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December 2, 2016

The Judge's Card: The Original Emojis

Have you ever looked at the judge’s scorecard after the horse show?

It’s filled with little symbols, notations and abbreviations that describe the action with a form of visual shorthand (yes, the first emojis!).

Wouldn’t you love to know what all of them (or even some of them) mean? Wonder no more. Here’s a handy key to get you started ;-)

November 23, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Jitterbug's Guide To Being Thankful

I was recently weeding through my Facebook feed and noticed that several of the Humans I follow have been posting Instagram photos with extensive captions (which could really use editing) with the #30daysofthanks hashtag.

After consulting with my social media manager, I learned that this is an exercise Humans use to publicly convince themselves that their tiny little lives are full of meaning.

November 17, 2016


Last week at the barn, my friend Lindsey and I were chatting as we groomed our horses in the crossties. Our voices were businesslike and earnest; the tone one adopts when deliberating on something of the utmost importance.

We were well into the conversation before it struck me that two mature, educated, adult women had spent the last 15 minutes keenly discussing horse poop.

Horse. Poop.

October 28, 2016

Jitterbug's Guide To Halloween

October is upon us and as I have learned, this means that the Humans celebrate cooler weather in some very strange ways.

While I am on board with flavoring every imaginable drink and dessert with pumpkins and apples (as long as the Biped shares), I must say as someone who has studied human psychology, I find the costume element all too predictable.

September 29, 2016

And They're Off!

Anyone who has spent a lifetime around horses and horse shows has some great stories to tell. Many of them involve odd circumstances under which they competed. 

Like the year I went to the American Royal in Kansas City. It was a multi-discipline show with a huge number of entries (my number was 1210 if that tells you anything) and a small number of arenas.

September 5, 2016

Lost In Translation

It took me a lot of years to figure out that the main reason a relationship with a horsey girl is challenging is because you, our non-horsey significant others, don’t understand us.

July 15, 2016

Jitterbug’s Textbook For Cross-Country Schooling

For most of my training career with this Human, I have pretty much run our cross-country courses solo. How else can you look at it, when she has yet to keep from fainting somewhere between the start box and finish flags?

At long last however, I’ve begun convincing her to keep her eyes open as I step gingerly over the 2” by 4”s and half-decayed straw bales we typically encounter in the starter division, and we’re beginning to school over new types of questions.

Questions that are actually, you know, questions.

July 8, 2016

Legends Of The Summer

This time of year, my thoughts often drift back to the days when I was a kid at summer camp. It was one of the best experiences of my life—a camp devoted to horseback riding where young girls immersed themselves in everything equine for eight solid weeks.

The names and faces of my fellow campers have faded over time. But the horses—those I remember. The memories of the four-legged legends that shaped my summers are as enduring as those hot, humid July and August afternoons.

June 10, 2016

Jitterbug's Guide To Starting Your Human In The Saddle

After many years of working with the same Human, I recently decided to expand my horizons by taking on a few beginner students. It gives me the chance to rest my over-worked bucking muscles and recalibrate my brain cells.

I find that working with children is considerably more rewarding than working with adults—they are both easier please than adults and easier to scare into submission when necessary. 

May 13, 2016

Spring Ahead, Fall Off

Let me establish one thing right away: I don’t fall off. It has nothing to do with my riding skills. I don’t fall off because falling off hurts, and I have an aversion to pain.

I don’t remember the last time I fell off. Literally. I don’t remember it because I hit my head and four hours of short-term memory blew out of my brain faster than my medal course plan at the in-gate.   

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