Cross Country With Jim Wofford
… but are you li•tening?
In a departure from the norm and in the spirit of Christmas Eve myths, Jim lets Prince, the talking horse, take over his column and speak his mind.
Pssst! Hay! HAY!! This is your horse speaking. It’s me, Prince. That two-legged idiot who usually writes this column has gotten into the eggnog or something and is MIA. Although I must say I have developed quite a taste for eggnog myself, especially when he puts cinnamon on it. It tickles my nose and makes me sneeze, you know, and I’m like, “whoa” (funny me, saying “whoa,” that’s a horse-laugh).
Anyway—what’s in this stuff? It has a real kick —a “kick,” (yuk)— there I go again. I crack myself up sometimes. Where was I? Oh, yeah, the column. Have you tried this new voicedictation thingie yet? Really interesting once I learned how to hold a pencil to tap the computer keys to wake Siri up. Or is it Echo? So many voices, so little time. But I finally got Siri trained to my voice and we have been pals ever since. It took a lot of patience and repetition, but it worked. You should try it sometime. She has the sweetest voice. It just gives me chills. I’ve always been a sucker for redheads and in my mind, I see Siri as a chestnut filly, you know, with a little chrome and the cutest hips and pasterns to die for and … what? Yeah, you’re right, where was I going with this?
Well the thing is, you see, is that horses
talk. I know you don’t know. That’s why I’m telling you now—we talk. I bet you also didn’t know that we get a special chance to talk on Christmas Eve, which happens to be tonight, right around midnight. But no matter when we talk, you don’t know how to listen, do you? Bet you didn’t even get it when I said “kick,” did you? See, that’s funny because … yeah, right, the column. And speaking of hearing, my “owner”— you see my quotes there? “Owner.” That’s a horse-laugh, LOL. I sleep in a fresh bed every night, stand in the shade of a tree in the paddock wearing the latest in sunblock fabrics, get a monthly pedicure, a regular massage, my very own Pilates instructor and have free 24/7 medical care. Makes you wonder
That two-legged idiot who usually writes this column has gotten into the eggnog or something and is MIA. Although I must say I have developed quite a taste for eggnog ...
who’s the owner here. But back to this hearing thing: remember last year, when the garbage truck scared me and I dumped my “owner” and ran off into the fence line? And I came back looking as if I had been run through a wood chipper? And the vet bills? Remember that? Yeah, me too. Instead of protecting me, know what my “owner” was doing while that truck was bearing down on me? That’s right, she was grooving to Insane Clown Posse on her iPod with the new pink Bose headphones. She wouldn’t have heard Hurricane Irma. Served her right. And serve me some more of that eggnog while you’re at it, will you? A little more cinnamon and sugar this time.
You’d think that when she just bought that new multi-thousand dollar saddle, she’d pay more attention to how it fits It’s like two baked potatoes are pressing into my shoulders, so I’m trotting like a sand crab ...
Saddles—From My Point Of View
Anyway, I read this guy’s column every month. He’s OK, but I wish he would talk about things more from my point of view rather than his. I mean, take saddles. He naturally writes about how, yeah, the saddle should fit the horse and then he goes on and on about how the saddle should fit the rider. I mean, who has to wear this stuff, right? You’d think that when she just bought that new multi-thousand dollar saddle, she’d pay more attention to how it fits me. It’s like two hard-boiled potatoes are pressing into my shoulders, so I’m trotting like a sand crab, and her dressage guru, Cruella von Dressagensplatz, tells her I am behind her leg and to use the whip, and I’m like SO not having fun. But I have the last horse-laugh on her—every time she tries that whip trick on me, I kick at it. Know what she does then? She pats me and gives me a special apple-flavored treat. I mean, who’s training who—whom—whatever. Makes me go all ROFLM ... oops, this is a G-rated column, forgot I can’t use that one, LOL.
About that saddle, I was going to say that she should put two baked potatoes inside her breeches and sit on them—then she would see what it feels like. But there wouldn’t be room in there, would there? And that’s another thing, her skidding around on my back like a hog on ice. All that time she makes me do those crazy trot sets, jumping gymnastics and weekly Pilates sessions with Cruella, all that time, and she can’t hold herself still in the saddle for more than two steps. No wonder all my
dressage tests come back saying, “Needs more impulsion.” If I actually do respond to a leg aid, next thing she is hanging on my mouth like a drunk on a lamppost. Not good, owner-baby, not good. She should get herself in a little bit better shape IMHO.
What’s Up with Bits?
See, just that little bit extra sugar and cinnamon moves this eggnog up, don’t you think? And speaking of bits, what’s up with the latest? You are talking with a creature who can feel a fly land on him, and she shows up with a bit looking like something from the Spanish Inquisition. The only things missing are the blood-stained spikes, but don’t give her any ideas. She still thinks I am running through her halfhalts. If she would learn how to ride, I would be a lot more mellow. Matter of fact, I’m pretty mellow right now. Did you sneak a little more Old Headache in here? Whoa, getting sleepy here, LOL. “Whoa”— funny, I know, right?
Stop with the Bling
I might take a little nap, but one more thing before I turn Siri off. What’s with
And speaking of bits, what’s up with the latest? You are talking with a creature who can feel a fly land on him, and she shows up with a bit looking like something from the Spanish Inquisition.
the decoration? I mean, I’m a guy, right, and I’ve got my pride. Well, yeah, I’m a gelding, not that there’s anything wrong with that. You got a problem? My problem is that I’m OK with the organic fly spray and I can handle the body wash that makes me smell like a tropical rain forest or even baby oil on my muzzle. But c’mon, lady—I mean, glitter on my feet? Really? What’s next? False eyelashes and hair braids? Sheesh. I think I’m kind of a stud (“stud,” get it? I crack myself up sometimes). Right, right, focus. For sure my bod isn’t going to be on the cover of some horse magazine any time soon, but I’m OK, ya’ know? So why goop it up like that? Jus’ sayin’, let’s go natural here.
Listen, would you turn out the lights and close the laptop for me? Siri and I are kind of an item, but we aren’t quite ready to go public and all. People might get the wrong idea. I’ve been having these sweet dreams of Siri and me crossing wonderful green fields while some hokey Christmas music plays in the background and we gallop off into the clouds with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads.
There is an ancient myth that animals are given the power of speech on Christmas Eve. In the spirit of sober, serious journalism, I decided to investigate this phenomenon. My interview with “Prince” is the topic of my column this month, where I attempt to answer that ageold existential question, “Do horses talk on Christmas Eve?” You will have to judge for yourself if the world is ready for Prince. Merry Christmas, everybody!
Based at Fox Covert Farm, in Upperville, Virginia, Jim Wofford competed in three Olympics and two World Championships and won the U.S. National Championship five times. He is also a highly respected coach. For more on Jim, go to www. jimwofford. blogspot.com.