Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Random insights on barn drama

No, I'm not experiencing barn drama now. But it's always "five o'clock somewhere," and I'm certain there is always a barn situation somewhere.

Page turners...
A good friend from high school, Karrie,  had daughter that grew up "horse crazy." She used to call me to chat about news of the horse, her daughter's progress, and of course, that phenom that goes with the package -- barn drama.

Her stories were about horse show moms mostly -- horrifying, and of course familiar. She told me one day that she and a few of the other horse show moms had brainstormed an idea of writing a book about barn drama. the title:

UnStable: Bad parenting, hysterical women, and psychosocial drama in equestrian culture

I love it! Thinking about other random insights over the years, here are a few more.

It's a circus all right.
Have you heard the term hippodrama? It means literally horse drama and it has its roots in theater. It's described as:

"...a genre of theatrical show blending circus and horsemanship with popular melodrama and theatre. Evolving from earlier equestrian circus, it relied on drama plays. Trained horses were considered actors along with humans and were even awarded leading roles."

In real barn dramas, horses always seem to have a leading role. Perfect. The term could be refashioned for modern usage (barn drama!).

Do we have a winner?
A dear friend of mine would sometimes listen to stories. I'd finish my tale, and there would be a long pause, and she would say: "It all sounds very Jerry Springer."

But no, that does not win the prize for best observation.

Why does the sports metaphor always win?
 Best observation goes to Bob, former little league coach, who said one day...

"It's like always having a kid in little league."



  1. We used to say "As the Walker Turns" because it is so much like a soap opera on TV. There was usually some drinking, someone was sleeping with somebody else, lots of fighting and arguments and nobody ever seemed to grow up. *eyeroll* I'm so glad those days are over for me.

  2. This is why hubby and I bought land in the middle of Podunk to keep our horses. I couldn't take it anymore. I could have bought a therapist a nice sports car and a vacation home as stressful as it always was at the barn (and all I wanted was to see/ride my horse!). My husband calls it "Equestrogen" because it seems to be a hormonal thing mixed with the flying fur, dust and horse sweat. Always worst in the early evenings when everybody showed up at the barn after work.

    Of course, I get jaded riding alone most of the time and without a little of the social aspect and electric atmosphere present at a more commercial facility. And, I really miss some of the amenities (my arena is un-level and harder than I'd like right now--and I don't have an indoor, boo hoo). BUT, then I remind myself of the nervous tic I used to get when boarding and some of the drama mamas would pull up in the parking lot. So, I shovel the manure, ride through the uneven grade, mix the grain, watch the ponies quietly and grin. :)


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