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A Handy Dandy Diagram for Adult Amateur Riders

By Cindy Hale

Monday, January 9, 2012

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Attention! Are you a “mature” non-professional rider shopping for that perfect horse? Have the half-broke critters of your youth lost their appeal? Are you hoping to spend less time in the orthopedic surgeon’s office and more time in the saddle? Then next time you head out to try a horse, take along this handy diagram. It lists all the features to look for in a horse that’s ideally suited for just for you.

Amateur Adult

Click for larger image

  1. Auto-pilot chip implanted into cerebral cortex.

  2. Long ears provide a heightened sense of hearing, convenient for responding to pleads of “Whoa!” Plus, when erect they act similar to a gun sight, so rider can flawlessly target jumps.

  3. Eyes are perpetually half-shut, which is understandable since horse is perpetually half-asleep.

  4. Ah, how cute! He has a smiley face!

  5. Sturdy legs provide that “floating down the trail in a recliner” sensation.

  6. Thick layer of fat beneath skin makes horse dull to rider’s erratic leg cues. (Added bonus: Rider develops remarkably toned legs due to isometric exercise of squeezing inattentive horse forward.)

  7. Slightly arthritic, creaky hocks prevent horse from ever bucking or kicking.

  8. Luxurious tail lets mature riders reconnect with all those My Pretty Pony fantasies from yesteryear.

  9. By comparison, plump hindquarters create the illusion that rider has a tiny butt.

  10. Somewhat sunken saddle position helps rider secure and locked in place. Also, though horse measures 16.2-hands at the withers, rider is actually only 14.1-hands from the ground.

  11. Odd cowlick forms stiff tuft of hair, perfect for grabbing the mane in emergencies.

  12. Short, low-set neck eliminates those embarrassing moments when horse decides it doesn’t want to be bridled that day.

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Reader Comments

Jennifer    Vancouver, WA

3/25/2016 4:52:16 PM

This message is for Cindy Hale. Hi! I happened to see your 2012 article about your fading blue horse show ribbons. I also have a number of vintage 1st place ribbons that now look like 7th place. Your article contained references to some people I hadn't thought about for years. My sisters and I grew up riding and showing hunters and jumpers on the L.A. County circuit and at the PCHJSHA shows. We rode and trained with a few trainers, including Larry Langer, and then Bennett Kurtze, at Sleepy Hollow, in Chatsworth. My two sisters attended the Buckley School, in Sherman Oaks, with Natasha Karazissis as a fellow student, and her dad, known affectionately as Dr. K, as a very popular teacher there. Kosti often came around for visits. As I recall, Dr. K. was of Russian background, and his wife was a gorgeous Italian woman, who often came to shows to cheer for her kids. I remember Natasha, Kosti, and Nick, as riders and competitors on our circuit (and Nick & Kosti, later as trainers). Natasha was, indeed, a stunning girl, once she outgrew the gangliness and bobbed haircut of her tween and early adolescent years. She was, as you noted, also a great equitation rider, and won practically every eq. class she ever even thought of entering. Most important, she was just as lovely inside, and always kind and friendly to everyone. My older sister often competed against Natasha in flat classes, along with Gina Groth, and they usually finished: Natasha - 1st; Gina - 2nd, & my sister - 3rd. Anyway, I now live in the Northwest and still ride and show hunters. Thanks for the memories!!!!

Hanna    Cheyenne, WY

2/6/2012 2:43:13 PM

Except my horse only has the big butt and the cowlick

hfiohyg    ghiuodfh, GA

1/17/2012 5:02:58 AM


firstname    city, IL

1/11/2012 11:22:11 AM

haha That's funny!

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