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My dysfunctional relationship with horses began when one attempted to decapitate me by running underneath the overhang of a tin roof when I was 10. I never quite recovered. My sister, on the other hand, has loved horses since she was a toddler. She never played with dolls like most little girls. For Janet, it was always another plastic horse. All of her games and imaginary play involved horses. 

When she was 4, playing under Mother’s sewing machine, she pretended that mother was one of her horses. She took some twine and tied mother’s leg to the sewing machine, effectively corralling her. Mother, who was not informed about this game, attempted to hop up and answer the phone. Disaster followed. While Mother did not break any bones, Janet did not attempt to “corral” Mother again. 

Fast forward to last spring when my sister, the equestrian, decided that my education was not complete until I attended a real horse show. Am I a horse woman? No, I am a guilty woman. Guilty of asking her only sister one too many favors.

Janet is still miffed about having to babysit my little parakeet, Killer, while I was off on a cruise. She swears those 15 or so little scars on her right hand were all wounds inflicted every time she tried to feed my little angel. I told her she should have put his food in a really long-handled spoon and ease it in the cage like I do. So you can see why I just could not say no when she asked me to go with her to the Mississippi State Horse Show at the fairgrounds in Jackson.

I presumed I would stay at the Holiday Inn nearby while she and her horse-trainer husband stayed in their RV-style horse trailer. That is how I found myself in the middle of what could possibly be a new hit reality show, Project Runaway (I tried but they kept bringing me back). 

I know for some of you, this horse show experience would have been a dream come true, but for those of us with a genuine, deep-seated fear of animals the size of small automobiles, it is a little scary. By the way, if anyone has considered that horse frockie (manure) may provide a cure for some dreaded disease, I now know where you can find a lot of it.

My weekend at the horse show revealed some painful truths about myself:

 1. I don’t do well when the bathroom is down the road.

 2. Sleeping in close quarters is best left to gerbils.

 3. When given a choice of where to put things away in an RV that includes 17 different doors and drawers, I prefer to store things creatively. This means that when your brother-in-law is looking for the beer opener, it could be in the drawer with your sister’s lingerie.

 4. Flip flops, no matter how cute, are not a good choice for a horse show, even if you are a spectator.

Will I ever want to go to another horse show? N-e-i-g-h!


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