Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Bozo Quotient

I sometimes tell our barn owner (sort of as a joke but really not) that when a boarder leaves and she's looking to fill a stall, that she should look for a boarder who will reduce, not increase, what I fondly call the "bozo quotient".  The bozo quotient is the ratio of bozos to non-bozo boarders.  Bozos include those who don't care about the welfare of their horses - never visit or take care of them, or do things that aren't in the horse's best interests - like ride them very hard for two hours once a week and not at all the rest of the time.  Bozos also include those whose regard for the safety of their horses, themselves and other boarders and their horses is minimal.  I try not to ride when those people are riding and I'd never go on the trail with them - they're the type who will gallop off without warning, or gallop up to and past you on the trail.  I've actually had one of them run into me and Red while we were riding in the indoor. They tend to be rough and ready riders - lots of air between their rumps and their saddles as they're galloping around - with limited control of their horses.

Today Pie and I experienced bozodom.  Two women who were more than old enough to know better - I know plenty of teenagers who aren't bozos - were riding along with two male relatives.  The women have absolutely no sense and their horses are tense and worried, for good reason.  The male relatives, who didn't know the first thing about riding, including basics such as steering and how to stop and start the horse, were "riding" the women's two horses, who deserved better but were trying very hard.  One guy's idea of how to get the horse going was to kick, heave himself up and down and flap the reins (pulling on the horse's mouth in the process).  No helmets on any of them, male or female.

Pie was very alarmed by this - he's got very good sense.  He knew those folks were bad news.  We rode a bit and then called it quits before the bozo women and their bozo male friends caused us a problem.  Good, smart, Pie.   After we left the arena, they closed all the arena doors and one of the women was going in there with a lunge whip - apparently to chase the horses (with bozo men aboard) so they would gallop around the ring.  I didn't look.  As I was leaving, I told the other boarder who was there - a fairly inexperienced horse owner about my age - she said "I don't know that much but I know what they're doing is reckless and I shouldn't ride while they're here" - to call 911 if anything bad happened.

Even Pie is smart enough to recognize a bozo when he sees one - any bozos at your barn?

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