You’ve got issues

We’ve all got them to some degree. You know those things that you’re just really particular about? Some people might call it obsessive, or persnickety, or… well… anal-retentive. I was thinking about this today after I did stalls, because I couldn’t just walk away from the shedrow without raking a crosshatch pattern into the dirt in front of the stallion’s stall. When I was a working student all the shedrow barns had tiny pea gravel in front of the stalls, and when we raked it every day after cleaning, we always did a nice neat crosshatch pattern. Granted, it didn’t last, but it sure did give a sense of satisfaction and made the job feel complete. It was very zen, like Japanese sand garden style.

Just leave me alone and let me rake things

Besides my weird raking fetish, there are a few (million) other things I’m kind of nutty about. I can’t polo wrap a leg without doing a perfect upside down V at the front of the fetlock. That’s how I was taught as a kid, it’s how I’ve always done it, and any other way looks horribly wrong. Don’t make me look at a badly done polo.

Do you pay attention to how you’re tightening your girth and make sure that you’re on equal holes on each side? I do. Because being on the lowest hole on one side and way up on the other is just lopsided. CHAOS.

You know what else is chaotic? Bridle straps not contained in their  keepers. If I see loose straps flopping around I find myself hypnotized by them. Yes I’ve put a random person’s cheekpiece back in it’s keeper at a show. You’re welcome, random person.

Bridle Olympic Revolution
only using this picture because I’m obsessed with the new PS of Sweden Olympic Revolution bridle

I also have a texture issue with tack conditioner. I don’t like thick and sticky, or really thin and greasy, or super waxy. Hopefully I’m not the only person that has stood in Dover and opened every conditioner to touch it. I would say sorry but I’m not. I’m just weird.

Anyone else get twitchy when a horse’s mane gets too long? I have a friend who I’m pretty sure didn’t pull her horse’s mane for years because she knew if she let it get long enough I would do it for her while she wasn’t around. I’m looking at YOU, Stacy. Way to benefit from my craziness. It continues to this day.

Dear God someone get me a pulling comb and some clippers.

What are your crazy person issues? Surely I’m not alone here. Honestly, I could probably keep going all day…


53 thoughts on “You’ve got issues

  1. WHEN PEOPLE DUMP ALL THE SHAVINGS INTO A PILE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STALL. No, no, no. They have to be even distributed, except where the hay goes.

    When bridlepaths become mohawks Bridle paths are there for a reason and a Mohawk completely defeats that purpose. Cut it off with scissors or something. It seriously takes 2 seconds.

    When people sit on their horse and talk in the arena while there are other people riding. Does it get any more disrespectful?

    Ugh the list goes on…


  2. I have a long list of craziness! A few of my top ones:

    I can’t stand it when bridles aren’t cleaned and figure eighted before they’re put away…. Like it seriously gives me anxiety!

    I hate stalls that aren’t banked up with shavings. Too little shavings makes me crazy.

    I will not put clean tack on a dirty horse or vice versa…. Clean your tack, groom your horse! Seriously though, I probably take grooming to an extreme level of OCD…

    Using a running martingale without stoppers on the reins! Not just wrong, but dangerous! I see this all the time!

    Looping a chain through the halter ring, then clipping it back to itself. Again, dangerous!!!

    And finally, I hate hate hate when people don’t fit a flash or figure 8 properly…. What’s the point of having one?


    1. Funny, I can’t figure 8 my PS of sweden bridles (because of how the nosebands are designed, plus theres no throatlatch) and it does make me a little nuts too. I’ve had to let that one go.


  3. LOL i am obsessed with the winning round PS sweden bridle. Sad I know. I have it bookmarked. LOL

    You are the craziest person I know on issues (and I mean that with fondness 🙂

    I agree with the bridlepath. My horse’s mane would make you shudder Amanda right now but it is on the list to be updated asap. I despise when people grow the mane out and then cut it straight across like a crew cut. UGH.

    There is a person at my barn who (after we hang the haynets in the a.m. after stalls) comes back and lowers her haynet to the floor almost every darn day. DRIVES me insane. The holes are small but horse could still get caught up in it. Idiots. SO yes i have an issue with that.

    Here is a nitpicky thing. i hate people who buy buckets (We all buy our own at my coop i board at) with no lip under the bottom to help dump the water) Drives me insane. Also halters that attach over the head (buckle). Usually on an idiotic arab (sorry no offense to arab owners) whose head loves to rise way above my head when putting said pain in the butt halter on…grhh

    i am not a neatnik like you but wow i have some crazy issues too. Who knew??


  4. Hahahahaha I LOVE THIS POST 🙂

    I’m not super nitpicky about most things, but I do do the equal-hole girth thing, the bridle keeper thing, the unpulled mane thing and the polo wrap thing.

    Other things that annoy me include:
    -a lack of a hairnet at shows. It doesn’t bother me as much in lessons, but it makes me bonkers at shows. I’m looking at you, girl-with-the-long-blonde-ponytail-coming-out-the-back-of-her-helmet. GET A HAIRNET.
    -Riders that don’t clean up after themselves/dirty barn aisles/dirty wash stalls/messy tack rooms

    Come to think of it, maybe I am more nitpicky than I thought…


    1. ohmygoodness yes the dirty aisle syndrome. I HATE It, we have brushes, brooms, muck bucket etc right there where we groom. CLEAN UP PEOPLE. i have been known to start sweeping up behind someone b4 they get out of the aisle heading to the ring. LOL 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha. My horse is never more than 30 minutes from A show ready. Keepers must always be perfect. CLEAN bridles in a figure eight. Makes me batty when dirty bridles are put up. Just no.

    Also can I just hate rope halters? Because I do.


      1. I hated them until I had a horse that figured out she could break regular halters (ahem SADIE). Rope was the only thing she wouldn’t bust in the trailer.


  6. Hahaha, I need one of you to come to my barn a couple of times a week and take care of all these things that I’ve given up on! Tidy bridles? Meh. Perfect polos? Don’t use them. Barn aisle not swept? I’m over it. Long bridle path? The rest of Paddy’s poofy hair covers it up just fine. Somehow, keeping our horses at home has changed priorities… plus it never seems like I have time to keep up with that stuff any more.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Too many to list, but in reading your post and the comments, a lot of them are shared. I have been considering dedicating and entire post to polo wraps being wrapped a certain way and every other way is just wrong. Also, stepping into TMI territory, a professional told me that horses seemed like a very gratifying and healthy outlet for my OCD and anxious energy, so maybe that’s why many horse people are super particular about a lot of things–we’d all be washing our hands 8,000 times a day otherwise? And BAD STACY!


  8. Wow, just started reading your blog and what a perfect post for me to leave my first comment…. I don’t know if there’s enough room in the comment field for me to list all my issues. But for starters (in addition to everything you listed – especially the polos!)… blankets not folded properly on blanket bars, saddle pads that don’t fit the saddle or bunch up while riding, hay/straw/shavings in the tail, unclipped whiskers (this is one part of dressage that will just never be A-Ok with this reformed hunter princess), mismatched cross-ties (you know, where one is a cross tie and the other is some chewed up fraying old lead rope because no one replaced them), bridle paths clipped way too long (inch and a half, at most, people), tall boots that are way too big and make the person look like they’re getting ready to fly fish, breeches that don’t fit, especially if they’re low rise, nose bands uneven or too low, brow bands not pulled down evenly so they’re up in the horse’s ear on one side…. geez I’m getting all anxious just thinking about it. Enjoying your blog so far!!


  9. I’m with you on the raking! The barn where I got my first summer job had us do that every morning after the stalls were done and in the evening before I go home. I took over that same habit when I brought my own horse to live with me. In my new barn they don’t rake in any kind of pattern and my eye is drawn to it and I resist the urge to go behind and do the “right” pattern.


  10. It makes me nuts when people don’t groom their horses properly before riding. For serious, your horse is covered in filth and you tacked up in less than five minutes and I’ve been standing here for half an hour currying. Don’t ask me why my horse’s coat looks so much better than yours. Ditto for not cleaning tack for a long time — I probably go longer than you, but I get to it and it’s clean as hell when I’m done. OH AND PEOPLE WHO DON’T TAKE THEIR BRIDLES APART TO CLEAN THEM. WTF.

    Unrelated to tack, it makes me slightly crazy when people don’t close the arena gate behind them when they come in. I get it when we’re using the big, heavy gate in the indoor arena — that functions both to let light in and it’s waaaay too heavy to close while holding your horse. However, the light gate in the outdoor you have no excuse for, especially if you are on foot. My horse WILL leave if he dumps me, and some days that is more than a passing chance.

    The last one that drives me nutty is leaving blankets on the blanket bar in a) a huge piled mess, b) all summer long, c) both a and b. A huge piled mess all summer long is just asking me to take your blankets away from you forever. Put that shit away. Nobody needs a medium in California in May (or even right now, this year!!).

    Thank you for sharing your crazy and allowing me to share mine!


  11. WATER. BUCKETS. I am not obsessive about much, but slimy water buckets are a NO. People, scrub those things out! With a brush! Multiple times a week!

    If I wouldn’t drink out of it, I don’t expect my horse to, either.


  12. I have all of the same “quirks” Polos MUST have a V – oh, and the Velcro at the top, end tip on the outside of the leg 😉 Girths MUST be even – 4th hole on each side for my horse – yes, if someone else, rides, I tell them to make sure they are on the 4th hole on each side! Manes = short, tack = conditioned (dry saddles make me sad). Maybe some sort of PTSD us prior working students have?

    I don’t rake the aisles though (ours are hard dirt), but I am nutty about getting every single last “chip” of poop out of the stall – yes, this might involve hands and gloves – I tell myself I can’t be spending this much time on a stall – but then one of those buggers catches my eye as I go to walk away……


  13. I’m pretty intense about flapping straps of leather. Just no. Also, full cheek bits without bit keepers make me CRAZY.


    1. They make my heart skip a beat, because I’ve witnessed what happens when the pointy end of a full cheek gets caught on something. It’s not pretty. And when people put the keeper on wrong so that it’s way down on the branch of the cheek. Doh!


  14. I don’t understand why people leave the saddle racks up in the aisle-ways after they’ve tacked up. That seems dangerous to me.

    Also – I just feel bad for my horse if the girth is lopsidedly tightened. I’ll also get snapped at!

    And (this is not meant to be snarky at all, whatsoever) I think I’ve just got too many of my own issues and things to deal with that I don’t care what other people are doing. If the horse isn’t in immediate danger or in distress, I don’t care. I’m to busy making sure my own “i’s are dotted and “t”s crossed and I judge myself hard enough as it is. But I don’t think your post was going there. 🙂


  15. I am way too lazy for the unnecessary stuff like figure-eighting bridles, but I do like all keepers tucked in and polos must be done correctly – although again laziness wins out here and I just don’t use polos.
    The biggest thing that drives me crazy is when my husband leaves his horse forlock under the browband. She looks so dumb like that. I have gotten off and gone and fixed it at times.


  16. I’m with you on polos. Also, standing wraps. For the love of God, if someone doesn’t know how to put them on correctly, just don’t. Saddles being too far forward or back drives me insane. Last of all, horses racing with trace clips. It looks ridiculous. I don’t know why.


  17. Here’s some of mine… When putting your saddle up in the tack room, english saddles should be pommel to the wall and western saddles cantle to the wall… I have lesson dads that will help their kids if their schooling saddle goes on a higher rack, and I come in and a) the saddle (english) is facing cantle to the wall and b) the saddle cover is on the floor in a heap! Grrrr… It’s amazing how quickly that shit gets picked up when the kids are threatened with a WHOLE lesson of no stirrups! Oh… And dirty cross ties… As a barn manager, hoof cleanings need to be discarded in the manure pile just like manure! My boarders have no problems cleaning up manure, but for some reason the patties of mud that they picked from their horses feet apparently are allowed to remain in the cross ties until the cleaning fairy (i.e. ME) comes along and cleans it up. Same goes with curried hair…. Oh.. Another one… People that allow their horses to snatch their heads down to graze…. Remember folks, odds are, I handle your horse more than you do… It’s really not fair to me that you allow your horse to be an asshole! I don’t really enjoy getting my arm yanked out of socket because your precious little spoiled pony wants THAT blade of grass, even though he’s on his way to the pasture where there’s a boatload of grass out there to eat!
    And lastly, break away halters… Seriously… Why would you want your horse to set back and figure out that they can break the halter? Seen it done, watched a horse become a chronic setter back (or is it set backer) because the owner insisted on replacing the flimsy little break away piece. I, personally, would like to know that I can tie my horse anywhere and feel pretty confident that he will still be standing there when I come back. And… It’s never okay to turn your horse out wearing a halter… I get less of a twitch if it’s a leather halter, but I would probably be diagnosed as an epileptic if you saw me when I see horses turned out, wearing nylon halters.
    These are just a few… There are plenty more, but I’m sure y’all can imagine after managing a boarding stable for 26 years, I have pretty much seen everything, and had to learn to “let it go”! LOL


  18. I can’t stand when people don’t put my things back where I left them. No the brush box DOES NOT go on the floor. Unless I put it there first. Or when people don’t groom my horse appropriately. Or my mom at horse shows. She just bugs me when she tries to coach me. I can’t stand it. I have no idea why.


  19. I share the equal girth OCD as well as keepers on bridles (also have fixed for other people, although never a stranger). Same goes for blankets, I hate when those straps aren’t tucked into their keepers. I also can’t stand mud on the outside of his hooves – but will totally leave his legs muddy- or a dirty bit. The rest of my bridle can get a little gross, but that bit will never have built up junk on the loose rings.

    This is fun, I bet I have a million more crazy things I do that I never noticed. My husband likely has a much more extensive list for me.


  20. I’m with you on the polo wraps. I watched a very horse savvy friend just slap some on her horse the other day and wanted to intervene desperately. Wraps must also be wrapped evenly. Everytime. Start over if necessary.


  21. …I just realized that I am totally that person that everyone hates. 😛

    I do the stuff that’s a safety/comfort issue – like the girth tightening – but ummmmm…not much else. At all.



  22. my pet peeves are rooted more in function and safety than anything else. someone once reprimanded me for telling the lesson kids to fully groom the lesson horses bc it’s ‘bossy.’ then all the horses broke out in fungus and scratches bc they were never clean…

    there are REASONS why we do certain things! but stuff with less direct impact? eh… easier to let slide. (and i also just mainly ignore my leased mare’s long mane bc, well… bc long manes are totally alien to me haha)


  23. Everything you said except the raking thing because we only have concrete aisles, some with rubber mats, in the barns I muck. I hate a mane that lies on the left if you’re in h/j or eventing. Non-white saddle pads for showing (XC is different). Generally, I don’t like untidyness, uncleanliness, or inattention to detail. Pull the mane. Use the keepers. Clean the tack.

    I guess I’ll go hang out with GM now.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Loose helmet straps! Agreed on polos with the v, pretty ocd about that one. I am driven batty whenever we get a new racehorse in and its bridle path has taken out half of what should be forelock. Then I just pray that we run it in blinkers so that I can grow it out and hide the mohawk phase under said blinkers. I also have fixed strangers unkempt leather straps/keepers.


    1. My helmet strap flapped for four years and drove me insane until I realized I had braiding bands in my tack trunk.


  25. My favourite, ancient bridle has only one disadvantage, which is the fact that its cheekpieces have a habit of falling out of their keepers. They drive me insane, and I’ve gotten good at lying on my horse’s neck stuffing them back into their keepers 30 seconds before going into the show ring. (I have had them put back in by a random person at a show, too. Thank you, random Amanda twin).
    I also do the polo thing, when I have time to concentrate.
    The one thing I absolutely cannot cope with is a twisted electric tape gate. When the tape is twisted it’s way less visible. You might as well not fork out $40 for 200m of tape if you’re going to let it be twisted. DON’T TWIST MY GATES. LET ME HOOK UP MY TAPE GATES. GRR!


  26. Straps not being in keepers.
    No ledge on the bottom of buckets.
    Crooked browbands.
    I ride western, so when the cinch isn’t in its keeper or over the horn and the strap isn’t wrapped on the other side.

    I own my own barn, so barn maintenance is up to me and me alone, so those are just things I observe at other places, minus the one bucket I own without a ledge. It is a storage bucket now. lol


  27. ~Fuzzy pads that have things stuck in them SERIOUSLY TAKE THE 5 MINUTES AND CLEAN IT THANKS
    ~The one sheepskin half pad that has the fuzzies falling off ew no
    ~Stained saddle pads. I don’t care if it’s under the saddle, that’s not okay.
    ~little hunter children on the 16hh mammoth while the trainer’s on the pony
    ~When someone manages to get mud on their helmet riding while it’s rainy and they don’t clean it up immediately.
    ~roached manes. they just make me uncomfortable.
    ~when soaps and liquid things leak and are not disposed of


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