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

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  • The $700 Pony is Diagnosed with Social Anxiety (Chapter 3, as it were)

    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.
    Chronicles of the $700 Pony
    The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
    www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog
  • Original Poster

    #2
    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.
    Chronicles of the $700 Pony
    The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
    www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog

    Comment


    • #3
      Hee hee...

      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        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.
        They don't call me frugal for nothing.
        Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

        Comment


        • #5
          My dear - you MUST write a book. But first, canter that pony. Then - go and write.

          Really.
          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
          -Rudyard Kipling

          Comment


          • #6
            Now I have to go back and read the previous issues!!

            Comment


            • #7
              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.
              Nina's Story
              Epona Comm on FB

              Comment


              • #8
                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?
                "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                Spay and neuter. Please.

                Comment


                • #9
                  RR: 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!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh, I really needed that today! Thanks! You are too funny, and truly have a gift with the pen and paper!

                    But you must now get ON that pony! Good luck, and keep us informed!
                    View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ahh... you are right up there with Cooky McClung... please don't stop.
                      Life is short, do it now. www.dleestudio.com
                      OTTB's
                      My CANTER cutie, Steely Dan - IL
                      My Exceller cutie, Ace (aka FiftyThreeCards)- NY

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the update! Oh, and that single bathroom becomes even more fun when your kids are potty-trained.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.
                          madeline
                          * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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!

                            Nancy!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Oh RR, can we PLEASE see some pics of the FSF? Please??????
                              Road to the T3D
                              Translation
                              fri [fri:] fritt fria (adj): Free
                              skritt [skrit:] skritten (noun): Walk

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                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.
                                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                                Comment


                                • #17

                                  You write very well. More more more!!!
                                  Many thanks.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I love it RR, my JRT would like to visit that barn and join 'the gang'. You have them pegged.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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...
                                      "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Thanks for the update! I anxiously await the $700 pony tales!

                                        Comment

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