsmom
Dec. 7, 2004, 03:17 PM
Cookie McClung is one of my favorite equestrian writers, and you, Reynard Ridge, are right up there next to her.
Please, please, please publish this stuff!
I graduate from law school next December, and will be happy to be your agent if you like!
As for the JRT vs. Corgi gang war, just kick them every once in a while & they'll learn to stay out of your way. That's what I do with my little Terrier-ists!
http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Mariequi
Dec. 7, 2004, 04:56 PM
With the bay mare moved in today with my TB/Paint and bay filly girlfriend, I expect my baby to have some anxiety as well as she is pooh-poohed at by the bay social club ladies. At least that's what it looked like as I http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif down the driveway to work this afternoon. Maybe that type herd prejudice anxiety could be a future chapter for you.

Bravo! After losing electricity and the cell phone today and driving over a branch that still is embedded under the car, I needed a good laugh. Thanks!

Next December, adamsmom! You make me feel I'm the only human not moving (forward) through life.

Reynard Ridge
Dec. 7, 2004, 05:32 PM
Thank you all so much for your great comments! I am having a sad evening and it is SO cheery to read the nice things you have to say.

FYI, I will NOT be writing a book about the $700 Pony - you are reading this stuff FOR FREE, PEOPLE - enjoy it!!!!

Perhaps someday if I am ever (and I have been trying for TEN YEARS to no avail) able to translate this 'voice' into general market material, I will seek a publisher.

Until then, please enjoy the $700 Pony with me (and believe me, despite what these stories may suggest, I am getting a huge kick out of her!).

CLB15
Dec. 11, 2004, 11:42 AM
Just to make sure, would you mind if I printed out the "installments" on the adventures of the $700 pony for myself? I keep telling the people at the barn about it, but so far no one's been here to read about her. - I'm pretty sure they think I'm crazy now.

none...
Dec. 11, 2004, 03:56 PM
well, I'll be at Flora Lea next year, VERY anxiouse to see the mythical $700 pony! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif


(very well written!!! A joy to read, and as Im sure most of us do, will look forward to more tales of the $700 pony!)

Dancing Lawn
Dec. 12, 2004, 04:00 AM
See. to MY feeble mind, the fancy-shmancy place is also socially insecure, in that they feel the need to have the "right" kind of fancy-shmancy socially acceptable dog. If they were TRULY secure in their fancy-shmancyness, they would have a REAL dog, one that wasn't trendy-shmendy. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif
I too, have a horse at a fancy-shmancy facility.
Their tack room is bigger than my house, and much more beautifully equipped. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif

Reynard Ridge
Dec. 14, 2004, 05:08 AM
CLB15 - please feel to print and share. I am most delighted that people are enjoying the $700 Pony.

As for Flora Lea, well, I can dream, can't I???
HOPE to see everyone there!

annikak
Dec. 14, 2004, 07:12 AM
If anyone on this list does not deserve a sad night, it is you. Your stories have brightened up many a day for me, and I always look for more on the wonderful life of the very lucky- albeit xanax-needing pony.

However, if I were being run at by a pack of 2 yo's with cider and graham crackers, I might lose it. So, you (at least in my mind) have a pony that appears well grounded...chickens and all.

Now that barn might do me in if I were a horse.... went christmas shopping yesterday at Victorias secret covered in hay, slobbered on, with muddy, MI paddock boots on. I was helped rather quickly, much to my 11 yo boys delight.... Never thought too much about it. Oh well....

Hoping today is better for you, Reynard Ridge.... from the cold cold state on MI.

Reynard Ridge
Dec. 14, 2004, 08:34 AM
Sadness gone!

We are being sued by one of our neighbors (LOOOONNNGGGGG story). As I am not the type of person who could ever imagine being involved on either side of a lawsuit (other than perhaps the time my horse single hoofedly tried to demolish an SUV, I was a little worried then), it was a bit of a shock. So I was sad.

But I have replaced my rose colored glasses and chalked it up to another life experience. HEY, EVERYONE should get sued at LEAST ONCE - how the heck are we going to keep all the lawyers employed??? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

The $700 Pony is coming along. I would guess I will do another update after Christmas.

Thanks again for all of the kind words!

jodyjumper
Dec. 14, 2004, 11:12 AM
Been there, except mine was the $200 pony! She ganged up with the fanciest pony of the richest boarder and taught that pony how not to come in with the rest of the horses. And - REVENGE-the "horrible pony" outjumped ALL their fancy butts in a knock down and out class.
Your time is coming!

sfrider
Dec. 15, 2004, 07:41 PM
Perhaps this will cheer you up... ours was a free pony until it kicked the puppy and broke her femur ($3,000 for surgery) then was bitten on the nose by a rattlesnake ($3,000 for emergency tracheotomy and hospitalization). I love him to pieces and wouldn't trade him for the world.
Keep up the great writing. Getting sued is inititally shocking and upsetting and then you get on with it. I sold a guy a horse once and he ended up sueing me for over $400,000. He was a jerk. It happens.