Boarding Your Horse: Low-cost Options

Stable fees have been killing me recently, which is ironic considering that since the divorce I’ve been spending a lot of low-profile overnight time in the stable myself.

So I’ve been working on lowering the cost of owning a horse.

Indoors or outdoors? It has to get wicked cold to kill a horse. For millions of years, horses ran around on the plains. Do you think they had cushy stables out there? I don’t think so.

Feeding. Do you have any idea how much greenery Trader Joe’s throws away every day? In it’s original packaging?

What can serve as a hitching post? In the old days, there were hitching posts everywhere. Now, say you want to go into a bar for a minute. Tie the horse to a lamppost or parking meter or a bike rack. You can leave a horse like that for a long time without it getting “towed.” Just not more than once on the same block.

Cleaning up after your horse. This thing with dogs and the plastic bags to scoop up the poop when you take the animal out for a walk has got completely out of hand. With your horse, just kick the stuff off the curb into the gutter and let it go at that. Why do you think they call them road apples?

Socialization. Your horse needs company. You probably won’t see many other horses around, especially if you live in the city, other than police horses and they are no fun at all. Sort of like police dogs. Ever try throwing a stick for a police dog? One of those German Shepherds? Instead of the stick, they lunge for your damned throat, even if you’re drunk and didn’t mean anything by it. But in the old days, there were all these wagons pulled by old nags and if your horse started acting up, you could just point at a beaten-down old mule and say, You want to end up like that? Because I’ll do it! You know what dog food is made out of? Huh?

Halters and bits. I live near a “leather” neighborhood, if you know what I mean. Ride through there and you’ve got to beat off all the guys with shaved heads and complete outfits, trying to get a better look at the saddle under my butt.

Horse racing. Can you make a buck by racing your horse? I’ve taken Nelly down to the high-school parking lot a number of times. You find some kid proud of his car and make a bet with him on a race between his car and your horse. The trick is to get him to let you hold all the money because you’re an adult, and then when the race starts and he roars off down the road, you take Nelly across the park where he can’t follow.

Write What You Know!

If you are an aspiring writer, you’ve probably heard it a million times, and it’s good advice. Write what you know. To prove it, I’m going to give you a list of statements, some true and some false. You’ll be able to tell which are which in an instant. It’s like that with your readers. Tell the truth and they’ll know it. Make something up and they’ll know that too. Remember this list when you’re tempted to go beyond that which you know and write falsely about that which you know not.

1. Canadian geese will walk right out into the road, even if a car is coming. It’s like they’re stupid or something.

2. The bird most likely to poop on your head would be the seagull.

3. I dunno. Seems like a pigeon would be just as likely.

4. When you’re at the gym and there is this hot babe on the thigh machine next to you, with bare legs that go all the way up to a tight leotard, and she’s sweating lightly on those legs, (a) you’re invisible to her, (b) you can’t look anyway, because if you do, that creepy guy on the other side of you will pipe up, and (c) you have to take a tiny peek anyway, for Christ’s sake, and yes, the guy starts yakking at you right on cue.

5. When you come home at night and you walk into the kitchen and say honey, i’m home, and your wife gives you that look, the hairy eyeball, you aren’t going to be able to talk your way out of it, whatever it turns out to be.

6. When you come home and your wife gives you that other, “intimate” look, you’re going to have to earn your dinner and it will be late.

7. If you wake up and can’t remember the last 24 to 48 hours, you need to get up and go to the closest AA meeting happening now.

8. If you have three treatments due in the morning and you haven’t got a single goddamned idea, and you’re sitting at the back of the AA meeting taking notes on what every speaker says in hopes of finding a plot in there somewhere, the cranky old drunk next to you starts to poke his nose into your business.

9. After the meeting, you stop in at a favorite bar and one thing leads to another and by the time you’re back in the car driving home, the sun is coming up and you’re seeing double and there appear to be geese in the road ahead. Should you slow down or just assume it’s an hallucination and keep driving, so that you can get into your kitchen and drink a couple of cups of coffee?

“I can’t believe you forgot…”

You know how a podcast will do a “Top 5,” and then the phone call comes in with the guy saying, “Hey, dudes, I can’t believe you forgot “Marley and Me,” or whatever? And you’d like to call in too but you can’t think of a good movie that they forgot in their list? Well, here’s a list that you can use, of movies nobody has seen, so they can’t argue with you, along with the reasons why the movies are important.

1. Range Feud (1931) (Western) – John Smith, NYT: “Keep this kid John Wayne up on his horse with his mouth shut, and someday he’ll be a big star.”

2. Fast and Loose (1930) (Comedy) – Mike Smith, NYT: “This gal Carole Lombard has a real big future, if she’ll only stop flying in those newfangled aeroplanes.”

3. Sing You Sinners (1938) (Musical) – Francois Smith, NYT: “This kid Donald O’Connor obviously has a musical bug up his butt. He had me dancing on the walls.”

4. Swamp Water  (1941) (Noir) –  Muhammad Smith, NYT: “This young man Dana Andrews acts like he’s been drinking the swamp water. Destined for greatness if he can keep it down.”

5. The Singing Princess (1949) (Family) – Ang Poo Smith, NYT: “Forget Stefano Sibaldi, Germana Calderini, Giulio Panicali, Olinto Cristina, Mario Besesti, Giovanna Scotto, Renata Marini, Lauro Gazzolo, Maria Saccenti, Beatrice Preziosa, Carlo Romano, Sakella Rio, Luisa Malagrida, F. Delle Fornaci, and Giulio Fioravanti, all billed in front of her. It’s this kid Julie Andrew’s voice that tells me she is headed for stardom and that puts the look on my face that my wife must never see.”

6. Bloody Mama (1970) (Drama) – John Galt Smith, NYT: “This kid playing Lloyd Barker? Put him in a taxicab or a pair of boxing gloves and I’d pay to see what he’d do next, the little focker.”