From the Greek:
ἵππος = hippos = horse
μανίας = manias = madness
My hippomania manifested early. From about 2 I was mad-keen on horses. My parents blame my Grandmother who used to give me 'horsey rides' bouncing on her leg. I wanted to pat any horse that I came into contact with, including an illicit visit to the paddock up the street when I was quite tiny. Mum was very cranky that I didn't take her with me. She must have wanted to pat the horsey too.
The tragedy is that I wasn't able to learn to ride until I was 10 - we moved to Cloncurry from Brisbane. All the kids around me had been riding since they could walk, or before that. I was an old lady of 10. It was not fair.
I am not a good horsewoman. I lack the sense of balance, gross motor skills and lack of fear that are necessary for that. My brain spends too much time calculating how badly I will hurt myself if I come off. And I do come off. It's almost my speciality.
Apparently I have a pretty good seat, and a nice steady lower leg. But don't ask me to jump anything. I once did a one day event at Pony Club. Out west dressage is the boring bit you have to do before the fun jumping opportunities. I did the dressage (which I love), then skipped the worst of the jumps in the cross-country, thereby eliminating myself from the showjumping. Mum and Dad were furious that I'd wasted the entrance fee, but it was worth it from my perspective.
We moved when I was 13. We had to sell the horses. I got over it and settled down into unfulfilled hippomania. I would get a ride from time to time, and I would drink in stories of horses from others.
I did have a slight recurrence at about 25. I was working and had my own money. I sat down with my budget and worked out that I could afford to go to a riding school for an hour every week for six months, or once a fortnight for the whole year. I selected the 6 month option and had the strength to stop at the end of it.
Then I met a lady who had horses and her daughter had gone off to study. Another young woman and I kindly used to exercise the horses for her. I subscribed to an Equestrian magazine. That was fun until I moved again. Back into remission.
Most of the time I can cope. The outbreak of Equine Influenza last year meant that for the last 12 months or so I haven't been able to pat horses in paddocks for fear of spreading it.
Then, this weekend is the rodeo in town. Yes, anyone who shares my hippomania (if it manifests in the rodeo/campdrafting arena) could work out my top secret geographical location. We also have a World Cup Qualifying Eventing weekend each year, and the occasional Polocrosse World Cup.
I live not far from the showgrounds which means that at this time of the year there are horses everywhere. They are beautiful. I want one. We live on a town block. We can't have horses. I don't have time for horses - they would eat more time than blogging, and much more food than the LBD.
What is the chance I will own a horse again in the next few years?
... Approximately None
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