Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Horses
By Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne
If our horses could share their New Year’s Resolutions, we bet they’d go something like this…
1. I WILL gladly help my human lose those extra holiday pounds by transforming myself into the 2-in-1 Ultimate Equine Gym Apparatus (UEGA). A combination of treadmill (forced jogging routine back and forth across horse pasture for a minimum distance of five miles on most difficult “You’ll never catch me” setting) and total body weight machine (set to “Leaning heavily on bit” for arms, and “You can pick out my hooves but you’ll have to support my entire body weight” for back and legs).
2. I WILL NOT allow my human’s refusal to acknowledge my genius in architectural design, which I have now demonstrated in multiple barn improvement projects, dissuade me from using my teeth to express my inner artistic creativity on the stable walls, stall door, and fences.
3. I WILL let my human believe that when she arrives at the barn to find me eagerly awaiting her at the paddock gate or stall door, my enthusiasm is purely an expression of my joy at seeing her and has nothing to do with the carrot I know she’ll be carrying in her pocket.
4. I WILL NOT dignify my human’s frequent and fervent pleas that I refrain from covering every square inch of my stall in manure with a response. Not until I receive some recognition for the effort that goes into my daily routine of depositing manure in key locations around the stall that ensures my trampling hooves pulverize it and evenly redistribute the resulting poo particles with maximum efficiency.
5. I WILL persevere in my goal to improve my human’s ground and riding manners. I do not particularly enjoy disciplining my human when she misbehaves, but I have come to understand that humans, like foals, feel more secure when firm boundaries are established.
6. I WILL NOT be fooled by my human’s delusional insistence that the horse-eating dragon lurking in the back of the trailer, the sharks prowling the murky depths of the water jump at competitions, and the invisible monster hiding wherever happens to be most convenient for me at the time are figments of my imagination.
7. I WILL exercise my mind with brain teasers and mental puzzles, such as figuring out how to open the stall door latch, and determining the best way to get over, under, around, or through the fence to the greener grass on the other side.
8. I WILL NOT waver from my sacred duty to take full advantage of mud puddles to coat myself entirely with a generous layer of filth just before my human arrives for our daily ride, thus gifting her with the privilege of grooming me.
9. I WILL make more time for my human in my busy schedule so the poor thing can spend more time having fun at the barn covered in my patented mixture of manure and muck, instead of enduring tedious hours of conversation with fellow humans of the male variety in the poor visibility provided by candlelight.
10. I WILL NOT let the dictatorial shriekings of the tyrannical woman (my human calls her “the trainer”) who repeatedly urges my human every week to experiment on me with various cruel and unusual methods of torture (e.g. leg-yielding, gymnastic jumping) to break my spirit. Will seek comfort in the knowledge of my moral superiority…while attempting to “accidentally” run her over in between those bloody bounce jumps.