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Who Let the Haikus Out of the Barn?

By Cindy Hale

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

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I realize most of you think that us horse folk in Southern California—indeed in much of the southwest—are a bunch of wintertime wusses. You’re skidding around on frozen tundra on your way out to wave at your horses and we’re wringing our hands over some rain. But in our defense, it’s been raining a lot. And it’s dang cold. Yes, I know that elsewhere in the country January temps in the 50s are considered downright tropical. But for us? We’re bundled up in three layers of fleece and scavenging the aisles of our local Target for mittens.

All of this winter wetness leaves me no choice but to resort to my favorite idle time occupation: composing horsey haikus. For those of you unfamiliar with haiku, it’s a Japanese form of expression consisting of three lines of descriptive prose. The first and third lines contain 5 syllables; the middle line, 7. Armed with my trusty camera, I ventured outside (between downpours and wind gusts) for some inspiration. I found it among simple, everyday barn stuff as well as in the way rain transforms my life.

Life with Horses - Who Let the Haikus Out of the Barn? 

Wally’s Treasure

Praise for blue bucket
First savor treats brought my way
Then chew on rope handle.

Life with Horses - Who Let the Haikus Out of the Barn? 


Sharp hand extensions
Potential for barn mayhem
(Or pirate costume).

Life with Horses - Who Let the Haikus Out of the Barn? 


Rainwater in pen
Recalls primordial ooze
But with pungent smell.

Life with Horses - Who Let the Haikus Out of the Barn? 


Warm, dry, cozy stall
Posh horse condo with great view
Includes room service.

Life with Horses - Who Let the Haikus Out of the Barn? 


Rain brings benefits:
More time for meditation
Less time with humans.

Life with Horses - Who Let the Haikus Out of the Barn? 


Wet weather fashion
Like birka for horsewoman
This screams sex appeal.

See? Something to do during inclement weather besides clean tack. Or, God forbid, do housework. Just grab a pen and annoy your friends, family and barn buddies with your own bad poetry! It’ll help pass the time until the ground thaws and the puddles evaporate.

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Reader Comments

Jesse    Hyattsville, MD

1/21/2014 7:18:54 AM

I am a haiku lover and these are great.

here's one -

locked in the stable
sheltered from the cold and rain
can't wait to run free

also, can you please explain this old idiom for me. “The stable wears out a horse more than a road.” What is it really saying about life.

Krystyn    Milwaukee, WI

3/12/2011 3:10:49 AM

I didn't even finish reading your hilarious haikus before I glare meanly at you Californians. You have that right- 50 degrees in January is paradise to me here in Wisconsin! I was actually about to ride in a hoodie and walk my horse around outside! Anyway, your poetic skills are absolutely fantastic. Thanks for the laughs!

Jess    Venice, CA

1/19/2011 6:50:48 PM

Oh my gosh! Those were amazing! Made me laugh out loud!

May    mokena, IL

1/18/2011 1:07:48 PM

those were so fun to read! and no offense but yes, i do think u r winter wusses 50 degrees in january? we're lucky if it reaches 20! it can get down to below 0!

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