The Summer Olympics is educational

With all the hubbub about the Summer Olympics I’m learning something new every day!

Like, did you know marathon runners often poop themselves as they run? Did you know they have a bottom-related product called Butt Shield that prevents buttock chafing? I did not know these things! Apparently cyclists and runners both will pee themselves if they need to, as well! I’m rethinking my ambition to run a marathon. I’m also side-eye-ing those people I know who have run marathons but I don’t, quite, know how I’m going to ask if they’re hard-core enough to have pooped while running.

By now you’ve probably heard of dressage, or ‘fancy horse dancing’, as it’s been associated with Mitt Romney who doesn’t seem to want to be associated with it. Pretty snobby for a guy who’s wife has a horse in the Summer Olympics for fancy horse dancing. I’ve watched a few videos of dressage on Youtube and, while it’s interesting, the subtleties are lost on me. Until I saw this video:

Damn! Suddenly dressage got real!

I was never much of a horse person. My dad was a ranch hand when I was a pre-schooler and he rode a magnificent horse named High Mount, because that horse was hella-tall, so you’d think I’d be bosom buds with those hoofed assholes.

Horseback riding was part of our curriculum in school (I took outdoor education in jr. high.) so we were bussed to a small riding club in the city and taken on a trail ride. My horse, Lucky, was the biggest asshole horse ever. When he actually walked, because he did NOT want to walk so he’d lock his legs and stand there, he’d bounce his hindquarters extra hard. The instructor told me to whack his flank with my hand to get him to go faster but when I tried it Lucky nearly sent me flying over his head! JERK! I was so unwise to the wily ways of horses that I didn’t know about him getting the bit in his teeth. Once he did? The illusion of my being in control dissolved and Lucky ambled along at his own pace like an equine honey badger.

A couple of years ago a coworker invited me out to her ranch for a BBQ. I was hesitant but she told me she also, in addition to horses, had goats! GOATS! I love goats! I said I’d attend but I got a little lost on the way and showed up late.

But not late enough.

She had a horse in a paddock and she was leading it around, giving guests a free ride. I got there just as the last person was finishing his ride and she cajoled me into taking a ride. I tried to warn her, horses and I do not get along, but she fuffed my fears as being silly. Her horse was a sweetie, loved everyone, and was the most docile creature ever!

Until I climbed aboard. The moment I settled into place the horse’s ears went back and she refused to be led. My coworker was puzzled because up until that point her horse been happily walking around with strange people on her back.

Apparently, I am stranger than most.**

Eventually she coaxed the horse into a stop-and-go, reluctant slog around the paddock but it was embarrassing for everyone involved. Thankfully, after that humiliating walk of shame, I was introduced to the goats and happiness once again ruled the land!

The Summer Olympics have also taught me that sometimes swimmers have wardrobe malfunctions.

** The way horses react to me makes me wonder if I’m a werewolf and just don’t know it. Maybe a were-bear. Hm.

The Summer Olympics is educational