So, SprinklerBandits made this post on how to talk to horse people, and I thought that was apropos and funny. But the problem isn't starting to talk to horse people.

It's getting them to stop.

I was fortunate enough to go to college I picked a school in the most horse-centric place you can go besides Kentucky, Saratoga Springs. Their motto is health, history and horses. Rich people came up to go to the jenky smelling springs, the US won its independence up there, and there's also the Saratoga racetrack. That place is beautiful, has been featured in many horse racing movies, and the partying scene surrounding it is unrivaled. Seriously. If you like horses and day drinking and sundresses you need to go to Saratoga.

To find this picture I googled "preppy derby champagne"
I had very few horsey friends when I was younger. So my decision to surround myself with them in college was not arbitrary. I tried out for the varsity riding team, didn't get on (their loss, obviously) and rerouted to polo. The polo club was run exclusively by students, and was definitely a monumental job. We managed the budget, the ponies themselves, the competition schedule, donations, and the ponies' 'off season' jobs. Plus more non-horsie things like fund raising and throwing raucous parties. We were a closely knit group, and spent almost all of our meals and free time together.

Squad goals.
Much to the chagrin of the like, four other people we were friends with who WEREN'T obsessed with horses.

They would sit at the table, drool dribbling from their mouths, as we discussed the farrier schedule, the vet schedule, the crazy shit our barn manager was trying to pull and the ponies we played at other schools. It was fascinating, important discussion. For some reason they didn't think so? And it's horses, so naturally there is TONS of gossip especially because of the dynamic between the riding team and polo team... even those of us that weren't on the team all rode at the school barn.

I'm babbling now, and you can imagine with even one other person to feed the spark it would turn into a raging forest fire.

I don't care if we just came from the barn WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT IT ANYWAY

One day one of the guys at our table (a boyfriend of a horse obsessed rider in our group) finally exploded and demanded a safe word so that we would stop going ON AND ON about horses. The other (MINORITY) non riders latched on to this.

The safe word was 'acorn'.

So they would hear us winding up...

"You won't believe what the barn manager did."
"Did you see [insert offensive nickname here] at that tournament?"
"Missy tried to kill a JV by leaving the indoor"
"Oh man in my jump lesson I had to jump Artie and he was a piece of shit"

And they'd go OH GOD NO ACORN

But unlike most safe words, it rarely worked.

You can't stop horse people once they get together. But I appreciate the fact that they tried.


  1. hahaha i'm pretty sure some of the guys at our dinner table last night would have joyfully shouted "ACORN!!!" had they known it was a thing. hilarious lol

    1. its better not to teach them, it gives them hope where there is none

  2. When were you at Skidmore? I played polo at Vassar from 2001-2005 so I'm wondering if our paths ever crossed.

    1. hah thats too funny! we just missed each other like two ships passing in the night - i played 2005-2009

    2. Then you missed Skidmore's super tiny arena (it was like half a normal polo arena) and the barn had no bathroom so we had to pee in a stall. By my senior year they had moved to a much nicer barn with a huge arena. I miss polo, it's really the most fun horse sport.

    3. oh dont worry we didnt miss it, we moved back to that place later on because of $$


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