Friday, October 17, 2008

A Horse Named Blart

We went and watched where meadow muffins come from the other day.

Well, it started out as a Wholesome Family Adventure Trail Riding Day, but naturally it devolved into the lowest common denominator: bodily function discussions. If you have kids, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Children, of course, are fascinated by the whole horse tail-lifting phenomenon. They kind of like how horses don’t have to rush off to the bathroom to go number 2. It (the horse) just hikes up its tail and lets go, which they find very entertaining.

Me? Well, I’m old and cynical and I figure if you’ve seen one politician you’ve seen them all.

I enjoyed writing that last sentence very much.

So we were getting acquainted with the horses and their stuff (I was told my saddle had a horn but I couldn’t make it work), and after being told to “go mount your animal” (“Beg pardon?”), I finally got aboard a type of big horse called a ‘gelding’.

At first I thought the term had something to do with the horse’s colouring like grey, roam, pal’o’mine, spackle, apple loose, etc.

It turns out ‘gelding’ is a verb for what happens to boy horses. They cas…cast…they cut off…

Excuse me, I have to go lie down for a while, and will continue this column in a moment.

…Several lie-downs later…

I’m sorry, but as a man I find it difficult to discuss this procedure. You see, ‘gelding’ takes a boy horse and makes him - not a boy anymore. Understand? Let me uncross my legs again and we’ll continue with our story. Is it hot in here?

So we get on our horses and are about to get under way in what I imagine will be a manly, Hollywood-style flourish.

I would take the reins of my horse firmly in hand, turn him in the desired direction, spur the beast into photogenic acceleration and, pausing briefly for a Remington-like pose, off we’d go in a cloud of dust, into the sunlit brilliance of terrain looking much like the Grand Canyon. Just like in a classic western movie.

Or so I thought.

I think my horse was named Blart. As everyone else’s horse started walking away from the corral, I discovered Blart wouldn’t move.

My riding companions were growing small in the distance, and no amount of encouragement would get him going.

So there I am, alone on the windswept plain, furiously leaning forward and back, cajoling, cursing, rubbing my Nikes into his tummy in a curious imitation of spur usage, and nothing is happening.

My laughter at the situation was getting more shrill and hysterical as I contemplated what I was going to do.

I tried all the known commands – “Giddyup”, “Hi Ho Silver” “Yee Haw” “This way Camilla!”, but nothing worked.

Then an ominous rumbling could be felt inside the beast, and I discovered what Blart’s problem was. Perhaps he had been fed too much wet hay.

Some kind of bowel duress was afflicting the poor fellow, such that he couldn’t or wouldn’t move until he had experienced some relief. This came in an enormous postern blast that eventually erupted from its’ behind, whereupon it burst into a bone jarring trollop (or candor as us horsey types call it), the kids and I weeping tears of laughter at this jet-propelled locomotion.

As the horse slowed and stopped, I knew we were in for another long pause in our trek around the field, until such time as more gas, comprising several cubic meters, would make its way to its inevitable conclusion and off we’d go again. Thus we proceeded.

Growing up, I never saw a horse do that on television or in westerns. You’d never see Clint Eastwood or John Wayne get on their horse and then have to wait several minutes for it to expel its intestinal fortitude would you? Is that what (film) editors are really for?

Another myth shattered. Another family legend created.

Worse, I guess I have no alternative now, but to start writing country and western songs.

Giddy up.

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