Friday, May. 24, 2024




I was watching some horses load up to go to a show last week and got to thinking about what a life they live. Most of them have their very own entourage of traveling professionals. Hauler. Groom. Braider. Farrier. Trainer. Bodyworker. Veterinarian. Acupuncturist. Psychic. Publicist. (Don’t laugh. I actually knew a horse with a publicist.)

Like celebrities at red-carpet events, they are managed 24/7 by somebody whose job is to get them where they need to be every moment of the day.

Then I got to thinking how it might go if the riders were afforded the same consideration. I’m not sure we’d handle it as well as the horses do.


Light in hotel room comes on in the middle of night.


Braider: Get up.

Rider: What?

Braider clucks and nudges rider.

Braider: Get up. I need to braid your hair.

Rider: It’s the middle of the %$#@! night!

Braider: This is when I work.

Rider: This is when I sleep.

Braider: All you have to do is sit here.

Rider: Go away.

Braider: Be still.

Rider: Hey, that tickles.

Braider: Stop fidgeting.


Braider: I’m pulling it first. It’s too long. Wow, I really need to thin it out too. Hold still.

Rider: OW! Stop it!

Braider: Whoa, dammit.

Rider: Let go of my ear!

Braider: Don’t make me twitch you.


A few hours later: Light in hotel room comes on again.


Assistant: Get up.

Rider: WHAT? I just got back to sleep.

Assistant: Come on.

Rider: What now?

Assistant: Gotta go work off some of your excess energy.

Rider: What excess energy? I was up half the night getting my hair braided. I’m tired.

Assistant: Yeah, but I know how you get. You take one look at the schooling ring and get all wound up.

Rider: Nobody in there can steer! Ponies going every direction! Jumpers out of control!

Assistant: See? You’re worked up already. Now jog in a circle around me for 10 minutes.

Rider: I don’t wanna.

Assistant clucks.

Rider: I’m fine just walking.

Assistant clucks again.

Rider: Really, you’re just irritating me.

Assistant waves arms.

Rider: Seriously, pal, tell it to somebody who cares.

Assistant picks up longe whip.

Rider: OK, OK, I’m jogging!


Ten minutes later.


Assistant: There, now don’t you feel better?

Rider: I feel like I want to go back to bed.

Assistant sprays rider with hose.

Rider: HEY!!!!! What’s that for?

Assistant: You’re all sweaty.

Rider: I wasn’t before you made me run around the room.

Assistant: And stop scratching your head.

Rider: These braids itch.

Assistant: Leave them alone. They have to stay in all day.

Rider: I just need to loosen them up a bit.

Assistant: Don’t make me tie your hands to a post.


A few hours later: Light in hotel room comes on again.


Feeder: Here’s your breakfast.

Rider: What is this?

Feeder: Bran mash.

Rider: I prefer eggs.

Feeder: Well, this is what you’re getting.

Rider: I always get eggs at home.

Feeder: This is a horse show. You get bran mash.

Rider: Ew, it tastes weird.

Feeder: No it doesn’t.

Rider: Yes it does.

Feeder: No it doesn’t.

Rider: Yes it does.

Feeder: Doesn’t.

Rider: Does too.

Feeder: Does not.

Rider: How would you know?

Feeder: Eat it.

Rider: You eat it.

Feeder: It’s not my breakfast.

Rider: What’s this white stuff in it?

Feeder: What white stuff? I see no white stuff.

Rider: Did you put something in here?

Feeder stirs bran mash.

Feeder: See? No white stuff in there.

Rider: OK, all you did was stir it and blend the white stuff in!

Feeder: No I didn’t.

Rider: I’m telling you, it tastes funny. I’m not eating it.


Feeder: Don’t make me shoot it down your throat with a syringe.


A few minutes later: Curtains in hotel room are thrown wide open, and blinding light spills in.


Cleaner: Move.

Rider: I’m eating my breakfast!

Cleaner: I need to clean up.

Rider: Just let me finish my breakfast first.

Cleaner: I’m on a schedule. I have 10 more rooms to clean. Move.

Rider: Can’t you clean the other side of the room first? I’m eating over here.

Cleaner: You can still reach your breakfast. Move.

Rider: Well I can’t reach it now that you’ve dragged that wheelbarrow in here!

Cleaner: I’ll only be a minute.

Rider: Hmm, what’s this?

Cleaner: Don’t eat out of the wheelbarrow.

Rider: This looks kinda good.

Cleaner: Don’t eat out of the wheelbarrow.

Rider: Then move the wheelbarrow out from in front of my breakfast.

Cleaner: I’m almost done.

Rider stamps and tosses her hair.

Cleaner: Don’t make me poke you with the manure fork.


Groom comes in.


Groom: Let’s go.

Rider: What? Go where?

Groom: I need to get you ready.

Rider: I haven’t finished my breakfast yet.

Groom: Your trainer wants you now. Here are your boots and coat.

Rider: What are you squirting at me?

Groom: Fly spray. Hold still. Put this over your head.

Rider: What is that?

Groom: Fly bonnet. Stop fidgeting.

Rider: I’m not wearing this.

Groom: Trainer says you are. Here’s your helmet too. And put these in.

Rider: What are they?

Groom: Earplugs.

Rider: You’re kidding.

Groom: Here, I’ll do it.

Rider: I hate these.

Groom: Stop shaking your head.

Rider: What?


Trainer comes in.


Trainer: Let’s go.

Rider: What?

Trainer: I need to get you out there to take a look at things.

Rider: What?

Trainer: We have to go now.

Rider: I can’t hear you.

Trainer: Come on.

Rider: I can’t see anything in this bonnet either.

Trainer: Good, then you won’t hear or see anything that might scare you.

Rider: What?

Trainer: Here we go. Let’s walk around ring and look at everything.

Rider: Where are we? I have no idea what’s happening.

Trainer: Good, just go where I point you and don’t ask any questions.

Rider: What?


30 minutes later.


Groom: Time to go.

Rider: OH COME ON. I just got back.

Groom: That was schooling. Now you have a class.

Rider: I just put my robe on and got comfortable.

Groom: Get back into the show clothes.

Rider: I’m still trying to finish breakfast!

Groom: Sorry, I don’t make the schedule.

Rider: Who does? I’d like to speak with them.

Groom: No time. You’re ten away. Now stand here and don’t get dirty.


Ten minutes later.


Rider: I’m still standing here!

Groom: You’re ten away.

Rider: I was ten away 10 minutes ago.

Groom: Well, you’re still ten away.


Groom: Just relax.


One minute later.


Groom: Come on, hurry, you’re two away.

Rider: But I was just ten away!

Groom: Things change. Gotta skip warm-up and take you right to the ring.


Thirty seconds later.



Trainer: Thanks for bringing her to the ring. We’re ten away again.



Repeat this scenario until evening.


Rider: Am I done now?

Groom: Yes.

Rider: Can I take these braids out?

Groom: Yes.

Rider: Can I just relax now?

Groom: Yes.

Rider: Finally, I get time to myself!


Five minutes later.


Tester: Hello.

Rider: Um…may I help you?

Tester: I need a sample.

Rider: A what?

Tester. Urine. A sample. I need one.

Rider: What?

Tester: Yeah, I need you to pee in this.

Rider: That’s a Dixie cup. On a stick.

Tester: It’s a specimen receptacle on a holder.

Rider: WHY?

Tester: Random testing.

Rider: For what?

Tester: Banned stuff.

Rider: What stuff?

Tester: Can’t tell you.

Rider: Well then how am I supposed to know what’s banned?

Tester: Read the “Rule Book.”

Rider: It’s longer than “War And Peace.”

Tester: It’s not that difficult to read “War And Peace.”

Rider: “War And Peace” doesn’t change every month. You read it once, and you’re pretty much good.

Tester: Look, this is no golden moment in my life either. I’m just here to get the sample.

Rider: I hope one of the banned substances is bran mash; that stuff they fed me sucked.

Tester: Now, please.

Rider: OK, leave me the cup and come back in a few minutes.

Tester: I have to stay.

Rider: What?

Tester: Yeah, I have to stay and watch you pee.

Rider: WATCH ME? You’ve got to be kidding.

Tester: Those are the rules. I have to watch you. Pee. In this cup. On the stick.

Rider: Give me the cup.

Tester: I have to hold it.


Tester: Why do you think it’s on a stick?

Rider: Oh, God. At least close your eyes.

Tester: If I close my eyes I don’t know where the cup is.

Rider: I’ll hold the cup.

Tester: You can’t touch the cup.

Rider: Fine.

Tester: I have 10 more samples to collect, so can we get this thing done?

Rider: Come closer.

Tester. Um, OK.

Rider: Closer.

Tester: OK.

Rider: Riiiiiight there.


Sound of… you know.


Tester: Well, that was unnecessary. Now I’m going to have to change my shoes.

Rider: Ooops. My bad.


Twenty minutes later.


Groom: Hello.

Rider: What are you holding behind your back?

Groom: Nothing.

Rider: Yes you are. I can see it.

Groom: It’s nothing.

Rider: It’s something.

Groom: I’ve got candy.

Rider: Candy doesn’t come in a syringe.

Groom: Yes it does.

Rider: Sorry, I’m not falling for that.

Groom: Okay, I’ll go get the suppository version.

Rider: Yum, candy, gimme that syringe!

Groom: See, it was great, right?

Rider: By bouth id nub.

Groom: What?

Rider: By bouth. Idz nub.

Groom: You’ll be able to feel it again in a little while. Now go to sleep.

Rider: Gadbly.


Light comes on in hotel room two hours later.

Braider: Get up.

Rider: Aaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!!!!!

After years of trying to fit in with corporate America, Jody Lynne Werner decided to pursue her true passion as a career rather than a hobby. So now she’s an artist, graphic designer, illustrator, cartoonist, web designer, writer and humorist. You can find her work on her Misfit Designs Cafepress site. Jody is one of the winners of the Chronicle’s first writing competition. Her work also appears in print editions of The Chronicle of the HorseRead all of Jody’s humor columns for here.




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