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Explaining horses to non horse people

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  • Explaining horses to non horse people

    I'm completely a lurker, but I'm so proud of myself I just want to share!

    I compete in IHSA and was having a conversation with someone and used the word "equitaion" several times. I knew they had no idea what I was talking about, but it wasn't important to the story so I didn't really care. Then the bf looks at me and says, "Well why don't you explain to them what equitation means?" How am I supposed to do that?

    So this is what I came up with (and I think it's genius). It's as if there was a basketball game where all they did was compete via free throws. So everyone lines up and shoots. Then there's a judge that ranks how nice their form is. So it isn't necessarily based on how many baskets you make, but rather who has correct form. Now if you have good form, you'll probably make more baskets, but it's not solely based on that.

    Obviously there are some issued with this (like you're working with a live animal, not a regulated ball) but I thought it was pretty darn good! SO... what other odd analogies have you been forced to use when educating non-horsey people?
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

  • #2
    Hunters vs Jumpers: Figure skating vs. speed skating. One is all about time (for simplicity's sake), the other is subjectively judged on how pretty your round is
    "These are my principles. If you do not like them, I have others." --Groucho Marx


    • #3
      Skiing - after all, doesn't the hill do all the work?


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by jaybird View Post
        Skiing - after all, doesn't the hill do all the work?

        I like that!

        The ice skating one is very good too. Riding is just so misunderstood!
        Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


        • #5
          Why explain? They all think we are either cowboys or racehorse jockeys.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pirateer View Post
            Why explain? They all think we are either cowboys or racehorse jockeys.
            Haha, yes indeed, today my boss wished me "good luck winning my race" this weekend, even though I have explained COUNTLESS times what it is that I do. I at least appreciate the thought!
            Who is John Galt?


            • #7
              I've found that hunters and dressage are the hardest things to explain to people. When I explain hunters it always comes back as "oh where you chase foxes" ummm no not this type. Then dressage they just have no clue.
              Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


              • #8
                I use figure skating to describe Hunters & Equitation. Both have a "technical" and "artistic" aspect to them. In equitation, the "technical" aspect is weighted more heavily, while in Hunters the "artistic" is weighted more heavily.

                Dressage is a gymnastics floor routine. They need to hit the move on the mark.

                Jumpers need to be fast & clean.

                Eventing is a combination of these things.

                What I loved was the UPS truck driver who was talking to me at a gas station:
                UPS TD: "He's big, does he race?"
                Me:"No, we jump"
                UPS TD: "Jump what?"
                Me: "Jumps..."
                UPS TD: "Oh, yeah?"

                He also wanted to know if he ever falls over in the trailer. I told him no, and that I really hope that never happens. He said he hopes the same thing about the boxes he ships, but hoping never works for him. Haha.
                CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
                Serving North GA with high quality clips.
                --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
                --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred


                • #9
                  I think it's time to steal from Jeep...


                  just substitute 'horse' for 'jeep'
                  Nina's Story
                  Epona Comm on FB


                  • #10
                    Yep, use the figure skating analogy a lot.
                    "Compulsories" is both Equitation and Dressage...... and I suppose Hunters, too, in a way.
                    The specific movements judged on their accuracy and fluidity.
                    "Free Style" for Jumpers. Accuracy and fluidity are very important, but there is also the excitment of the air moves.

                    And I use the "Tennis Pro" analogy for people who say "Well if you've been riding for X years, why do you still need to take lessons??" Even Wimbledon winners have a coach!

                    My husband likens owning a horse to owning a boat. Buying it is just the first step. After that you have to pay for a place to keep it, and/or haul it where you want to use it, maintain it, fuel it, etc....

                    And horse shows are like Golf Tournaments. Hours of milling about for a couple of moments of intensity and (low level) excitement. And you kind of need to have an understanding of the sport to appreciate the ebb and flow.

                    But, yes, "It IS a HORSE thing...... you wouldn't understand."


                    • #11
                      My motto is KISS. Keep it simple, stupid.


                      • #12
                        this is what I tell people to make them understand it all simply:

                        Hunters - the figure skating of the horse world. How pretty & rhthmic it looks.
                        Jumpers - fastest around without knocking the rails down wins (luckily people around here know the jumpers because of Spruce Meadows)
                        Dressage - the horse looks like it is dancing!
                        Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!


                        • #13
                          I like the gymnastics explanation for Dressage!

                          Haha, my friend is taking an interest in my horse and asked if he was a boy or girl. I said he's a gelding and explained what that meant and she thought that the term gelding just sounded awful, lol. So she just says he's a fixed boy.


                          • #14
                            I always get the "you have been riding for so long now. Why do you need a trainer?" I put it in baseball lingo "i'ts just like batting practice. You need a coach to tell you if your form is right and if its not how to fix it"


                            • #15
                              Equitation = Anythng to do with a horse

                              Horse = A big expensive animal that you can do quite a lot with and ranging from fast, andrenalin junkie risky stuff to sedate, poncey pretty stuff.

                              Dressage = a demonstration of how well trained your horse is. The rider wears fancy old fashioned looking clothes and it's all about poise and elegance and the horse is judged on how it performs a sort of horse ballet.

                              3 day eventing = a 3 phase competition which tests a horse and rider's ability in totality.

                              Horse Driving Trials = same as 3 day eventing only with a carriage to make it really risky!! If you're totally mad, you can do it with up to 4 horses! A test of obedience, stamina, bravery and athleticism and speed.

                              Concours D'elegance = a beauty competition with a pretty horse and carriage. Think Jane Austin era.

                              Scurry Driving = The most fun you can have with a pair of ponies!

                              Hunter = a horse that is used for hunting. It has to be purpose bred and look like it could do a day's fox hunting. Truth is though that most have never ever seen a fox hound and couldn't do a day's hunting if they tried.

                              Show jumping = jumping over poles that will knock down. The horse and rider loses points whenever they knock something off.

                              alt. Hunter = something they do in the USA that's got nothing to do with hunting or hunters. Seems the horse goes round with it's head near it's knees and when the rider jumps something they sort of stick their butt right out and lie on the horse's neck. (Someone else needs to get back to you on that one )


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TwoDreamRides View Post

                                He also wanted to know if he ever falls over in the trailer. I told him no, and that I really hope that never happens. He said he hopes the same thing about the boxes he ships, but hoping never works for him. Haha.

                                Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


                                • #17
                                  I get a lot of "good luck at your race!" 's

                                  Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


                                  • #18
                                    Once I explain that no, I am not racing, I jump, then I get "oh so like hurdles in track & field?" suuuree.....